Tharp Wins Walmart Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Champlain

Category: press release

 Jun 22nd, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jun 22nd, 2009 at 12:00 AM

WHITEHALL, N.Y. (June 22, 2009) – Randall Tharp of Gardendale, Ala., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League® Empire Division tournament on Lake Champlain Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 22 pounds, 15 ounces. The victory earned Tharp $4,000 and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the Potomac River Regional Championship in Marbury, Md., Oct. 8-10, where he could ultimately win a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.

Rounding out the top five boaters are Dave Mease of Bethlehem, Pa. (five bass, 18-3, $2,000); Jamie Hartman of Poland, N.Y. (five bass, 18-0, $1,133); Bill Spence of St. Albans, Vt. (five bass, 18-0, $1,133); and Larry Materia of Boonton Township, N.J. (five bass, 17-14, $800).

Tharp won the Boater Division Big Bass award, earning $540 for a 5-pound, 14-ounce bass.

Alex Antipe of Brooklyn, N.Y., earned $2,000 as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to five bass weighing 20 pounds even.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Tony Dormon of Springville, Pa. (five bass, 17-12, $1,000); Brian Reynolds of Wilmington, Vt. (five bass, 17-9, $666); Skeeter Harvey of Saugerties, N.Y. (five bass, 16-10, $433); and Paul Pataki of Kearney, N.J. (five bass, 16-10, $433).

Antipe earned $270 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 5-pound, 6-ounce bass.

The next Empire Division event will be held on Lake Cayuga in Waterloo, N.Y., July 25.

The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers in each of the BFL’s 28 divisions at the end of the season advance to a no-entry-fee Regional Championship where boaters fish for a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck and co-anglers fish for a new Ranger boat. Seven regional championships will each send six boaters and six co-anglers to the no-entry-fee Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy, which features a $1 million purse and a top award of $140,000 in the Boater Division and $70,000 in the Co-angler Division. Anglers who compete in all five regular-season events within a division but do not advance to a Regional Championship are eligible to compete in the Chevy Wild Card, which will also send six boaters and six co-anglers to the All-American for a total of 48 boaters and 48 co-anglers advancing through BFL competition.

The winning boater and winning co-angler at the All-American will advance to the no-entry-fee $2.5 million Forrest Wood Cup in Atlanta in 2010. This event, featuring a top award of $1 million, is the most lucrative tournament in all of competitive bass fishing. In all, the BFL offers weekend anglers the opportunity to qualify for three no-entry-fee championships with total cash awards exceeding $3.5 million. Plus, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from each BFL division may move up to the Stren Series™ for 2010 while All-American champions have the option to advance directly to the Walmart FLW Tour®.

In BFL competition, boaters supply the boat and compete from the front deck against other boaters. Co-anglers compete from the back deck against other co-anglers.

As the nation’s leading provider of affordable, close-to-home weekend tournaments, the BFL is widely credited with opening competitive bass fishing to the masses. It also serves as a steppingstone for anglers who wish to advance to the Stren Series and ultimately the FLW Tour – bass fishing’s most lucrative tournament circuit.

Total awards are based on a full field of 200 boats in every tournament.

FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also is taking fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Player’s Advantage for only $10 to get your edge and win.

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