Bass Fishing League to create economic impact for area

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 9, 2006

The $8.8 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League will visit Lake Demopolis October 19-21 for one of seven no-entry-fee regional championships. During the tournament host by the Demopolis Chamber of Commerce, top Choo Choo, Everglades, Mississippi and Seminole division anglers will compete for a $60,000 prize package that includes a new Chevy truck and Ranger 519VX powered by Evinrude or Yamaha in the Boater Division and a $40,000 Ranger 519VX powered by Evinrude or Yamaha in the Co-angler Division.

Since their founding in 1979, FLW Outdoors has set the standard for fishing tournaments nationwide. They claim to be the world&8217;s leading marketer of competitive fishing. What that means to Demopolis, is the utmost in professionalism and economic benefits measured not in the thousands of dollars, but rather in the millions. Area business and residents will profit from FLW Outdoors&8217; association with world-class sponsors including Wal-Mart, Kellogg&8217;s, Energizer, Castrol, and 54 other well-known companies. National publicity generated by FLW&8217;s public relations efforts and their stable of media outlets spanning TV, radio, internet, and print will also pay dividends for years to come through increased tourism revenue. FLW Outdoors claim to be the ultimate resource to help Demopolis tap into an audience of 82 million outdoor enthusiasts.

Boater and co-anglers who finish in the top six at the lake Demopolis championship will also advance to the $1 million no-entry-fee 2007 All- American championship presented by Chevy where they will fish for as much as $140,000 in the Boater Division and $70,000 in the Co-angler Division. The winning boater and co-angler at the All-American will also advance to the no-entry-fee $2 million Forrest Wood Cup in Hot Springs, Ark, August 2-5, 2007. This event, featuring, a top award of $1 million, is the most lucrative tournament in all of competitive bass fishing.

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More than 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers qualified from each of these divisions for a total field of 160 boats on Lake Demopolis. The anglers qualified for the regional championship through a series of four one-day tournaments and a two-day super tournament in each of their respective divisions.

Demopolis City Landing will host daily takeoffs at 7 a.m. Demopolis City Ramp will also host Thursday and Friday&8217;s weigh-ins beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday&8217;s weigh-in featuring the top six boaters and six co-anglers will be held at the Wal-Mart located in Demopolis beginning at 4 p.m. The winners will be determined by the heaviest total catch from all three days of competition.

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

As the nation&8217;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 Wal-Mart FLW Tour, bass fishing&8217;s most lucrative tournament series. Former BFL anglers who have become fishing superstars on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour include Kellogg&8217;s pro Clark Wendlandt, Ranger pro Tommy Biffle, and four-time FLW Tour champion David Fritts.

Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Woods, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Stratos Owners&8217; Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart Redfish Series, and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series.

These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $37.9 million through 249 events this year.