Murray Wins Lake Eufaula Bass Fishing League Tournament
EUFAULA, Ala. (Oct. 4, 2004) - Boater Jim Murray Jr. of Arabi, Ga., earned $8,047 Sunday as winner of the two-day, season-ending Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division Super Bass Tournament on Lake Eufaula. His two-day total of 26 pounds, 12 ounces topped 155 fellow competitors in the Boater Division.
Murray caught 17 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to advance to Sunday's competition, where he caught 9 pounds to post the heaviest two-day weight and claim the win. He caught his tournament-winning bass flipping current breaks in the upper river. His bait of choice was a Zoom Super Chunk. He bested his nearest opponent by more than 7 pounds.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Rodger Beaver of Leesburg, Ga. (19 pounds, 11 ounces, $4,024); Kip Carter of Oxford, Ga. (18 pounds, 14 ounces, $2,180); Gary Niles of Midland, Ga. (17 pounds, 9 ounces, $1,844); and Trey Rhodes of Newnan, Ga. (16 pounds, 11 ounces, $1,509).
Carter earned a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. Jason Smith of Leesburg, Ga., earned $1,550 as the Boater Division big-bass winner, thanks to a 6-pound, 11-ounce bass he caught on a custom-made spinnerbait in the upper-lake grass.
Ashley Newell of Fitzgerald, Ga., earned $3,850 as winner of the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of 18 pounds, 3 ounces. He caught his bass on a buzzbait in the grass. Newell also earned $715 as the co-angler big-bass winner with a 6-pound, 5-ounce bass he caught on a Zoom Trick Worm in a brush pile. His margin of victory was also substantial, as he topped the second-place co-angler by almost 7 pounds.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Emory Walden of Newnan, Ga. (11 pounds, 8 ounces, $1,925); Frank Key of Columbus, Ga. (10 pounds, 14 ounces, $1,043); Bobby Duncan of Leesburg, Ga. (9 pounds, 14 ounces, $882); and Arthur Fielder Jr. of Stone Mountain, Ga. (8 pounds, 12 ounces, $722).
Each of the BFL's 24 nationwide divisions features four one-day tournaments and one two-day Super Tournament within the regular season. In Super Tournament competition, the entire field competes on day one and the top 20 percent advances to day two, with the winners determined by the heaviest two-day catch weights. More money is awarded at Super Tournaments as well as more points that count toward year-end angler standings. In a Super Tournament, 300 points are awarded for first place, 299 for second, 298 for third, and so on.
Terry Stevens of Marianna, Fla., earned $1,000 as the Yamaha "Be the Best" boater points champion in the Bulldog Division with 1,013 points for the season. George Goodman Jr. of Monticello, Ga., earned Yamaha "Be the Best" points champion honors and $500 in the Co-angler Division. He earned 1,002 points this season.
The top 30 boaters and co-anglers in the Bulldog Division will advance to the Wheeler Lake regional, which will be held Oct. 19-23 in Rogersville. There they will compete against qualifying anglers from the LBL, Mountain and Shenandoah divisions for one of six slots in the 2005 All-American. The All-American awards a $100,000 cash prize to the winning boater and $50,000 to the winning co-angler.
Anglers who compete in all five regular-season events within a division but do not advance to regional competition are eligible to fish the Chevy Trucks Wild Card for an All-American berth. Six nationwide regionals plus the Wild Card will each send six boaters and six co-anglers to the All-American for a total field of 84 competitors.