Svendsen Wins Bass Fishing Tournament on West Point Lake
LANETT, Ala. (Nov. 10, 2003) - Mark Svendsen of Doraville, Ga., caught a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 19 pounds, 3 ounces this weekend to lead the Wild Card bass fishing tournament on West Point Lake and earn a ticket to the 2004 Bass Fishing League All-American. The All-American, scheduled for April 14-17 on Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs, Ark., features a championship field of 42 boaters and 42 co-anglers and will award the winning boater $100,000 cash.
BFL competitors who finished in the top 30 in year-end points standings within their BFL division advanced to regional competition for a shot at one of six All-American slots per regional. Anglers who fished all five regular-season tournaments within their BFL division but did not advance to regional competition were eligible to compete in the Wild Card, which will also send six competitors to the All-American. Three hundred and forty-two boaters fished the Wild Card for an All-American slot, along with 307 co-anglers.
Svendsen caught his Wild Card-winning bass on a 1/4-ounce buzzbait and Zoom plastics off the flats in the backs of creeks. He caught five bass Friday that weighed 9 pounds, 11 ounces to finish fifth and followed that up Saturday with another five bass weighing 9 pounds, 8 ounces to earn his first All-American berth. Svendsen, who ranked 65th in 2003 Savannah River Division points standings, also earned a $1,000 bonus from Garmin for using a fixed-mount Garmin Fishfinder or combination GPS/sounder during the event.
Others headed to the All-American from the Boater Division are Kim Carver of Milledgeville, Ga. (nine bass, 18 pounds, 2 ounces); Ronnie Webb of Dewy Rose, Ga. (seven bass, 17 pounds, 6 ounces); Robert Burdekin of Fayetteville, Ga. (10 bass, 15 pounds, 10 ounces); Joel Barber of Brandon, Miss. (10 bass, 15 pounds); and Sammy Creech of Kenly, N.C. (seven bass, 14 pounds, 14 ounces). Barber also earned a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Co-angler Wendell Thompson of California, Md., caught a two-day total of nine bass weighing 10 pounds, 2 ounces to win the Wild Card and advance to the All-American from the Co-angler Division. Thompson, a Shenandoah Division angler, caught four bass on day one weighing 3 pounds, 15 ounces and caught a limit of five on day two weighing 6 pounds, 3 ounces to lead the co-angler field. He caught his winning bass on a finesse worm in brush piles. Thompson and other co-angler competitors will compete for $50,000 cash at the All-American.
Rounding out the top six co-anglers are Vic Riveras of Norfolk, Va. (seven bass, 10 pounds, 2 ounces); Todd Keneipp of Evansville, Ind. (six bass, 10 pounds, 1 ounce); Dustan Holmes of Social Circle, Ga. (six bass, 9 pounds, 15 ounces); Kevin Edwards of Decatur (six bass, 9 pounds, 14 ounces); and Rick Hensley of Rockmart, Ga. (six bass, 9 pounds, 9 ounces).