Heath Ahnen of Westby, Wis., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League® final Great Lakes Division tournament of the season on the Mississippi River Sunday with 10 bass weighing 33 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned Ahnen $5,690…
Heath Ahnen of Westby, Wis., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League® final Great Lakes Division tournament of the season on the Mississippi River Sunday with 10 bass weighing 33 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned Ahnen $5,690. Anglers were competing to qualify for the Mississippi River Regional Championship in Fort Madison, Iowa, Oct. 1-3, where he could ultimately win a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.
Its been a long time coming, said Ahnen. Its hard to describe. All of the hours that led up to that point its really about hours spent up to that Saturday and Sunday. I was just lucky enough to get on the right fish to win.
Every angler needs support from family and friends to be successful, and Ive had a ton of support, Ahnen added.
Ahnen said he caught his limits targeting grass with a topwater plastic frog and a swimming jig fished to five feet.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Jeff Ritter of Prairie Du Chien, Wis. (10 bass, 32-2, $2,845); Brian Fitzpatrick of La Crosse, Wis. (10 bass, 28-14, $1,897); Paul Malone of Pleasant Valley, Iowa (10 bass, 27-14, $1,328) and Nathan Huss of Elkhart Lake, Wis. (10 bass, 27-9, $1,138).
Dan Thill of La Crosse, Wis., took home the Boater Division Folgers Big Bass award, earning $742 for a 4-pound, 14-ounce bass he caught.
Brian Brecka of Alma, Wis., earned $2,845 as the co-angler winner Sunday thanks to eight bass weighing 24 pounds, 2 ounces that he caught on a spinnerbait.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Al Kjos of La Crosse, Wis. (eight bass, 21-15, $1,422); Timothy Marcou of West Salem, Wis. (10 bass, 21-15, $948); Brett Rudy of Burlington, Iowa (10 bass, 21-9, $664); and Gary Beja of Roselle, Ill. (nine bass, 21-8, $569).
Marcou earned $371 as the co-angler Folgers Big Bass winner after catching a 4-pound, 5-ounce bass.
The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers in each of the BFLs 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 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 nations 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 fishings 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 has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports. Sign up for Players Advantage to get your edge and win.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Players Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.