TICONDEROGA, N.Y. (Sept. 25, 2006) – Boater Pete Hettenbaugh of Lima, N.Y., earned 300 points and $6,011 Sunday as the winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Empire Division Super Tournament on Lake Champlain.  

Hettenbaugh's two-day winning catch of 10 bass weighed 35 pounds, 3 ounces.
Rounding out the top five boaters are John Imbesi of Cairo, N.Y. (10 bass, 34 pounds, 12 ounces, $3,006); James Schneider of Albany, N.Y. (10 bass, 33 pounds, 2 ounces, $2,002); Brian Winchell of Warrensburg, N.Y. (10 bass, 32 pounds, 1 ounce, $1,403) and Jim Sweeney of West Dover, Vt. (10 bass, 31 pounds, 12 ounces, $1,202).

Stephen Walczak of Belchertown, Mass., won the Boater Division Snickers Big Bass award with a 5-pound, 5-ounce bass that earned him $825.

Christopher Brown of Rodman, N.Y., took home $500 for being the highest placing Ranger Cup participant.

Al Volpini of Newfield, N.Y., earned $3,006 as the co-angler winner thanks to 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 5 ounces.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Richard Garlock of Alexandria Bay, N.Y. (10 bass, 26 pounds, 1 ounce, $1,503); Richard French of Newfield, N.Y. (10 bass, 25 pounds, 15 ounces, $1,004); Thomas Prowant of Lewisburg, Pa., (10 bass, 25 pounds, 3 ounces, $701) and Jason Shipton of Muncy, Pa. (10 bass, 25 pounds, 3 ounces, $601).

Frederick Salzman of Franklinville, N.J., earned $412 as the co-angler Snickers Big Bass winner with a 6-pound, 2-ounce bass.

The top 40 Empire Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will now advance to the no-entry-fee Smith Mountain Regional Championship near Moneta, Va., Oct. 19-21, where they will compete against North Carolina, Northeast and Piedmont anglers for a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck in the Boater Division plus six slots in the no-entry-fee 2007 Wal-Mart BFL All-American presented by Chevy. With a total purse of $1 million and a potential $140,000 cash going to the winning boater and $70,000 going to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in bass fishing.

The Boater Division points champion who advances the farthest at the All-American will earn $10,000 as the Yamaha "Be the Best" points champion. The co-angler points champion who advances the farthest will earn $5,000 as the Yamaha "Be the Best" points champion in the Co-angler Division.

For complete Empire Division standings, visit FLWOutdoors.com.

The $8.8 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League features 28 divisions nationwide. In BFL competition, boaters and co-anglers are randomly paired, with boaters supplying the boat and fishing against other boaters and co-anglers fishing from the back deck against other co-anglers.

Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, 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' Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $37.9 million through 249 events in 2006.

For more information or to enter a tournament, call (270) 252-1000 or visit FLWOutdoors.com.

Wal-Mart and many of America's largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world's leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.

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