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Clanton resident comes in third at FLW tournament

COLUMBIANA – Clanton’s Nicholas Turner finished in third place at the Walmart Bass Fishing League Dixie Division Super Tournament on Lay Lake on the weekend of Sept. 5. The result earned Turner, who fishes Lay regularly, a $1,820 prize.”I’d been up there all Labor Day fishing, so I knew what I was going to do,” Turner said.Turner said he threw a 7-inch T-MAC Worm made by NetBait along with a Bill Norman crankbait in areas with a lot of shad.Turner said he was recently married and built a house in the area, so the cash prize was welcomed.Chris Rutland of Wetumpka won the tournament with a two-day catch of 10 bass weighing 30 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned Rutland $4,641 and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the Wheeler Lake Regional Championship in Decatur on Oct. 9-11, where he could ultimately win a new 198VX Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.

Rutland said he caught his fish on a jig and a crankbait by fishing mid- and lower-lake spots. Rutland focused on grass early and fished deep wood later in the day.

Rounding out the top five boaters are Coby Carden of Calera (10 bass, 26-14, $2,730), Turner (10 bass, 26-11), Chad Hall of Dora (10 bass, 26-10, $1,274) and Josh Stracner of Vandiver (10 bass, 25-03, $1,092).

Barry Wilson of Birmingham took home the Boater Division Snickers Big Bass award, earning $712 for a 6-pound, 1-ounce bass that he caught on a white swimming jig.

Brian Harbison of Birmingham earned $2,730 as the co-angler winner thanks to 10 bass weighing 19 pounds, 10 ounces that he caught while fishing in grass and around wood.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers were Michael Wright of Covington, Ga. (nine bass, 18-06, $1,365); Anthony Gary of Phenix City (10 bass, 16-00, $909); Rodney Lanier of Opelika (10 bass, 16-00, $637) and Caleb Scott of Sylacauga (seven bass, 15-04, $546).

Billy Parker of Harpersville earned $356 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 5-pound bass on a soft plastic crawdad.

Following the end of regular-season competition, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on year-end points standings in the division will advance to the no-entry-fee Wheeler Lake Regional Championship where they will compete against top qualifiers from three other BFL divisions. At the Regional Championship boaters will fish for a new Ranger boat and Chevy truck and co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger boat. The top six boaters and top six co-anglers at the Regional Championship will also advance to the 2009 All-American presented by Chevy. With a total purse of $1 million, a potential $140,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and as much as $70,000 going to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in bass fishing. The winning boater and winning co-angler at the All-American also advance to the no-entry-fee $2 million 2009 Forrest Wood Cup. This event, featuring a top award of $1 million, is the sport’s biggest championship.

The $8.8 million Walmart Bass Fishing League features 28 divisions nationwide. In BFL competition, boaters and co-anglers are randomly paired. Boaters supply the boat and fish from the front deck against other boaters while co-anglers compete from the back deck against other co-anglers.

Tournament anglers aren’t the only ones winning big this season. With the introduction of FLW Fantasy Fishing, FLW Outdoors offered anyone the opportunity to enter for their chance to land the catch of a lifetime with the opportunity to win $7.3 million in cash and prizes. Players could become a virtual pro angler by signing up for Player’s Advantage, which provided them with exclusive insider information that could have guided them to a $100,000 victory at every Walmart FLW Tour(r) stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. Player’s Advantage gave them an edge over the competition and increased their shot for the $1 million cash grand prize awarded to the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Visit FantasyFishing.com today to find out more information and to register for next season.