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  Go back to the News List! Kurtz wins Wal-Mart BFL Event on Mississippi River 07/23/2005 Document  
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  Kurtz wins Wal-Mart BFL Event
on Mississippi River

Boater Ben Kurtz of Elkhorn, Wis., earned $3,911 July 23 as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division event on the Mississippi River.


PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. — Boater Ben Kurtz of Elkhorn earned $3,911 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division event on the Mississippi River. The tournament was the third of five regular-season Great Lakes Division events and earned Kurtz 200 points in the Boater Division.

Kurtz’s winning catch of five bass weighed 16 pounds, 8 ounces. Kurtz caught his fish early in the morning around grass while throwing topwater lures.

Finishing second was Rollie Truehl of Deforest with five bass weighing 16 pounds that earned him $1,956. Jeff Herburger of Dubuque, Iowa, claimed $1,280 as the third-place finisher thanks to five bass weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces. In fourth was Curt Erpenbach of Morris, Ill., with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 2 ounces worth $996, and finishing fifth and earning $818 was Jeff Benson of Holmen with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 14 ounces.

Herburger took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $615 for a 4-pound, 4-ounce bass. He caught his big bass on a jig.

Truehl earned an additional $500 as winner of the Ranger Cup award.

Michael Parve of West Bend earned $1,956 as the co-angler winner, thanks to five bass weighing 12 pounds, 15 ounces that he caught on a jig and pig.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Neil Lemaster of Ft. Madison, Iowa (five bass, 12 pounds, 4 ounces, $978); Andy Lafave of Racine (five bass, 12 pounds, 3 ounces, $640); Anthony Woitach of Milwaukee (five bass, 11 pounds, 15 ounces, $498); and Klaus Kuester of Forest Park, Ill. (five bass, 11 pounds, 11 ounces, $409).

Derek Meier of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, earned $308 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 3-pound, 12-ounce bass he caught on a scum frog.

The Great Lakes Division’s next event will be held Aug. 20 on the Mississippi River near Wabasha. The Great Lakes Division will wrap up its regular season Oct. 1-2 with a two-day Super Tournament on the Mississippi River near Prairie Du Chien.

Following the regular season, the Great Lakes Division boater with the most points will earn $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion. The co-angler amassing the most points will earn $500 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion in the Co-angler Division.

Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 200 points going to the winner, 199 for second, 198 for third, and so on except for Super Tournaments, which award 300 points to the winner, 299 for second, 298 for third, and so on. The top 40 Great Lakes Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Ohio River Regional near Paducah, Ky., Oct. 11-15 where they will compete against Arkie, Hoosier and Michigan Division anglers for one of six slots in the 2006 All-American. With a total purse of $1 million and a potential $140,000 cash prize 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 $8.4 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. For more information or to enter a tournament, call (270) 252-1000 or browse

Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League and seven other national tournament circuits offering a combined $30 million in awards through 214 events in 2005. The 27-year-old organization is the purveyor of America’s largest and most prestigious fishing tournaments, including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, EverStart Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series.

Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as title sponsor of the FLW Tour in 1997 and today is the title sponsor of all FLW Outdoors events. For more information on Wal-Mart, visit

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