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Paraplegic Participates in Lucrative Bass Fishing Tournament

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  • Paraplegic Participates in Lucrative Bass Fishing Tournament

    $3.64 Million Ranger M1 Bass Tournament Starts Wednesday; Top Angler Could Net Up to $1 Million

    MOBILE, Ala., Feb 25, 2002 (BW SportsWire) -- They won't win gold, silver or bronze, but one lucky angler could net up to $1 million on live television in the world's most lucrative bass tournament, the $3.64 million Ranger M1 starting Wednesday on the Mobile/Tensaw River Delta.

    The M1's total purse is based on a payback of $1.3 million plus $2.34 million in sponsor bonus money. The winning pro will receive $400,000 plus up to an additional $600,000 in sponsor bonus money. The winning co-angler will receive $150,000 plus up to an additional $100,000 in sponsor bonus money. Each competitor will receive a minimum cash award equal to his or her entry fee provided all sponsor bonus requirements are met.

    The Ranger M1's final weigh-in from the Mobile Convention Center will air live as part of "FLW Outdoors" on the PAX TV network Saturday at 2 p.m. CST. Admission to the weigh-in and Family Fun Zone, which opens Saturday at 11 a.m. CST, is free. The Fun Zone features children's games and product samples from Ranger M1 sponsors.

    "Ranger views this event as an excellent opportunity to reward our loyal customers," said Randy Hopper, Ranger president. "Mobile is the perfect site for this tournament."

    Team Castrol pro Darrel Robertson, Jay, Okla., won the first Ranger M1 Nov. 7, 1999, in Winter Haven, Fla., and walked away with $600,000. He will be in Mobile to defend his title.

    "Fishing is more popular than golf and tennis combined," said Irwin L. Jacobs, FLW Outdoors chairman. "It's a sport with literally no boundaries. You can be young, old, male, female, tall, short, any race, religion or nationality. FLW Outdoors and fishing exemplify a clean, all-American sport that the whole family can enjoy."

    As testament to competitive fishing's broad-based appeal and universal access, consider pro angler David Hudson from Rogersville, Ala. Hudson has been competing in bass tournaments for years, and winning. That does not sound remarkable until you consider that Hudson is a paraplegic.

    "People shouldn't judge me based on the fact that I'm in a wheel chair. They should judge me on my skills as an angler," Hudson said. "Bass don't care if you have a disability. Fishing is very much a mental sport that requires excellent hand-eye coordination. That said, I can compete, and win."

    Hudson is a regular competitor in the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League and Paralyzed Veterans of America National Bass Trail. He has also fished the Wal-Mart FLW Tour. Come Wednesday, he will join other Ranger M1 competitors as they cast for up to $1 million.

    Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Dennis Green will be among the co-angler competitors. Green, a longtime fishing enthusiast, is stepping out from behind his broadcaster's desk on the set of PAX TV's "FLW Outdoors" to test his skills against some of the best co-anglers in the country. "Fishing is my passion," Green said. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to compete against some of the best co-anglers in the business."

    Green, an avid bass fisherman since his youth, has hosted his own local bass-fishing tournament on the waters of Lake Minnetonka near Minneapolis. At a press conference in January, he announced his plans to join the "FLW Outdoors" broadcast team as they bring live coverage of the nation's premier competitive fishing circuit -- the $5.1 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour -- to the country's 77 million outdoor enthusiasts for the first time in history.

    "I am proud that Alabama will host such a prestigious event in the world of sport fishing," said Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. "This opportunity will allow us to showcase to the world that Alabama's natural resources and beauty are second to none."

    Governor Siegelman will be on hand for Saturday's final weigh-in and presentation of the winner's check. M1 competitors will fish as pros or co-anglers in three elimination rounds on the Mobile/Tensaw River Delta, a 100,000-acre fishery formed by the convergence of the Tensaw and Mobile Rivers at Mobile Bay. Pros fish from the front of each tournament boat while co-anglers fish from the back deck. The full field will compete for two days and then be cut to the top 20 anglers in each division based on total catch weight. These anglers will then start from zero and compete for one day in the semifinal round. Co-angler competition wraps up on day three. Only the top 10 pro anglers will advance to the final day of competition. Catch weights will be cleared again for the final day.

    Battleship Memorial Park will host Wednesday and Thursday's weigh-ins, which start at 3 p.m. The Mobile Convention Center will host both Friday's weigh-in, starting at 5 p.m., and Saturday's weigh-in starting at 2 p.m.

    The Mobile/Tensaw River Delta is part of the Alabama Bass Trail, which consists of five world-class fisheries with accommodations, facilities and activities to complement every fishing outing from weekend getaways with the family to the nation's premier bass tournaments.

    FLW Outdoors, the nation's leading marketer of competitive fishing tournaments, is producing the Ranger M1. The organization is also responsible for the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, EverStart Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Texas Tournament Trail and Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Circuit. FLW Outdoors could award anglers $22 million in cash and prizes through 170 events in 2002.

    The Ranger M1 is sponsored by Wal-Mart, Ranger Boats, Chevy Trucks, Citgo, Conseco, EverStart Batteries, Faded Glory, Garmin Electronics, Mercury Marine, Minn Kota, Snickers, Yamaha Outboards and Plano.

    For more information about the Ranger M1 or any Wal-Mart FLW Outdoors tournament, visit or call 270-362-4880.

  • #2

    Seneca. Good article. Kinda inspires me to take up fishing. Sounds like fun.