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TEAMWORK PAYS OFF FOR NORTH CAROLINA DUO

Coble Claims Championship; Friend, 4th-Place Angler Benefits

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Though Jeff Coble of Manson, N.C. was the clear-cut winner of the inaugural ESPN Outdoors Bassmaster Series Championship on Saturday, he’s thanking another competitor for helping him clinch the win.

Coble, who closed the tournament with a three-day total of 27 pounds, 11 ounces, credited his long-term fishing partner and friend David Wright, who also competed and ended in fourth place with 26-1.

Coble said he and Wright, friends for more than 10 years, routinely practice together, devise pre-tournament strategies and offer tips to each other during tournaments. That sharing of information is legal in BASS tournaments so long as both individuals are competing. The two also agreed – a long time ago – to split their earnings evenly.

“David and I have fished together for about 10 years,” Coble explained. “We work together and split all of our prize money right down the middle.”

So how does a partnership – that includes estimated earnings of nearly $1 million – work? “When money is involved like this, you have to be really good friends,” Wright said. “I mean that.”

Still, while Coble will share his $100,000 top prize with his partner, he won’t be able to split the priceless opportunity that came with it: the last available berth into the 2006 CITGO Bassmaster Classic, on West Lake Tohopekaliga in Kissimmee, Feb. 24-26.

Coble joins 50 other anglers already qualified for the Bassmaster Classic. While the 2002 Bassmaster Classic competitor flipped a Zoom Craw throughout most of this championship tournament, he may need to change his strategy for the Classic – and if Wright is familiar with the waters, BASS rules prohibit him from helping.

“I didn’t really fish that great this week, to tell you the truth,” Coble said. “I was miserable out there today, but it is all about the decisions you make on the water the whole week.”

Also, non-boater Chris Woodward of Williamson, Ga., finished the tournament with 13-05, winning his class and taking home $50,000.

Location and Field
ESPN Outdoors Bassmaster Series Championship

East Lake Tohopekaliga

Kissimmee, Fla.

Jan. 19-21

Field

50 boaters, 50 non-boaters

Cut to 12 after Day 2. Weights will carry over on final day

Launch
East Lake Fish Camp
3705 Big Bass Rd.

Kissimmee, FL 34744

7 a.m.

Weigh-in
Day One and Day Two:
East Lake Fish Camp
3705 Big Bass Rd.
Kissimmee, FL 34744
3 p.m.

Day Three:
Bass Pro Shops
5156 International Dr.
Orlando, FL 32819
3 p.m.

Day 3 Purolator Big Bass

Boater: John Hendry, 9-5, Lakeland, FL

Non-Boater: Alvin Pannell, 3-5, Indianapolis, IN

2006 2005 Bassmaster Series Championship BO 01/19-01/21

East Lake Toho, Kissimmee Fla.

(BOATER) Standings Day 3

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Total $$$

1. Jeff Coble Manson, N.C. 12 27-11 $100,000.00

2. David Ryan Levasy, Mo. 13 26-09 $10,000.00

3. Mike Balon Clewiston, Fla. 15 26-04 $5,000.00

4. David Wright Lexington, N.C. 8 26-01 $4,500.00

5. Matt Mclaughlin Hollywood, Ala. 15 25-06 $3,000.00

6. John Hendry Lakeland, Fla. 12 24-13 $3,000.00

7. Chris Ingram Eclectic, Ala. 14 20-04 $2,000.00

8. Steven Powell Cabot, Ark. 9 18-09 $1,500.00

9. Jason Quinn Lake Wylie, S.C. 11 17-11 $1,450.00

10. Jason Sain Beechgrove, Tenn. 9 17-06 $1,400.00

11. Bryan Elrod Mechanicsville, Va. 10 15-15 $1,350.00

12. Craig Owens Chesapeake, Va. 8 14-04 $1,300.00

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Totals

Day #Limits #Fish Weight

1 0 128 228-04

2 0 146 232-13

3 0 37 67-06

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0 311 528-07

2006 2005 Bassmaster Series Championship NB 01/19-01/21

East Lake Toho, Kissimmee Fla.

(NON-BOATER) Standings Day 3

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Total $$$

1. Chris Woodward Williamson, Ga. 6 13-05 $50,000.00

2. Billy Schwach Charleston, S.C. 7 12-05 $3,750.00

2. Alvin Pannell Indianapolis, Ind. 4 12-05 $4,250.00

4. Wayne Bigbee Munford, Ala. 6 12-00 $2,000.00

5. Greg Sigmon Heath Springs, S.C. 6 10-12 $1,500.00

6. Lynn Ibbotson Green Forest, Ark. 7 10-09 $1,250.00

7. Kevin Gaubert Luling, La. 6 10-01 $1,000.00

8. Don Mullis Bainbridge, Ga. 5 9-08 $750.00

9. Bruce Edwards Mount Olive, Ala. 6 9-00 $725.00

10. Thomas Hafner Tunkhannock, Pa. 6 8-00 $700.00

11. Frank Kirk Athens, Texas 4 7-05 $675.00

12. Doug Shuck Arlington, Texas 4 6-12 $650.00

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Totals

Day #Limits #Fish Weight

1 0 61 99-14

2 0 72 116-15

3 0 8 16-03

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0 141 233-00


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