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    Walmart Bass Fishing League - Gator

    OKEECHOBEE (May 23, 1999)




    OKEECHOBEE, Fla., (May 23,1999) — Mark Rogers of Naples, Florida, took first place, $4246, plus 50 CITGO Challenge Points for winning the Red Man Gator Division qualifier held Sunday on the Lake Okeechobee. Rogers brought in four bass totaling 20 pounds, 4 ounces to top a field of 303 anglers competing for $16907.50.

    Rogers caught his fish by pitching 4 inch craw-type worms to holes in vegetation and letting it sit. He fished Harney Pond on the north side of the lake. Second place and $2123 went to Allan Cagle of Winter Haven, Florida, who caught five bass weighing 18 pounds, 5 ounces. He fished the Bay Bottom area, using a jerkbait and a Culprit June Bug worm, casting it to pepper grass.

    Rounding out the top positions were: (3) David Eng, Okeechobee, FL, five bass, 17-10, $1246; (4) Sandy Melvin, Boca Grande, FL, five bass, 17-4, $799; (5) John Huls, Lakeland, FL, five bass, 16-13, $715.50. Roger Crafton, of Boca Grande, FL, won the Abu Garcia Big Bass Award of $1,000 for a 8 pound, 8 ounce bass. Crafton is also leading the Gator Division's Ranger Millennium big bass race for the year with the same bass.

    The Ranger boat owner who catches the largest bass in each Red Man division over the course of the season, will qualify to enter the Ranger M1 Millenium tournament.

    At the completion of the six Red Man qualifying events, the top 30 anglers, determined on a basis of pounds and points, will move onto Regional Championship competition. There they will compete against the top 30 fishermen from three other divisions for a Dream Rig consisting of a Chevy truck and a full-rigged Ranger bass boat powered by an Evinrude or Johnson outboard (only two divisions compete in the Western Regional for a
    fully-rigged Ranger bass boat) and a spot in the Red Man All-American in Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 8-13, 2000, where the winner will receive $100,000.

    The rookie advancing farthest along the Red Man Trail will win the Old Milwaukee NA Rookie-of-the-Year Award.

    All Red Man tournaments are catch and release events. Operation Bass historically maintains a 98 percent live release rate throughout the tournament season.

    Sponsors of the 1999 Red Man Tournament Trail include: Evinrude Outboards, Evinrude Electrics, CITGO Petroleum, Ranger Boats, Humminbird Fishfinders, Stren Fishing Lines, Abu Garcia Rods and Reels, Chevy Trucks, ENERGIZER Marine Batteries, Old Milwaukee NA, Black & Decker, David Seeds, Coleman Products, Land O'Lakes, BC Powder, Eveready, Wheaties, Chex Mix, Hamburger Helper, Wrangler, US Bank-VISA, Powerbait, and Frenzy.