Walmart Bass Fishing League - Gator
TOHO (May 5, 2001)
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Lee Cepero of Thonotosassa, Fla., outpaced 169 competitors Saturday with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 13 ounces to win $5,417 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division tournament on Lake Toho.
Cepero edged out Richard Griffis of Cross Creek, Fla., by 1 pound, 6 ounces in the one-day event that set out from Kissimmee City Park. Griffis finished with a five-bass catch weighing 15 pounds, 7 ounces to win $2,708. Cepero caught his limit using spinnerbaits, flukes and lipless crankbaits while fishing hydrilla mats in 3 to 4 feet of water.
David Givens of Dunnellon, Fla., took third place and collected $1,354 with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 5 ounces. Raymond Trudeau of St. Cloud, Fla., placed fourth and earned $1,174 with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 1 ounce, while Robert Eid of Fort Myers, Fla., placed fifth and earned $1,083 with four bass weighing 14 pounds, 14 ounces.
Doug Gilley of Winter Springs, Fla., won the boater Big Bass Award and collected $845 with an 8-pound, 13-ounce bass that he caught on a trick worm while fishing hydrilla patches.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $2,580 went to William Wood of West Palm Beach, Fla., who topped 161 competitors with four bass weighing 13 pounds, 9 ounces. Second place in the division and $1,290 went to Red Downey of Fort Myers, Fla., with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce, while Christopher Passmore of Labelle, Fla., took third place and $645 with five bass weighing 12 pounds, 15 ounces.
Wood also won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $402 with an 8-pound, 3-ounce bass that he caught on a white and chartreuse spinnerbait with gold blades.
Boater Glenn Browne of Orlando, Fla., won $500 as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. He finished in sixth place with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 3 ounces.
Overall, 785 bass were caught during the tournament, including 79 five-bass limits.
The BFL will visit Lake Okeechobee Sept. 8-9 for the fifth of five events in the Gator Division. The boater with the most points after the two-day Super Tournament will be declared the Divisional Points Champion and awarded $1,000. The co-angler amassing the most points will receive $500.
The top 30 boaters and top 30 co-anglers in the Gator Division will advance to regional competition Oct. 23-27 on Wateree Lake near Camden, S.C., where they will go up against top competitors from the Bulldog, Mountain and Bama divisions for a shot at qualifying for the $250,000 All-American.
Awards for the 2001 BFL season could reach $5.7 million based on full fields at each tournament.