Walmart Bass Fishing League - Gator
OKEECHOBEE (Oct. 6-7, 2001)
CLEWISTON, Fla. — Steve Broughton of West Palm Beach, Fla., topped 130 competitors on Lake Okeechobee this weekend with five bass weighing 20 pounds, 15 ounces to win $7,915 and 400 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division season finale.
After qualifying for the final round of the two-day Super Tournament in first place with an opening-day catch of five bass weighing 25 pounds, 11 ounces, Broughton outfished runner-up Billy Bowen Jr. of Ocala, Fla., by 5 pounds, 7 ounces to take the win. Broughton caught the majority of his bass in the south end of the lake.
Bowen qualified for the final round in fourth place with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 4 ounces and finished up with a 15 pounds, 8 ounces to win $3,957.
Mike Surman of Boca Raton, Fla., took third place and collected $1,979 with 15 pounds, 3 ounces. Glenn Browne of Orlando, Fla., placed fourth and earned $1,715 with 14 pounds, 9 ounces. He also won $500 as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program and landed the Divisional Points Championship plus $1,000 with 1,164 points won during five regular season tournaments.
Jason, Perkins of Fairfield, Fla., placed fifth and earned $1,583 with 14 pounds, 6 ounces.
Jacob Whitman of West Palm Beach, Fla., won the boater Big Bass Award and collected $1,300 with a 9-pound, 3-ounce bass.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $3,866 went to Rene Gonzalez of Lauder Hill, Fla., who topped 127 competitors with a final round catch of five bass weighing 14 pounds, 8 ounces. Gonzalez also landed the Co-Angler Points Championship and $500 with 1,094 points.
Second place in the division and $1,933 went to Michael Trickler of Waterloo, N.Y., with 13 pounds, 11 ounces. James Trudell of Lighthouse Point, Fla., took third place and $967 with 13 pounds, 7 ounces while John Trudell of Lighthouse Point took fourth and $838 with 13 pounds, 1 ounce.
Dean Childers of Coconut Creek, Fla., won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $635 with a 7-pound, 9-ounce bass.
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 BFL All-American, which features an estimated purse of $345,000 and ranks as one of the most lucrative post-season tournaments in competitive angling. The top two boaters and co-anglers may also qualify for the Ranger M1 tournament in Mobile, Ala., Feb. 27-March 2, 2002, where they can win up to $1 million.
Awards for the 2001 BFL season could reach $5.7 million based on full fields at each tournament.