Walmart Bass Fishing League - Ozark
LAKE OF THE OZARKS (Feb. 24, 2001)
LAURIE, Mo. — Marcus Sykora of Columbia, Mo., outpaced 131 competitors Saturday with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 4 ounces to win $4,477 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Ozark Division opener on Lake of the Ozarks.
Sykora, who caught his limit off of points using a jerkbait, edged out Vernon Jaycox by 9 ounces in the one-day event that set out from Millstone Lodge. Jaycox managed to catch five bass weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces during the rain-soaked tourney to win $2,239.
Bruce Gier of Eldon, Mo., took third place and collected $1,119 with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 8 ounces. He also won an additional $500 as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Roger Fitzpatrick of Eldon, Mo., placed fourth and earned $970 with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 7 ounces, while Tim Fleetwood of Forsyth, Mo., placed fifth and earned $896 with five bass weighing 12 pounds, 4 ounces.
Todd Barnes of Manchester, Mo., won the boater Big Bass Award and collected $655 with a 6-pound, 9-ounce bass that he caught on a baby-bass colored crankbait.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $2,239 went to Gary Sanders of Cassville, Mo., who topped 131 competitors with four bass weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce. Second place in the division and $1,119 went to Michael Maples of Rolla, Mo., with four bass weighing 10 pounds, 6 ounces, while Brian Cunningham of Springfield, Mo., took third place and $560 with three bass weighing 8 pounds, 14 ounces.
Sanders won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $328 with a 4-pound, 13-ounce bass that he caught on a clear moss jerkbait while fishing points.
Overall, 257 bass weighing 637 pounds, 8 ounces were caught during the tournament, including 10 five bass limits.
On March 17, the BFL will visit Table Rock Lake for the second of five events in the Ozark Division. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 22-23 on Bull Shoals Lake, will be declared the Divisional Points Champion and awarded $1,000. The co-angler amassing the most points by the end of the season will receive $500.
The top 30 boaters and top 30 co-anglers in the Ozark Division will advance to regional competition Oct. 9-13 on Weiss Lake near Cedar Bluff, Ala., where they will go up against top competitors from the Carolina, Choo Choo and Illini 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.