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Walmart Bass Fishing League - Gator
Harris Chain (Feb. 28, 2004)
Naas wins Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League event on Harris Chain
TAVARES, Fla. — Boater Steve Naas of Inverness earned $5,000 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Gator Division event on the Harris Chain. The tournament was the second of five regular-season Gator Division events and featured 200 boaters vying for the win, which earned Naas 200 points in the Boater Division.
Naas used a 4-inch Gambler Crawdaddy in Lake Griffin to catch his tournament-winning bass – five weighing 25 pounds, 3 ounces. He earned $1,000 from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, and he earned another $1,000 from Garmin for using Garmin electronics during the event.
Finishing second was Allan Cagle of Deltona with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 3 ounces that earned him $2,500. Rick Ankenbauer of Clearwater claimed $1,700 as the third-place finisher thanks to five bass weighing 17 pounds, 6 ounces. Tied for fourth were Bobby Lane of Lakeland (four bass) and Bob Decker of Clermont (three bass). Both men caught 16 pounds, 1 ounce worth of bass that earned each of them $1,200.
Lane took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $1,000 for a 9-pound, 8-ounce bass. He caught his big bass on a Senko.
Robert Peifer of Lake Placid bested 200 Co-angler Division competitors to earn $2,500 as the co-angler winner, thanks to three bass weighing 14 pounds, 3 ounces that he caught on a 7-inch Gambler worm.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Brian Stahl of Wesley Chapel (four bass, 12 pounds, 11 ounces, $1,250); Matthew Beck of Inverness (two bass, 9 pounds, 2 ounces, $850); James Trudel of Lighthouse Point (three bass, 8 pounds, 7 ounces, $650); and Frank Mitchem of Orlando (three bass, 7 pounds, 14 ounces, $550).
Peifer also earned $500 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 7-pound, 6-ounce bass.
The Gator Division’s next event will be held March 13 on Lake Okeechobee near Okeechobee, followed by another event in Okeechobee April 3. The Gator Division will wrap up its regular season Sept. 25-26 with a two-day Super Tournament on Lake Okeechobee near Okeechobee.
Following the regular season, the Gator Division boater with the most points will earn $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader. The co-angler amassing the most points will earn $500 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader in the Co-angler Division.
Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 200 points going to the winner, 199 for second, 198 for third, and so on except for Super Tournaments, which award 300 points to the winner, 299 for second, 298 for third, and so on. The top 30 Gator Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Lake Seminole regional near Bainbridge, Ga., Oct. 5-9, where they will compete against Bama, Mississippi, and Piedmont division anglers for one of six slots in the 2005 All-American. With a $100,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and $50,000 going to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in bass fishing.
The $6.3 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League features 24 divisions nationwide. In BFL competition, boaters and co-anglers are randomly paired, with boaters supplying the boat and fishing against other boaters and co-anglers fishing from the back deck against other co-anglers. For more information or to enter a tournament, call (270) 252-1000 or browse this Web site.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its six tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997. For a complete list of FLW Outdoors sponsors and for more information about the premier products and services they offer, please visit FLWOutdoors.com’s sponsor page.