Walmart Bass Fishing League - Gator
Okeechobee (Oct. 2-3, 2004)
OKEECHOBEE, Fla. — Boater Rodney Marks of Apopka earned $8,088 Sunday as winner of the two-day, season-ending Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Gator Division Super Tournament on Lake Okeechobee. His two-day total of 37 pounds, 12 ounces topped 154 fellow competitors in the Boater Division.
Marks caught 20 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to advance to Sunday’s competition, where he caught 16 pounds, 15 ounces to post the heaviest two-day weight and claim the win. He caught his tournament-winning bass on spinnerbaits and jerkbaits.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Jimmy McMillan of Belle Glade (31 pounds, $4,044); Doug Harris of Loxahatchee (30 pounds, 4 ounces, $2,191); Bob Decker of Clermont (29 pounds, 15 ounces, $1,854); and Rick Kornmeier Jr. of Margate (29 pounds, 9 ounces, $1,517).
Billy Cason of High Springs earned a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. Malcolm Etherton of Clewiston earned $1,540 as the Boater Division big-bass winner, thanks to an 8-pound, 1-ounce bass.
David Givens of Hernando earned $3,992 as winner of the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of 36 pounds, 1 ounce. He caught his bass on jerkbaits and spinnerbaits. He also earned $760 as the co-angler big-bass winner with a 5-pound, 12-ounce bass.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are John Cox of Debary (26 pounds, 7 ounces, $1,996); Nicholas Neswick of Okeechobee (26 pounds, 4 ounces, $1,081); Jerry Nydam of Pompano Beach (25 pounds, 10 ounces, $915); and Kevin Bermejo of Altamonte Springs (25 pounds, 9 ounces, $748).
Each of the BFL’s 24 nationwide divisions features four one-day tournaments and one two-day Super Tournament within the regular season. In Super Tournament competition, the entire field competes on day one and the top 20 percent advances to day two, with the winners determined by the heaviest two-day catch weights. More money is awarded at Super Tournaments as well as more points that count toward year-end angler standings. In a Super Tournament, 300 points are awarded for first place, 299 for second, 298 for third, and so on.
Joseph Kremer of Osteen earned $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” boater points champion in the Gator Division with 1,027 points for the season. Mark Brader of Loxahatchee earned Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion honors and $500 in the Co-angler Division. He earned 1,033 points this season.
The top 30 boaters and co-anglers in the Gator Division will advance to the Lake Seminole regional, which will be held Oct. 5-9 in Bainbridge, Ga. There they will compete against qualifying anglers from the Bama, Mississippi and Piedmont divisions for one of six slots in the 2005 All-American. The All-American awards a $100,000 cash prize to the winning boater and $50,000 to the winning co-angler, making it one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in competitive bass fishing.
Anglers who compete in all five regular-season events within a division but do not advance to regional competition are eligible to fish the Chevy Trucks Wild Card for an All-American berth. Six nationwide regionals plus the Wild Card will each send six boaters and six co-anglers to the All-American for a total field of 84 competitors.
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.