Walmart Bass Fishing League - Ozark
Truman (July 10, 2004)
CLINTON, Mo. — Boater Division competitor Paul Tormanen of Lees Summit earned $3,933 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division event on Truman Lake in Clinton. The tournament was the fourth of five regular-season Ozark Division events. The regular season will wrap up Sept. 11-12 with a two-day Super Tournament on Table Rock Lake in Kimberling City.
Tormanen bested 144 Boater Division competitors with a five-bass catch weighing 17 pounds, 13 ounces, and he caught them in the upper Osage River with a Brush Hog.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Roger Fitzpatrick of Eldon (five bass, 13 pounds, 2 ounces, $1,967); Earl Malone of Wichita, Kan. (five bass, 12 pounds, 15 ounces, $1,337); Kent Priel of North Platte, Neb. (five bass, 11 pounds, 3 ounces, $1,023); and Terry McDowell of Cameron (four bass, 10 pounds, 13 ounces, $865).
Fitzpatrick earned a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. Tim Merkh of Knob Noster earned $720 as the Boater Division big-bass award winner with a 6-pound, 5-ounce bass.
Stephen Smith of Glenwood, Ark., won the 141-competitor Co-angler Division with a three-bass catch weighing 8 pounds, 2 ounces. He caught his tournament-winning bass on a spinnerbait and earned $1,926 for the win.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Matt Vollmar of Omaha, Neb. (two bass, 7 pounds, 4 ounces, $963); J.J. Youngblood of Jay, Okla. (three bass, 5 pounds, 13 ounces, $655); Kenny Hedrick of Park Hills (one bass, 5 pounds, 4 ounces, $501); and Steve Bradfield of Claremore, Okla. (one bass, 4 pounds, 9 ounces, $424).
Hedrick’s 5-pound, 4-ounce bass took Co-angler Division big-bass honors and earned Hedrick $353. He caught his big bass on a brown jig with a blue trailer in standing timber along main-lake points.
Following the regular season, the top 30 Ozark Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Toledo Bend regional near Many, La., Oct. 12-16. They will compete against qualifying anglers from the Arkie, Louisiana and Okie divisions for one of six slots in the 2005 All-American, one of competitive bass fishing’s most prestigious events. The winning boater at the All-American will take home $100,000 cash, and the winning co-angler will earn $50,000 cash.
Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 200 points awarded 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. These points determine angler standings. The Ozark Division boater who amasses the most points at the end of the regular season will earn $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader, and the co-angler earning the most points will earn $500 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader in the Co-angler Division.
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.