FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE
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Walmart Bass Fishing League - Gator
Kissimmee (March 19, 2005)
Smith takes top honors at BFL event on Kissimmee
LAKE WALES, Fla. — Boater Jeremy Smith of Plant City earned $4,027 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Gator Division event on Kissimmee Lake. The tournament was the second of five regular-season Gator Division events and featured 128 boaters vying for the win, which earned Smith 200 points in the Boater Division.
Smith’s winning catch of five bass weighed 21 pounds, 4 ounces. Smith caught his bass while flipping a brush hog around lily pads on the south end of the lake.
Finishing second was John Cox of Debary with five bass weighing 20 pounds, 6 ounces that earned him $2,014. Robbie Johnson of Plant City claimed $1,319 as the third-place finisher thanks to five bass weighing 19 pounds, 10 ounces. In fourth was Lee Cepero of Thonotosassa with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 5 ounces worth $1,025, and finishing fifth and earning $842 was Wayne Swindle of Orlando with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 13 ounces.
Swindle also took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $640 for a 9-pound, 14-ounce bass. He caught his big bass on a plastic worm.
Tommy Hatfield of Kissimmee earned $500 as the Ranger Cup award winner.
Shaun Lambert of Melbourne earned $1,940 as the co-angler winner, thanks to five bass weighing 16 pounds, 13 ounces that he caught on a watermelon red Zoom Speedworm.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Jerold Kremer of Apoka (five bass, 14 pounds, 10 ounces, $970); Jamie Thompson of Ochlocknee, Ga. (five bass, 14 pounds, 5 ounces, $632); Mike Moore of Sebring (four bass, 14 pounds, 3 ounces, $494); and Larry Cruce of Cocoa (five bass, 14 pounds, 1 ounce, $406).
Moore earned an additional $305 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 9-pound, 4-ounce bass he caught on a junebug creature bait.
The Gator Division’s next event will be held April 9 on the Harris Chain of Lakes near Tavares, followed by an event on Kissimmee Lake near Lake Wales April 23. The Gator Division will wrap up its regular season Sept. 24-25 with a two-day Super Tournament on Lake Toho near Kissimmee, Fla.
Following the regular season, the Gator Division boater with the most points will earn $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion. The co-angler amassing the most points will earn $500 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion 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 40 Gator Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Lake Martin Regional near Alexander City, Ala., where they will compete against Everglades, Mississippi, and Savannah River Division anglers for one of six slots in the 2006 All-American. With a total purse of $1 million and a potential $140,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and $70,000 going to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in bass fishing.
The $8.4 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League features 28 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 website.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League and seven other national tournament circuits offering a combined $30 million in awards through 214 events in 2005. The 27-year-old organization is the purveyor of America’s largest and most prestigious fishing tournaments, including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, EverStart Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as title sponsor of the FLW Tour in 1997 and today is the title sponsor of all FLW Outdoors events. For more information on Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.