Walmart Bass Fishing League - Everglades
Okeechobee/Okee-Tantie (Feb. 5, 2005)
OKEECHOBEE, Fla. — Daryl Deka of Wellington earned $4,446 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Everglades Division event on Lake Okeechobee. The tournament was the first of five regular-season Everglades Division events and featured 147 boaters. Deka, who earned 200 points for the win, has already proven himself to be a fierce competitor on Okeechobee, having won the EverStart Series event there earlier this year.
Deka’s winning catch of five bass weighed 28 pounds, 1 ounce. He was pitching a crawdad to eel grass and flat reeds in Winnies Cove.
Finishing second was Jimmy McMillan of Belle Glade with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 14 ounces that earned him $2,958. Robert Kimbrough of Vero Beach claimed $1,455 as the third-place finisher thanks to five bass weighing 17 pounds, 1 ounce. Kimbrough earned an additional $500 as the Ranger Cup Award winner. In fourth was Mark Lamb of West Palm Beach with four bass weighing 16 pounds, 7 ounces worth $1,132, and finishing fifth and earning $930 was Jim Hurlock Jr. of Lake Worth with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 12 ounces.
McMillan won the Boater Division Snickers Big bass award, earning $735 for an 11-pound, 1-ounce bass.
Jim Holmquist of Palm Beach Gardens bested 147 Co-angler Division competitors to earn $2,223, thanks to four bass weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces that he caught on plastic worms and lipless crankbaits.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Bobby Jones Jr. of Clewiston (five bass, 12 pounds, 8 ounces, $1,112); Aymon Wilcox of Lauderdale Lakes (five bass, 10 pounds, 1 ounce, $726); Elmore Watkins III of Boynton Beach (five bass, 9 pounds, 12 ounces, $566); and Terry Layton of Bartow (two bass, 9 pounds, 5 ounces, $833). Layton earned $368 as the Co-angler Snickers Big Bass award winner with an 8-pound, 2-ounce bass.
The Everglades Division’s next three events will be held Feb. 26, March 19 and April 16 on Lake Okeechobee near Okeechobee, Fla. The Everglades Division will wrap up its regular season Oct. 1-2 with a two-day Super Tournament on Lake Okeechobee near Clewiston, Fla.
Following the regular season, the Everglades 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 Everglades 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 Gator, 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 Web site.
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.