• Tournaments :: news

    Walmart Bass Fishing League - Everglades

    Okeechobee/Okee-Tantie (March 19, 2005)


    Burton best boater at BFL event on Okeechobee

    Boater Rick Burton of Wellington, Fla., earned $4,050 as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Everglades Division event on Lake Okeechobee.
    Winner weighs in one of BFL’s heaviest stringers of 2005

    OKEECHOBEE, Fla. — Boater Rick Burton of Wellington earned $4,050 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Everglades Division event on Lake Okeechobee. The tournament was the third of five regular-season Everglades Division events and featured 130 boaters vying for the win, which earned Burton 200 points in the Boater Division.

    Burton’s winning catch of five bass weighed 29 pounds, 10 ounces. He caught his bass in the Bell Glade area while flipping a black and blue Gambler craw. Burton won an additional $650 as the big bass award winner with a 9-pound, 10-ounce bass.

    Finishing second was Chris Rand of Ft. Lauderdale with five bass weighing 28 pounds, 4 ounces that earned him $2,025. Rand earned an additional $750 as winner of the Ranger Cup award and the Powered by Yamaha award. John Peters of Boynton Beach claimed $1,325 as the third-place finisher thanks to five bass weighing 27 pounds, 7 ounces. In fourth was Juan Ruiz of West Palm Beach with five bass weighing 23 pounds, 3 ounces worth $1,031, and finishing fifth and earning $847 was Jeff Simms of Punta Gorda with five bass weighing 22 pounds, 15 ounces.

    Greg Caldwell of Okeechobee bested 130 Co-angler Division competitors to earn $2,025 as the co-angler winner, thanks to five bass weighing 20 pounds, 6 ounces that he caught on a Gambler junebug worm.

    Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Virginia Ford of Okeechobee (five bass, 16 pounds, 12 ounces, $1,012); Henry Clay Samples of Dawsonville, Ga. (five bass, 15 pounds, 14 ounces, $663); Bryan Carter of Royal Palm Beach (five bass, 14 pounds, 5 ounces, $515); and Craig Lovely of Fort Myers (four bass, 13 pounds, $423).

    Lovely and Caldwell each earned an additional $162 as the co-angler big-bass award winners. Both co-anglers caught a 7-pound, 13-ounce bass.

    The Everglades Division’s next event will be held April 16 on Lake Okeechobee near Okeechobee. The Everglades Division will wrap up its regular season Oct. 1-2 with a two-day Super Tournament on Lake Okeechobee near Clewiston.

    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 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 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 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