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Walmart Bass Fishing League - Seminole
St. John's River (Feb. 12, 2005)
Hudgins wins Wal-Mart BFL event on St. John’s River
PALATKA, Fla. — Boater Bryan Hudgins of Orange Park earned $3,698 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Seminole Division event on the St. John’s River. The tournament was the first of five regular-season Seminole Division events and featured 115 boaters vying for the win, which earned Hudgins 200 points in the Boater Division. Hudgins also won the Ranger Cup award worth $1,000.
Hudgin’s winning catch of five bass weighed 28 pounds, 3 ounces. Hudgins was flipping beds with a Peter Allen Fire Claw and a Zoom Cross Craw trick worm.
Finishing second was Mike Jackson of Interlachen with five bass weighing 20 pounds, 13 ounces that earned him $1,849. Chad Dorland of Ocala claimed $1,211 as the third-place finisher thanks to five bass weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces. In fourth was Fred Chivington Jr. of Welaka with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 10 ounces worth $941, and finishing fifth and earning $773 was Ron Klys of Gainesville with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 14 ounces.
Dorland took the Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $575 for a 9-pound, 4-ounce bass. He caught his big bass on a BB craw.
Brooks Haisten of Lake City won the Co-angler Division to earn $1,649, thanks to three bass weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces that he caught on a Carolina-rig.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Marty Gunter of Gainesville (four bass, 8 pounds, $825); Billy Coleman of Holly Hill and Brad Bedgood of Ocala tied for third place with two bass and four bass weighing 6 pounds, 4 ounces, respectively. Both anglers won $478. Rusty Berry of Lake City finished fifth (one bass, 6 pounds, 3 ounces, $345).
Berry earned $243 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with his 6-pound, 3-ounce bass he caught on a spinnerbait.
The Seminole Division’s next event will be held March 5 on Harris Chain Lakes near Tavares, followed by an event on Lake Apalachicola near Wewahitchka, April 23. The third event will be held on Lake Seminole near Bainbridge, Ga., June 4. The Seminole Division will wrap up its regular season Sept. 17-18 with a two-day Super Tournament on the St. John’s River near Palatka.
Following the regular season, the Seminole 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 Seminole Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Lake Toho Regional near Kissimmee, where they will compete against Bulldog, Bama, and South Carolina 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.