Walmart Bass Fishing League - Seminole
Harris Chain (March 5, 2005)
TAVARES, Fla. — Boater J. Nobel Willits of Altamonte Springs earned $3,711 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Seminole Division event on the Harris Chain of Lakes. The tournament was the second of five regular-season Seminole Division events and featured 115 boaters vying for the win, which earned Willits 200 points in the Boater Division.
Willits’s winning catch of five bass weighed 18 pounds, 4 ounces. Willits was fishing the mouth of a canal with a Carolina Rig when he caught his limit. He said he caught three of his bass in the first 45 minutes of the tournament.
Finishing second was Rick Bak of Clermont with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 3 ounces that earned him $1,855. Christopher Lane of Winter Haven claimed $1,215 as the third-place finisher thanks to four bass weighing 16 pounds, 7 ounces. Lane won an additional $500 as the Ranger Cup award winner and $250 as the Powered by Yamaha award winner. In fourth was Jason McKinnie of Umatilla with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 6 ounces worth $945, and finishing fifth and earning $776 was Gary Simpson of Gainesville with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 4 ounces.
In addition, Lane took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $570 for an 11-pound bass. He caught his big bass on a watermelon-colored BB Cricket.
Edwin Howe of Jacksonville bested 107 Co-angler Division competitors to earn $1,765 as the co-angler winner, thanks to five bass weighing 13 pounds, 9 ounces that he caught on a Rapala and a Senko.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Dennis Badzinski of Kissimmee (four bass, 12 pounds, 8 ounces, $882); David Cook of Lake Ariel, Pa. (five bass, 12 pounds, $577); Jesse Williams of Lake City (two bass, 9 pounds, 12 ounces, $449); and George Pridgeon of Perry (four bass, 9 pounds, 10 ounces, $369).
In addition, Williams earned $268 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 7-pound, 9-ounce bass he caught on a June Bug Gambler Craw.
The Seminole Division’s next event will be held April 23 on Lake Apalachicola near Wewahitchka, followed by an event on Seminole Lake 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 in 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 Oct. 4-8, where they will compete against Bama, Bulldog 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.