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    Walmart Bass Fishing League - Everglades

    Okeechobee (March 18, 2006)


    Simms best boater at BFL event on Lake Okeechobee

    Boater Jeff Simms (right) of Punta Gorda, Fla., earned $4,235 March 18 as winner of the Wal-Mart BFL Everglades Division event on Lake Okeechobee. Mike Krause of Okeechobee, Fla., earned $2,078 as the co-angler winner.

    OKEECHOBEE, Fla. — Boater Jeff Simms of Punta Gorda, Fla., earned $4,235 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 earned Simms 200 points in the Boater Division.

    Simms’ winning catch of five bass weighed 26 pounds, 14 ounces. He fished a junebug Gambler worm in Moonshine Bay to catch his bass.

    Rounding out the top five boaters are Lee McCracken of Ocala, Fla. (five bass, 24 pounds, 14 ounces, $2,118); Bill Clifton of Brandon, Fla. (five bass, 22 pounds, 12 ounces, $1,413); Don Demott of Boca Raton, Fla. (five bass, 22 pounds, 3 ounces, $988) and Edwin Kimbrough of Sebastian, Fla. (five bass, 21 pounds, 3 ounces, $847).

    Kimbrough took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $590 for a 9-pound, 2-ounce bass he caught on a watermelon red Zoom Fluke.

    McCracken earned an additional $500 as winner of the Ranger Cup award.

    Mike Krause of Okeechobee, Fla., earned $2,078 as the co-angler winner, thanks to four bass weighing 15 pounds that he caught flipping a blue Sweet Beaver.

    Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Dave King of Clewiston, Fla. (five bass, 14 pounds, 11 ounces, $1,039); Kenneth Petitti of Palm Bay, Fla., (three bass, 14 pounds, 8 ounces, $691) James Trudel of Lighthouse Point, Fla., (five bass, 14 pounds, 5 ounces, $485) and Brad Fraser of Vero Beach, Fla. (five bass, 14 pounds, 3 ounces, $416).

    Linda Paul of Cape Coral, Fla., earned $285 as the co-angler big-bass award winner, thanks to a 9-pound bass that fell for a Bass Assassin twitch bait.

    Everglades Division anglers will visit Lake Okeechobee in Okeechobee April 22 for their fourth regular-season event. A two-day Super Tournament, the division’s fifth and final event, will be held on Lake Okeechobee in Okeechobee Sept. 30-31. For more information or to enter a tournament, call (270) 252-1000 or browse

    Following the regular season, the Everglades Division boater with the most points who advances farthest in the Wal-Mart BFL All-American will earn $10,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion. The co-angler points champion who advances farthest will earn $5,000 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 Demopolis Regional Championship near Demopolis, Ala., Oct. 19-21 where they will compete against Choo Choo, Mississippi and Seminole division anglers for one of six slots in the 2007 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 $8.8 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.

    Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, as well as the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Stratos Owners’ Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $36.9 million through 241 events in 2006.

    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