Walmart Bass Fishing League - Gator
Toho (Jan. 28, 2006)
KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Boater Don DeMott of Boca Raton, Fla., earned $5,582 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Gator Division event on Lake Toho. The tournament was the first of five regular-season Gator Division events and featured 179 boaters vying for the win, which earned DeMott 200 points in the Boater Division.
DeMott’s winning catch of five bass weighed 20 pounds, 5 ounces. DeMott was flipping mats with a Junebug worm and Gambler BB Cricket in Goblets Cove when he caught his winning limit.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Jay Morgan of Auburndale, Fla. (five bass, 19 pounds, 11 ounces, $2,791 plus $500 as winner of the Ranger Cup award); Eric Lewis of Fruit Cove, Fla. (five bass, 18 pounds, 12 ounces, $1,861); Micah Silverman of Orlando (five bass, 18 pounds, 11 ounces, $1,302) and John Kremer of Sanford, Fla. (five bass, 18 pounds, 8 ounces, $1,116).
Troy Oliver of Lakeland, Fla., took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $895 for an 8-pound, 14-ounce bass. He caught his big bass on a 10-inch worm rigged with a 1/4-ounce weight.
Donald Strickland of Kissimmee bested 179 Co-angler Division competitors to earn $2,791 as the co-angler winner, thanks to five bass weighing 12 pounds, 9 ounces that he caught on a Thruster Tail Spinner.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Art Dasilva of Deltona, Fla. (five bass, 10 pounds, 13 ounces, $1,395); Ramon Morales Jr. of Brandon, Fla. (five bass, 10 pounds, 11 ounces, $931); Roy Henry of Vineland, N.J. (five bass, 10 pounds, 6 ounces, $651); and Bruce Pac of High Springs, Fla. (five bass, 10 pounds, 5 ounces, $558).
David Lepsie of Haines City, Fla., earned $447 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 6-pound, 8-ounce bass.
The Gator Division’s next event will be held Feb. 18 on the Harris Chain of lakes near Tavares, Fla., followed by an event on the Kissimmee River near Lake Wales, Fla., March 25 and another event on the Kissimmee River May 6. The Gator Division will wrap up its regular season Sept. 9-10 with a two-day Super Tournament on Lake Toho near Kissimmee.
Following the regular season, the Gator 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 BFL 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 Gator Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Kerr Lake Regional near Henderson, N.C., Oct. 12-14 where they will compete against Savannah River, Shenandoah and South Carolina 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. Ultimately, the winner of the All-American will advance to the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup, where a pro will have the chance to win bass fishing’s first $1 million prize.
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. For more information or to enter a tournament, call (270) 252-1000.
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 Owner’s 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 $36.5 million through 235 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 Wal-Mart.com.