Walmart Bass Fishing League - Okie
Grand Lake (March 15, 2008)
GROVE, Okla. — Boater Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., won the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament on Grand Lake Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 21 pounds, 8 ounces. The victory earned Christie $4,444 plus a $784 Ranger contingency bonus and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the Lake Ouachita Regional Championship in Mount Ida, Ark., Oct. 23-25, where he could ultimately win a new 198VX Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.
“The weather was brutal,” Christie said. “The wind was about 25 or 30 out of the North, and it was about 37 degrees, so it was kind of cold. My hands are still swollen from Saturday.”
Christie caught all his fish in shallow water around rock in the dam area on a ½-ounce Booyah spinnerbait.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Darrin Hill of Grove, Okla. (five bass, 18-5, $2,614); Mike Smith of South West City, Mo. (five bass, 16-14, $1,745); Russ Reagan of Edmond, Okla. (five bass, 15-13, $1,220) and Walter Andries of Coweta, Okla. (five bass, 11-6, $1,046).
Smith took home the Boater Division Snickers Big Bass award, earning $815 for a 7-pound, 2-ounce bass he caught on a spinnerbait.
Sam James of Gentry, Ark., earned $2,577 as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to three bass weighing 8 pounds that he caught in 6 to 8 feet of water on a white Rapala crankbait.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are John Williams Jr. of Dewey, Okla. (two bass, 7-6, $1,288); Danny Giacomo of McAlester, Okla. (four bass, 6-13, $858); Greg Whitaker of Pecan Gap, Texas (two bass, 5-15, $601); Dana Kifer of Stillwater, Okla. (two bass, 5-13, $493) and Bill Sage of Tulsa, Okla. (two bass, 5-13, $493).
Michael Purse of Springfield, Mo., earned $397 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 5-pound, 5-ounce bass he caught flipping wood.
Okie Division anglers will visit Fort Gibson Lake in Wagoner, Okla., April 5 for their second regular-season event, followed by an event on Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Okla., April 26. The division’s fourth qualifying event will be held on the Arkansas River in Muskogee, Okla., June 14. A two-day Super Tournament, the division’s fifth and final event, will be held on Grand Lake in Grove, Okla., Sept. 6-7.
Following the end of regular-season competition, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on year-end points standings in the division will advance to the no-entry-fee Lake Ouachita Regional Championship where they will compete against top qualifiers from three other BFL divisions. At the Regional Championship boaters will fish for a new Ranger boat and Chevy truck and co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger boat. The top six boaters and top six co-anglers at the Regional Championship will also advance to the All-American presented by Chevy. With a total purse of $1 million, a potential $140,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and as much as $70,000 going to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in bass fishing. The winning boater and winning co-angler at the All-American also advance to the no-entry-fee $2 million Forrest Wood Cup. This event, featuring a top award of $1 million, is the sport’s biggest championship.
Tournament anglers aren’t the only ones winning big this season. With the introduction of FLW Fantasy Fishing, FLW Outdoors will be awarding the largest fantasy sports payout in history. Players can become a virtual pro angler by signing up for Player’s Advantage, providing them with exclusive insider information that could guide them to a $100,000 victory at every Wal-Mart FLW Tour stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. Player’s Advantage will give them an edge over the competition and increase their shot for a $1 million cash grand prize that will be awarded to the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Those who visit FantasyFishing.com today can sign up for Player’s Advantage and FLW Outdoors will include a $15 Wal-Mart gift card.
The $8.8 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League features 28 divisions nationwide. In BFL competition, boaters and co-anglers are randomly paired. Boaters supply the boat and fish from the front deck against other boaters while co-anglers compete from the back deck against other co-anglers.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. In 2008 alone the organization is offering more than 90,000 anglers the chance to win over $40 million through 230 tournaments in 10 circuits targeting bass, walleye, redfish, kingfish and striped bass. FLW Outdoors is also taking fishing mainstream with the largest cash awards in the history of fantasy sports, $7.3 million.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.
Total awards are based on a full field of 200 boats in every tournament.