GROVE, Okla. – Larry Rea of Stigler topped 196 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on Grand Lake with three bass weighing 11 pounds, 7 ounces. The catch earned him $4,935 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Rea’s catch topped second-place boater Robert Kirtley of Chouteau by 1 pound, 15 ounces. Kirtley finished the one-day tournament with a four-bass catch weighing 9 pounds, 8 ounces worth $2,468. Russell Hurd of Owasso earned a $500 bonus from Ranger for being the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. Larry Slawson of Tulsa earned $980 as the big-bass winner, thanks to a 6-pound, 14-ounce bass.
Finishing third was Allen Rude of Wynnewood (three bass, 9 pounds, $1,678). Tied for fourth were Ron Shaw of Moore (three bass, 8 pounds, 12 ounces) and Chester Gibbs of Wagoner (four bass, 8 pounds, 12 ounces). Each won $1,184 for their catch.
Nathan Tully of Peggs claimed first place and $2,468 in the 196-competitor Co-angler Division with three bass weighing 9 pounds, 13 ounces. He surpassed second-place co-angler Scott Bennett of Battle Creek, Neb. by 2 pounds, 6 ounces. Bennett finished with a three-bass catch weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces worth $1,234.
Don Blanchard of Claremore (two bass, 5 pounds, 13 ounces, $839); Gene Bohannon of Chickasha (one bass, 5 pounds, 11 ounces, $642); and Chris Couch of Edmond (two bass, 5 pounds, 4 ounces, $543) rounded out the top five co-anglers.
Bohannon earned big-bass honors and $490 in his division with a 5-pound, 11-ounce bass.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Lake Eufaula in Eufaula April 12 for the second of five Okie Division events. The boater with the most points after the division’s season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 6-7 on Grand Lake in Grove, will be declared the Yamaha “Be the Best” Points Leader and awarded $1,000. The co-angler amassing the most points by the end of the season will receive $500.
The top 30 Okie Division boaters and co-anglers will advance to regional competition Oct. 14-18 on Beaver Lake near Rogers, Ark., where they will go up against top competitors from the LBL, Ozark and Great Lakes divisions for a shot at qualifying for the Wal-Mart BFL All-American – one of the most lucrative postseason tournaments in competitive angling.
As much as $6 million will be awarded in the 2003 Wal-Mart BFL.
For more information or to enter a tournament, call (270) 252-1000 or browse this Web site.
Editor’s Note: Ranger Cup award winners are pending verification by Ranger Boats and thus are unofficial at this time.