OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – David Crews of Bartow earned $5,000 Saturday as winner of the third regular-season Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Gator Division event, held on Lake Okeechobee near Okeechobee. He caught five bass weighing 27 pounds, 8 ounces to claim the win and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Crews fished the south end of the lake and used an 11-inch worm to catch his tournament-winning bass. He earned another $1,000 as the Boater Division big-bass award winner with a 9-pound, 8-ounce bass.
Rounding out the top five boaters are John Wood of Cypress Gardens (five bass, 23 pounds, 4 ounces, $2,500); Joseph Kremer of Osteen (five bass, 22 pounds, 8 ounces, $1,700); Rick Kornmeier Jr. of Margate (five bass, 20 pounds, 6 ounces, $1,300); and Gregory Cuming of Mount Dora (five bass, 19 pounds, $1,100).
Wood earned $500 from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Mark Brader of Loxahatchee claimed $2,500 as winner of the Co-angler Division with a five-bass catch weighing 20 pounds, 10 ounces that he caught on a Senko and a spinnerbait.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Cliff Rayburn of Naples (five bass, 18 pounds, 9 ounces, $1,250); Chuck McKenzie of Lakeland (five bass, 17 pounds, $850); Bruce Greer of Lake Worth (three bass, 14 pounds, 10 ounces, $650); and Ed Bullard of Winter Haven (five bass, 13 pounds, 11 ounces, $550).
The Gator Division’s next stop will be April 3 on Lake Okeechobee in Okeechobee, and the regular season will come to a close Sept. 25-26 with a two-day Super Tournament on Lake Okeechobee in Okeechobee.
Following the regular season, the top 30 boaters and 30 co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Lake Seminole regional near Bainbridge, Ga., Oct. 5-9, where they will compete against anglers from the Bama, Mississippi and Piedmont divisions for one of six slots in the 2005 All-American. With a $100,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and $50,000 to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in competitive bass fishing.
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. These points determine angler standings. The Gator Division boater who amasses the most points at the end of the regular season will earn $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader, and the co-angler earning the most points will earn $500 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader in the Co-angler Division.
The $6.3 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League features 24 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 visit browse this Web site.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its six tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997. For a complete list of FLW Outdoors sponsors and for more information about the premier products and services they offer, please visit FLWOutdoors.com’s sponsor page.