MANNFORD, Okla. – Steve (John) Vann of Skiatook earned $3,189 Saturday as winner of the third regular-season Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Okie Division event, held on Keystone Lake near Mannford. He caught five bass weighing 12 pounds, 14 ounces to claim the win and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Vann caught his tournament-winning bass around points and rocks using a watermelon Brush Hog in 2 to 5 feet of water. He also earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Charles Lane of Cushing (five bass, 11 pounds, 13 ounces, $1,595); John Vick of Inola (five bass, 10 pounds, 15 ounces, $1,084); Butch Kennemer of Tulsa (three bass, 10 pounds, 10 ounces, $829); and Shawn Box of Mannford (five bass, 10 pounds, 6 ounces, $702).
Kennemer caught a 4-pound, 9-ounce bass on a Zoom lizard to claim $535 as the Boater Division big-bass award winner.
Shannon Atchison of Afton claimed $1,600 as winner of the Co-angler Division with a three-bass catch weighing 7 pounds, 5 ounces that he caught on a Bandit crankbait.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Jerry Eakle of Quinton (two bass, 7 pounds, 1 ounce, $800); Don Brackeen of Broken Arrow (two bass, 6 pounds, 15 ounces, $544); Alan Hill of Ada (two bass, 5 pounds, 8 ounces, $416); and Joseph Vaughn of Sapulpa (two bass, 5 pounds, 6 ounces, $352).
Eakle earned $263 as the co-angler big-bass winner thanks to a 4-pound, 4-ounce bass he caught on a finesse worm.
The Okie Division’s next stop will be June 26 on Fort Gibson Lake in Hulbert, a tournament originally scheduled for May 1, and the regular season will come to a close Oct. 2-3 with a two-day Super Tournament on Grand Lake in Grove.
Following the regular season, the top 30 boaters and 30 co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Toledo Bend regional near Many, La., Oct. 12-16, where they will compete against anglers from the Arkie, Louisiana and Ozark 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 Okie 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 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.