GROVE, Okla. – Boater Kazuki Kitajima of Fayetteville, Ark., earned $4,839 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division event on Grand Lake. The tournament was the third of five regular-season Ozark Division events and earned Kitajima 200 points in the Boater Division.
Kitajima’s winning catch of five bass weighed 18 pounds, 8 ounces.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Paul A. Smith of Copan, Okla. (five bass, 14 pounds, 13 ounces, $2,419); Tom Silber of Labadie, Mo. (five bass, 14 pounds, 9 ounces, $1,614); Charles Lane of Cushing, Okla. (five bass, 14 pounds, 13 ounces, $1,129); and Rick Lisek of Springfield, Mo. (five bass, 13 pounds, 6 ounces, $968).
Bob Bolton of Rogers, Ark., took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $730 for a 5-pound, 14-ounce bass.
Larry Lamontagne of Fenton, Mo., bested Co-angler Division competitors to earn $2,415 as the co-angler winner, thanks to five bass weighing 13 pounds, 8 ounces.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Dale Little of Dewey, Okla. (four bass, 10 pounds, 9 ounces, $1,207); Chris Bunk of Columbia, Mo. (five bass, 10 pounds, 6 ounces, $806); Gary Kinney of Osage Beach, Mo. (three bass, 9 pounds, 12 ounces, $563); and Mark Madison of Valparaiso, Neb. (four bass, 9 pounds, 8 ounces, $483).
Kinney also earned $360 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 6-pound, 12-ounce bass.
The Ozark Division’s next event will be held July 22 on Lake Truman near Clinton, Mo. The Ozark Division will wrap up its regular season Sept. 16-17 with a two-day Super Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks near Osage Beach, Mo.
Following the regular season, the Ozark 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 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 Ozark Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Fort Madison Regional near Fort Madison, Iowa, Oct. 5-7, where they will compete against Great Lakes, Illini and Michigan 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.
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.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Stratos Owners’ Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $37.9 million through 249 events in 2006.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world’s leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.