MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Boater Joe Simon of Vian, Okla., earned $3,879 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Okie Division event on the Arkansas River. The tournament was the fourth of five regular-season Okie Division events and earned Simon 200 points in the Boater Division.
Simons’s winning catch of five bass weighed 14 pounds, 14 ounces. He was throwing a Sweat Beaver in and around grass to catch his bass.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Rick Kelley of Ada, Okla. (five bass, 12 pounds, 1 ounces, $1,940); Gary Mullins of Wagoner, Okla. (five bass, 11 pounds, 13 ounces, $1,293); and Bob Barker of Stillwater, Okla., and Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., tied for fourth (five bass, 11 pounds, 10 ounces, $840).
Raymond Renfroe of Delaware, Okla., took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $515 for a 4-pound, 11-ounce bass he caught on a jig.
Ronnie Stiek of Prue, Okla., won the Co-angler Division to earn $1,940 as the co-angler winner, thanks to three bass weighing 10 pounds, 6 ounces that he caught on a jig pitched around tree laydowns and points.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are John Mahoney IV of Gentry, Ark. (three bass, 7 pounds, 15 ounces, $970); Mark Harper of Grove, Okla. (two bass, 7 pounds, 3 ounces, $646); Mark Page of Edmond, Okla., (three bass, 7 pounds, $462); and Phillip Hudnall of Newkirk, Okla., and Matt Storr of Tulsa, Okla. (Hudnall had three bass and Storr had two bass, 5 pounds, 3 ounces, $372).
Stiek also earned $257 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 5-pound, 5-ounce bass he also caught on a jig.
The Okie Division’s next event will be the divisions two-day Super Tournament held Sept. 9-10 on Grand Lake near Grove, Okla.
Following the regular season, the Okie 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 Okie Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Wright Patman Regional near Texarkana, Texas, Oct. 19-21, where they will compete against Arkie, Cowboy, and Louisiana 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. For more information or to enter a tournament, call (270) 252-1000 or visit FLWOutdoors.com.
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.
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.