DEMOPOLIS, Ala. – Boater Ronald Yurko of East Point, Fla., earned a fully rigged Ranger 519VX and a new Chevy truck Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Regional event on Lake Demopolis. The top 40 boaters and the top 40 co-anglers from the Choo Choo, Everglades, Mississippi and Seminole divisions competed in the three-day event.
Yurko’s winning three-day catch of 12 bass weighed 23 pounds, 11 ounce. In addition to the new truck and boat, Yurko earned a ticket to the 2007 $1 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League All-American, one of the most prestigious tournaments in bass fishing, where the winning boater will earn as much as $140,000 and the winning co-angler will earn as much as $70,000.
Yurko caught his winning bass by throwing a floating Rat-L-Trap around banks in between docks and submerged trees.
The top six boaters and the top six co-anglers at the regional championship earned a spot to compete in the All-American. Rounding out the top six boaters were Jimmy Williams of Thomaston, Ala. (eight bass, 23 pounds, 4 ounces, $4,000); Val Osinski of Pompano Beach, Fla. (11 bass, 23 pounds, 1 ounce, $2,000); Brad McCulley of Batesville, Miss. (11 bass, 21 pounds, 13 ounces, $1,600); Bryan Gregory of Fort Payne, Ala. (10 bass, 20 pounds, 2 ounces, $1,200); and Randall Tharp of Gardendale, Ala. (eight bass, 19 pounds, 5 ounces, $1,000).
Williams also earned an additional $500 as winner of the Ranger Cup award.
William Feyh of Brandon, Miss., earned a new Ranger boat as the co-angler winner, thanks to a three-day total of seven bass weighing 16 pounds, 8 ounces that he caught on a combination of crankbaits, Carolina rigs and jigs thrown onto rocky banks with little or no cover.
Rounding out the top six co-anglers were Mark Pirkle of Cleveland, Tenn. (seven bass, 15 pounds, 2 ounces, $2,000); Lance Graves of Raymond, Miss. (six bass, 12 pounds, 12 ounces, $1,000); Glen Mire of Jackson, Miss. (four bass, 12 pounds, 1 ounce, $800); Brandon Bolton of West Point, Miss. (seven bass, 11 pounds, 6 ounces, $600); and Jason Ezell of Lucedale, Miss. (five bass, 10 pounds, 15 ounces, $500).
As the nation’s leading provider of affordable, close-to-home weekend tournaments, the BFL is widely credited with opening competitive bass fishing to the masses. It also serves as a steppingstone for anglers who wish to advance to the Stren Series and ultimately the Wal-Mart FLW Tour – bass fishing’s most lucrative tournament series. Former BFL anglers who have become fishing superstars on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour include Kellogg’s pro Clark Wendlandt, Ranger pro Tommy Biffle and four-time FLW Tour champion David Fritts.
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.