OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Boater Val Osinski of Pompano Beach, Fla., won the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Everglades Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 27 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned Osinski $2,682 and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the Lake Seminole Regional Championship in Bainbridge, Ga., Oct. 25-27, where he could ultimately win a new 519VX Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.
Osinski fished the south end of the lake using mostly crankbait.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Chris Rand of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (five bass, 22 pounds-14 ounces, $1,578); Jim Hurlock Jr. of Lake Worth, Fla. (five bass, 18 pounds-13 ounces, $1,052); Byron Childers of Coconut Creek, Fla. (five bass, 18 pounds-5 ounces, $736); and James Conrad of Alva, Fla. (five bass, 18 pounds- 3 ounces, $631).
Greg Sorrell of Fort Myers, Fla., took home the Boater Division Snickers Big Bass award, earning $370 for a 9-pound, 8-ounce bass.
Sherman Cruse of Stuart, Fla., earned $1,578 as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to five bass weighing 24 pounds, 6 ounces.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Jeff Ross of Vero Beach, Fla. (five bass, 20 pounds-0 ounces, $789); Christopher Liotti of Tamarac, Fla. (five bass, 15 pounds-5 ounces, $526); Randy Marrs of Palm Bay, Fla. (five bass, 14 pounds-12 ounces, $368); and Mark Brader of Loxahatchee, Fla. (five bass, 14 pounds-4 ounces, $316).
Jeff Ross of Vero Beach, Fla., earned $185 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 9-pound, 12-ounce bass.
The Everglades Division’s next event will be the final event of the regular season; it will be a two-day Super Tournament held Sept. 29-30 on Lake Okeechobee in Okeetantie, Fla.
Following the end of regular-season competition, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on year-end points standings in the division will advance to the no-entry-fee Lake Seminole Regional Championship where they will compete against top qualifiers from three other BFL divisions. At the Regional Championship boaters will fish for a new Ranger boat and Chevy truck and co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger boat. The top six boaters and top six co-anglers at the Regional Championship will also advance to the 2008 All-American presented by Chevy. With a total purse of $1 million, a potential $140,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and as much as $70,000 going to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in bass fishing. The winning boater and winning co-angler at the All-American also advance to the no-entry-fee $2 million 2008 Forrest Wood Cup. This event, featuring a top award of $1 million, is the sport’s biggest championship.
The $8.8 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League features 28 divisions nationwide. In BFL competition, boaters and co-anglers are randomly paired. Boaters supply the boat and fish from the front deck against other boaters while co-anglers compete 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, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, 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 will offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 241 events in 2007.
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 Walmart.com.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.