CLEWISTON, Fla. – Dan Blanchard of Sarasota, Fla., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 30 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division event on Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, Blanchard earned $6,000.
“The cold front really shut the fish down,” said Blanchard. “But it was great for me and played to my strengths. I was able to flip under the mats and found an area on the north end of the lake holding big fish. I used craws and beaver-style baits to punch through the vegetation. Several guys came through where I was, but they were moving too fast. You really had to slow down out there.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: George Kapiton, Inverness, Fla., five bass, 28-00, $3,000
3rd: Don Demott, Boca Raton, Fla., five bass, 27-13, $2,000
4th: Chris Brill, Lehigh Acres, Fla., five bass, 25-13, $1,400
5th: Clint Boyles, Deltona, Fla., five bass, 25-10, $1,200
6th: Mike Surman, Boca Raton, Fla., four bass, 21-15, $1,100
7th: Robert Crosnoe, Inverness, Fla., five bass, 21-14, $1,000
8th: Kyle Walters, Grant Valkaria, Fla., five bass, 21-10, $900
9th: Charlie Evans, Gilbertsville, Ky., five bass, 21-07, $800 + $1,000 – Evinrude Bonus
10th: Steve Fairtrace, Palm City, Fla., five bass, 20-15, $700
For a complete list of results, click here.
Trott nets co-angler crown
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: James Trudel, Boca Raton, Fla., five bass, 18-14, $1,500
3rd: James Brooks, Inverness, Fla., five bass, 17-08, $1,000
4th: Edwin Rivera, Orlando, Fla., five bass, 16-04, $700
5th: Ricky Timmerman, Umatilla, Fla., five bass, 12-10, $600
6th: Mike Cermak, Sorrento, Fla., five bass, 12-02, $550
7th: Quinn Stumpf, Davie, Fla., five bass, 11-10, $500
8th: Scott Crisafulli, Miramar, Fla., five bass, 11-06, $450
9th: Isidoro Delapaz, Fellsmere, Fla., four bass, 11-05, $400
10th: Dave Dickens, Sarasota, Fla., four bass, 10-13, $350
The next BFL Gator Division tournament is scheduled for Feb. 18 on Lake Okeechobee in Okeechobee, Fla. After the fifth Gator Division tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 4 – 6 Regional Championship on Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, Ga. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 40 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy. The 2012 BFL All-American is being held May 17 – 19 on the Potomac River in National Harbor, Md. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing unparalleled fishing resources and entertainment to our sponsors, fans and host communities. FLW is offering anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2012 over the course of 190 tournaments across five tournament circuits, each providing an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the “Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water,” through a variety of platforms including tournaments, outdoor expos and the world’s richest fantasy sports game – FLW Fantasy Fishing. For more information about FLW and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FLWOutdoors.com or FantasyFishing.com and look for FLW on Twitter and Facebook.