KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Rick Butler of Kissimmee, Fla., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division event on Lake Toho. For his victory, Butler earned $4,948.
“It was cloudy and windy all morning,” said Butler. “There were 30 mile per hour gusts up until about 10:30 before it started to clear out. My Power-Poles are what made a significant difference for me, without them in that wind I wouldn’t have been able to catch anything.
“It was really a strange day,” Butler continued. “I caught all five fish in five different locations using five different lures. However, I was predominantly using Zoom worms. I think the thing that helped me the most was my flexibility. I fished with my instinct. Having fished this lake many times before I had a pretty good idea of what the bass were doing, so I just followed my gut.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: John Kinchen, Palm Bay, Fla., five bass, 21-14, $2,474
3rd: Joseph Kremer, Osteen, Fla., five bass, 21-13, $1,649
4th: Allan Cagle, Deltona, Fla., five bass, 21-6, $1,155
5th: Bradley Dortch, Celebration, Fla., five bass, 20-4, $990
6th: Steve Fairtrace, Palm City, Fla., five bass, 19-11, $907
7th: Chris Brill, Lehigh Acres, Fla., five bass, 18-8, $825
8th: Daniel Lanier, Winter Springs, Fla., five bass, 18-0, $742
9th: Kazuki Kitajima, Orlando, Fla., five bass, 17-3, $660
10th: Van Soles, Winter Haven, Fla., five bass, 16-15, $577
Aaron Gengler of Lakeland, Fla., weighed in five bass totaling 18 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win $2,474 in the co-angler division.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Darrin Simmons, Oviedo, Fla., five bass, 16-10, $1,237
3rd: James Stalters, Boynton Beach, Fla., five bass, 16-9, $824
4th: Bo Boyles, Deltona, Fla., five bass, 15-7, $577
5th: Eamon Bolten, Tampa, Fla., five bass, 15-0, $453
Cecil Hock, Valrico, Fla., four bass, 15-0, $453
Edwin Rivera, Orlando, Fla., five bass, 15-0, $453
8th: Brian Peterson, Jupiter, Fla., five bass, 14-9, $371
9th: Ernie Thompson, Anthony, Fla., five bass, 14-2, $330
10th: Ricky Timmerman, Umatilla, Fla., five bass, 13-12, $289
The next BFL Gator Division tournament is scheduled for March 31 on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, 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 191 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.