Ultimate Bass

Gartman Wins BFL on Lake Ouachita

Walmart Bass Fishing LeagueMOUNT IDA, Ark. (March 23, 2009) – Tim Gartman of Conway, Ark., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League® Arkie Division tournament on Lake Ouachita…

Walmart Bass Fishing LeagueMOUNT IDA, Ark. (March 23, 2009) – Tim Gartman of Conway, Ark., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League® Arkie Division tournament on Lake Ouachita Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 21 pounds, 8 ounces. The victory earned Gartman $4,872 and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the Kentucky/Barkley Lakes Regional Championship in Gilbertsville, Ky., Oct. 15-17, where he could ultimately win a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.

“It was just a great day with getting one under my belt. I was ready for this,” said Gartman. “I’m a little overwhelmed with it all, the feeling of finally winning one, it’s just amazing!”

Gartman focused on catching pre-spawn fish and had his limit by noon after fishing the main lake on flats and points throwing a Rat-L-Trap.

Gartman said, “My dad was out on the water just fishing and pulled up to me and I told him I thought I had close to 20 pounds in the boat. He got my mom, my wife and the kids to come down. It was so special to have my family there.”

Rounding out the top five boaters are Kyle Henderson of Redfield, Ark. (five bass, 20-5, $2,436); Trent Owens of Amity, Ark. (five bass, 19-10, $1,623); Jeremiah Kindy of Benton, Ark. (five bass, 18-14, $1,137) and Jack Stewart of Hot Springs, Ark. (five bass, 17-1, $974).

Jimmy Murders of Malvern, Ark. took home the Boater Division Big Bass award, earning $735 for a 5-pound, 15-ounce bass he caught.

Tommy Rigsby of Lonsdale, Ark., earned $2,403 as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to five bass weighing 13 pounds, 8 ounces.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Paul Thorpe of Atkins, Ark. (five bass, 12-5, $1,201); Chance Stone of Nashville, Ark. (four bass, 12-4, $806); Keeton Blaylock of Benton, Ark. (five bass, 11-13, $561); and Timmy Cook of Benton, Ark. (five bass, 11-10, $481).

Gary Howard of Malvern, Ark. earned $362 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 5-pound, 8-ounce bass.

The next Arkie Division event will be held on DeGray Lake in Arkadelphia, Ark., April 25.

The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers in each of the BFL’s 28 divisions at the end of the season advance to a no-entry-fee Regional Championship where boaters fish for a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck and co-anglers fish for a new Ranger boat. Seven regional championships will each send six boaters and six co-anglers to the no-entry-fee Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy, which features a $1 million purse and a top award of $140,000 in the Boater Division and $70,000 in the Co-angler Division. Anglers who compete in all five regular-season events within a division but do not advance to a Regional Championship are eligible to compete in the Chevy Wild Card, which will also send six boaters and six co-anglers to the All-American for a total of 48 boaters and 48 co-anglers advancing through BFL competition.

The winning boater and winning co-angler at the All-American will advance to the no-entry-fee $2.5 million Forrest Wood Cup in Atlanta in 2010. This event, featuring a top award of $1 million, is the most lucrative tournament in all of competitive bass fishing. In all, the BFL offers weekend anglers the opportunity to qualify for three no-entry-fee championships with total cash awards exceeding $3.5 million. Plus, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from each BFL division may move up to the Stren Series™ for 2010 while All-American champions have the option to advance directly to the Walmart FLW Tour®.

In BFL competition, boaters supply the boat and compete from the front deck against other boaters. Co-anglers compete from the back deck against other co-anglers.

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 FLW Tour – bass fishing’s most lucrative tournament circuit.

Total awards are based on a full field of 200 boats in every tournament.

FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also is taking fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Player’s Advantage for only $10 to get your edge and win.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.

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