TAVARES, Fla. (April 6, 2009) Dave Thomas of Winter Park, Fla., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League® Gator Division tournament on the Harris Chain
TAVARES, Fla. (April 6, 2009) Dave Thomas of Winter Park, Fla., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League® Gator Division tournament on the Harris Chain of Lakes Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 16 pounds, 8 ounces. The victory earned Thomas $3,426 and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the Clarks Hill Lake Regional Championship in Appling, Ga., Oct. 15-17, where he could ultimately win a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.
Thomas caught his limit throwing a Rat-L-Trap and a spinnerbait.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Brian Carman of Mascotte, Fla. (five bass, 15-5, $1,713); Rob Mistina of Sorrento, Fla. (five bass, 14-8, $1,141); Scott Devries of Tavares, Fla. (five bass, 14-6, $799) and Jeremy Smith of Plant City, Fla. (five bass, 13-13, $685).
Rob Mistina took home the Boater Division Big Bass award, earning $430 for an 8-pound bass he caught.
Raymond Trudeau of Saint Cloud, Fla., earned $1,713 as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to five bass weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces that he caught on a lizard.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Norman Pellegrini of Windermere, Fla. (five bass, 12-2, $856); Joe Edwards Jr., of Kissimmee, Fla. (five bass, 11-8, $571); Alexander Supik of Cooper City, Fla. (three bass, 11-4, $300); and Jackie Barber of Cocoa, Fla. (four bass, 10-3, $343).
Supik earned $215 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 6-pound, 5-ounce bass.
The next Gator Division event will be held on the Kissimmee River in Lake Wales, Fla., May 2.
The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers in each of the BFLs 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 nations 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 fishings 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 Players 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 Players Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.