March 18, 2006
GROVE, Okla. - Boater Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., earned $4,498 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Okie Division event on Grand Lake. The tournament was the first of five regular-season Okie Division events and featured 129 boaters vying for the win, which earned Christie 200 points in the Boater Division. Christie's winning catch of five bass weighed 17 pounds, 8 ounces. He threw a gold and purple Smithwick Rogue around chunk rock in 5 to 10 feet of water. He earned an additional $1,000 as winner of the Ranger Cup award. Rounding out the top five boaters are Shonn Goodwin of Moore, Okla. (five bass, 16 pounds, 1 ounce, $2,249); John Wynn of Bentonville, Ark. (five bass, 15 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,498); Travis McKelvey of Jenks, Okla. (five bass, 15 pounds, 7 ounces, $1,050) and Jerry Corbett of Chouteau, Okla. (five bass, 14 pounds, 10 ounces, $900). Dustin Lester of Talala, Okla., took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $645 for a 6-pound, 10-ounce bass. Brandon Christian of Jay, Okla., bested 129 Co-angler Division competitors to earn $2,249 as the co-angler winner, thanks to four bass weighing 14 pounds, 5 ounces that he caught fishing a white/chartreuse spinnerbait. Christian earned an additional $322 as winner of the big bass award in the Co-angler Division, thanks to a 7-pound, 4-ounce bass. Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Nick Cox of Sallisaw, Okla. (four bass, 11 pounds, 8 ounces, $1,125); James Marion of Tulsa, Okla., (four bass, 10 pounds, 15 ounces, $752) Jesse Martin of Edmond, Okla., (four bass, 10 pounds, 10 ounces, $525) and Wade Garcia of Alma, Ark. (four bass, 9 pounds, 10 ounces, $450). Okie Division anglers will next visit Lake Texoma in Pottsboro, Texas April 22 for their second regular-season event, followed by an event on Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Okla., May 13. The division's fourth qualifying event will be held on the Arkansas River in Gore, Okla., June 17. A two-day Super Tournament, the division's fifth and final event, will be held on Grand Lake in Grove Sept. 9-10. For more information or to enter a tournament, call (270) 252-1000 or browse FLWOutdoors.com. Following the regular season, the Okie Division boater with the most points who advances farthest in the Wal-Mart BFL All-American will earn $10,000 as the Yamaha "Be the Best" points champion. The co-angler points champion who advances farthest will earn $5,000 as the Yamaha "Be the Best" points champion in the Co-angler Division. Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 200 points going to the winner, 199 for second, 198 for third, and so on except for Super Tournaments, which award 300 points to the winner, 299 for second, 298 for third, and so on. The top 40 Okie Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Wright Patman Regional Championship near Texarkana, Texas, Oct. 19-21 where they will compete against Arkie, Cowboy and Louisiana division anglers for one of six slots in the 2007 All-American. With a total purse of $1 million and a potential $140,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and $70,000 going to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in bass fishing. The $8.8 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League features 28 divisions nationwide. In BFL competition, boaters and co-anglers are randomly paired, with boaters supplying the boat and fishing against other boaters and co-anglers fishing 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 Bass Fishing League, as well as the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Stratos Owners' Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $36.9 million through 241 events in 2006. Wal-Mart and many of America's largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as title sponsor of the FLW Tour in 1997 and today is the title sponsor of all FLW Outdoors events. For more information on Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.