January 12, 2008
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Boater David Givens of Hernando, Fla., won the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Gator Division tournament on Lake Toho Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 22 pounds. The victory earned Givens $4,508 plus a $795 Ranger contingency bonus and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the Lake Murray Regional Championship in Columbia, S.C., Oct. 23-25, where he could ultimately win a new 198VX Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.
"I fished this area a couple months ago, so I knew where a few hot spots were," said Givens. "I was fishing farther out in deeper water to get staging fish."
Givens caught his limit throwing a Zoom Horny Toad in spawning areas.
Rounding out the top five boaters are William Evans, Polk City, Fla. (five bass, 18-15, $2,652); Donald Dwayne Davis of Summerfield, Fla. (five bass, 18-5, $1,768); J. Nobel Willits of Altamonte Springs, Fla. (five bass, 17-4, $1,238) and Ben Carroll of Kissimmee, Fla. (five bass, 16-7, $1,061).
Carroll took home the Boater Division Snickers Big Bass award, earning $835 for an 8-pound, 6-ounce bass he caught on a white jig.
Cory Dixon of Casselberry, Fla., earned $2,652 as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to five bass weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces that he caught site fishing near hydrilla with a Bitter Bug bait and Buzz `n Gator bait.
"This was my first FLW tournament, so it was awesome to win," said Dixon. "We ran about 10 miles and fished three different areas where the fish were biting all day long. I couldn't shake them off my line."
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Mike Young of Clewiston, Fla. (five bass, 13-10, $1,326); Edward Abbott of St. Cloud, Fla. (four bass, 12-3, $887); Kenneth Honeycutt of Jacksonville, Fla. (five bass, 11-13, $619) and Adam Trott of Lakeland, Fla. (five bass, 11-4, $530).
Abbott earned $417 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 7-pound, 10-ounce bass on a Zoom Fluke.
Gator Division anglers will visit Harris Chain in Tavares, Fla., Feb. 16 for their second regular-season event, followed by an event on Lake Kissimmee in Lake Wales, Fla., March 8. The division's fourth qualifying event will be held on Harris Chain in Tavares, Fla., April 5. A two-day Super Tournament, the division's fifth and final event, will be held on the St. John's River in Palatka, Fla., Sept. 20-21.
Following the end of regular-season competition, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on year-end points standings in the division will advance to the no-entry-fee Lake Murray Regional Championship where they will compete against top qualifiers from three other BFL divisions. At the Regional Championship boaters will fish for a new Ranger boat and Chevy truck and co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger boat. The top six boaters and top six co-anglers at the Regional Championship will also advance to the All-American presented by Chevy. With a total purse of $1 million, a potential $140,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and as much as $70,000 going to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in bass fishing. The winning boater and winning co-angler at the All-American also advance to the no-entry-fee $2 million Forrest Wood Cup. This event, featuring a top award of $1 million, is the sport's biggest championship.
Tournament anglers aren't the only ones winning big this season. With the introduction of FLW Fantasy Fishing, FLW Outdoors will be awarding the largest fantasy sports payout in history. Players can become a virtual pro angler by signing up for Player's Advantage, providing them with exclusive insider information that could guide them to a $100,000 victory at every Wal-Mart FLW Tour stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. Player's Advantage will give them an edge over the competition and increase their shot for a $1 million cash grand prize that will be awarded to the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Those who visit FantasyFishing.com today can sign up for Player's Advantage and FLW Outdoors will include a $15 Wal-Mart gift card.
The $8.8 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League features 28 divisions nationwide. In BFL competition, boaters and co-anglers are randomly paired. Boaters supply the boat and fish from the front deck against other boaters while co-anglers compete from the back deck against other co-anglers.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. In 2008 alone the organization is offering more than 90,000 anglers the chance to win over $40 million through 230 tournaments in 10 circuits targeting bass, walleye, redfish, kingfish and striped bass. FLW Outdoors is also taking fishing mainstream with the largest cash awards in the history of fantasy sports, $7.3 million.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player's Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.
Total awards are based on a full field of 200 boats in every tournament.