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FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Gaston wins season opener on Lake Seminole

Gaston wins season opener on Lake Seminole
The 2004 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Seminole Division season kicked off Saturday on Lake Seminole near Bainbridge, and Greg Gaston of Thomasville claimed the win thanks to a five-bass catch weighing 21 pounds, 2 ounces.

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. - The 2004 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Seminole Division season kicked off Saturday on Lake Seminole near Bainbridge, and Greg Gaston of Thomasville claimed the win thanks to a five-bass catch weighing 21 pounds, 2 ounces. He bested 122 Boater Division competitors to earn $3,497 and 200 points.

Saturday's event was the first-ever Seminole Division tournament, and Gaston became the first Seminole Division winner thanks to a Rat-L-Trap and a Zoom worm that helped him catch a limit that included an 8-pounder. The catch earned Gaston, a BFL veteran, his first win.

Rounding out the top five pros are Butch Tucker of Moultrie (four bass, 20 pounds, 5 ounces, $1,748); Jerry Kelley of Wewahitchka, Fla. (four bass, 14 pounds, 4 ounces, $1,189); Frank Streeter of Jacksonville, Fla. (four bass, 13 pounds, 13 ounces, $909); and Jason Alderman of Chipley, Fla. (three bass, 13 pounds, 6 ounces, $769).

Alderman claimed Boater Division big-bass honors and $610 thanks to an 8-pound, 4-ounce bass that he caught on a spinnerbait. Tucker earned $500 as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program and another $250 from Yamaha because his Ranger was powered by a Yamaha outboard.

Tom Ridley of Valdosta earned $1,734 as the Co-angler Division winner thanks to a five-bass catch that weighed 13 pounds, 10 ounces. He edged past 121 Co-angler Division competitors thanks to a 1/2-ounce gold/white Rat-L-Trap that he fished in the grass.

Finishing second in the Co-angler Division was Ron Little of Youngstown, Fla., with three bass that weighed 12 pounds, 3 ounces worth $867. In third was Chris Prowant of Gainesville, Fla., with five bass weighing 12 pounds that earned him $590. Tied for fourth were Jeff Largent of Melbourne, Fla., with three bass and Alan Brightwell of Moultrie with four bass. Each caught 11 pounds, 5 ounces that earned them $416.

The Seminole Division's next stop will be March 20 on the St. Johns River in Palatka, Fla. Each BFL division features four one-day events followed by a two-day Super Tournament to round out the regular season. The top 30 Seminole Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Columbus Pool regional near Columbus, Miss., Oct. 19-23, where they will compete against Cowboy, Illini and Music City division anglers for a slot in the 2005 All-American. The winning boater at the All-American receives $100,000 cash, making it one of the most lucrative and prestigious championship events in bass fishing.

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. These points determine angler standings. The Seminole Division boater who amasses the most points at the end of the regular season will earn $1,000 as the Yamaha "Be the Best" points leader, and the co-angler earning the most points will earn $500 as the Yamaha "Be the Best" points leader in the Co-angler Division.

The $6.3 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League features 24 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. For more information or to enter a tournament, call (270) 252-1000 or browse this Web site.

Wal-Mart and many of America's most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its six tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997. For a complete list of FLW Outdoors sponsors and for more information about the premier products and services they offer, please visit FLWOutdoors.com's sponsor page.

Tags: press-release  2004-02-14-seminole 

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