Fishing & Boating News

George Wins Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division Event on Lake Okeechobee

Pike wins co-angler title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Fred George of Okeechobee, Fla., won the Feb. 21 Gator Division event on the BIg O with a 22-pound, 7-ounce limit to claim over $6,000 in prize money.  
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Feb 23, 2015 - OKEECHOBEE, FL.) Fred George of Okeechobee, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, King earned $6,011.

“I was excited as could be,” said George of his first career win. “I’ve fished a few BFL tournaments before but this one ended up going my way.”
Though George reeled in over 22 pounds of fish, the day didn’t start off like he wanted. Due to cold water, George’s primary and secondary fishing spots weren’t producing the amount of weight needed to win the tournament.  
“I only caught two fish in the first spot,” said George. “They were keepers, but I knew I needed more.”  
Around noon, the Florida angler made the move to a third location in hopes of capping off a winning stringer. He settled on a rim ditch with some rocky piles at the north end of the lake. There, George used a Rat-L-Trap, crankbait and a Carolina-rigged Junebug-colored Zoom Trick Worm to net 15 fish.
“Out of the first six fish I caught, five of them came to weigh-in,” George said. “I knew I could catch at least five fish off of those rocks, but not the 4-pounders I ended up with. They loved the Trick Worm.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st:           Fred George, Okeechobee, Fla., five bass, 22-7, $6,011
2nd:          Norris Newhouse, Okeechobee, Fla., five bass, 21-7, $3,006
3rd:          Ken Fitton, Loxahatchee, Fla., five bass, 20-0, $2,001
4th:           Brian Christy, Media, Pa., five bass, 18-12, $1,403
5th:           Val Osinski, Pompano Beach, Fla., five bass, 18-8, $1,202
6th:           Brian Divito, Saint Petersburg, Fla., five bass, 18-3, $1,102
7th:           Donald Locke, Loxahatchee, Fla., five bass, 17-14, $1,002
8th:           Steven Stinson, Pickering, Ontario, Canada, five bass, 17-10, $902
9th:           Ronald Yentz, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., five bass, 17-3, $802
10th:        Mike Keyso Jr., North Port, Fla., five bass, 17-2, $701
Jason Pike of Greenacres, Florida, weighed in a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win $3,006 in the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st:           Jason Pike, Greenacres, Fla., five bass, 19-2, $3,006
2nd:          James Hatch, Gainesville, Fla., five bass, 17-13, $1,503
3rd:          Shannon Pitts, Vero Beach, Fla., five bass, 16-9, $1,008
4th:           Robert Power, Clewiston, Fla., five bass, 16-8, $701
5th:           Charles Tucker, Eustis, Fla., five bass, 15-7, $601
6th:           Brandon Bartlett, Hollywood, Fla., five bass, 15-1, $551
7th:           James Ryba, West Palm Beach, Fla., five bass, 14-14, $501
8th:           Adam Trott, Sarasota, Fla., five bass, 13-4, $451
9th:           James Sloan, Cooper City, Fla., five bass, 12-9, $401
10th:        Ernie Thompson, Anthony, Fla., five bass, 12-8, $351
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 8-10 Regional Championship on Lake Sinclair in Milledgeville, Georgia. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 50 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Walmart BFL All-American. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Rayovac FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2015 over the course of 240 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.