Gaia was throwing crankbaits in shallow grass to catch his quality-sized tournament limit of bass.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Jerry Huntley of Baytown, Texas (five bass, 20-9, $2,631); Glen Freeman of Converse, La. (five bass, 20-6, $1,753); Jerrel Pringle of Hemphill, Texas (five bass, 19-6, $1,228) and Lorne McClard of Keithville, La. (five bass, 18-1, $1,052).
Larry Glenn of Winnfield, La., took home the Boater Division Snickers Big Bass award, earning $820 for a 10-pound, 9-ounce bass.
Michael Edminston of Katy, Texas, earned $2,598 as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to five bass weighing 20 pounds, 5 ounces that he caught while fishing with the boater division winner Andy Gaia following the same pattern. Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Craig Strickland of Lumberton, Texas (five bass, 16-6, $1,299); Jesse Fry of College Station, Texas (five bass, 14-14, $865); John Grass of Vidor, Texas (three bass, 13-6, $606) and Austin Klores of Frankilin, Texas (five bass, 12-14, $520).
Grass also earned an additional $405 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 7-pound, 10-ounce bass. The Cowboy Division’s next event will be Feb. 24 on Lake Livingston in Livingston, Texas, followed by a tournament March 17 on Lake Conroe in Conroe,Texas. The division’s fourth event will be held April 14 on Toledo Bend in Hemhill, Texas and the final event of the regular season will be a two-day Super Tournament held Sept. 29-30 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Jasper, Texas.
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 Wright Patman Lake 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 2008 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 2008 Forrest Wood Cup. This event, featuring a top award of $1 million, is the sport’s biggest championship.
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.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits will offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 238 events in 2007.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world’s leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.