OKEECHOBEE, Fla. — Boater
of Wellington earned $4,050 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Everglades Division event on Lake Okeechobee. The tournament was the third of five regular-season Everglades Division events and featured 130 boaters vying for the win, which earned Burton 200 points in the Boater Division.Burton’s winning catch of five bass weighed 29 pounds, 10 ounces. He caught his bass in the Bell Glade area while flipping a black and blue Berkley power craw. Burton won an additional $650 as the big bass award winner with a 9-pound, 10-ounce bass.Finishing second was Chris Rand
of Ft. Lauderdale with five bass weighing 28 pounds, 4 ounces that earned him $2,025. Rand earned an additional $750 as winner of the Ranger Cup award and the Powered by Yamaha award. John Peters of Boynton Beach claimed $1,325 as the third-place finisher thanks to five bass weighing 27 pounds, 7 ounces. In fourth was Juan Ruiz of West Palm Beach with five bass weighing 23 pounds, 3 ounces worth $1,031, and finishing fifth and earning $847 was
Jeff Simms of Punta Gorda with five bass weighing 22 pounds, 15 ounces.Greg Caldwell of Okeechobee bested 130 Co-angler Division competitors to earn $2,025 as the co-angler winner, thanks to five bass weighing 20 pounds, 6 ounces that he caught on a Gambler junebug worm.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Virginia Ford of Okeechobee (five bass, 16 pounds, 12 ounces, $1,012); Henry Clay Samples of Dawsonville, Ga. (five bass, 15 pounds, 14 ounces, $663); Bryan Carter of Royal Palm Beach (five bass, 14 pounds, 5 ounces, $515); and Craig Lovely of Fort Myers (four bass, 13 pounds, $423).
Lovely and Caldwell each earned an additional $162 as the co-angler big-bass award winners. Both co-anglers caught a 7-pound, 13-ounce bass.
The Everglades Division’s next event will be held April 16 on Lake Okeechobee near Okeechobee. The Everglades Division will wrap up its regular season Oct. 1-2 with a two-day Super Tournament on Lake Okeechobee near Clewiston.
Following the regular season, the Everglades Division boater with the most points will earn $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion. The co-angler amassing the most points will earn $500 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion in the Co-angler Division.