Eakins Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks
OSAGE BEACH, Mo. (March 19, 2007) - Boater Troy Eakins of Nixa, Mo., won the Bass Fishing League Ozark Division bass fishing tournament on Lake of the Ozarks Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 22 pounds, 12 ounces. The victory earned Eakins $4874 and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the Mississippi River Regional Championship in Fort Madison, Iowa, Oct. 4-6, where he could ultimately win a new 519VX Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.
Eakins was throwing his own jig, an Eakins Jig, around shallow boat docks to catch his quality-sized tournament limit of bass. Eakins also took home an additional $1,500 for being the highest-placing Ranger Cup and Powered by Yamaha contingency program. Rounding out the top five boaters are Marcus Sykora of Osage Beach, Mo. (five bass, 21-13, $2,867); James Dill of Laurie, Mo. (five bass, 21-6, $1,911); Bob Richardson of Granite City, Ill. (five bass, 20-10, $1,338) and Shawn Kowal of Linn Creek, Mo. (five bass, 20-3, $1,147).
Richardson also took home the Boater Division Big Bass award, earning him an additional $935 for a 6-pound,12-ounce bass.
Timothy Vieth of Marthasville, Mo., earned $2,867 as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to five bass weighing 19 pounds, 11 ounces that he caught while fishing a jerkbait around rocky, wind-blown points.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Adrian Hymas of Wentzville, Mo. (five bass, 19-3, $1,434); Todd Eno of O'Fallon, Mo. (five bass, 17-15, $957); Steve Kiniry of Kansas City, Mo. (five bass, 15-5, $669) and Terry Bowers of Blue Springs, Mo. (four bass, 14-12, $573).
Chad Smith of Bonnots Mill, Mo., earned $467 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 6-pound, 14-ounce bass. The Ozark Division's next event will be April 14 on Table Rock Lake in Branson West, Mo., followed by a tournament May 5 on Grand Lake in Grove, Okla. The division's fourth event will be held June 30 on Truman Lake in Clinton, Mo., and the final event of the regular season will be a two-day Super Tournament held Sept. 15-16 on Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Mo.
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 Mississippi River 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.
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.