Ron Veale of Clewiston, Fla., weighed a two-day total of 10 bass totaling 53 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division Super Tournament on Lake Okeechobee Sunday. For his victory, Veale earned $7,368.
“I found my spot on Thursday in practice,” Veale explained. “I had a bite on every cast, so I just shook them off and got out of there.
“Saturday was rainy, windy and overcast, so I knew the bite was going to last for a while,” said Veale. “I got to my spot and I started throwing a Gambler Big EZ, the bait I found them on, but the wind was blowing the wrong direction and they weren’t eating it. So, picked up a swimjig and I caught a 5-pounder on the third cast. I had 25 pounds by 9:30 a.m. I left and went to another community hole, and at 3:30 I caught one that was almost 9 pounds, flipping reeds with a Zoom Speed Craw.
“I was on the edge of a canal bank that was lined with grass,” Veale continued. “I was casting it up about three feet into the grass and as soon as the bait broke free from the grass I would let it drop and they would eat it.
“I started throwing the Big EZ on day two because the wind wasn’t blowing, and I caught two,” said Veale. “Once the wind picked up I switched back to the swimjig and I caught the rest of my bag. I never did upgrade after 10:30 a.m.
“It feels amazing to win,” finished Veale. “It didn’t sink in until this morning when I woke up. My Facebook has blown up and I probably have a hundred messages. It seems like I could never close a BFL out, something would always go wrong. This time I just rolled with it, and everything seemed to go right.”
According to Veale, his swimjig of choice was a McMillan Secret-colored 4×4 Brandon McMillan Signature Series swimjig.
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Mark Lundgren, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 10 bass, 43-2, $3,684
3rd: Santos Solis, Vero Beach, Fla., 10 bass, 40-8, $2,457
4th: Mike Jones, Okeechobee, Fla., 10 bass, 40-6, $1,719
5th: Jim Hurlock Jr., Lake Worth, Fla., 10 bass, 39-1, $1,474
6th: Sandy Melvin, Boca Grande, Fla., 10 bass, 38-8, $1,351
7th: Steven Stinson, Pickering, Ontario, Canada, 10 bass, 38-4, $1,228
8th: Thomas Littich, Cape Coral, Fla., 10 bass, 36-11, $1,105
9th: Wayne Black, San Mateo, Fla., 10 bass, 36-7, $982
10th: Fred George, Okeechobee, Fla., 10 bass, 36-1, $860
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Cory Gibbs of Inverness, Fla., weighed in a two-day total of 10 bass totaling 33 pounds, 15 ounces to win $3,684 in the co-angler division Sunday.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: James Hatch, Gainesville, Fla., 10 bass, 33-5, $1,842
3rd: Bill Layhew, Palmetto, Fla., 10 bass, 29-10, $1,229
4th: Connor MacDougall, Cape Coral, Fla., 10 bass, 29-3, $860
5th: James Brooks, Inverness, Fla., 10 bass, 28-14, $737
6th: Kirk Kastner, Margate, Fla., 10 bass, 28-4, $675
7th: Trent Hoover, Jacksonville, Fla., 10 bass, 27-13, $614
8th: Dennis Sprayberry, Lehigh Acres, Fla., nine bass, 26-2, $553
9th: Tony Manganello, Boynton Beach, Fla., 10 bass, 25-5, $491
10th: Brian Goldbeck, Loxahatchee, Fla., 10 bass, 24-10, $430
The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 2-4 Regional Championship on the St. Johns River in Palatka, Va. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, 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 40 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 presented by Chevy. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Rayovac FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
Image courtesy FLW Outdoors