Click here to close now.



Welcome!

News Feed Item

Rookie Benton Wins Walmart FLW Tour Season Opener on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Mercury

North Carolina's Jones Wins Co-Angler Title, $25,250

CLEWISTON, Fla., Feb. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Twenty-four year-old rookie Drew Benton of Panama City, Fla., was fishing in his first event as a professional this week and caught a 7-pound kicker bass with only seven minutes to spare to win the Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Okeechobee presented by Mercury on Sunday. That fish pushed Benton's day 4 weight to 13 pounds, 4 ounces and his total four-day weight to 75 pounds, 7 ounces and was enough to best 174 of the top bass anglers in the world to earn him a $100,000 paycheck. Finishing in second place was Keystone Light pro Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., who weighed in 20 bass totaling 70 pounds, 8 ounces.

Link to photo of pro winner Drew Benton

"Fishing in my first ever Tour event, I never expected this," said Benton, whose previous high finish was a 14th-place effort in EverStart competition on Lake Seminole. "I have to pay my entry fees all on my own, so this is such a big step for me. Now I can actually relax and fish for the rest of the year and not have to worry about just making a check."

Like Saturday, Sunday's fishing conditions were windy and tough. Benton made several runs back and forth to areas in South Bay and Turners Cove and burned through ¾ of a tank of gas by scrambling to try and catch enough weight.

"It was such a grind," Benton said. "I started the day in South Bay, then went to Turners. Nothing was happening there, so I went back to South Bay and checked it again. I fished there for three hours and was only able to catch two keepers. So, I ran back to Turners and was able to finish out a small limit. I didn't catch my limit of fish until 1:45 p.m. I told the camera man that I had to run and try and catch a big one. So I made the run back down to South Bay, and that's when I got the kicker."

Benton said the kicker – a 7-pound Okeechobee behemoth – came while throwing an entirely different bait than he had used all week.

"I had thrown a PGM Lures bladed swimjig all day and not had one bite on it," Benton said. "I decided to try a Hildebrandt white and gold-bladed spinnerbait, and it bit."

Benton credited the bladed swimjig trailered with a Bass Assassin Die Dapper as catching more than half of the fish that he weighed in. The others came on a mixed assortment of Houdini-colored Bass Assassin baits, including the Die Dapper, a Vapor Shad and the Pure Craw. He also mixed in a Gambler Big EZ swimbait when conditions got tough.

"When it was real windy and I needed to stir up the top a little more I would throw the Big EZ," Benton continued. "It's a bigger bait with a bigger profile, and it seemed to attract them more.

"It was really all about the timing in South Bay," Benton continued. "The bass needed the sun to move in from offshore and they would set up on the reeds. When they first moved up, you could catch them really fast. With the wind blowing so hard yesterday and today I never could get on them real good. I was able to catch a few keepers, but the majority of my fish came from Turners Cove."

What could be most ironic about Benton's victory is the fact that it almost didn't happen. When the call came from FLW that he had been accepted, Benton originally declined his spot in the field.

"When I got the call from (FLW Tour Tournament Director) Bill Taylor to come fish with FLW, I couldn't afford it," Benton said. "Lee Barker from Angler's Tackle in Panama City wouldn't accept that answer. He told me that I needed to be there, and loaned me the money to go fish. To come down here and get the win is unbelievable."  

The top 10 pros finished the tournament in:

            1st:     Drew Benton, Panama City, Fla., 20 bass, 75-7, $100,000
            2nd:    Keystone Light pro Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 20 bass, 70-8, $35,000
            3rd:     Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 20 bass, 67-12, $30,000
            4th:       Wade Hendricks, Thompsons Station, Tenn., 20 bass, 66-13, $25,000
            5th:     Rick Cotten, Guntersville, Ala., 16 bass, 66-11, $20,000
            6th:     Casey Martin, New Market, Ala., 20 bass, 61-14, $17,000
            7th:     Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 20 bass, 60-14, $16,000
            8th:     Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., 20 bass, 58-13, $15,000
            9th:     Keystone Light pro Chad Grigsby, Maple Grove, Minn., 20 bass, 55-10, $14,000 
            10th:   Castrol pro Philip Jarabeck, Lynchburg, Va., 20 bass, 55-10, $13,000

A complete list of results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.

Overall there were 48 bass weighing 102 pounds, 11 ounces caught by pros Sunday. The catch included nine five-bass limits.

Justin Jones of Apex, N.C., won the co-angler division and $25,250 Saturday with a three-day total of 11 bass weighing 39 pounds, 4 ounces, followed by Richard Peek of Centre, Ala., in second place with 13 bass weighing 35-8 worth $7,500.

Pros are competed for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. The top 35 anglers in the point standings from the six events on the 2013 Walmart FLW Tour will qualify. The 2013 Forrest Wood Cup will be in Shreveport, La., Aug. 15-18 on the Red River.

The Tour stop on Lake Okeechobee presented by Mercury Marine was hosted by Roland & Mary Ann Martin's Marina & Resort and the Hendry County Tourism Development Council and was the first of six events on the Walmart FLW Tour in the 2013 season. The next Walmart FLW Tour event will be held at Smith Mountain Lake presented by Evinrude and will be held March 7-10 in Jasper, Ala. The event will be hosted by the Walker County Chamber of Commerce and boats will launch from Smith Lake Dam Access in Jasper. For a complete schedule, visit FLWOutdoors.com.

Coverage of the Lake Okeechobee tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when "FLW" airs April 7 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 559 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.

ABOUT FLW
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 2013 over the course of 220 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 559 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the "Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water." For more information about FLW visit FLWOutdoors.com and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.

FLWOutdoors.com

 

SOURCE FLW

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
As someone who has been dedicated to automation and Application Release Automation (ARA) technology for almost six years now, one of the most common questions I get asked regards Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Specifically, people want to know whether release automation is still needed when a PaaS is in place, and why. Isn't that what a PaaS provides? A solution to the deployment and runtime challenges of an application? Why would anyone using a PaaS then need an automation engine with workflow ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City, and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, will discuss how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved effi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...