MUSKOGEE — Blake Ellison of Inola won the Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament on the Arkansas River Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 15 pounds, 3 ounces.

The victory earned Ellison $3,553 and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the DeGray Lake Regional Championship in Arkadelphia, Ark., Oct. 22-24, where he could ultimately win a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck. 

“It’s quite an accomplishment to win one of these,” said Ellison, who notched his seventh BFL top-10 finish. “Wins don’t come around all that often. Now I’m looking to build on it and I’ll just go from there.”

Ellison said he caught his fish flipping laydowns and stumps in the Afton Pool.                                      

Rounding out the top five boaters: Jerry Lee of Kiefer (five bass, 14-13, $1,777); Edward Broaddrick of Tulsa (five bass, 14-6, $1,185); Shannon Prophet of Muskogee (five bass, 13-15, $829), and Joe Erwin of Jenks (five bass, 13-13, $711).

Curtis Bowers of Maud took home the Boater Division Big Bass award, earning $455 for a 6-pound, 1-ounce bass. Kenny Blackwood of Rogers, Ark., earned $1,777 as the co-angler winner thanks to five bass weighing 14-2.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers: Bruno Murphy of Springdale, Ark. (five bass, 12-14, $888); Kevin Slate of Choctaw (five bass, 12-9, $592); Eric Dodson of Lindsay (five bass, 11-1, $415), and Ronnie Stiek of Skiatook (four bass, 10-11, $355).

Andrew Shundich of Broken Arrow earned $227 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 4-pound, 6-ounce bass.

The next Okie Division event will be a two-day Super Tournament held on Grand Lake at Grove Oct. 3-4.

The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers in each of the BFL’s 28 divisions at the end of the season advance to a no-entry-fee Regional Championship where boaters fish for a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck and co-anglers fish for a new Ranger boat.

Seven regional championships will each send six boaters and six co-anglers to the no-entry-fee Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy, which features a $1 million purse and a top award of $140,000 in the Boater Division and $70,000 in the Co-angler Division.

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