Fishing & Boating News

Beckler, Knaack Tie for Win at Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark                              

Larson wins co-angler title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Matt Beckler of Strafford, Mo. tied for first place in the Ozark Division 15 lbs, 7 oz.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
Todd Knaack of Lawson, Mo. tied for first place in the Ozark Division with 15 lbs, 7 oz.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(May 4, 2015 - KIMBERLING CITY, MO.) Matt Beckler of Strafford, Missouri, and Todd Knaack of Lawson, Missouri, each weighed five-bass limits totaling 15 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to tie for the win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Table Rock Lake. For their victories, each angler earned $3,028.
 Beckler said he chose to target boat docks within various spawning pockets in the mid-lake area with a homemade green-pumpkin-colored shaky-head rig and a 4-inch green-pumpkin Yamamoto Senko .
“There were three pockets where the shad were spawning around the docks,” said Beckler. “I decided to target the deeper docks that were in 12 to 14 feet of water and managed to catch 12 keepers.
“I found there were three different bites throughout the day,” Beckler continued. “In the morning the fish were on the bottom in the shadows. Around 10:30 a.m. the fish suspended underneath the docks around the shad spawn. Then, when the sun was higher in the afternoon, the fish were closer to the surface in the shadows of the dock.
“Most of my bass bit in 10 feet of water,” said Beckler. “I just had to be patient.”
Knaack said he fished slowly in the spawning pockets using a Texas-rigged green-pumpkin-colored Zoom Brush Hog.
“I went looking for stained water. I like fishing that type of color,” said Knaack.
Knaack said he explored around 12 pockets in order to catch his nine keepers.
“I stayed fairly shallow, in 6 feet of water,” said Knaack. “I caught the biggest fish of the tournament, a 4-pound, 14-ouncer, around 11:30. I knew then I had a shot at winning.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st:          Matt Beckler, Strafford, Mo., five bass, 15-7, $3,028
1st:          Todd Knaack, Lawson, Mo., five bass, 15-7, $3,028 + $1,000 Mercury Bonus
3rd:          James Watson, Springfield, Mo., five bass, 15-1, $1,345
4th:          John Hewkin, Sullivan, Mo., five bass, 14-8, $942
5th:          Chuck Baggett, Union, Mo., five bass, 14-5, $807
6th:          Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., five bass, 13-15, $740
7th:          Scotty Villines, Ponca, Ark., five bass, 12-14, $673
8th:          Jamie Kowalsky, Branson West, Mo., five bass, 12-11, $606
9th:          Dennis Berhorst, Holts Summit, Mo., five bass, 12-3, $538
10th:        Roger Fitzpatrick, Eldon, Mo., five bass, 11-14, $471
Knaack also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 4 pounds, 14 ounces and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $545.
Dewey Larson of Fayetteville, Arkansas, weighed in a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 3 ounces Saturday to win $1,981 in the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st:          Dewey Larson, Fayetteville, Ark., five bass, 13-3, $1,981
2nd:         Jeremy Johnson, Kansas City, Kan., five bass, 11-3, $991
3rd:          Rick McGuire, Warrenton, Mo., five bass, 10-11, $662
4th:          Jeremy Rushton, Lees Summit, Mo., five bass, 10-7, $462
5th:          Frank Williams, Saint Charles, Mo., five bass, 10-5, $396
6th:          Clint Long, Raymore, Mo., five bass, 10-4, $363
7th:          Dennis Spell, Bonne Terre, Mo., five bass, 10-3, $330
8th:          Max Wilson, Everton, Mo., four bass, 9-14, $297
9th:          Matt Masters, Branson, Mo., five bass, 8-14, $264
10th:        Stephen Phillips, Springfield, Mo., four bass, 8-12, $231
Larson also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $267.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 15-17 Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, 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 50 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. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Rayovac FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
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 2015 over the course of 240 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 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.