Fishing & Boating News

Meredith Wins Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division Event on Grand Lake

Rogers wins co-angler title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Mitch Meredith of Hulbert, Oklahoma, weighed a 5-bass limit totaling 18 lbs, 4 oz Saturday to win the Okie Division tournament on Grand Lake and a paycheck worth $7,165.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(May 18, 2015 - GROVE, OK.) Mitch Meredith of Hulbert, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Meredith earned $7,165.
 
“I’ve fished a long time without a win, and this field has some really stiff competition, so I’m proud of what I did out there,” Meredith said.
 
Meredith spent his day working mid-lake areas between Horse Creek and Honey Creek. Starting south, he threw a Carolina-rigged Sooner Run-colored Gene Larew Biffle Bug and caught his first keeper early.
 
“After that I moved on to two deep points and quickly caught a limit of small keepers,” said Meredith. “My boat sat in 35 to 40 feet of water while I casted into about 18 feet.”
 
Around 10:30 a.m. Meredith figured he would need bigger fish to win. Still using the Biffle Bug, he switched strategies and began to flip the steep rocky bluffs, banks and docks as he worked his way up to Honey Creek.
 
“Anywhere I could find steep bluff walls I knew the fish would be heading out into the lake from the coves,” said Meredith. “I started culling a lot after targeting the new spots. Two of my biggest fish – both 5-pounders – came from underneath docks.”
 
Meredith said he caught around 25 keepers over the course of the day.
 
“My key to winning was realizing early in the day that I couldn’t win it out deep and that I had to move to those bluff walls for the big fish,” Meredith said. “Thankfully I didn’t hesitate any longer.”
 
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
 
1st:          Mitch Meredith, Hulbert, Okla., five bass, 18-4, $5,165 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd:         Larry Crouch, Carthage, Mo., five bass, 17-9, $2,582
3rd:          Brad Koehler, Coweta, Okla., five bass, 17-5, $1,722
4th:          Robert Kirtley, Chouteau, Okla., five bass, 16-8, $1,205
5th:          Mark Teply, Midwest City, Okla., five bass, 16-3, $1,033
6th:          Eddie Carper, Valliant, Okla., four bass, 16-1, $947
7th:          Bob Noble, Nowata, Okla., five bass, 15-14, $861
8th:          Brian Dossey, Okmulgee, Okla., five bass, 15-13, $732
8th:          Allen Rude, Pauls Valley, Okla., five bass, 15-13, $732
10th:        Preston Frazell, Cleveland, Okla., five bass, 15-7, $603
             
Carper caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 7 ounces and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $805.
 
James Rogers of Springdale, Arkansas, weighed in five bass totaling 17 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win $2,582 in the co-angler division.
 
The top 10 co-anglers were:
 
1st:          James Rogers, Springdale, Ark., five bass, 17-9, $2,582
2nd:         Steven Bale, Grove, Okla., five bass, 16-13, $1,291
3rd:          Matthew Gregory, Alma, Ark., five bass, 15-4, $863
4th:          Paul Loveland, Grove, Okla., five bass, 14-3, $603
5th:          Beau Govreau, Cedar Hill, Mo., five bass, 14-2, $516
6th:          Scott Parsons, Bentonville, Ark., five bass, 13-3, $473
7th:          Luke Frazier, Skiatook, Okla., three bass, 13-2, $430
8th:          Steven Dowty, Claremore, Okla., four bass, 11-15, $365
8th:          Rome Igarta, Claremore, Okla., three bass, 11-15, $365
10th:        Jereme Cullen, Haysville, Kan., five bass, 11-11, $301
 
Frazier caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $402.
 
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 22-24 Regional Championship on Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri. 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.
 
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