Fishing & Boating News

Hipsher Wins Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division Event On Kentucky-Barkley Lakes

Maxwell wins co-angler title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Craig Hipsher of Benton, Kentucky, weighed a 5-bass limit totaling 22 lbs, 8 oz Saturday to win the LBL Division tournament on Kentucky and Barkley lakes and a check for $4,385.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Jun 30, 2015 - GILBERTSVILLE, Ky.)  Craig Hipsher of Benton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, Hipsher earned $4,385.
“Kentucky Lake is fishing great right now,” said Hipsher, who now has six wins in BFL competition. “I couldn’t have asked for a better day on the water.
“I started out the day by hitting a little spot near Ken Lake Marina,” continued Hipsher. “I worked 16 foot main-river ledges while my boat sat in 26 feet of water. The fish were really active. I had a 19-pound limit by 6 a.m. From there I worked my way north along the ledges and stopped at about 20 spots. I’d pull up, make ten casts and if nothing bit I’d move on.”
Hipsher said he caught three of his biggest fish on a shad-colored Accent Fishing Products spinnerbait dressed with a 7½-inch Pearl White-colored Culprit Worm and two more on a Nichols Lures Ben Parker Magnum Spoon.
“Most of the bites came on the Accent when it was falling,” Hipsher said.
Hipsher predicted that he brought in between 30 and 35 bass over the 3-pound mark.
“I probably caught three 20-pound stringers over the course of the day,” Hipsher said. “For me, knowing enough places to find new schools is what helped the most.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st:          Craig Hipsher, Benton, Ky., five bass, 22-8, $4,385
2nd:         Logan Thomas, Gilbertsville, Ky., five bass, 21-0, $2,193
3rd:          Gary Edwards, Milton, Ky., five bass, 19-15, $1,463
4th:          Rob Vannerson, Benton, Ky., five bass, 19-11, $1,023
5th:          Ray Barga, Benton, Ky., five bass, 19-10, $877
6th:          Kyle Metzger, Paducah, Ky., five bass, 19-8, $804
7th:          Stephen Barga, Benton, Ky., five bass, 19-3, $731
8th:          Chad Porter, Paducah, Ky., five bass, 18-12, $658
9th:          Chris Beaudrie, Shepherdsville, Ky., five bass, 18-11, $548
9th:          Drew Boggs, Lebanon, Tenn., five bass, 18-11, $548
Edwards caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 5 ounces and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $620.
Jeff Maxwell of Flora, Indiana, weighed in four bass totaling 17 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win $2,193 in the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st:          Jeff Maxwell, Flora, Ind., four bass, 17-15, $2,193
2nd:         Michael Swift, Alma, Ill., five bass, 17-2, $1,096
3rd:          Joey Schmidt, Hickory, Ky., five bass, 17-1, $730
4th:          James Kelley, Maryland Heights, Mo., five bass, 16-13, $512
5th:          Benton Peoples, Bardstown, Ky., five bass, 16-12, $439
6th:          Bill Gabel, Willowbrook, Ill., five bass, 14-13, $402
7th:          Claude Cobb, Lexington, Ky., five bass, 14-12, $365
8th:          Jeff Johnston, Nashville, Tenn., five bass, 14-5, $329
9th:          Trevor Gooch, Yuma, Tenn., five bass, 14-4, $292
10th:        Todd Haynes, Philpot, Ky., five bass, 13-13, $256
Maxwell also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $310.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 22-24 Regional Championship on Neely Henry Lake in Gadsden, Alabama. 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.