(Feb 15, 2016 - Brookeland, TX)
Clayton Boulware of Zavalla, Texas, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 24 pounds, 11 ounces, Saturday to win the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy Division tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Navionics. For his victory, Boulware took home $4,948.
“I ran to a creek bend on the north end of the lake that has a hump with clay and rock on it,” said Boulware, who logged the first BFL win of his career. “That slight elevation is called the ‘sweet spot’ and it’s only a 10- by 10-foot square. The key is to pull in there and see if there’s shad. If they’re there, you’ll likely get a limit within minutes. You have to be quick though, because the bite usually dies off by 8 a.m.”
Boulware said he arrived at the spot around 7:45 a.m. and used a Citrus Shad-colored Bomber Fat Free Shad Crankbait to begin accruing his winning stringer.
“I quickly caught a 5½- and 6-pounder in the sweet spot, all before 8 a.m.,” Boulware said. “The bite slowed around 8:30 so I took out a Texas-rigged, Blue Fleck-colored Big Bite Baits Kriet Tail Worm and boated two 4-pounders by 9.”
With four keepers in the livewell, Boulware said he caught his fifth using a homemade shaky-head jig rigged with a Blue Fleck Big Bite Baits Finesse Worm before the sweet spot went dormant. From there, he ran farther north to try and cull before his day concluded.
“The final area I targeted was a pocket that had some milfoil,” said Boulware. “I caught one more on a white Z-Man ChatterBait and culled, and that’s what I took to the scale. Luckily the five bass I had were enough to win.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Clayton Boulware , Zavalla, Texas, five bass, 24-11, $4,948
2nd: Domonick Poullard, Houston, Texas, five bass, 23-15, $2,474
3rd: Dicky Newberry, Houston, Texas, five bass, 22-10, $1,649
4th: Stephen Johnston, Hemphill, Texas, five bass, 22-0, $1,910
5th: Phil Marks, Dallas, Texas, five bass, 20-12, $990
6th: Blake Schroeder, Whitehouse, Texas, five bass, 20-4, $866
6th: Albert Collins, Nacogdoches, Texas, five bass, 20-4, $866
8th: Troy Roder, Brookeland, Texas, five bass, 19-13, $742
9th: Charles Dubroc, Hessmer, La., five bass, 18-10, $960
10th: Billy Guinn, Shreveport, La., five bass, 18-9, $577
Johnston caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 9 pounds, 11 ounces and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $755.
Matthew Derr of Tyler, Texas, weighed in a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to earn $2,474 and win the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Matthew Derr, Tyler, Texas, five bass, 17-9, $2,474
2nd: Matthew Kay, League City, Texas, five bass, 14-7, $1,237
3rd: Wesley Meeks, Mont Belvieu, Texas, five bass, 14-5, $824
4th: Russell Lewis, Pineville, La., five bass, 13-15, $577
5th: John Goebel, Lumberton, Texas, five bass, 13-12, $495
6th: Joe Marino, Bryan, Texas, five bass, 13-10, $454
7th: Clay Phillips, Huntington, Texas, five bass, 13-9, $412
8th: Matt Hilton, Laurel, Miss., five bass, 13-7, $371
9th: James Callaghan, De Berry, Texas, four bass, 13-6, $330
10th: Joshua Wendt, Fulshear, Texas, five bass, 13-4, $289
Michael Conaway of Magnolia, Texas, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 8 pounds, 12 ounces and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $377.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 27-29 Regional Championship on Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, Arkansas. 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 are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.