Fishing & Boating News

Joplin’s Kitts Wins FLW Bass Fishing League Okie Division Opener On Grand Lake

Locust Grove’s Bowling wins co-angler title

by: Joe Opager, Director of Public Relations,

Kyle Kitts of Joplin, Missouri, weighed a 5-bass limit totaling 23 lbs, 11 ozs,to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Okie Division tournament of 2016 on Grand Lake.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Mar 21, 2016 - Grove,OK.)

Kyle Kitts of Joplin, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 11 ounces, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Okie Division tournament of 2016 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Kitts took home $6,975.
“The key for me was fishing the docks and banks that the wind was blowing into,” said Kitts, who earned the first victory of his career in FLW competition. “It was extremely windy and most people were trying to avoid it as much as possible, myself included. But once I started catching them I realized I needed to fish the areas where the bait was being blown.

“I used a Yum Baits Yumbrella Flash Mob Jr. with white Keitech Swing Impact swimbaits all day long. I fished around deep water all day, but the bass were all pretty shallow. Even when I’d pull up and fish some of the deeper docks, the bass were suspended right below the surface.”

Kitts said that he caught 12 or 13 keepers throughout the day, and weighed in two fish that were more than 5 pounds.

“They bit pretty steadily throughout the day,” Kitts said. “It seems like I’ve been fishing in BFL events for a long time, and these tournaments are always very tough. It’s really nice to finally get a win.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
               1st:          Kyle Kitts, Joplin, Mo., five bass, 23-11, $6,975
               2nd:         Eric Faucett, Moore, Okla., five bass, 21-9, $2,737
               3rd:          Brad Tillman, Skiatook, Okla., five bass, 20-13, $1,827
               4th:          Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., five bass, 20-12, $1,277
               5th:          Charlie Apperson, Jay, Okla., five bass, 20-7, $1,095
               6th:          Jerry Weisinger, Jay, Okla., five bass, 19-11, $1,004
               7th:          Sheldon Collings, Grove, Okla., five bass, 19-10, $866
               7th:          Shannon Prophet, Muskogee, Okla., five bass, 19-10, $1,736
               9th:          Josh Hilton, Clarksville, Ark., five bass, 19-9, $730
               10th:        Nick Kincaid, Coweta, Okla., five bass, 18-11, $639
Prophet caught a 7-pound, 2-ounce bass – the biggest of the tournament in the pro division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $870.
Chance Bowling of Locust Grove, Oklahoma, weighed in five bass totaling 15 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to earn $2,737 and win the co-angler division.

The top 10 co-anglers were:
               1st:          Chance Bowling, Locust Grove, Okla., five bass, 15-2, $2,737
               2nd:         Jeffrey Bullinger, Sapulpa, Okla., five bass, 15-0, $1,369
               3rd:          Devin Duncan, Kansas, Okla., three bass, 12-11, $913
               4th:          Dan McFarland, Enid, Okla., four bass, 12-9, $639
               5th:          Chris Spence, Marlow, Okla., five bass, 12-5, $547
               6th:          Eric Reeve, Muskogee, Okla., five bass, 12-3, $502
               7th:          Kyle Pride, Skiatook, Okla., four bass, 11-4, $456
               8th:          Damon Duncan, Kansas, Okla., five bass, 11-0, $411
               9th:          Matthew Clark, Norman, Okla., three bass, 10-12, $365
               10th:        Josh Dozier, Grove, Okla., four bass, 10-10, $319

Bryan Schuster of Oklahoma City caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 5 ounces and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $435.

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.

About FLW
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.