(Mar 22, 2016 - Russellville, AR.)
The Costa FLW Series is headed to Lake Dardanelle March 31 to April 2 for a tournament presented by Mercury when as many as 400 pros and co-anglers will take to the water for the first stop of 2016 in the Central Division.
“Lake Dardanelle is well-populated with bass so I think we’re going to see anglers utilizing a lot of different areas and techniques,” said Walmart FLW Tour pro Scott Suggs of Alexander, Arkansas, the 2007 Forrest Wood Cup Champion. “Both prespawn and spawning bass will be in play which means more options for catching fish.
“In areas closer to the main river, they’ll be targeting prespawners,” Suggs continued. “The majority of the lake is stained, so we’ll likely see a lot of moving baits in play such as vibrating jigs and spinnerbaits. If the water is clear, competitors will be able to slow things down with a Texas-rigged worm or a swimbait.”
Suggs said that anglers who choose to focus on spawning bass will catch them ”blind fishing” – a term he uses to describe catching spawning bass in dirty water.
“We’ll likely see competitors dialing in on what depth and cover the bass are spawning at to find a pattern,” said Suggs. “Basically they’ll be catching spawners they can’t see. Typical spawning baits like wacky-rigged worms will be the deal. That’s how I think a lot of fish are going to be caught at this tournament.”
Suggs went on to say that a three-day total nearing 55 pounds should be enough to win the event.
“The lake is right on the verge of producing some really big weights,” said Suggs. “If someone gets the right thing going, they should be able to bring in at least two 20-pound stringers with an additional 15-pounder to round it out.”
Anglers will take off from Lake Dardanelle State Park located at 2428 Marina Road in Russellville at 7 a.m. CST each day. Weigh-in on Thursday and Friday will be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at Walmart located at 2409 E. Main St. in Russellville beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
The tournament is being hosted by the Russellville Advertising and Promotions offices.
Pros will fish for a top award of $40,000 plus a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.
The Costa FLW Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the Costa FLW Series Championship. The 2016 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Nov. 3-5 on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri.
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.