Fishing & Boating News

Missouri’s Smith Wins FLW Bass Fishing League Ozark Division Event on Grand Lake

Delong wins co-angler title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Jeffrey Smith of Knob Noster, Mo, weighed a 5-bass limit totaling 17 lbs, 6 ozs, to win the (BFL) Ozark Division tournament on Grand Lake.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(May 16, 2016 - Grove,OK.)

 Jeffrey Smith of Knob Noster, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 6 ounces, Saturday to win the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Ozark Division tournament on Grand Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Smith took home $4,235.
“In the morning I ran to a backwater pocket on the north end that was littered with riprap,” said Smith, who earned the second win of his FLW career. “There was a low bridge, but with my new aluminum Ranger I was able to raise the trolling motor and get under it. No one else could get back to where the rain had pushed the fish to.

“In the backwater I caught three of my limit fish – including a 5-pounder – flipping a Black Neon-colored Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver,” Smith continued. “They were in about a foot of water along scattered wood, logs and laydowns.”

At 8 a.m., Smith said he ran to his second area – a ledge off of a point in a Honey Creek cove – to focus on postspawn bass.

“I filled my limit with a shaky-head rig with a green-pumpkin Zoom Magnum Worm,” said Smith. “I fished in 12 feet of water and ran the bait slow along the bottom. I ended up with five bites all day and they paid off.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
               1st:          Jeffrey Smith, Knob Noster, Mo., five bass, 17-6, $4,235
               2nd:         Benjamin King, Garnett, Kan., five bass, 17-5, $2,118
               3rd:          Tim Fleetwood, Forsyth, Mo., five bass, 16-15, $1,713
               4th:          Matthew Roberts, Osage Beach, Mo., five bass, 16-12, $988
               5th:          Nick Lebrun, Bossier City, La., five bass, 16-10, $847
               6th:          Brad Koehler, Coweta, Okla., five bass, 15-14, $776
               7th:          Thomas Canady, Bartlesville, Okla., five bass, 15-9, $670
               7th:          Wes Endicott, Joplin, Mo., five bass, 15-9, $670
               9th:          Ben Verhoef, Osage Beach, Mo., five bass, 15-7, $565
               10th:        Preston Frazell, Cleveland, Okla., five bass, 15-1, $494
James Rogers of Springdale, Arkansas, caught a 5-pound, 13-ounce bass – the biggest of the tournament in the pro division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $590.

Phillip Delong of Stillwater, Oklahoma, weighed in five bass totaling 16 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the co-angler division and earn $2,118.

The top 10 co-anglers were:
               1st:          Phillip Delong, Stillwater, Okla., five bass, 16-1, $2,118
               2nd:         Denise Dill, Laurie, Mo., five bass, 12-15, $1,059
               3rd:          Aaron Strohkirch, Camdenton, Mo., five bass, 12-9, $706
               4th:          Johnny Ward Jr., Waynesville, Mo., four bass, 12-3, $494
               5th:          Rich Purington, Plattsmouth, Neb., five bass, 11-2, $406
               5th:          Richard Bower III, Jefferson City, Mo., five bass, 11-2, $406
               7th:          Reggie Britt, Prairie Village, Kan., four bass, 10-3, $353
               8th:          Randy Staton, Muskogee, Okla., four bass, 9-15, $318
               9th:          Cody Millican, Highlandville, Mo., five bass, 9-13, $282
               10th:        Dan Goetz, Columbia, Ill., three bass, 9-6, $234
               10th:        Grant Nisbet, St. Louis, Mo., two bass, 9-6, $529

Nisbet caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 12 ounces and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $295.

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.