(May 23, 2016 - GILBERTSVILLE, Ky.)
Ron Smith of Walton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 4 ounces, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) LBL Division tournament of 2016 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, Smith took home $5,394.
“It feels great to get the win, but I was definitely very lucky,” said Smith, who earned his first career win in FLW competition. “I thought I was going to catch one 4- or 5-pounder in my area, but I ended up catching four.”
Smith said that he caught 12 keepers throughout the day on just one bait – a shaky-head jig rigged with a green-pumpkin Z-Man Finesse Wormz.
“I was fishing transitions and channel creek swings on Kentucky Lake, catching fish in 7 to 9 feet of water,” Smith said. “I only fished in two different areas all day long.
“I’d finished in every place from second to last,” Smith went on to say. “I’m shocked that I won by the margin that I did, but it feels great to finally get a win.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Ron Smith, Walton, Ky., five bass, 22-4, $5,394
2nd: Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, five bass, 17-13, $2,197
3rd: Bobby McMullin, Pevely, Mo., five bass, 17-11, $1,464
4th: Roger Smith, Auburn, Ind., five bass, 17-6, $1,025
5th: Kelly Noonan, Gilbertsville, Ky., five bass, 16-3, $879
6th: Craig Hipsher, Benton, Ky., five bass, 15-11, $805
7th: Scott McGlinchey, Gilbertsville, Ky., five bass, 15-9, $695
7th: Roger Hensley, Jonesboro, Ind., five bass, 15-9, $695
9th: Mike Saleeba, Manitou, Ky., five bass, 15-6, $586
10th: Bob Drake, Noblesville, Ind., five bass, 15-0, $513
Daniel Maiden of McHenry, Kentucky, caught a 5-pound, 9-ounce bass – the biggest of the tournament in the boater division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $630.
Jeremy Jones of Gallatin, Tennessee, weighed in five bass totaling 17 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to earn $2,197 and win the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Jeremy Jones, Gallatin, Tenn., five bass, 17-2, $2,197
2nd: John Wilkerson, Nashville, Tenn., five bass, 15-13, $1,413
3rd: Reid Kesel, Bonnots Mill, Mo., four bass, 15-0, $733
4th: Donald Oksanen, Chicago, Ill., five bass, 14-11, $513
5th: Dean Dearwester, Cincinnati, Ohio, five bass, 14-3, $439
6th: Joe Long, Moscow, Tenn., five bass, 13-4, $403
7th: Gabe Montgomery, Jackson, Mo., five bass, 13-3, $366
8th: Calvin Fitch, Kokomo, Ind., five bass, 12-14, $330
9th: Joe James, Jackson, Mo., five bass, 12-9, $293
10th: Benton Peoples, Bardstown, Ky., five bass, 12-3, $243
Wilkerson caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 2 ounces and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $315.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Sept. 29-Oct. 1 Regional Championship on Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, Tennessee. 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.