(Nov 6, 2016 - Branson,MO)
Pat Fisher of Colbert, Georgia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 15 pounds even Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Championship on Table Rock Lake, which featured 192 of the top semi-pro boaters and co-anglers from across the globe. Fisher’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 40 pounds, 4 ounces, earned him $50,200 and a coveted spot in the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing.
“I haven’t fished at this level in years, so this tournament was like a family reunion,” said Fisher, who spent eight years on the FLW Tour before stepping away in 2008. “I’ve always been very competitive, so it feels great to win.
“I came into this event after having the worst practice I’ve ever had,” Fisher continued. “On Day One, I went to a 200-yard stretch of bank way up the James River that I had a little success on. I sat in about 4 feet of water, throwing to bass that were shallower – maybe about a foot down. It was cloudy, so I threw a ¼-ounce white and blue-colored Boogerman Buzzbait and was able to catch nine keepers including a decent kicker.”
On Day Two, competitors were held at the marina for two hours due to excessive fog. Although the delay cut a large chunk out of Fisher’s day, he said he was still able to salvage a solid limit.
“I ran back up to the James River area and arrived at 11 a.m.,” said Fisher. “It was bright and slick so I knew they wouldn’t eat the buzzbait. I picked up a custom shaky-head rigged with a green pumpkin-colored Zoom Trick Worm and threw it around for a while. The largest piece of laydown in the area – a tree – produced around 30 fish for me. It was my magic tree.”
Fisher said he capped off the event by returning to his main stretch on Day Three, but this time, he was able to cover water more efficiently.
“I left two really big fish up there, so I narrowed my area to a 75-yard stretch,” said Fisher. “I threw to any cover I could. After the sun came out, I went back to my magic tree and caught six or seven big ones on the buzzbait. I guess it took me some more time during the tournament to figure them out.”
The top finishing boater from each of the six Costa FLW Series divisions that qualified for the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup were:
1st: Pat Fisher, Colbert, Ga., 15 bass, 40-4, $50,200
2nd: Cody Bird, Granbury, Texas, 15 bass, 38-11, $25,000
4th: Old Spice pro Greg Bohannan, Bentonville, Ark., 15 bass, 33-1, $15,000 + $2,000 Ranger Cup bonus
11th: Joel Richardson, Kernersville, N.C., 10 bass, 19-14, $4,000
29th: Roy Hawk, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., six bass, 15-10, $2,500
51st: Hyo chul Kim, South Korea, six bass, 11-15
Additionally, the overall top five finishers that were not already selected as the highest finisher in their division qualify for the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup. Those five anglers were:
3rd: Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., 15 bass, 36-14, $20,000
5th: Christopher Jones, Bokoshe, Okla., 14 bass, 31-7, $10,100
6th: Travis Fox, Rogers, Ark., 12 bass, 28-3, $8,000
7th: Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., 14 bass, 28-0, $7,000
8th: Bradford Beavers, Ridgeville, S.C., 14 bass, 27-14, $6,000
The 2017 Forrest Wood Cup will be held Aug. 11-13 at Lake Murray in Columbia, South Carolina.
Tyler Sheppard of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, won the co-angler division and $30,100, including a Ranger Z175 boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude outboard with a three-day total of 10 bass weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces. Michael Black of Toledo, Illinois, finished in second place with 10 bass weighing 22 pounds, 1 ounce, worth $12,500.
The top 10 co-anglers finished:
1st: Tyler Sheppard, Hermitage, Pa., 10 bass, 23-10, $30,100
2nd: Michael Black, Toledo, Ill., 10 bass, 22-1, $12,500
3rd: Richard Jordan, Muncy Valley, Pa., eight bass, 16-5, $10,000
4th: Robert Myers, Broken Arrow, Okla., seven bass, 13-8, $7,550
5th: David Hudson, Jasper, Ala., five bass, 11-2, $5,000
6th: Raymond Tak, Los Angeles, Calif., five bass, 10-14, $4,000
7th: Benjamin Tawney, Slippery Rock, Pa., five bass, 10-8, $3,500
8th: Joe Lane, Republic, Mo., five bass, 9-5, $3,000
9th: Jonathan Shockey, Fort Smith, Ark., three bass, 8-7, $2,500
10th: Rob Bueltmann, Osage Beach, Mo., four bass, 8-6, $2,000
The Costa FLW Series Championship at Table Rock Lake was hosted by ExploreBranson.com.
In Costa FLW Series regular-season competition, each division competes in three tournaments, with competitors vying for valuable points to earn their way into the top 40 and the opportunity to fish in the Costa FLW Series Championship.
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, South Africa 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.