(Nov 14, 2016 - OSAGE BEACH, Mo.)
Jeff Knight of Cleveland, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 12 ounces, Saturday to win the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card event on Lake of the Ozarks, with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 38 pounds, 12 ounces. For his win, Knight earned $4,475 and a berth into the 2017 BFL All-American Championship.
Knight said he spent the event targeting boat docks, specifically in areas between Galena Point and Lynch Hollow.
“All of my fish came from the back of the boat slips,” said Knight, who earned his fourth win in FLW competition. “I focused on docks with big boulder rocks behind them. That was the key. I flipped over cables and under the walkways - the big ones were just lying there.”
Knight said he used one lure throughout the event - a ½-ounce green-pumpkin-colored custom jig with a green-pumpkin Strike King Rage Craw trailer.
“I flipped it into 8 to 12 feet of water while I sat in about 10 to 12 feet,” said Knight. “I hit around 30 docks per day. Once I discovered the pattern, I didn’t need anything else.”
While his pattern did not produce many fish, Knight said it was the size of the fish that helped him get the win.
“After catching 10 keepers on Friday, I only put five in the boat on Saturday,” said Knight. “Luckily, those five fell into place for me.”
The top six boaters that qualified for the 2017 BFL All-American were:
1st: Jeff Knight, Cleveland, Tenn., 10 bass, 38-12, $4,475
2nd: Dylan Duncan, Kansas, Okla., 10 bass, 36-15, $2,683
3rd: Bennie Mutter, Glasgow, Ky., 10 bass, 34-0, $1,510
4th: Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., 10 bass, 33-1, $1,316
5th: Brent Anderson, Kingston Springs, Tenn., nine bass, 31-5, $953
6th: Adam Ohms, Edwardsville, Ill., 10 bass, 29-7
Rounding out the top-10 boaters were:
7th: Jeremy Medina, Camdenton, Mo., 10 bass, 29-2, $827
8th: Nalon Jones, Marshfield, Mo., 10 bass, 29-1
9th: Josh Busby, Rogersville, Mo., 10 bass, 29-1, $730
10th: David McCormick, Lees Summit, Mo., 10 bass, 28-1, $681
James Dill of Laurie, Missouri, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Boater Division Friday, a fish weighing 7 pounds, 1 ounce, which earned him the day’s Big Bass Award of $245.
Craig Rose of Olathe, Kansas, won the co-angler division and $2,016 with a two-day cumulative catch of eight bass weighing 22 pounds, 6 ounces.
The top six co-anglers that qualified for the 2017 BFL All-American were:
1st: Craig Rose, Olathe, Kan., eight bass, 22-6, $2,016
2nd: Richard Hooter, Natchitoches, La., 10 bass, 21-1, $1,008
3rd: Mike Youngblood, St. Louis, Mo., nine bass, 20-15, $679
4th: Dale Renth, Mascoutah, Ill., nine bass, 17-8, $548
5th: Stefan Marginean, Glenview, Ill., nine bass, 16-7
6th: Rob Melendez, Frankfort, Ill., six bass, 16-4, $200
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers were:
7th: Morgan McLain, Lenexa, Kan., five bass, 16-2, $535
8th: Scott McCleery, Winchester, Ill., four bass, 13-3, $372
9th: Brian Liming, Dilsboro, Ind., four bass, 11-6, $329
10th: Scott Stallings, Glencoe, Okla., four bass, 11-2, $357
Morgan McLain of Lenexa, Kansas, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Friday, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 9 ounces, which earned him the day’s Big Bass Award of $106.
The 2016 BFL Wild Card on Lake of the Ozarks was hosted by the Tri-County Lodging Association and Convention & Visitors Bureau.
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. The 2017 BFL All-American will be held May 31-June 3 on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Alabama. 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, South Korea and South Africa. 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.