(Mar 6, 2017 - Brookeland, TX)
Jason Bonds of Lufkin, Texas, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 31 pounds, 5 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy Division event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Bonds took home $8,941 for his win.
Bonds said he began his day sight-fishing for mid-lake bass using a Texas-rigged Blue Craw-colored Strike King Rage Bug. He said he caught two keepers that made it to the scale.
“I caught a 9-pounder, and one that was close to 8 pounds,” said Bonds, who earned his second win on Sam Rayburn in BFL competition. “I made my way through four or five pockets, and was able to catch some pretty nice fish.”
Around 11 a.m., Bonds said he began throwing a White Shadow-colored Strike King Popping Perch and an Electric Shad-colored Strike King Rage Swimmer and was able to put some more quality bass in the boat.
“I targeted bass that weren’t spawning yet in the same pockets,” said Bonds. “They either were finished spawning or cruising around looking for beds. The Popping Perch hasn’t been around too long, so I don’t think a lot of the fish have seen it. It’s got a unique sound to it.”
In the afternoon, Bonds said he returned to his sight-fishing hot spots to round out his limit.
“I knew where a couple of bass would be that would help me so I went back and caught them,” said Bonds.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Jason Bonds, Lufkin, Texas, five bass, 31-5, $6,941 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Albert Collins, Nacogdoches, Texas, five bass, 24-0, $2,875
3rd: Jeff Bridges, Lumberton, Texas, five bass, 20-8, $1,846
4th: Justin O`Brian-Cooper, Pelican, La., five bass, 20-6, $1,295
5th: Clint West, Beaumont, Texas, five bass, 19-12, $1,110
6th: Lane McGaha, Dubach, La., five bass, 19-6, $1,018
7th: Jacob Root, Brookeland, Texas, five bass, 19-5, $925
8th: Brandon Booth, Bryan, Texas, five bass, 19-1, $786
8th: Randy Deaver, Blanchard, La., five bass, 19-1, $786
10th: Blake Schroeder, Whitehouse, Texas, five bass, 18-9, $648
Bonds’ biggest bass, which weighed in at 9 pounds even, was the largest of the event and also earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $890.
Hugh Cosculluela of The Woodlands, Texas, weighed in five bass totaling 26 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the Co-angler Division and the top prize of $2,775.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Hugh Cosculluela, The Woodlands, Texas, five bass, 26-7, $2,775
2nd: John Ellender Jr., Hemphill, Texas, five bass, 19-8, $1,388
3rd: Wade Bryan, Broaddus, Texas, five bass, 19-6, $1,369
4th: Robert Royal, Vidor, Texas, five bass, 17-10, $648
5th: Steven Fisher, Lufkin, Texas, five bass, 16-9, $555
6th: Keith Kimbrough, Woden, Texas, five bass, 16-2, $486
6th: James Moore Jr., Lampasas, Texas, five bass, 16-2, $686
8th: Cody Gage, Jasper, Texas, five bass, 15-14, $393
8th: Travis Pearson, Trout, La., five bass, 15-14, $393
10th: Ronnie Talbot, Mexia, Texas, five bass, 15-6, $324
Bryan caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division, a largemouth weighing 9 pounds, 8 ounces, and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $445.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 19-21 BFL Regional Championship on the Red River in Bossier City, Louisiana. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.
The 2017 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they 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 performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the 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 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 274 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.