(Mar 13, 2017 - Grove, OK)
Derek Fulps of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 10 ounces, Saturday to win the first T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Okie Division event of 2017 on Grand Lake. For his win, Fulps took home $5,996.
“My three biggest bass came on a Molting Craw-colored Elk River Finesse Jig,” said Fulps, who earned his second career win in FLW competition. “I worked it through mid-lake areas around docks and where bass were staging. I had a lot of success on bluff ends, specifically ones that transitioned into a flat with pea gravel and smaller rock.”
Fulps said that the slope of the bluff ends was an important factor in his areas.
“The bluff ends produced a lot more than the bluffs themselves – I couldn’t find bass on the 45-degree banks,” said Fulps. “By 11 a.m., I had three bass in the boat nearing 17 pounds.”
In the afternoon, Fulps said he continued working bluff ends using a Storm Wiggle Wart. He said he stayed mid-lake, and was able to top off a five-bass limit.
“With 10 minutes left to fish, I caught my sixth keeper and culled out one of the smaller Wiggle Wart fish,” said Fulps. “It came in on a War Eagle Spinnerbait and ended up winning me the event by 3 ounces.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Derek Fulps, Broken Arrow, Okla., five bass, 21-10, $5,996
2nd: Kevin Treece, Fort Smith, Ark., five bass, 21-7, $2,898
3rd: Kyle Kitts, Joplin, Mo., five bass, 19-3, $1,934
4th: Cade Alsbury, Springdale, Ark., five bass, 17-15, $1,352
5th: Larry Crouch, Carthage, Mo., five bass, 17-11, $1,159
6th: Dalton Harbin, Harrah, Okla., four bass, 17-7, $2,008
7th: Luke Frazier, Owasso, Okla., five bass, 17-1, $1,066
8th: James Marsh, Thomas, Okla., five bass, 16-6, $869
9th: Ryan Wilbanks, Wagoner, Okla., five bass, 16-1, $773
10th: Robert Myers, Broken Arrow, Okla., five bass, 15-11, $676
Harbin caught a bass weighing 8 pounds, 2 ounces – the largest of the event – which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $945.
Chris Spence of Marlow, Oklahoma, weighed in three bass totaling 13 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the Co-angler Division and the top prize of $3,370.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Chris Spence, Marlow, Okla., three bass, 13-5, $3,370
2nd: Kurt Gordon, Cushing, Okla., three bass, 11-9, $1,449
3rd: J.P. Northcutt, Wyandotte, Okla., three bass, 8-15, $967
4th: Kevin Tye, Watts, Okla., four bass, 8-8, $676
5th: Chris Rinehart, Mustang, Okla., two bass, 8-5, $580
6th: Phillip Delong, Stillwater, Okla., three bass, 8-4, $531
7th: Christopher Johnson, Kansas, Okla., two bass, 7-9, $483
8th: Patrick Weir, Broken Arrow, Okla., three bass, 7-8, $435
9th: Kevin Turner, Sand Springs, Okla., two bass, 7-7, $586
10th: Jay Nyce, Rogers, Ark., two bass, 7-4, $321
10th: Jimmy Green, Grove, Okla., three bass, 7-4, $321
Spence also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing 9 pounds even. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $472.
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.