(Mar 24, 2017 - Russellville, AR.)
As many as 400 pros and co-anglers are set to compete in the Costa FLW Series Central Division opener on Lake Dardanelle, March 30-April 1. The tournament, which is presented by T-H Marine, is the first of three regular-season events scheduled in the Central Division. Pros will be competing for a top award of up to $46,000 in cash and a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.
“This tournament is going to be a really fun event,” said Old Spice pro Greg Bohannan, of Bentonville, Arkansas, a four-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier. “Lake Dardanelle is a great fishery and we are going to be hitting it at the absolute perfect time. The water is on a strong warming trend and the lake has been fishing really, really well. There are going to be a lot of ways to catch them and this event is going to be a power-fisherman’s dream.
“I think we’re going to be hitting the spawn right on top of the head,” Bohannan continued. “I really look for a lot of fish to be shallow, caught off of visible targets. Moving baits are going to play big – ChatterBaits, spinnerbaits and square-billed crankbaits. I think guys who are flipping to targets will also be very strong as well.”
Bohannan said that that the tournament anglers would likely be spread out, “from dam to dam.” He expects that the winner will need to bring a three-day total of 52 to 54 pounds to the scale to have a shot at the win.
“There are going to be some very strong weights in this tournament,” Bohannan said. “I think to even make the top-10 cut to fish the final day you’re going to need to average 15 or 16 pounds a day. I think the winner will likely catch 20 or 21 pounds one day and then back it up with a couple of solid limits.”
Anglers will take off from Lake Dardanelle State Park, located at 2428 Marina Road in Russellville, at 7 a.m. CDT each day. Weigh-ins will be held at the park each day beginning at 3 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public. The event is hosted by Russellville Advertising and Promotions.
In Costa FLW Series regular-season competition, payouts are based on the number of participants competing in the event. At Lake Dardanelle, pros will fish for as much as $46,000 and a Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard if Ranger Cup qualified. Co-anglers will cast for a Ranger Z175 boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude outboard, and an additional $5,000 if Ranger Cup qualified.
The Costa FLW Series consists of five U.S. divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the Costa FLW Series Championship. The 2017 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Nov. 2-4 on Kentucky Lake in Paris, Tennessee.
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.