(Apr 3, 2017 - MUSKOGEE, OK.)
Sean McAllister of Checotah, Oklahoma, weighed a 16-pound, 15-ounce five-bass limit Saturday to take top honors at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Okie Division event on the Arkansas River. For his win, McAllister took home $7,441.
McAllister said he split his day between the Kerr and Muskogee pools where he worked an assortment of lures along grasslines. He said he used two baits to catch the bulk of his fish early on – a green-pumpkin-colored Zoom Brush Hog, and a green-pumpkin Strike King Rage Craw, rigged on a swim jig.
“The bite was slow in the morning, but improved as the day continued,” said McAllister, who notched his second career-win in BFL competition. “My first fish – a 4½-pounder – came after 45 minutes on the water. Even though the bite improved, the wind was horrible. It’s not an easy thing to deal with when you’re trying to flip and make precision casts. I just kept my head down and stayed focused.”
McAllister said he finished his day in the Muskogee pool and used a War Eagle spinnerbait to round out his limit.
“I moved into a couple of pockets to hit some more grass edges and was able to cull out some earlier catches,” said McAllister. “They were the ones that catapulted me to the top and helped me edge out Shonn (Goodwin). It’s really special when you can pull off of a win like that.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Sean McAllister, Checotah, Okla., five bass, 16-15, $5,441 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Shonn Goodwin, Moore, Okla., five bass, 16-7, $2,720
3rd: Ed Barton, Vian, Okla., five bass, 14-14, $1,748
4th: Derek Fulps, Broken Arrow, Okla., five bass, 14-13, $1,223
5th: Ryan Wilbanks, Wagoner, Okla., five bass, 14-6, $1,048
6th: Gene Robertson, Ardmore, Okla., five bass, 14-5, $961
7th: Mark Johnson, Weleetka, Okla., five bass, 13-15, $873
8th: Joe Erwin, Cleora, Okla., five bass, 13-6, $742
8th: Jacob Capps, Muskogee, Okla., five bass, 13-6, $742
10th: Keith Hays, Broken Arrow, Okla., five bass, 13-5, $580
10th: Lance Crawford, Broken Bow, Okla., five bass, 13-5, $580
Kelly Wood of Bixby, Oklahoma, caught a bass weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $825.
Nathan Christie of Claremore, Oklahoma, weighed in five bass totaling 15 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the Co-angler Division and the top prize of $2,620.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Nathan Christie, Claremore, Okla., five bass, 15-4, $2,620
2nd: Matthew Gregory, Alma, Ark., five bass, 12-2, $1,310
3rd: Mark Palesano, Anadarko, Okla., five bass, 12-0, $877
4th: Eric Reeve, Muskogee, Okla., five bass, 10-2, $611
5th: William Hudson, Norman, Okla., three bass, 10-1, $524
6th: Devlin McVicker, Sand Springs, Okla., four bass, 9-5, $458
6th: Alan Bernicky, Joliet, Ill., two bass, 9-5, $1,070
8th: Jason Clark, Bixby, Okla., four bass, 9-1, $393
9th: Rick Hogsett, Pryor, Okla., three bass, 8-15, $349
10th: Matthew Clark, Norman, Okla., four bass, 8-12, $290
10th: Cord Colwell, Pryor, Okla., four bass, 8-12, $340
Bernicky weighed the biggest bass among Co-angler Division anglers, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 7 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $412.
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.