(Apr 11, 2017 - BIRDSEYE, IN.)
Boater Craig Carns of Noblesville, Indiana, weighed four bass totaling 20 pounds, 12 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Hoosier Division event on Lake Patoka presented by Navionics. Carns took home $4,872 for his victory.
“I only managed four bites, but I’m lucky that they were big bites,” said Carns, who earned the first win of his BFL career in his second career event. “I’m originally from Pennsylvania, and it was only my second time fishing the lake. I had gone out last weekend for a day and I found a little bit of a pattern – wind-blown main-lake points. I was catching them with a swimbait and jerkbait, so I went with that again in the tournament.
“I hit several different points throughout the day,” Carns continued. “The fish were still pretty deep, but they were coming up from 16 feet and just hammering my bait. I just cruised around and was trying to find the cleaner water with the wind-blown points. I had several followers but it was tough getting them to commit.”
Carns credited his 7-foot, 6-inch heavy-action Kistler rod as being the key to his win, along with some jerkbait tips that he had gotten back in Pennsylvania.
“I relied on advice that I was given from my pals at Susquehanna Fishing Tackle store in Columbia, Pennsylvania,” Carns said. “They taught me how to fish a jerkbait at this time of year and how to use the sun to my advantage.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Craig Carns, Noblesville, Ind., four bass, 20-12, $4,872
2nd: Jim Pickett, Trafalgar, Ind., five bass, 18-4, $2,436
3rd: Billy Baar, New Whiteland, Ind., four bass, 14-15, $1,623
4th: Stu Moyer, Indianapolis, Ind., four bass, 13-0, $1,337
5th: Scott Bateman, Jasper, Ind., three bass, 12-14, $1,074
6th: Chris Myers, Madison, Ind., three bass, 12-10, $893
7th: Todd Hensley, New Albany, Ind., three bass, 11-14, $812
8th: Dick Shaffer, Rockford, Ohio, three bass, 11-9, $1,466
9th: Jeremy New, Yorktown, Ind., three bass, 11-2, $650
10th: Daniel Langton, Haubstadt, Ind., three bass, 11-0, $568
Shaffer caught a 7-pound, 2-ounce bass, which was the heaviest of the tournament in the Boater Division. The catch earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $735
Laithen McBrayer of Hobart, Indiana, weighed in one bass totaling 7 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the Co-angler Division and the top prize of $2,765, along with the Co-angler Big Bass Award of $362.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Laithen McBrayer, Hobart, Ind., one bass, 7-5, $2,765
2nd: Nicole Foor, Greens Fork, Ind., two bass, 7-4, $1,301
3rd: Jordan Nauert, Fillmore, Ind., two bass, 7-2, $806
4th: Garron Sneed, Charlestown, Ind., one bass, 5-10, $561
5th: Ronnie Gill, Indianapolis, Ind., one bass, 5-7, $481
6th: Vincent Dellolio, Brownsburg, Ind., one bass, 5-5, $441
7th: Michael Fairgrief, Indianapolis, Ind., one bass, 5-3, $380
7th: Robert Trey Lenear, Owenton, Ky., one bass, 5-3, $380
9th: John Harpold, Terre Haute, Ind., two bass, 4-14, $320
10th: Eli Lubbehusen, Huntingburg, Ind., two bass, 4-12, $280
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. 5-7 BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky. 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.