(May 9, 2017 - Zwolle, LA)
FLW Tour pro Andrew Upshaw of Tulsa, Oklahoma, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy Division tournament presented by Navionics on Toledo Bend Lake Saturday after bringing five bass totaling 30 pounds, 15 ounces to the scale. For his win, Upshaw took home $5,257.
“I was fishing deep, in 20 to 24 feet of water, in areas near Three Mile Bridge,” said Upshaw, a former FLW College Fishing standout who is a six-year veteran of the FLW Tour. “I targeted stump rows using an 8-inch (Gene Larew) Tattletail Worm with a (Gene Larew) 7/16-ounce Hardhead.
“I’d find four or five stumps in a row along a breakline,” Upshaw continued. “The best stumps were right where it dropped from 20 to 24 feet. Once you find them relating to a specific depth on Toledo Bend that’s where they will be all over the lake.”
Upshaw said he preferred two colors for his Tattletail worm – green pumpkin and Red Bug Lite.
“I’d hit the Hardhead against the stump, and then let it sit there with a tight line,” said Upshaw. “Then the line would go slack or you would feel a bite. Most of the time it would go slack because they’d swim off with it.”
Upshaw said he caught most of his fish throughout the event on the Tattletail worm.
“I cranked one, but 90-percent of what I caught came on the worm,” said Upshaw. “With the dead-slick calm conditions, it was the perfect day for worm fishing.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Andrew Upshaw, Tulsa, Okla., five bass, 30-15, $5,257
2nd: Thomas McMillan, Choudrant, La., five bass, 23-6, $2,628
3rd: Gary Caruso, Baton Rouge, La., five bass, 22-14, $1,685
4th: Darold Gleason, Many, La., five bass, 22-8, $1,180
5th: Matthew McArdle, Humble, Texas, 17-7, $1,011
6th: Jarred Williams, Bunkie, La., five bass, 16-7, $927
7th: Brett Hortman, West Monroe, La., three bass, 16-3, $1,623
8th: Tommy Mackey, Bryan, Texas, five bass, 16-1, $758
9th: Ken Smith, Dallas, Texas, five bass, 14-11, $674
10th: Billy Guinn, Shreveport, La., five bass, 14-10, $890
Hortman caught a gigantic bass weighing 10 pounds, 12 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $780.
Michael Greer Jr. of DeRidder, Louisiana, won the Co-angler Division and $2,728 Saturday after bringing a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 9 ounces to the scale.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Michael Greer Jr., DeRidder, La., five bass, 16-9, $2,728
2nd: Doug Estep, Baton Rouge, La., five bass, 12-11, $1,054
2nd: Charles Dellard, Burleson, Texas, two bass, 12-11, $1,494
4th: Mat Downey, Kountze, Texas, five bass, 11-4, $590
5th: Adam Boyd, Humble, Texas, five bass, 10-13, $506
6th: Robert Royal, Vidor, Texas, five bass, 10-4, $464
7th: Russell Lewis, Pineville, La., five bass, 10-0, $400
7th: Jerry Wade Jr., Kingwood, Texas, four bass, 10-0, $400
9th: Justin Shelton, Seven Points, Texas, four bass, 9-13, $337
10th: Johnathan Fontenot, Iowa, La., two bass, 9-5, $295
Dellard caught the biggest bass among Co-angler Division anglers, a fish weighing 7 pounds, 4 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $390.
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.