(Feb 19, 2018 - MOUNT IDA, AR.)
Boater Teddy Bogard of Rison, Arkansas, caught five bass weighing 16 pounds, 14 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie Division season-opening event on Lake Ouachita presented by Navionics. For his efforts, Bogard took home $4,444.
Bogard said he fished in the backs of pockets on the upper end of the lake. He focused on ditches that were 6- to 7-feet deep and used a Red Craw-colored ¾-ounce Rat-L-Trap to build his limit.
“The ditches had flats on both sides that were 2- to 3-feet down,” said Bogard, who earned his second career win in BFL competition. “I worked around standing timber and caught 10 or 11 keepers by the end of the day.”
Bogard said his limit was capped off by a fish that came late in the day.
“I had a small ditch that took me 20 minutes to idle in to,” said Bogard. “I went in there, caught a 4½ -pounder, and immediately had to idle back out and head in – that was my anchor fish.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Teddy Bogard, Rison, Ark., five bass, 16-14, $4,444
2nd: Larry Gragg, Pine Bluff, Ark., four bass, 16-7, $3,022
3rd: Doug Thompson, Mabelvale, Ark., five bass, 15-3, $1,513
4th: Quincy Houchin, Mabelvale, Ark., five bass, 14-10, $919
4th: Steve Howard, Conway, Ark., five bass, 14-10, $919
6th: Timmy Poe, Bryant, Ark., five bass, 14-8, $778
7th: Wayne Dixon, Morrilton, Ark., five bass, 14-0, $707
8th: Spencer Shuffield, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 13-12, $637
9th: Fred Martin, North Little Rock, Ark., five bass, 13-2, $502
9th: Rick Ellis, Cabot, Ark., five bass, 13-2, $502
9th: Jamey Black, Sheridan, Ark., five bass, 13-2, $502
Gragg caught a bass weighing 6 pounds, 7 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $600.
Dusty Rhoades of Gravelly, Arkansas, won the Co-angler Division and $2,522 Saturday after catching four bass weighing 11 pounds, 7 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Dusty Rhoades, Gravelly, Ark., four bass, 11-7, $2,522
2nd: Matt Mitchell, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 10-12, $1,061
3rd: John McCullar, Benton, Ark., three bass, 10-11, $707
4th: Jason Broomfield, Waldron, Ark., four bass, 9-6, $545
5th: Darrell Joslin, Benton, Ark., two bass, 8-15, $424
6th: Bryan Barnard, Harrison, Ark., three bass, 8-11, $389
7th: Spencer Clark, Maryland Heights, Mo., five bass, 8-6, $354
8th: Travis Mosley, Bowling Green, Ky., two bass, 7-12, $318
9th: Matt France, Cabot, Ark., five bass, 7-9, $283
10th: Nicholas Bergt, Atlanta, Texas, two bass, 7-3, $248
Rhoades also caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a 6-pound, 14-ounce fish. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $300.
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. 25-27 BFL Regional Championship on the Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri. 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 2018 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. The 2018 BFL All-American will be held May 31-June 2 at Cross Lake in Shreveport, Louisiana, and is hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission. 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 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. 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.