(Mar 24, 2018 - Grove, OK)
Pro Christopher Jones of Bokoshe, Oklahoma, won the Costa FLW Series at Grand Lake presented by Ranger Boats Saturday after bringing a limit of bass weighing 17 pounds, 10 ounces to the scale. Jones’ three-day total of 47-3 put him into a tie with FLW Tour pro Jeff Sprague of Point, Texas, however, according to tournament rules, ties on day three are resolved by Day-Two standings. Jones and Sprague placed fourth and fifth, respectively, on the tournament’s second day, so Jones was declared the winner and earned $88,700, including a brand new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
Jones said that he spent the tournament fishing in the mid-lake area, running pockets and targeting secondary points and docks. He said his main bait throughout the week was a ½-ounce chartreuse and white-colored BOOYAH spinnerbait with a 3½-inch YUM Pulse swimbait trailer.
“My main deal was fishing areas where the bass were staging getting ready for the spawn,” said Jones, who earned his first career win in Costa FLW Series competition after three prior wins in the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL). “I was slow-rolling the bait behind the docks. The key was making precise casts – sometimes multiple casts to the same dock or cable.”
Jones said that he managed just four bites on Day One, but did put all of them in the boat. His best day was Day Two on Friday when he caught 13 keepers, and he added another 10 or 11 keepers on Saturday. Jones said that he also spent a little time each day on a stretch of main-lake riprap where he caught a couple of keepers on a YUM YUMbrella Flash Mob Jr., also with 3½-inch YUM Pulse Swimbaits.
“I had a couple of key bite on the umbrella rig off of a rocky point,” Jones said. “I had a lot of confidence in my areas. There were a lot of boats fishing around me, but the water was really dirty – only about 10-inches of clarity – and most people were fishing too fast.”
The top 10 pros on Grand Lake finished:
1st: Christopher Jones, Bokoshe, Okla., 14 bass, 47-3, $88,700
2nd: Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, 12 bass, 47-3, $16,600
3rd: Troy O’Rourke, Natchitoches, La., 14 bass, 44-15, $12,500
4th: Toby Hartsell, Afton, Okla., 13 bass, 36-1, $10,800
5th: Blaine Covington, Fort Worth, Texas, 10 bass, 36-1, $9,500
6th: Sheldon Collings, Grove, Okla., 11 bass, 34-5, $8,550
7th: Kevin Ledoux, Choctaw, Okla., 11 bass, 33-6, $7,200
8th: Curt Warren, Rose, Okla., 10 bass, 33-5, $6,200
9th: Colby Miller, Elmer, La., nine bass, 32-15, $5,200
10th: Jeff Reynolds, Calera, Okla., eight bass, 28-7, $4,100
Collings caught a 7-pound, 1-ounce bass Friday – the biggest of the tournament – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $300.
Steven Meador of Bentonville, Arkansas, won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower outboard motor and a $5,000 Ranger Cup bonus with a two-day total of 11 bass weighing 27 pounds, 3 ounces. Alan Bernicky of Joliet, Illinois, finished runner-up with eight bass weighing 23-13, good for $5,350.
The top 10 Co-anglers on Grand Lake finished:
1st: Steven Meador, Bentonville, Ark., 11 bass, 27-3, Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower outboard motor + $5,000 Ranger Cup
2nd: Alan Bernicky, Joliet, Ill., eight bass, 23-13, $5,350
3rd: Kennith George, Edmond, Okla., seven bass, 22-1, $4,200
4th: Jim Opetaia-Williamson, Dunnellon, Fla., five bass, 21-1, $3,600
5th: Ben Wickham, Ponca City, Okla., four bass, 20-8, $3,300
6th: Frank Divis Sr., Farmington, Ark., six bass, 20-6, $2,650
7th: James Callaghan, DeBerry, Texas, seven bass, 20-2, $2,100
8th: Rick Blosser, Tulsa, Okla., seven bass, 19-2, $1,800
9th: Rich Dalbey, Greenville, Texas, six bass, 19-0, $1,520
10th: Jordan Burks, Joplin, Mo., six bass, 11-4, $1,270
WIckham caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Thursday, a bass weighing 6 pounds, 14 ounces that earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $200.
The Costa FLW Series on Grand Lake presented by Ranger Boats was hosted by the City of Grove. It was the second of three FLW Series Southwestern Division tournaments in the 2018 season. The next Costa FLW Series tournament will be a Southeastern Division tournament, held April 5-7 on Lake Santee Cooper in Summerton, South Carolina presented by Bass Pro Shops.
The Costa FLW Series consists of five U.S. divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western – along with the International division. Each U.S. division consists of three regular-season tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to compete in the season-ending Costa FLW Series Championship. The 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Nov. 1-3 on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama, and is hosted by the Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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.