Fishing & Boating News

Crystal Springs’ Torrence Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division Event on Pickwick Lake

Mooreville’s Speaks Claims Co-angler Title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Marty Torrence of Crystal Springs, MS, caught a 5-bass limit weighing 17 lbs, 15 oz, to win the (BFL) Mississippi Division event on Pickwick Lake.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Apr 23, 2018 - IUKA, MS.)

Boater Marty Torrence of Crystal Springs, Mississippi, caught a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 15 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division event on Pickwick Lake. Torrence pocketed $6,197 for his win.

Torrence started his day fishing rocks on the north end of the lake, not far from the dam. He said he used a Spro deep-diving crankbait to catch five fish, but only managed one good keeper. After the sun came out, he moved on to a new area that produced the bulk of his weight.

“In practice I could see that there were full trees lying flat in the area,” said Torrence, who secured his first career win in BFL competition. “It was overcast and the fish were suspended over them and hard to catch, but when the sun came out on Saturday, the fish were hanging in tighter. The big fish were near the roots in 28 to 30 feet of water, while the smaller ones were shallower near the tree tops.”

The bass in the trees ate two baits for Torrence – a green-pumpkin-colored Zoom Trick Worm on a shaky-head rig and a ½-ounce Keitech Model III Swim Jig with a Keitech trailer.

“The Keitech is a confidence bait for me – it’s my go to,” said Torrence. “And when I went for the bigger fish down deep I had to rotate in something else that I like. The shaky-head always catches them on Pickwick. The fish may not always be the size you need, but you will catch them.”
Torrence’s limit ended up consisting of three largemouth and two smallmouth, one of which he caught with only 15 minutes left to fish.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
               1st:          Marty Torrence, Crystal Springs, Miss., five bass, 17-15, $6,197
               2nd:         Heath Gilmore, Meridian, Miss., five bass, 16-15, $2,798
               3rd:          Kevin Wright, Waterloo, Ala., five bass, 16-2, $1,733
               4th:          Christopher Whitehead, Tupelo, Miss., five bass, 15-6, $1,313
               5th:          Timmy Ming, Louisville, Miss., five bass, 14-10, $1,039
               6th:          Mark Willins, Collierville, Tenn., five bass, 14-8, $909
               6th:          Jason Hannah, Forest, Miss., five bass, 14-8, $909
               8th:          Hunter Utley, Cordova, Tenn., five bass, 14-4, $780
               9th:          Marshall Stevens, Marietta, Miss., five bass, 14-0, $693
               10th:        Andrew Schrock, Smithville, Miss., five bass, 13-13, $606

Michael Nichols of Brandon, Mississippi, brought a 5-pound, 2-ounce bass to the scale – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $810.

Thomas Speaks of Mooreville, Mississippi, won the Co-angler Division and $2,598 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 19 pounds even.

The top 10 co-anglers were:
               1st:          Thomas Speaks, Mooreville, Miss., five bass, 19-0, $2,598
               2nd:         Tim Beale, Hernando, Miss., five bass, 17-6, $1,299
               3rd:          Jim Pierce, Medon, Tenn., five bass, 15-15, $1,065
               4th:          Larry McNeil, Huntsville, Ala., five bass, 15-3, $606
               5th:          Clint Horton, Ripley, Miss., five bass, 14-5, $520
               6th:          Ryan LeCompte, Picayune, Miss., five bass, 12-0, $526
               7th:          Joe Cornelius, Corinth, Miss., five bass, 10-10, $433
               8th:          C.J. Holbrook, Smithville, Miss., three bass, 10-5, $390
               9th:          Austin Navarre, Carriere, Miss., four bass, 9-13, $346
               10th:        Mike Allen, Crystal Springs, Miss., three bass, 9-11, $303

Jake Steinkuhl of Evansville, Indiana, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 6 pounds, 8 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $405.

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. 18-20 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 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.

For complete details and updated information visit

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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.