(May 16, 2018 - EUFAULA, AL.)
Boater Josh Stracner of Vandiver, Alabama, caught five bass Saturday weighing 22 pounds, 15 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division tournament on Lake Eufaula. For his efforts, Stracner earned $4,418.
Stracner said he utilized much of Lake Eufaula to catch approximately 15 keepers Saturday, fishing from the north end near the bridges, to Barbour Creek, to down south toward the dam.
“I started the day targeting a shad spawn in lily pads – they were on top and all around them,” said Stracner, who earned his second career win in BFL competition. “I used a white Dirty Jigs No-Jack Swim Jig with a white Zoom Fat Albert Twin Tail trailer and caught two or three solid keepers.
“Around 11 (a.m.) I started catching some bigger fish offshore,” continued Stracner. “They were all on main-lake ledges and I caught them using a few different baits.”
Stracner listed a sexy blueback herring-colored Strike King 6XD crankbait, a custom green-pumpkin football-head jig with a Zoom Brush Hog trailer of the same color and a Carolina-rigged Brush Hog as his baits of choice.
“I have to credit my Humminbird SOLIX electronics with helping me identify those ledges – that was a huge part of my win,” said Stracner. “I actually caught the winning fish using them back near takeoff with around 10 minutes left in the day. If I hadn’t gotten it, I wouldn’t have had enough weight to seal the deal."
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Josh Stracner, Vandiver, Ala., five bass, 22-15, $4,418
2nd: Ryan Ingram, Phenix City, Ala., five bass, 22-0, $2,329
3rd: Austin Lang, Dothan, Ala., five bass, 21-2, $1,238
4th: C.J. Knight Jr., Sylacauga, Ala., five bass, 19-7, $798
5th: Tommy Pegues, Montgomery, Ala., 18-3, $684
6th: Tyler Morgan, Columbus, Ga., five bass, 18-2, $627
7th: Mike Cavender, Phenix City, Ala., five bass, 16-11, $570
8th: Bobby Padgett, LaGrange, Ga., five bass, 14-15, $513
9th: Mark Stillwell, Salem, Ala., five bass, 14-14, $456
10th: Alexander Wilson Sr., Elmore, Ala., five bass, 14-13, $399
Ingram brought an 8-pound, 12-ounce bass to the scale – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $420.
Jody Ward of Dothan, Alabama, won the Co-angler Division and $1,709 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 10 pounds, 10 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Jody Ward, Dothan, Ala., five bass, 10-10, $1,709
2nd: Ariel Laria, Flowery Branch, Ga., five bass, 10-7, $855
3rd: Chris Patterson, Morris, Ala., four bass, 9-7, $770
4th: Ryan Sweeney, Springville, Ala., four bass, 8-6, $399
5th: Larry Purdie, Columbus, Ga., two bass, 7-13, $392
6th: Mike Garrett, Pensacola, Fla., four bass, 7-9, $299
6th: Emory Walden, Newnan, Ga., five bass, 7-9, $299
8th: Michael Wright, Covington, Ga., four bass, 7-5, $256
9th: Richard Moncus, Fortson, Ga., four bass, 6-15, $228
10th: Robert Ransom, Chattanooga, Tenn., four bass, 6-10, $199
Randall Wiggins of Birmingham, Alabama, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 5 pounds, 13 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $210.
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. 11-13 BFL Regional Championship on the St. Johns River in Palatka, Florida. 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 FLWFishing.com.
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.