(Jun 26, 2018 - WAGONER, Okla.)
Boater Russ Warner of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, weighed five bass Saturday totaling 15 pounds, 15 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Okie Division tournament on Fort Gibson Lake. Warner took home $5,165 for his win.
“I fished the mid-lake area and targeted offshore rock piles,” said Warner, who logged his first career victory in FLW competition. “All of my fish came from between 6 and 10 feet of water and were on main-lake spots, close to the river channel.
“Every fish I weighed came on a 10-inch Yum Ribbon Tail worm,” continued Warner. “Junebug was the best color, but I did switch to cranberry later in the day. My last fish bit around 2 (p.m.).”
Warner said he fished slow, rotating through eight different stops. He said he hit each at least three times and caught five keepers.
“I got my MinnKota Ultrex trolling motor a couple months ago and wouldn’t have won without it,” said Warner. “The wind was blowing pretty hard and I could get lined up on the rock piles I had marked. I hit Spot Lock, and it would hold me there as I faced the wind. I could make 20, 30 or even 40 casts to the same spot, sometimes waiting until that 40th cast to get a bite.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Russ Warner, Tahlequah, Okla., five bass, 15-15, $5,165
2nd: Roger Fitzpatrick, Eldon, Mo., five bass, 15-10, $2,782
3rd: Dennis Berhorst, Holts Summit, Mo., five bass, 15-9, $2,122
4th: David Youngblood, Owasso, Okla., five bass, 15-7, $1,205
5th: Terry Thomas, Nixa, Mo., five bass, 15-3, $990
5th: Jacob Capps, Muskogee, Okla., three bass, 15-3, $990
7th: Marcus Sykora, Osage Beach, Mo., five bass, 14-15, $861
8th: Clint Williams, Fayetteville, Ark., five bass, 14-9, $775
9th: Tom Silber, Labadie, Mo., five bass, 13-14, $689
10th: Curt Warren, Rose, Okla., three bass, 13-10, $603
Richard Bower III of Westphalia, Missouri, brought a 6-pound, 3-ounce bass to the scale – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $805.
Bryant Bradford of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, won the Co-angler Division and $2,582 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 11 pounds, 9 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Bryant Bradford, Oklahoma City, Okla., five bass, 11-9, $2,582
2nd: Bradley Sullivan, Shawnee, Okla., four bass, 11-3, $1,693
3rd: Steve Madar, Starkville, Miss., five bass, 10-9, $863
4th: Jacob Sloan, Paola, Kan., four bass, 10-8, $759
4th: Bill Wiles, Arcadia, Okla., four bass, 10-8, $559
6th: Stephen Stewart, Fort Gibson, Okla., three bass, 10-2, $473
7th: David Hamilton, Rogers, Ark., four bass, 9-15, $430
8th: Kurt Gordon, Cushing, Okla., three bass, 9-6, $387
9th: David Lansford, Muskogee, Okla., three bass, 9-5, $344
10th: Stephen Delgado, Lee’s Summit, Mo., three bass, 8-13, $351
Sullivan caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 5 pounds, 5 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $402.
The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Okie Division tournament on Fort Gibson Lake was hosted by the Wagoner Area Chamber of Commerce.
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 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. 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.