(Jul 28, 2018 - Buffalo, New York)
Pro Neil Farlow of St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, won the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie presented by Polaris with a single-day catch of five bass weighing 24 pounds, 4 ounces, after high winds forced tournament officials to shorten the three-day event to one day of competition. Farlow’s weight was caught on Thursday and was enough to earn him the top prize of $87,500 including a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower outboard engine.
“It feels awesome to win one of these tournaments,” said Farlow, who earned his first career win in FLW competition. “I’ve been thinking about this tournament since the schedule was released and I put in a lot of time preparing for it. I was ready for three days out there but the wind had a different plan.”
Farlow said he fished his way from Point Abino on the Canadian side of Lake Erie, to Myers Reef on the U.S. side, and then back in toward Buffalo. He said of the six areas he worked through, four of them produced his biggest fish.
“I fished old spots and anywhere I could get to where there weren’t any boats around,” said Farlow. “I was boat No.156, so I had to keep running until I found something that didn’t have anyone around. I think that’s what made the difference.”
Farlow said bottoms that were a mix of rock and gravel or gravel and sand produced best for him.
“I fished in 20 to 40 feet of water, but most of the fish were 20 to 30 feet down,” said Farlow. “I fished basically anywhere there was something different – a depth change, hump or a boulder.”
Farlow said he caught around eight bass throughout the day, including the largest of the event – a 6-pound, 6-ouncer – around 9 a.m. He weighed his fish all from one lure – a green-pumpkin-colored Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm on a drop-shot rig.
“I did what pretty much everyone else was doing, which was using drop shots and tubes,” said Farlow. “I didn’t catch many fish because some of the crowded spots were the ones that had more fish in them, so I ended up going after more individual fish that were bigger. I had less bites and it was stressful, but I knew that if I did get a bite it would be the right size.”
The top 10 pros on Lake Erie finished:
1st: Neil Farlow, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, five bass, 24-4, $87,500
2nd: Ben Wright, Peru, N.Y., five bass, 24-3, $16,600
3rd: Charles Sim, Nepean, Ontario, Canada, five bass, 23-3, $12,500
4th: J.T. Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla., five bass, 23-2, $10,500
5th: J. Todd Tucker, Moultrie, Ga., five bass, 22-15, $9,500
6th: Lowrance pro Austin Felix, Eden Prairie, Minn., five bass, 22-12, $8,250
7th: Moo Bae, West Friendship, Md., five bass, 22-8, $7,200
8th: Travis Manson, Conshohocken, Pa., five bass, 22-6, $6,200
9th: Philip Jarabeck, Spout Spring, Va., five bass, 22-5, $5,200
10th: T.J. Lacey, Selwyn, Ontario, Canada, five bass, 22-3, $4,100
Farlow’s 6-pound, 6-ounce bass – the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division – also earned him Thursday’s Boater Big Bass award of $300.
Sakae Ushio of Tonawanda, New York, won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower outboard motor. Ushio earned his win with a one-day catch of five bass weighing 23 pounds, 7 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers on Lake Erie finished:
1st: Sakae Ushio, Tonawanda, N.Y., five bass, 23-7, $27,250
2nd: Chris Benninger, Grand Island, N.Y., five bass, 23-6, $5,350
3rd: Colton Sowers, Venetia, Pa., five bass, 23-4, $4,400
4th: Will Rogers, Grand Island, N.Y., five bass, 22-2, $3,650
5th: John Stoughtenger, Waterloo, N.Y., five bass, 21-7, $3,100
6th: Joseph Stois Sr., Fairview Park, Ohio, five bass, 21-3, $2,600
7th: Will Litchfield, London, Ontario, Canada, five bass, 20-6, $2,100
8th: Justin Lonchar, Industry, Pa., five bass, 20-5, $1,800
9th: David Williams, Fredericksburg, Va., five bass, 20-3, $1,520
10th: Wataru Iwahori, Palestine, Texas, five bass, 19-15, $1,270
Sowers caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Thursday, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $200.
The Costa FLW Series on Lake Erie presented by Polaris was hosted by the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission. It was the second of three Costa FLW Series Northern Division tournaments of the 2018 regular season. The next Costa FLW Series tournament will be the final Northern Division event of the year, held Sept. 6-8 on 1000 Islands in Clayton, New York, and is presented by Navionics. For a complete schedule, visit FLWFishing.com.
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.
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.