Fishing & Boating News

Bates Wins Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division Event On Lake Ferguson

Tisdale wins co-angler title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Matthew Bates of Greenville, Mi, weighed a 5-bass limit totaling 20 lbs even Saturday to win the Mississippi Division tournament on Lake Ferguson and a check for $3,963.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Jun 30, 2015 - GREENVILLE, MS.) Matthew Bates of Greenville, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds even Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Ferguson. For his victory, Bates earned $3,963.
 
“It’s really exciting to come out on top after a great day of fishing,” said Bates of his first career win in FLW competition. “Hopefully I can carry this momentum into the next tournament.
 
“It was raining and cloudy Saturday so I had to fish shallow,” continued Bates. “I flipped trees using a green-pumpkin football-head jig with a watermelon-candy-colored Berkley Chigger Craw trailer about a mile from the boat ramp where there was a lot of shad. I focused on a sand ridge with willow trees and ironwood bushes. I also cycled through four different humps.
 
“I caught my first fish around 8:30 a.m. – a small 1½-pounder,” said Bates. “At 10:45 I brought in a 4-pound fish in 12 feet of water. After that I did another run through the humps, lost one, and started to get a little frustrated.”
 
Bates said that after he lost the fish near the humps he switched his strategy in order to reach a limit.
 
“I made a run to the north end of the lake after the sun came out,” said Bates. “I pulled up to a spot and on the second cast I reeled in a 5-pound bass in 15 feet of water on the football jig. Three casts later I caught another 4-pounder.”
 
Bates went on to say that he got his final bite of the day at 12:30 p.m. on a Powder-Blue Back-Chartreuse-colored Strike King Pro Model 6XD Crankbait.
 
“I also weighed in two fish from a Carolina-rigged Zoom Brush Hog,” Bates said. “Everything seemed to fall into place as the day went on. I couldn’t have asked for a better tournament.”
 
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
 
1st:          Matthew Bates, Greenville, Miss., five bass, 20-0, $3,963
2nd:         David Dove, Steens, Miss., five bass, 15-14, $1,981
3rd:          Tim McDaniel, Grenada, Miss., five bass, 13-12, $1,322
4th:          Gene Bishop, Ridgeland, Miss., five bass, 11-14, $925
5th:          Jonathan Sultan, Grenada, Miss., five bass, 11-2, $793
6th:          Buzz Gallo, Moselle, Miss., five bass, 10-0, $727
7th:          Wayne Parish, Amory, Miss., five bass, 9-10, $660
8th:          Tim Swann, New Albany, Miss., four bass, 8-11, $594
9th:          Philip Atkins, Columbus, Miss., five bass, 8-8, $528
10th:        Danny Walden, Columbus, Miss., two bass, 8-1, $462
             
Bates also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 1 ounce and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $535.
 
Jimmy Tisdale of Ellisville, Mississippi, weighed in four bass totaling 8 pounds, 3 ounces Saturday to win $1,981 in the co-angler division.
 
The top 10 co-anglers were:
 
1st:          Jimmy Tisdale, Ellisville, Miss., four bass, 8-3, $1,981
2nd:         Bernard Crump, Jackson, Miss., five bass, 6-14, $991
3rd:          Jennings Earnest, Guin, Ala., five bass, 6-8, $662
4th:          Lance Jackson, Starkville, Miss., three bass, 6-6, $462
5th:          Donnie Miller, Florence, Ala., two bass, 5-2, $396
6th:          Jason Mitchell, Hamilton, Miss., three bass, 4-6, $363
7th:          Bill Robilio, Germantown, Tenn., three bass, 4-1, $330
8th:          John Swords, Collierville, Tenn., two bass, 3-14, $297
9th:          Jeremy Duke, Gautier, Miss., two bass, 3-7, $247
9th:          Charles Knowles, Canton, Miss., three bass, 3-7, $247
 
Elton Bryant of Lisman, Alabama, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $267.
 
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 22-24 Regional Championship on Neely Henry Lake in Gadsden, Alabama. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
 
The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 50 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Walmart BFL All-American. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Rayovac FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
 
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FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2015 over the course of 240 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.