Fishing & Boating News

Lieblong Wins Rayovac FLW Series Central Division Finale on Lake Dardanelle Presented by Mercury

Smith wins co-angler title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Jason Lieblong of Conway, Arkansas, weighed a 5-bass limit totaling 12 lbs, 2 ozs to win with a 3-day total of 15 bass weighing 46 lbs, 3 ozs.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Aug 15, 2015 - RUSSELLVILLE, AR.)  Jason Lieblong of Conway, Arkansas, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake Dardanelle presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 46 pounds, 3 ounces. For his win, Lieblong earned $39,733 and a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
 
“I’m still stoked from that final weigh-in,” said Lieblong, who earned his second career win in FLW competition. “There are a lot of great anglers in this tournament so to come out on top is very exciting.”
 
Lieblong said he focused on six spots in a mid-lake area over the course of the three-day event.
 
“On day one I hit two areas in the morning which were full of lily pads. I threw a black Stanley Ribbit Frog,” said Lieblong. “As the morning progressed I fished reeds and a laydown, rotating between flipping a Redbug-colored Zoom Ol’ Monster Worm and pitching a black and blue Z-Man ChatterBait to some logs.”
 
Around noon, Lieblong said he switched to a white ChatterBait to imitate the shad that were schooling around flats and points – a tactic he would use over the course of the tournament.
 
“I had 16 or 17 pounds by 8:45 a.m.,” said Lieblong. “Every fish I caught on day one was a 4-pounder.”
 
On the final two days of competition, Lieblong headed straight for the reed walls, lily pads and the laydown early in the morning.
 
“I flipped the reeds and laydown using the Ol’ Monster Worm,” said Lieblong. ”Between noon and 1 o’ clock I used the white Chatterbait again on open-water flats and points.”
 
With an hour left before check-in on day three, Lieblong said he headed to a southern spot to fish drop-offs with an Ol’ Monster Worm.
 
“At 11:30 a.m. I only had three fish, but I was able to catch a few more down in the brush,” said Lieblong. “Today was a slow day of fishing. I ended up only having seven bites.”
 
Lieblong said he ended up catching approximately 25 keepers over the three days of competition.
 
“It was a pretty textbook fishing tournament,” said Lieblong. “Unfortunately my spots weren’t replenishing each day. I got pretty nervous because my weights kept falling. Luckily it all worked out.”
 
The top 10 pros on Lake Dardanelle were:
 
               1st:          Jason Lieblong, Conway, Ark., 15 bass, 46-3, $39,733 + Ranger Z518 w/ 200-horsepower outboard
               2nd:         Spencer Grace, Dardanelle, Ark., 15 bass, 44-1, $15,397           
               3rd:          Jeff Keene, Vinita, Okla., 15 bass, 43-13, $11,920        
               4th:          Barry Wilson, Birmingham, Ala., 15 bass, 43-9, $9,933 
               5th:          Kerry Milner, Bono, Ark., 13 bass, 40-11, $8,940          
               6th:          Scott Suggs, Alexander, Ark., 15 bass, 37-3, $7,947    
               7th:          Austin Brown, Benton, Ky., 13 bass, 32-14, $6,953       
               8th:          Josh Hilton, Clarksville, Ark., 11 bass, 32-1, $5,960      
               9th:          Wells Kaiser, Cuba City, Wis., 10 bass, 29-4, $4,967
               10th:        Michael Stetich, Ankeny, Iowa, 11 bass, 27-11, $3,973
      
 
Kevin Flurry of Roland, Okla., caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division Friday, weighing 7 pounds, 1 ounce that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $298.
 
Jeffery Smith of Knob Noster, Missouri, won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117C with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor, with a three-day total of 11 bass weighing 28 pounds, 15 ounces.  
 
The top 10 co-anglers on Lake Dardanelle were:
             
               1st:          Jeffery Smith, Knob Noster, Mo., 11 bass, 28-15, Ranger Z117C w/ 90-horsepower outboard             
               2nd:         Sawyer Grace, Russellville, Ark., 14 bass, 26-1, $4,967
               3rd:          Mark Heidt, Versailles, Ind., 11 bass, 24-11, $3,973
               4th:          Dustin Roberts, Clarksville, Ark., eight bass, 24-9, $3,477
               5th:          Brian Pierce, Colorado Springs, Colo., 10 bass, 22-12, $2,980
               6th:          Derek Rowsey, Ada, Okla., nine bass, 21-7, $2,483
               7th:          James Ingram, Quitman, Ark., eight bass, 19-3, $1,987
               8th:          Rick Krassinger, House Springs, Mo., nine bass, 18-11, $1,738  
               9th:          Kirk Sims, Lowell, Ark., nine bass, 17-9, $1,490            
               10th:        Ryan Lejeune, Eunice, La., seven bass, 17-4, $1,242
                  
The Rayovac FLW Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the no-entry-fee Rayovac FLW Series Championship. The 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Championship is being held Oct. 29-31 on the Ohio River in Paducah, Kentucky.
 
The Rayovac FLW Series on Lake Dardanelle was presented by Mercury and was the third and final Central Division tournament of 2015. The next Rayovac FLW Series tournament will be a Northern Division event, held Aug. 27-29, on Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio.
 
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