(May 9, 2016 - MUSKOGEE, Okla.)
Christopher Jones of Bokoshe, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 14 ounces, Saturday to win the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Okie Division tournament on the Arkansas River presented by Power-Pole. For his victory, Jones took home $6,263.
“In the morning I ran to a backwater area 40 miles away from takeoff that had a little bit of milfoil, stumps and coontail in it,” said Jones, who earned his third win in BFL competition. “I had one thing on my mind, to catch a big one before everyone gets there. That’s what I did. I used a Booyah Single Colorado Blade Spinnerbait and caught three spawners, including a 4½-pounder.
“After that I locked back to the main river and spent the rest of my day fishing current breaks and some more backwaters,” continued Jones. “I focused on wood laydowns in the river channel and stumps in the pockets.”
Jones said he preferred to use the Single Colorado Blade with a white skirt in the cleaner backwaters, and a Booyah Double Colorado Blade Spinnerbait on the main river where the water was muddy.
“I caught the rest of my keepers and culled between noon and 2 p.m.,” said Jones. “I think I brought in 15 keepers by the end of the event. All of my decisions turned out to be the right ones. It was a great day.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Christopher Jones, Bokoshe, Okla., five bass, 17-14, $6,263
2nd: Sean McAllister, Checotah, Okla., five bass, 17-3, $2,381
3rd: Cade Alsbury, Cave Springs, Ark., five bass, 15-8, $1,585
4th: Jacob Dotson, Muskogee, Okla., five bass, 15-5, $1,111
5th: Kyle Cortiana, Tulsa, Okla., five bass, 14-7, $913
5th: E.P. Fletcher, Fort Smith, Ark., five bass, 14-7, $913
7th: Mike McCormick, Adair, Okla., five bass, 13-12, $794
8th: Jason Horton, Eucha, Okla., five bass, 12-14, $714
9th: Josh Hilton, Clarksville, Ark., five bass, 12-11. $595
9th: Fred Fielder, Vian, Okla., five bass, 12-11, $595
Terry Ezell of El Reno, Oklahoma, caught a 5-pound, 12-ounce bass – the biggest of the tournament in the pro division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $710.
Billy Eubanks of Bunch, Oklahoma, weighed in five bass totaling 15 pounds, 7 ounces, Saturday to win the co-angler division and earn $2,736.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Billy Eubanks, Bunch, Okla., five bass, 15-7, $2,736
2nd: Matthew Gregory, Alma, Ark., four bass, 13-2, $1,191
3rd: Ronnie White, Gore, Okla., four bass, 11-7, $791
4th: Justin Lillie, Owasso, Okla., five bass, 11-4, $556
5th: Rick Dawes III, Tulsa, Okla., five bass, 10-9, $476
6th: Myron Means, Van Buren, Ark., four bass, 10-0, $437
7th: J.C. Thompson, Cartwright, Okla., three bass, 9-9, $397
8th: Benny Williams Jr., Poteau, Okla., four bass, 8-8, $357
9th: Jack Sikes, Quapaw, Okla., three bass, 8-6, $318
10th: Cameron Foster, Wagoner, Okla., four bass, 7-15, $278
Eubanks also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 3 ounces and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $355.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 27-29 Regional Championship on Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, Arkansas. 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 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 winners in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
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 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. 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.