(Sep 21, 2016 - Wagoner, OK)
The Costa FLW Series is headed to Fort Gibson Lake Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 for a tournament presented by Lowrance when as many as 400 pros and co-anglers will take to the water for the third and final stop of 2016 in the Southwestern Division.
“With all of the rain we’ve had, the lake’s water levels are high which means there will be more fishable areas than usual,” said Walmart FLW Tour pro Andrew Upshaw of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, who has three career top-10 finishes in Southwestern Division competition. “There should be a strong shallow bite. I’ve been on the lake recently and there’s a ton of shad in 1 to 3 feet of water. You can’t go along the bank without seeing some shad.
“I think we’ll see a lot of anglers back in 14 Mile Creek, where the willow trees produce a lot of fish in the fall,” Upshaw continued. “In those areas I’d use a square-billed crankbait or a spinnerbait. The water tends to be a little clearer so there should be a lot of options to catch bass.
“The main river should be firing as well,” said Upshaw. “I think we’ll see a lot of competitors flipping bushes with soft-plastics like a Gene Larew Punch Out Craw, or running a Gene Larew Biffle Bug around rocks.”
Upshaw said that if the water is clear, he’d reach for watermelon-red-colored lures, but if it’s dirty he’d stick with black and blue shades.
“There should be some good-sized fish caught at this tournament,” said Upshaw. “I think 15 pounds a day will win it, but we could see some 18-pound limits brought in as well.”
Anglers will take off from Taylor's Ferry North located on Dock Road in Wagoner at 7:30 a.m. CDT each day. Weigh-in on Thursday and Friday will be held at the marina beginning at 3:30 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at Walmart, located at 410 S. Dewey Ave. in Wagoner, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
The Costa FLW Series at Fort Gibson Lake is being hosted by the Wagoner Area Chamber of Commerce.
Pros will fish for a top award of $40,000 plus a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.
Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.
The Costa FLW Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the Costa FLW Series Championship. The 2016 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Nov. 3-5 on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri.
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.