Fishing & Boating News

Alabama’s O’Donnell Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Mountain Division Finale on the Barren River

Illinois’ Hill Nabs Co-angler Title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Casey O’Donnell of Langston, ALa, won the (BFL) Mountain Division tournament on the Barren River with a 2-day cumulative catch of 10 bass weighing 23 lbs, 15 oz.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Sep 26, 2017 - SCOTTSVILLE, Ky.)

Casey O’Donnell of Langston, Alabama, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division tournament on the Barren River Sunday with a two-day cumulative catch of 10 bass weighing 23 pounds, 15 ounces. O’Donnell pocketed $5,082 for his efforts.


O’Donnell said he spent the majority of the tournament working through one area on the south end of the river.


“I fished the ends of channel swing banks, anywhere from 2½ to 5 feet of water, and caught them from laydowns and stumps,” said O’Donnell, a former Tour co-angler who notched his first career win as a boater in BFL competition. “I run an aluminum Ranger boat, so it’s not as fast as some of the others out there but it’s more efficient up shallow.”


O’Donnell said nine of his 10 fish came flipping a ½-ounce Gambler Jigzilla with a green-pumpkin-colored Strike King Twin Tail Menace Grub trailer. He said he caught his heaviest bass Saturday using an albino-colored Spro Dean Rojas Poppin’ Frog.


The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
               1st:          Casey O'Donnell, Langston, Ala., 10 bass, 23-15, $5,082
               2nd:         Ryan Davidson, Branchland, W. Va., nine bass, 23-12, $2,541
               3rd:          Daniel Johnson, Lebanon, Tenn., eight bass, 21-7, $1,625
               4th:          Taylor Stumbo, Prestonsburg, Ky., seven bass, 18-15, $1,139
               5th:          Jerry Reagan, Byrdstown, Tenn., nine bass, 18-13, $976
               6th:          Charles Morrison, Georgetown, Ky., eight bass, 17-0, $895
               7th:          Joe Haunert, West Chester, Ohio, eight bass, 16-6, $814
               8th:          Brent Anderson, Kingston Springs, Tenn., seven bass, 15-5, $732
               9th:          Jason Bean, Scottsville, Ky., six bass, 15-3, $651
               10th:        Barry Smith, Catlettsburg, Ky., seven bass, 13-15, $570

J.J. Dean of Huntington, West Virginia, caught a 4-pound, 8-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the Boater Big Bass award of $600.


Chad Hill of Marion, Illinois, caught a two-day total of nine bass weighing 19 pounds, 15 ounces, to win the Co-angler Division and $2,441.


The top 10 co-anglers were:
               1st:          Chad Hill, Marion, Ill., nine bass, 19-15, $2,441
               2nd:         Alex Straubing, Cincinnati, Ohio, eight bass, 15-5, $1,320
               3rd:          Ralph Feldman, Lancaster, Ky., six bass, 12-3, $814
               4th:          Colton Smith, Somerset, Ky., six bass, 11-3, $620
               5th:          Bob Wiles, Huntington, W. Va., five bass, 10-14, $488
               6th:          Danell McKinney, West Liberty, Ky., five bass, 9-9, $447
               7th:          Jared Rudd, Salyersville, Ky., five bass, 9-9, $407
               8th:          Lucas Devere, Berea, Ky., four bass, 8-11, $366
               9th:          Raymond Manis, Jamestown, Tenn., four bass, 8-10, $325
               10th:        Chris O'Bryan, Harned, Ky., four bass, 8-9, $285


Cole McCourt of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 3 pounds, 7 ounces – and earned the Co-angler Big Bass award of $300.


The T-H Marine FLW BFL Mountain Division tournament on the Barren River was hosted by the Glasgow-Barren County Tourist & Convention Commission.


The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 5-7 BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.


The 2017 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they 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. The 2018 All-American will be held on Cross Lake in Shreveport, Louisiana, May 31-June 2 and is hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier City Sports Commission and the Red River Waterway Commission. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.


About FLW
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 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 258 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa 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.