(Mar 28, 2018 - ASHDOWN, AR.)
Boater Wayne Dixon of Morrilton, Arkansas, weighed a 19-pound, 10-ounce, limit of bass Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie Division event on Lake Millwood presented by GEARED. For his win, Dixon pocketed $5,866.
Dixon spent his day upriver, above the White Cliffs area, targeting prespawn bass near cypress trees, coontail and milfoil. He said he used a Texas-rigged Right Bite Baits stickbait in 4½ to 5 feet of water.
“I originally had two areas – one where I’d caught a big one in practice and another that had a lot more fish,” said Dixon, who logged his first career win in FLW competition. “The night before the tournament my wife told me to go to the area with more fish and just sit down and catch them, so that’s what I did.
“The area was about 10 acres and I shared it with four other boats,” Dixon continued. “I used a 7-foot 2-inch Denali (KOVERT Lite) Heavy Casting Rod and caught 35 to 40 keepers.”
Dixon said that the bite was the best between 9 a.m. and noon, and that four of the five fish he weighed came in during that three-hour stretch.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Wayne Dixon, Morrilton, Ark., five bass, 19-10, $5,866
2nd: Chip Hawkins, Little Rock, Ark., five bass, 19-6, $2,336
3rd: Jeffery Conway, Mineral Springs, Ark., five bass, 19-0, $1,424
4th: Josh Ray, Alexander, Ark., five bass, 18-5, $1,097
5th: Steve Bowman, Little Rock, Ark., five bass, 18-4, $854
6th: Justin Swayze, Gurdon, Ark., five bass, 16-1, $783
7th: Chad Parks, Edgemont, Ark., five bass, 15-15, $712
8th: John Andrews Jr., Cherry Valley, Ark., five bass, 15-11, $641
9th: Harold Bennett, Hope, Ark., five bass, 15-6, $569
10th: Jerry Tabler, Mineral Springs, Ark., five bass, 15-1, $498
Dixon weighed a 7-pound, 9-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and also earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $595.
Kenyon Johnson of Mountain Home, Arkansas, won the Co-angler Division and $2,236 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 15 pounds, 13 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Kenyon Johnson, Mountain Home, Ark., five bass, 15-13, $2,236
2nd: Jacob Sloan, Paola, Kan., four bass, 14-13, $1,118
3rd: Steve Belew, Beebe, Ark., five bass, 13-11, $712
4th: John Vinakalns, Farmersville, Texas, five bass, 13-9, $498
5th: Larry Dugger, Pottsville, Ark., five bass, 13-3, $427
6th: Bo Mitchell, Malvern, Ark., five bass, 12-6, $392
7th: Patrick Massey, Texarkana, Ark., five bass, 12-4, $338
7th: Don Billiot, Bryant, Ark., five bass, 12-4, $338
9th: Doug Bishop, Bono, Ark., five bass, 12-3, $285
10th: Eddie Brown, Texarkana, Ark., five bass, 12-2, $249
Travis Harley of Sherwood, Arkansas, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 9 pounds, 9 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $297.
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. 25-27 BFL Regional Championship on Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri. 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 2018 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 BFL All-American will be held May 31-June 2 at Cross Lake in Shreveport, Louisiana, and is hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the 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 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. 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.