(Jan 28, 2019 - Thibodaux’s Fussell Wins Co-angler Division)
Local angler Cody Pitt of Many, caught five bass Saturday weighing 24 pounds, 5 ounces, to win the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) season opener on Toledo Bend Reservoir presented by Navionics. Pitt earned $6,349 for his efforts.
Pitt said he caught his fish in and around Housen Bay, first targeting prespawn bass back in a creek channel before heading out to the main lake. He used one lure to catch his limit – a Powder Blue Back Chartreuse-colored Strike King Pro Model 6XD crankbait.
“Timing was the biggest part of my success,” said Pitt, who logged his second career win on Toledo Bend Reservoir in BFL competition. “In practice, I tried to find the early morning bite, but it was pretty much non-existent. The first bite I could find was the prespawn bite, but it didn’t really get going until 8:30 or 9 [a.m.] I knew going into the tournament that if I could just make myself wait, they’d be pulled up and schooling and I could get some good bites.”
By 9:30 a.m., Pitt had 18 pounds of bass in the boat. He described his first area as a creek channel bend that met a secondary point, and said the fish were on the point waiting to head back and spawn. From there, he decided to concentrate on the main lake.
“My [main-lake] spots had hard bottoms and the fish were more in a wintertime pattern. I found that they were out there from around 10 [a.m.] to 1 [p.m.] – a window of time I’d narrowed down from practice,” said Pitt. “I used the 6XD and caught my best fish, including three that I think were each about 5 pounds.”
Pitt said he ended up catching approximately 20 keepers throughout his day.
“My Lowrance electronics were key to finding my fish. I spent a lot of time idling and down-scanning and side-scanning, just looking for either hard spots or fish themselves.”
.The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Cody Pitt, Many, La., five bass, 24-5, $6,349
2nd: Benjamin Gulett, Converse, La., five bass, 20-0, $2,775
3rd: Jeffrey Grubbs, Goodrich, Texas, five bass, 19-13, $1,782
4th: Josh Champagne, Breaux Bridge, La., five bass, 19-8, $1,248
5th: Albert Collins, Nacogdoches, Texas, five bass, 19-1, $1,070
6th: Travis Kelehan, Lafayette, La., five bass, 17-14, $981
7th: Justin Shelton, Kemp, Texas, five bass, 17-10, $892
8th: Bryan McDonough, Katy, Texas, five bass, 17-6, $802
9th: Ryan Pinkston, Center, Texas, five bass, 17-0, $713
10th: Andre Martin, Lena, La., five bass, 16-14, $893
10th: Eason Dowden, Many, La., five bass, 16-14, $593
Shannon Frick of Hemphill, Texas, caught an 8-pound, 7-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $850.
Bill Fussell of Thibodaux, Louisiana, won the Co-angler Division and $2,675 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Bill Fussell, Thibodaux, La., five bass, 15-8, $2,675
2nd: James Callaghan, De Berry, Texas, five bass, 14-4, $1,537
3rd: Chance Vicknair, Hemphill, Texas, five bass, 13-15, $941
4th: Jerry Strother, Glenmora, La., five bass, 13-9, $624
5th: Joseph Sciple, Lumberton, Texas, five bass, 13-4, $535
6th: Charles Dake, Carencro, La., five bass, 13-1, $490
7th: Jeff Grubbs Jr., Kemah, Texas, five bass, 12-15, $446
8th: Clark Moore, Nacogdoches, Texas, five bass, 12-5, $401
9th: Brian Murphy, Sulphur, La., five bass, 11-7, $357
10th: David Dennis, Mesquite, Texas, four bass, 11-5, $296
10th: Robert Bean, Daisetta, Texas, five bass, 11-5, $296
Carl Broussard of Converse, Louisiana, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 6 pounds, 12 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $425.
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. 24-26 BFL Regional Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.
The 2019 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 2019 BFL All-American will be held May 30-June 1 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland, and is hosted by the Charles County Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism and the Commissioners of Charles County. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com.
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 2019 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct more than 290 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 while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.