Gary Dees of Hamilton, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Hoosier Division event on Lake Patoka. For his victory, Dees earned $5,514.
“I thought it was going to take 22 pounds to win this event,” said Dees. “But big ones were just not biting. I was pretty shocked when I ended up winning with 16 (pounds). I was just fishing out on the main lake targeting the shallow grass beds. I had about 15 spots mapped out from my practice, but I ended up only fishing five of them.
“I was throwing a green frog all day long,” Dees continued. “I think the key to my victory was figuring out that the bass were all hanging out in the middle of the beds. Everyone else was fishing the same beds, but they were out on the edges. Once I figured that out I caught 12 fish on the day. All of my fish were post-spawn. I also want to thank my sponsors – Ranger Boats, Mercury Marine and Dixie Marine. Without their help I wouldn’t be out there, so they were definitely a key to my win as well.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Roger Neff, Martinsville, Ind., five bass, 15-8, $1,757
3rd: Ron Eicher, Clarksville, Ind., five bass, 15-0, $1,172
4th: Todd Hensley, New Albany, Ind., five bass, 14-14, $820
5th: Charlie Crisp Jr., Catlettsburg, Ky., five bass, 14-12, $703
6th: John Guidry, Bloomington, Ind., five bass, 14-2, $644
7th: Ryan Deal, Haubstadt, Ind., five bass, 14-0, $586
8th: Patrick Mertens, Charlestown, Ind., five bass, 13-13, $527
9th: Jason Cordiale, Orinda, Calif., five bass, 13-9, $469
10th: Mike Quinlan, Mooresville, Ind., five bass, 13-6, $410
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Dustin Burk of Brookville, Ind., weighed in four bass totaling 12 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win $1,757 in the co-angler division.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Gary Owens, Columbus, Ind., five bass, 11-13, $879
3rd: Ron Gill, Camby, Ind., four bass, 9-7, $585
4th: Michael Leistner, Bloomington, Ind., three bass, 8-4, $410
5th: Travis Andres, New Albany, Ind., two bass, 7-14, $351
6th: Bob Garner, Martinsville, Ind., two bass, 7-9, $322
7th: Michael Anstead, Mt. Washington, Ky., two bass, 7-8, $293
8th: T.J. Hammons, Brownstown, Ind., three bass, 7-5, $264
9th: Ethan Hill, Columbus, Ind., three bass, 7-4, $234
10th: Wade Johnson, Louisville, Ky., three bass, 7-3, $205
The next BFL Hoosier Division tournament is scheduled for July 28 on the Ohio River in Cannelton, Ind. After the fifth Hoosier Division tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 4-6 Regional Championship on Cherokee Lake in Morristown, Tenn. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518 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 40 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.