Keith Williams of Conway, Ark., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Arkie Division event on Lake Dardanelle. For his victory, Williams earned $3,289.
“My day started out very slow,” said Williams. “I had found an area mid-lake that was real good for me in practice. I ran straight there in the morning and started throwing a Lucky Craft RC 2.5 Square Bill crankbait. I was not catching anything. During practice it was very hot and sunny, but on tournament day it was cloudy and cool. I think that was the difference as to why I wasn’t getting the bites.
“After two hours of nothing, I started to move around and target isolated wood that was sticking out of the water near points and on sandbars,” Williams continued. “I kept throwing the crankbait and was able to get a limit of fish around 10 a.m. About this time the sun finally came out, so I returned to my original area that I had found in practice, and it was on. I ended up catching 12 keepers on the day, and had the most success with the crankbait and throwing a plum-colored Zoom Ol’ Monster.
“I really didn’t think that I had the weight to win when I was coming to the scales,” Williams went on to say. “Based on my practice, I thought it would take more weight, but it turned out to be enough. I think the key to my tournament was being able to locate the off-shore fish that weren’t getting beaten up.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: James Snell Jr., Van Buren, Ark., five bass, 18-07, $1,644
3rd: Duke Gunnell, Little Rock, Ark., five bass, 18-04, $1,097
4th: Kelly Coble, Conway, Ark., five bass, 17-09, $767
5th: Bill Burkett Paris, Ark., five bass, 17-00, $658
6th: Jerry Williams, Conway, Ark., five bass, 15-09, $603
7th: Kerry Milner, Bono, Ark., five bass, 15-05, $520 +$1,000 Evinrude Bonus
7th: Adam Wright, Benton, Ark., five bass, 15-05, $520
9th: Taylor Bray, Malvern, Ark., five bass, 14-14, $438
10th: Bradley Lequieu, Little Rock, Ark., five bass, 14-08, $384
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Stan Cullipher of Malvern, Ark., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 15 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win $1,644 in the co-angler division.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Robert Percy, Hot Springs National Park, Ark., four bass, 12-13, $822
3rd: Kevin Hopkins, Poyen, Ark., five bass, 12-4, $549
4th: Russell Richmond, Little Rock, Ark., four bass, 11-10, $384
5th: Josh Penn, Benton, Ark., five bass, 11-5, $329
6th: Baylee Linker, Russellville, Ark., three bass, 11-3, $301
7th: Robert Scott, Little Rock, Ark., four bass, 11-2, $$274
8th: Tito Abiseid, Conway, Ark., four bass, 9-11, $247
9th: Theodore Avlos, Alma, Ark., four bass, 9-9, $219
10th: Johnny Manning, Arkadelphia, Ark., four bass, 9-8, $192
The final 2012 BFL Arkie Division tournament is scheduled for Sept. 29-30 on Lake Ouachita in Royal, Ark. After that tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 18-20 Regional Championship on the Red River in Natchitoches, La. 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.