Mark Tucker of Kirkwood, Mo., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds even Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division event on Lake of the Ozarks. For his victory, Tucker earned $5,720.

“I caught all of my fish on a spinnerbait,” said Tucker. “The fish weren’t relating to the bank. They were around 6 to 7 feet deep, over about 15 to 17 feet of water. I was just slowly rolling either a 3/8- or ½-ounce spinnerbait that had a Colorado- and willow-leaf configuration for the blades. I was throwing it on 17-pound monofilament line, so that it would float a bit more than if I had used fluorocarbon. I was trying to keep the boat in about 15 to 17 feet of water while I made parallel casts to the bank.

“It was really key if you could find some laydowns on a 45-degree bank,” Tucker continued. “It was even better if those laydowns stretched down deep and had a few limbs sticking up. The fish weren’t relating to the wood, but they were just off the end of the wood, suspending out in front of it. I could see the fish on my graph.

“The water temperatures started in the high 40’s and ended in the low 50’s,” Tucker went on to say. “The water had some color in it, and you could see the spinnerbait down about a foot or so. On Saturday, we had 30 mph winds and it was overcast. That really helped the spinnerbait bite. After the sun came out at around 1:30, I never got another good bite.”

Rounding out the top 10 pros were:

2nd: Andre Dickneite, Freeburg, Mo., five bass, 19-11, $2,360
3rd: Roger Fitzpatrick, Eldon, Mo., five bass, 17-15, $1,574
4th: Jim Kopff, Old Monroe, Mo., five bass, 16-14, $1,101
5th: Larry Stoafer, Leavenworth, Kan., four bass, 16-0, $944
6th: Bruce Parsons, Moravia, Iowa, five bass, 15-10, $865
7th: Jim Stamper, Montreal, Mo., five bass, 14-13, $787
8th: Tim Fleetwood, Forsyth, Mo., five bass, 14-7, $708 + $300 Evinrude Bonus
9th: Aaron Whittle, Lohman, Mo., five bass, 13-12, $629
10th: Doug Henzlik, Overland Park., Kan., three bass, 13-10, $551

Brandon Patterson of Manhattan, Kan., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win $2,360 in the co-angler division.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:

2nd: Seth Holder, Centerton, Ark., four bass, 15-10, $1,180
3rd: Chris Klenke, Labadie, Mo., two bass, 12-2, $787
4th: Michael Ratz, Hudson, Wis., four bass, 12-0, $551
5th: Robert Loyd, Springfield, Mo., four bass, 11-3, $472
6th: Tommy Lowery, O’Fallon, Mo., two bass, 10-11, $433
7th: Joshua Pullins, Mineral Point, Mo., three bass, 9-4, $393
8th: James Kelley, Maryland Heights, Mo., three bass, 9-0, $354
9th: Clay Messmer, Ballwin, Mo., four bass, 8-12, $315
10th: Alan Quick, Springfield, Mo., two bass, 8-11, $275

The next BFL Ozark Division tournament is scheduled for April 27 on Stockton Lake in Stockton, Mo. After the last divisional tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 17-19 Regional Championship on Lake Texoma in Pottsboro, Texas. 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. The 2013 BFL All-American is being held June 27–29 on the Nickajack Lake in Chattanooga, Tenn. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.

Image courtesy FLW Outdoors

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