Shawn Kowal of Linn Creek, Mo., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division event on Stockton Lake. For his victory, Kowal earned $4,337.

Shawn Kowal of Linn Creek, Mo., won the April 27 Ozark Division event on Stockton Lake with a 14-pound, 10-ounce limit. Kowal was awarded over $4,300 in tournament winnings.

“The key for me in this tournament was a new prototype bait from Crock-O-Gator Bait Company,” said Kowal, who finished second in the Lake of the Ozarks EverStart tournament last month. “It hasn’t been released yet, but it’s called a Gator Shaker Rattle Head. It’s a shaky-head rig that has a rattle built into the head. I was throwing it rigged with a green pumpkin-colored Wave Worm, and all of my big fish came from that bait.”

Kowal said he caught three bigger fish using the prototype bait early, then the bite slowed.

“I was in the first flight of boats, and that made a huge difference for me,” Kowal said. “The bass were up shallow right away in the morning, but after the first hour they moved out.”

After the morning bite shut down, Kowal started throwing an umbrella rig but had no success. He was able to fill out his limit throwing a Carolina-rigged green pumpkin Zoom Baby Brush Hog.

“Those bigger fish just quit biting,” Kowal continued. “All that we were catching were little bucks. I caught around 25 fish throughout the day, but only five were keepers. I wasn’t confident that I had enough weight to win, but I’m glad that I did.”

Rounding out the top 10 pros were:

2nd: Rick Johnston, Webb City, Mo., five bass, 13-5, $1,689 + $300 Evinrude Bonus
3rd: Ernest Brown Jr., Schell City, Mo., five bass, 13-0, $1,128
4th: Josh Busby, Rogersville, Mo., five bass, 12-10, $788
5th: Jason Bauernfeind, Raymore, Mo., five bass, 12-5, $647
5th: Wes Endicott, Joplin, Mo., five bass, 12-5, $647
7th: Brian Thompson, Springfield, Mo., four bass, 11-15, $563
8th: Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., five bass, 11-12, $507
9th: B.J. Davis, Mountain Home, Ark., five bass, 11-11, $450
10th: Chris Hughes, Springfield, Mo., five bass, 11-7, $394

Joe Dietz of O’Fallon, Mo., weighed in four bass totaling 9 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win $1,689 in the co-angler division.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:

2nd: Mike Foelsch, O’Fallon, Mo., four bass, 7-15, $844
3rd: Brian Gibler, Baldwin City, Kan., four bass, 7-14, $479
3rd: Alan Quick, Springfield, Mo., four bass, 7-14, $479
5th: Craig Rose, Olathe, Kan., four bass, 7-9, $338
6th: Clay Messmer, Ballwin, Mo., two bass, 6-13, $310
7th: Corey Stoker, Springfield, Mo., two bass, 6-10, $281
8th: Nick Pinion, Webb City, Mo., three bass, 6-9, $253
9th: Donnie Agnew, Farmington, Mo., three bass, 6-8, $211
9th: Stanley Caldwell, Thayer, Mo., two bass, 6-8, $211

The next BFL Ozark Division tournament is scheduled for June 22 on Lake Truman in Warsaw, 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.

Image courtesy FLW Outdoors

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