Michael Stetich of Omaha, Neb., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 25 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division event on Table Rock Lake. For his victory, Stetich earned $6,472.
“I fished from Kimberling City to the lower end of the lake,” said Stetich. “I had 18 keepers, 14 of which came shallow off of transition banks in the morning. I was mostly throwing the Alabama rig and had a 17 to 18 pound limit.
“Then I made an adjustment,” Stetich continued. “About 1 p.m. I started fishing deep, about 35-40 feet. I was able to get three bass over 6 pounds each using Dirty Jigs Tackle Football jig in peanut butter and jelly color. The difference for me was my Hummingbird imaging device. To win any tournament you still have to locate and pattern the fish and my Hummingbird was a major factor in my victory on Saturday.
Stetich believed that Saturday’s bright bluebird skies and light wind prevented the big bass from going shallow. He indicated that the bigger bass seemed to have pulled out and suspended themselves later in the day.
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
The next BFL Ozark Division tournament is scheduled for March 24 on Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Mo. After the fifth Ozark Division tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 11 – 13 Regional Championship on Lake Barkley in Kuttawa, Ky. 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 2012 BFL All-American is being held May 17 – 19 on the Potomac River in National Harbor, Md. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.