Mike Fann of Ozark, Mo., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2014 on Table Rock Lake. For his victory, Fann earned $3,756.
“It felt awesome,” Fann said. “I really didn’t think I would win, but it all worked out at the end. I was very excited. This time of year you never know. I know it’s been tough, but you never know until the end.
“I didn’t practice,” Fann said. “We’ve had some warmer weather and the water is warming up, but we had such a cold winter that the fish kind of went dormant this year. I’ve never fished in water this cold, so it’s been new for me.
“My thinking was that I was not going to practice because I knew how tough it was and I didn’t want to get discouraged. I would just go down and do what I was going to do.”
Fann explained that he fished points and sometimes had his boat in up to 45 feet of water. He said he reeled his umbrella rig back very slowly and either got bit right on the bottom or close to the boat.
“It was my day. I just got the right bites,” finished Fann. “I counted that I caught 10 fish. When I first had my limit I only had about 11 pounds. Typically on Table Rock if you catch a good one you catch it early. But by the end of the day I had 23 pound.”
Fann said he was using a homemade swimbait on a standard five-wire umbrella rig.
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Shawn Kowal, Linn Creek, Mo., five bass, 19-11, $1,878
3rd: Marcus Sykora, Osage Beach, Mo., five bass, 19-5, $1,253
4th: Chuck Baggett, Union, Mo., five bass, 18-7, $876
5th: Herb Nagy, Harrisonville, Mo., five bass, 16-1, $751
6th: Marty Bohlke Jr., Nixa, Mo., five bass, 14-10, $689
7th: Alex Heitman, St. Louis, Mo., five bass, 13-10, $626
8th: Mike Eutsler, Springfield, Mo., five bass, 13-5, $563
9th: Jay Hulsey, Bourbon, Mo., five bass, 12-12, $501
10th: Jerry Weisinger, Grove, Okla., five bass, 12-11, $438
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Pete Mathews of Shawnee, Kan., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win $1,878 in the co-angler division.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Tyler Branson, Jefferson City, Mo., five bass, 13-5, $939
3rd: Matt Masters, Branson, Mo., five bass, 12-14, $627
4th: Carl Thompson, Branson West, Mo., five bass, 10-5, $438
5th: Chris Klenke, Labadie, Mo., five bass, 10-3, $376
6th: Ronald Smith, Kansas City, Kan., three bass, 9-5, $344
7th: Steve Sizemore, O’Fallon, Mo., four bass, 8-8, $313
8th: Joe Waggoner, Carthage, Mo., three bass, 6-15, $282
9th: Steven Lowery, O’Fallon, Mo., three bass, 6-5, $250
10th: Sam Bremmerkamp, Joplin, Mo., two bass, 6-0, $219
The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 16-18 Regional Championship on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Jasper, Texas. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C 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 Rayovac FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
Image courtesy FLW Outdoors