Boater Tyler Matlock of Omaha, Arkansas, caught 11 pounds, 9 ounces of bass Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie Division tournament on Greers Ferry Lake. For his efforts, Matlock took home $3,205.
“I stayed in the upper lake area, in the creeks, fishing for largemouth in clumps of bushes,” said Matlock, who earned his second career victory in BFL competition. “There were little stretches – maybe 50-yards long – of those clumps, but they might only hold a few fish. I probably fished 10 or 15 of the stretches and caught keepers out of two creeks.
“I started off with a couple of topwater baits, but couldn’t get anything going,” continued Matlock. “After a little breeze picked up, I switched to a ½-ounce (chartreuse and white-colored) Chompers spinnerbait with a (White Pearl-colored) Zoom Split Tail trailer and caught a Kentucky bass. As I got out of the wind, I switched to a (Texas-rigged, green-pumpkin Reaction Innovations) Sweet Beaver and pitched the bushes. Within five minutes I caught a good keeper largemouth and within the hour I had four, including three of my biggest.”
At that time, Matlock said he went farther upriver and caught another keeper largemouth on the spinnerbait to cull out his Kentucky bass. He said he culled one more time, also up the river, using the Sweet Beaver with 30 to 40 minutes left to fish.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Tyler Matlock, Omaha, Ark., five bass, 11-9, $3,205
2nd: Shawn Gordon, Russellville, Ark., five bass, 10-14, $2,053
3rd: Jessie Clark, Bonnerdale, Ark., five bass, 10-6, $1,068
4th: Dylan Hays, El Dorado, Ark., five bass, 9-12, $848
5th: Chip Hawkins, Little Rock, Ark., five bass, 9-8, $614
5th: Spencer Shuffield, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 9-8, $614
7th: Travis Mosley, Benton, Ark., five bass, 9-6, $534
8th: Charlie Lawrence, Plainview, Ark., five bass, 9-4, $481
9th: Shad Reeves, Batesville, Ark., five bass, 8-13, $379
9th: Kevin Brown, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 8-13, $829
9th: Allan Reaves, Pottsville, Ark., five bass, 8-13, $379
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Nick Jones of Benton, Arkansas, caught a 4-pound, 4-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $385.
Tony Smith of Bryant, Arkansas, won the Co-angler Division and $1,703 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 9 pounds, 12 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Tony Smith, Bryant, Ark., five bass, 9-12, $1,703
2nd: David Hardin, Bethel, Okla., five bass, 9-0, $801
3rd: Aaron Calvert, Russellville, Ark., five bass, 8-12, $683
4th: Tony Reynolds, Austin, Ark., four bass, 8-6, $566
5th: Robert Scott, Little Rock, Ark., five bass, 8-2, $371
6th: Stan Cullipher, Malvern, Ark., five bass, 7-9, $294
7th: Alan West, Searcy, Ark., five bass, 7-8, $267
8th: Randy Bridges, Quitman, Ark., five bass, 7-5, $240
9th: Pete Clark, Malvern, Ark., five bass, 7-3, $200
9th: Bradley Branson, Bryant, Ark., five bass, 7-3, $200
Reynolds caught the heaviest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 3 pounds, 7 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $192.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 24-26 BFL Regional Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.
The 2019 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. The 2019 BFL All-American will be held May 30-June 1 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland, and is hosted by the Charles County Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism and the Commissioners of Charles County. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.