Birge Boats 29 Pounds on Grand Lake - Major League Fishing

Birge Boats 29 Pounds on Grand Lake

Fielder nets co-angler top prize in Okie Division opener
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Zack Birge of Blanchard, Okla., sacked 29 pounds, 1 ounce on Grand Lake to win the first Okie Division event of the season. Birge was awarded a check worth $7,000 for his efforts. Angler: Zack Birge.
March 14, 2015 • MLF • Archives

GROVE, Okla. – Zack Birge of Blanchard, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 29 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Birge earned $7,000.

“It feels good to grab a win between Tour events,” said Birge, who is fishing his rookie season at the sport’s top level – the Walmart FLW Tour. “I like these one-day Saturday BFL tournaments. They’re a lot of fun and there is some very good local competition.”

Birge built a winning stringer by returning to a practice spot he had explored earlier in the week. He found warmer water in a pocket and figured the big females he caught in practice would be moving in there. He was right.

“I caught every one of my fish in that spot,” said Birge. “I stayed in there all day and netted 20 to 25 fish in 2 or 3 feet of water.”

Birge’s key bait was a Chrome Sexy Shad-colored Rat-L-Trap crankbait. It was the only bait he used for the duration of the tournament.

“Everyone else was throwing umbrella rigs and jerkbaits,” said Birge. “I threw the Rat-L-Trap because nobody else was, so I figured the fish hadn’t seen it. It worked out well.”

The top 10 boaters:

1st:          Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., five bass, 29-1, $6,000 + $1,000 Mercury Bonus

2nd:         Cade Alsbury, Cave Springs, Ark., five bass, 23-6, $3,000

3rd:          Jeff Dobson, Ponca City, Okla., five bass, 21-9, $2,000

4th:          Earl Clinton, Stilwell, Okla., five bass, 20-4, $1,400

5th:          Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., five bass, 20-2, $1,200

6th:          Shawn Kowal, Linn Creek, Mo., five bass, 18-1, $1,100

7th:          Ed Barton, Vian, Okla., five bass, 17-13, $1,000

8th:          B.J. Miller, Adams, Neb., five bass, 17-8, $900

9th:          John Shore, Owasso, Okla., five bass, 16-1, $800

10th:        Rick Kelley, Ada, Okla., five bass, 15-6, $700           

Complete results can be found here.

Clinton caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $1,000.

Fielder wins co-angler title

Co-angler Fred Fielder of Vian, Okla., took top honors in the March 14 Okie Division event on Grand Lake with a 17-pound, 8-ounce limit. Fielder walked away with a $3,000 check for his efforts.Fred Fielder of Vian, Oklahoma, weighed in a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win $3,000 in the co-angler division.

The top 10 co-anglers:

1st:          Fred Fielder, Vian, Okla., five bass, 17-8, $3,000

2nd:         William Hudson, Norman, Okla., five bass, 16-8, $1,500

3rd:          Jamie Eynard, Holts Summit, Mo., five bass, 15-5, $1,000

4th:          Brian Garner, Tulsa, Okla.,  five bass, 15-4, $700

5th:          Michael Fontenot, Fort Gibson, Okla., four bass, 14-13, $600

6th:          Bob Keeth, Dixon, Mo., five bass, 13-9, $550

7th:          Don Gable, Stillwater, Okla., four bass, 10-9, $500

8th:          Dalton Ross, Rogers, Ark., three bass, 10-0, $450

9th:          Brian Gibler, Baldwin City, Kan., three bass, 9-15, $400

10th:        David Hamilton, Rogers, Ark., three bass, 9-12, $350

Fontenot caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $500.

The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 22-24 Regional Championship on Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.