Matthew Bates of Greenville, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds even Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Ferguson. For his victory, Bates earned $3,963.
“It’s really exciting to come out on top after a great day of fishing,” said Bates of his first career win in FLW competition. “Hopefully I can carry this momentum into the next tournament.
“It was raining and cloudy Saturday so I had to fish shallow,” continued Bates. “I flipped trees using a green-pumpkin football-head jig with a watermelon-candy-colored Berkley Chigger Craw trailer about a mile from the boat ramp where there was a lot of shad. I focused on a sand ridge with willow trees and ironwood bushes. I also cycled through four different humps.
“I caught my first fish around 8:30 a.m. – a small 1½-pounder,” said Bates. “At 10:45 I brought in a 4-pound fish in 12 feet of water. After that I did another run through the humps, lost one, and started to get a little frustrated.”
Bates said that after he lost the fish near the humps he switched his strategy in order to reach a limit.
“I made a run to the north end of the lake after the sun came out,” said Bates. “I pulled up to a spot and on the second cast I reeled in a 5-pound bass in 15 feet of water on the football jig. Three casts later I caught another 4-pounder.”
Bates went on to say that he got his final bite of the day at 12:30 p.m. on a Powder-Blue Back-Chartreuse-colored Strike King Pro Model 6XD Crankbait.
“I also weighed in two fish from a Carolina-rigged Zoom Brush Hog,” Bates said. “Everything seemed to fall into place as the day went on. I couldn’t have asked for a better tournament.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Matthew Bates, Greenville, Miss., five bass, 20-0, $3,963
2nd: David Dove, Steens, Miss., five bass, 15-14, $1,981
3rd: Tim McDaniel, Grenada, Miss., five bass, 13-12, $1,322
4th: Gene Bishop, Ridgeland, Miss., five bass, 11-14, $925
5th: Jonathan Sultan, Grenada, Miss., five bass, 11-2, $793
6th: Buzz Gallo, Moselle, Miss., five bass, 10-0, $727
7th: Wayne Parish, Amory, Miss., five bass, 9-10, $660
8th: Tim Swann, New Albany, Miss., four bass, 8-11, $594
9th: Philip Atkins, Columbus, Miss., five bass, 8-8, $528
10th: Danny Walden, Columbus, Miss., two bass, 8-1, $462
Complete results can be found here.
Bates also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 1 ounce and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $535.
Tisdale wins co-angler title
Jimmy Tisdale of Ellisville, Mississippi, weighed in four bass totaling 8 pounds, 3 ounces Saturday to win $1,981 in the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Jimmy Tisdale, Ellisville, Miss., four bass, 8-3, $1,981
2nd: Bernard Crump, Jackson, Miss., five bass, 6-14, $991
3rd: Jennings Earnest, Guin, Ala., five bass, 6-8, $662
4th: Lance Jackson, Starkville, Miss., three bass, 6-6, $462
5th: Donnie Miller, Florence, Ala., two bass, 5-2, $396
6th: Jason Mitchell, Hamilton, Miss., three bass, 4-6, $363
7th: Bill Robilio, Germantown, Tenn., three bass, 4-1, $330
8th: John Swords, Collierville, Tenn., two bass, 3-14, $297
9th: Jeremy Duke, Gautier, Miss., two bass, 3-7, $247
9th: Charles Knowles, Canton, Miss., three bass, 3-7, $247
Elton Bryant of Lisman, Alabama, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $267.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 22-24 Regional Championship on Neely Henry Lake in Gadsden, Alabama. 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.