Crane Looked for Bedding Bass - Major League Fishing

Crane Looked for Bedding Bass

Willins lands co-angler title on Ross Barnett
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Mitch Crane of Columbus, Miss., won the March 5 Mississippi Division event on Ross Barnett with a 19-pound, 1-ounce limit and walked away with over $5,500 in prize money.
March 7, 2016 • MLF • Archives

Mitch Crane of Columbus, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division tournament of 2016 on Ross Barnett Reservoir. For his victory, Crane took home $5,582.

“I started my day targeting bass in a pocket right off of the main channel in the Pearl River,” says Crane, who took top honors in his first-ever FLW event. “I caught three keepers along a point within 30 minutes using a white Z-Man ChatterBait rigged with a Gambler Little EZ Swimbait.”

Crane says that a key to his pattern was dialing in on bedding fish.

“Around noon, I went to a bedding area where a couple of canals came off of an old channel swing,” says Crane. “I flipped a Blueberry-colored Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw and caught two bass – a 4- and 5-pounder – that were settled in clear water. After I got them in the boat I was feeling pretty confident.”

Crane went on to say that the competition likely overlooked bedding fish due to colder water temperatures.

“The water temperature was only around 58 degrees, but I went looking for the big bedding fish and they were there,” says Crane. “They ended up sealing the deal.”

The top 10 boaters:

1st:          Mitch Crane, Columbus, Miss., five bass, 19-1, $5,582

2nd:         Teddy Cranford, Seminary, Miss., five bass, 16-15, $2,791

3rd:          Matt Allen, Brandon, Miss., five bass, 15-2, $1,861

4th:          Rick Mcklemurry, Brandon, Miss., five bass, 14-12, $1,302

5th:          Bradley Burns, Brandon, Miss., five bass, 14-6, $1,116

6th:          Jeffery Davis, Steens, Miss., four bass, 14-0, $1,023

7th:          Kevin Daigle, Brandon, Miss., five bass, 13-15, $930

8th:          Joel Barber, Brandon, Miss., five bass, 13-14, $837

9th:          Justin Leet, Bartlett, Tenn., five bass, 13-13, $744

10th:        Dalton Laster, Morton, Miss., four bass, 13-10, $618

10th:        Michael Savell, Brandon, Miss., five bass, 13-10, $618

Complete results can be found here. 

Philip Atkins of Columbus, Mississippi, caught a fish weighing 6 pounds, 13 ounces – the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $895.


Co-angler Mark Willins of Bartlett, Tenn., won the March 5 Mississippi Division event on Ross Barnett with a 19-pound, 11-ounce limit to claim a $2,700 payday.

Willins wins co-angler title

Mark Willins of Bartlett, Tennessee, weighed in five bass totaling 19 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to earn $2,791 and win the co-angler division.

The top 10 co-anglers:

1st:          Mark Willins, Bartlett, Tenn., five bass, 19-11, $2,791

2nd:         Mike Allen, Crystal Springs, Miss., five bass, 15-1, $1,395

3rd:          Jesse Steadham, Florence, Miss., five bass     14-15, $931

4th:          Noel Allen Jr., Brandon, Miss., five bass, 14-3, $651

5th:          Glen Mire, Brandon, Miss., five bass, 13-9, $558

6th:          Richard Hitt, Brandon, Miss., five bass, 13-3, $512

7th:          Hunter Ketteringham, Philadelphia, Miss., three bass, 11-12, $465

8th:          Frank Parker, McHenry, Miss., three bass, 11-8, $419

9th:          Marian Hall, Hattiesburg, Miss., five bass, 11-5, $372

10th:        Todd Fowlkes, Collierville, Tenn., five bass, 10-7, $326

James Brauer caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $447.

The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 27-29 Regional Championship on Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, Arkansas. 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.

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