Local angler Zack Freeman of Russellville, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 12 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Dardanelle. For his victory, Freeman earned $3,718.
“I spent the day picking apart a main-lake ledge," says Freeman, who earned his first win in FLW competition. “I targeted bass in a school that I had located the week before, but in sunny weather. On Friday evening some storms moved through, so I didn’t know if they’d still be there. Thankfully, after a little time, I had them figured out again.”
Freeman says the bass were suspended in 6 to 8 feet of water, not on top of the brush piles like he had originally planned.
“I had to swim a jig over the top of them,” says Freeman. “I used a custom green pumpkin and purple colored football jig and ran along a 50-yard stretch. I fished the area until noon and then hit a couple of other spots.”
Freeman switched to a Carolina-rigged, green-pumpkin-colored Zoom Mag 2 Worm toward the end of his day.
“Of the 11 keepers I caught during the event, I ended up weighing two from the Mag 2,” says Freeman. “I had a great day out there.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Zack Freeman, Russellville, Ark., five bass, 18-12, $3,718
2nd: Brandon Lee, Ratcliff, Ark., five bass, 18-3, $1,859
3rd: Shawn Gordon, Russellville, Ark., five bass, 18-2, $1,538
4th: Spencer Grace, Dardanelle, Ark., five bass, 17-12, $867
5th: Joey Cifuentes, Clinton, Ark., five bass, 17-10, $744
6th: Cody Burke, Bryant, Ark., five bass, 17-0, $682
7th: Zach King, Clarksville, Ark., five bass, 16-3, $620
8th: Robert Stevens, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 15-10, $558
9th: Josh Hilton, Clarksville, Ark., five bass, 15-6, $496
10th: Mike Webster, Atkins, Ark., five bass, 15-3, $412
10th: Chris Morgan, Mineral Springs, Ark., five bass, 15-3, $412
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Lance Pyle of Sherwood, Arkansas, caught a bass weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces – the biggest of the tournament in the pro division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $485.
Cole wins co-angler title
Rick Cole of Hot Springs, Arkansas, weighed in five bass totaling 16 pounds, 14 ounces, Saturday to win the co-angler division and earn $1,859.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Rick Cole, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 16-14, $1,859
2nd: Ron Knight, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 13-7, $929
3rd: Jason Broomfield, Waldron, Ark., five bass, 13-5, $861
4th: A.J. Mays, Cabot, Ark., five bass, 13-0, $434
5th: Branko Todorovic, Hot Springs, Ark., four bass, 12-1, $372
6th: Jason Scoggins, Benton, Ark., five bass, 10-10, $341
7th: Ed Howerton, Rogers, Ark., four bass, 10-5, $310
8th: Colton Garrett, Jonesboro, Ark., four bass, 9-14, $279
9th: Jon Paulovich, Benton, Ark., five bass, 9-9, $248
10th: Joe Grafeman, Lake Ozark, Mo., five bass, 9-7, $217
Broomfield caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $242.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 6-8 Regional Championship on Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, Tennessee. 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.