Former Stephen F. Austin College Fishing angler Blake Schroeder of Whitehouse, Texas, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 28 pounds, 10 ounces, Saturday to win the first T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Cowboy Division tournament of 2017 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Navionics. For finishing atop the massive field of 230 boats, Schroeder took home the top award of $9,000 for his win.
“All of my bass that I weighed in came from different areas on the reservoir,” says Schroeder, who earned his first career win in FLW competition. “The water was abnormally warm for this time of year, so the fish were spread out. I did a lot of running around and burned almost an entire tank of fuel.”
Schroeder's day was split between fishing grass and deep points, he notes that his primary areas were anywhere from 4 to 25 feet deep.
“Around Caney Creek I used a crawfish-colored Rat-L-Trap in the grass,” says Schroeder. “By 1 p.m., I had everything that I weighed in.”
Schroeder says he caught the biggest bass of the event – an 8-pound, 11-ounce giant – just north of the Highway 147 bridge.
“I caught it on a Carolina-rigged Watermelon Candy Red-colored Zoom Brush Hog,” says Schroeder. “I used the Hog out deep around points that had brush, laydowns or any changes in structure.”
The Whitehouse angler caught 15 keepers throughout the tournament.
“The bass were really biting so I was worried someone was going to bring in more weight – especially with the talent in the Cowboy Division,” says Schroeder. “I just had the right bites.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Blake Schroeder, Whitehouse, Texas, five bass, 28-10, $7,000 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Cody Pitt, Many, La., five bass, 23-7, $3,200
3rd: Will Hughes, Whitehouse, Texas, five bass, 20-12, $2,100
4th: Philip Crelia, Center, Texas, five bass, 20-2, $1,400
5th: Thomas McMillan, Choudrant, La., five bass, 19-2, $1,200
6th: Dillon Y'Barbo, Buna, Texas, five bass, 18-15, $1,100
7th: Shane Howell, Franklin, Texas, five bass, 18-10, $1,000
8th: Randy Despino, Colfax, La., five bass, 18-6, $900
9th: Blake Naquin, Thibodaux, La., five bass, 18-5, $800
10th: Anthony Jones, Irving, Texas, five bass, 17-14, $700
Complete results can be found here.
Schroeder’s 8-pound, 11-ounce largemouth also earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $1000.
Scott Duckworth of New Caney, Texas, weighed in five bass totaling 24 pounds even Saturday to win the co-angler division and earn $3,500.
Duckworth wins co-angler title
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Scott Duckworth, New Caney, Texas, five bass, 24-0, $3,500
2nd: Rick Vallis, Fort Smith, Ark., five bass, 19-15, $1,500
3rd: Hugh Cosculluela, The Woodlands, Texas, five bass, 17-11, $1,000
4th: Percy Richardson, Lufkin, Texas, five bass, 16-3, $700
5th: Bob Walton, Longview, Texas, five bass, 15-11, $600
6th: Ted Robbins, Longview, Texas, five bass, 15-8, $550
7th: Phillip Macomber, Woodville, Texas, five bass, 14-12, $500
8th: Shad Jenkins, San Augustine, Texas, five bass, 14-10, $425
8th: Jake Jordan, China, Texas, five bass, 14-10, $425
10th: John Bach, Salem, Mo., five bass, 14-2, $350
Complete results can be found here.
Duckworth also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, weighing 7 pounds, 4 ounces, and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $500.
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. 19-21 BFL Regional Championship on the Red River in Bossier City, Louisiana. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.