Phil Marks of Dallas, Texas, caught a five-bass limit weighing 27 pounds, 8 ounces, Saturday to earn top honors at the first T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy Division event of the season on Sam Rayburn. For his efforts, Marks pocketed $8,143.
Marks says he caught the majority his fish on the main lake, specifically on the tips of ridges with isolated stumps. He fished through a dozen areas and was able to put 10 keepers in the boat throughout the day.
“I don’t think the water temperature on Sam Rayburn has been below 55 degrees in a few years, so the fish were really lethargic,” says Marks, an FLW Tour winner who had earned eight prior top-10 finishes on Rayburn in FLW competition. “I caught three or four good ones in the first hour which allowed me to focus on catching the big ones. It was a grind out there, but I knew when I got one it’d be a good one.”
“It’s funny – just about every bite was on the initial descent or when the bait was up under the boat,” says Marks. “I started making shorter casts so I could maximize my time in those strike zones.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Phil Marks, Dallas, Texas, five bass, 27-8, $6,143 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Richard Ballard, Sulphur, La., four bass, 19-12, $4,081
3rd: Terry Hawkins, Corsicana, Texas, five bass, 17-2, $2,048
4th: Kevin Lasyone, Dry Prong, La., five bass, 16-8, $1,363
5th: Anthony Jones, Irving, Texas, five bass, 15-13, $1,169
6th: Coy Riggins, Georgetown, Texas, five bass, 15-12, $1,071
7th: Chris Lewis, Longview, Texas, three bass, 15-11, $925
7th: Darold Gleason, Many, La., five bass, 15-11, $925
9th: Todd Castledine, Nacogdoches, Texas, five bass, 15-9, $779
10th: Brandon Thrash, Downsville, La., five bass, 15-8, $682
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Ballard caught a bass weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $960.
Michael Cotter of Arlington, Texas, won the Co-angler Division and $3,006 Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 10 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Michael Cotter, Arlington, Texas, five bass, 20-10, $3,006
2nd: Jacob Dupree, Haughton, La., four bass, 18-3, $1,453
3rd: Lindy Hadley, Sam Rayburn, Texas, five bass, 16-10, $971
4th: Richard Hooter, Natchitoches, La., five bass, 14-4, $678
5th: Fred Martin, North Little Rock, Ark., five bass, 13-10, $631
6th: Logan Slaughter, Dallas, Texas, five bass, 13-4, $533
7th: Taylor Hardin, Fort Worth, Texas, five bass, 13-1, $484
8th: Jimmy Brumfield, Madison, Miss., five bass, 12-3, $436
9th: Eric Lacroix, Ball, La., four bass, 11-13, $387
10th: Brian Allen, Katy, Texas, five bass, 11-8, $339
James Spell of Sulphur, Louisiana, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 8 pounds, 2 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $477.
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. 25-27 BFL 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 outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.