Ken Smith of Dallas, Texas, caught five bass Saturday weighing 21 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy division tournament on Toledo Bend. Smith earned $8,303 for his victory.
Due to a shortage of co-angler participants, Smith had to fish in a boater-on-boater format and was paired with River Lee of Nacogdoches, Texas. It was a successful day on the water for the duo, as Smith won the event while Lee finished the event in 12th place and won $431.
“I had fish down by the dam, but he had fish closer so we decided to start on his fish and work our way south,” says Smith, who earned his second career victory in BFL competition. “We were fishing in my boat, but we never made it to my fish. Our first spot – which River suggested – we caught five keepers, back and forth, and we never left the area. In fairness, the place we fished is a community hole, but I certainly want to give River credit for putting us on the winning fish.”
“The fish were up in the grass as opposed to being on the edge,” Smith says. “Around 11 (a.m.) I caught the big one (7-14) and then a 6-pounder. In 15 minutes I went from 12 pounds to 21 pounds.
“The key was fishing up in the viney bank grass,” Smith went on to say. “There were a lot of guys in the area fishing frogs and topwaters and we were coming in right behind them and catching them way up in the grass.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Ken Smith, Dallas, Texas, five bass, 21-12, $6,303 + $2,000 Ranger Cup
2nd: Cole Stewart, Hemphill, Texas, five bass, 20-13, $2,232
3rd: Zack Fogle, White Oak, Texas, five bass, 20-1, $1,489
4th: Philip Crelia, Center, Texas, five bass, 19-3, $1,141
5th: Paul Wilson, Converse, La., five bass, 17-15, $893
6th: Glen Freeman, Zwolle, La., five bass, 17-7, $818
7th: Josh Champagne, Breaux Bridge, La., five bass, 17-5, $744
8th: Nick Abshire, Sulphur, La., five bass, 17-4, $632
8th: Cody Pitt, Many, La., five bass, 17-4, $632
10th: Matthew Armand, Hessmer, La., five bass, 15-14, $521
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Smith’s 7-pound, 14-ounce bass was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $640.
Nichols wins co-angler title
Lat Nichols of Deport, Texas, won the Co-angler Division and $2,357 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 15 pounds, 14 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Lat Nichols, Deport, Texas, five bass, 15-14, $2,357
2nd: Julio Garza, Houston, Texas, five bass, 13-6, $1,129
3rd: Joey Tuminello, Lafayette, La., five bass, 13-2, $717
4th: James Callaghan, De Berry, Texas, five bass, 11-10, $503
5th: Brent Cooper, The Woodlands, Texas, five bass, 11-4, $431
6th: Richard Hooter, Natchitoches, La., four bass, 11-3, $396
7th: Rodney Harris, Texarkana, Ark., five bass, 10-3, $360
8th: Jeff Grubbs Jr., Kemah, Texas, three bass, 10-2, $779
9th: Cannon Rush, Grand Prairie, Texas, five bass, 10-0, $288
10th: Dillon Roberts, Claremore, Okla., five bass, 9-9, $252
Grubbs Jr. caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 13 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $305.
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. 24-26 BFL Regional Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.