EUFAULA, Okla. – Justin Phillips of Checotah, Okla., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division event on Lake Eufaula. For his victory, Phillips earned $4,244.
“This was my first win as a boater, and what an awesome feeling it is,” said Phillips. “This is my home lake, and there are a lot of good, local sticks here. It is not easy to beat these guys.”
Phillips started the day by running up the lake and targeting clearer water. He fished shallow, targeting shallow brush and cover. He boated four keepers throwing a black-colored A and M Baits Neon Tube and a white War Eagle spinnerbait.
“After I covered all of my shallow water, I made the decision to move out deeper,” Phillips said. “I had gotten some key bites out deep in practice, and it turned out to be a good call.”
Phillips was able to boat his two biggest bass fishing deep, targeting brush piles.
“I pulled two nice post-spawn females out of the brush,” Phillips continued. “I was throwing a homemade brown football jig, trailered with an A and M Baits green-pumpkin craw. I only had six keeper bites throughout the entire day.”
Phillips credited his Lowrance electronics and local knowledge as the keys to his victory.
“I never ran out of areas to fish,” Phillips said. “I have spent a lot of time on this water, and I was able to find and mark key off shore structure that kept me fishing. I always had more areas that I could run to.
“I’m not sure if it made a difference or not, but I ran my HydroWave all day long,” Phillips went on to say. “I know that some other anglers credited it with their success, so that may have helped me as well.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros:
2nd: Matt Pangrac, Norman, Okla., five bass, 21-0, $2,122
3rd: Jeff Reynolds, Calera, Okla., five bass, 18-14, $1,413
4th: Kevin Rich, Cushing, Okla., five bass, 18-2, $990
5th: Rick Kelley, Ada, Okla., five bass, 17-15, $849
6th: Brad Koehler, Coweta, Okla., five bass, 17-9, $778
7th: Bradley Hallman, Norman, Okla., five bass, 17-6, $707
8th: Ryan Lovelace, Denison, Texas, five bass, 17-4, $637
9th: Don McFarlin, Gordonville, Texas, five bass, 17-3, $530
9th: Matt Miller, Tulsa, Okla., five bass, 17-3, $530
Complete results can be found here.
Leonard bests co-angler field
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers:
2nd: Benny Williams Jr., Poteau, Okla., five bass, 18-15, $1,061
3rd: Greg Green, Tulsa, Okla., five bass, 18-13, $707
4th: Ronald Miller, Mannford, Okla., five bass, 17-12, $495
5th: Tito Abiseid, Edmond, Okla., four bass, 13-13, $424
6th: Brad Dearman, Fort Gibson, Okla., five bass, 13-10, $389
7th: Kevin Turner, Sand Springs, Okla., five bass, 13-8, $354
8th: Robby Mavity, Ponca City, Okla., five bass, 13-5, $318
9th: Mike Reed, Grove, Okla., five bass, 12-2, $283
10th: Cory Miller, Marlow, Okla., three bass, 11-10, $248
Complete co-angler results can be found here.
The next BFL Okie Division tournament is scheduled for May 18 on Fort Gibson Lake in Wagoner, Okla. After the last divisional tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 17-19 Regional Championship on Lake Texoma in Pottsboro, Texas. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 40 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy. The 2013 BFL All-American is being held June 27-29 on Nickajack Lake in Chattanooga, Tenn. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2013 over the course of 220 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the “Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water.” For more information about FLW visit FLWOutdoors.com and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.