MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Darrin Stratton of Russellville, Ark., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament of 2014 on the Arkansas River. For his victory, Stratton earned $4,948.
Stratton milked one breakline to pick up his first BFL win in the first BFL tournament that he has ever entered.
“I caught `em on a swim jig,” said Stratton. “I was fishing a little break the fish were moving up on. I had lots of boats around me, it was a community area. I went back and forth all day along a 70-yard stretch in a backwater.”
Stratton said that the water depth on his break was 1- to 2-feet deep, and that he didn’t make a cast in water deeper than 3 feet.
“We probably caught 15 fish. They kept moving in all day. I had three waypoints marked and you could almost count on a fish if you gave them a 15 minute rest.
“I didn’t think I would win,” continued Stratton. “I prefished the last two weeks and had one spot where I thought I could catch 40 fish. But it was so shallow that I got stuck on a sandbar and couldn’t get in there.
“It’s pretty exciting to win. I fished tournaments until my son got old enough to play baseball. At that point, I stopped fishing tournaments for six years. He’s not playing travel baseball this year, so I’m getting back into it.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros:
2nd: Kevin Treece, Fort Smith, Ark., five bass, 19-7, $2,474
3rd: Ed Barton, Vian, Okla., five bass, 19-5, $1,649
4th: Christopher Jones, Bokoshe, Okla., five bass, 18-13, $1,155
5th: Darren Mize, Spiro, Okla., five bass, 17-13, $990
6th: Nick Aber, Piedmont, Okla., five bass, 17-4, $907
7th: Mike Michelson, Altus, Okla., five bass, 17-0, $825
8th: David Youngblood, Owasso, Okla., five bass, 16-15, $742
9th: Jeff Ransom, Muldrow, Okla, five bass, 16-8, $660
10th: Chris McCall, Brookeland, Texas, five bass, 16-7, $577 + $300 Evinrude Bonus
Complete results can be found here.
Sanders wins co-angler title
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers:
2nd: Wesley Potter, Colcord, Okla., five bass, 18-6, $1,237
3rd: Steven Whitaker, Sallisaw, Okla., five bass, 16-2, $824
4th: Jereme Cullen, Haysville, Kan., four bass, 14-12, $536
4th: John Hubbard, Broken Arrow, Okla., five bass, 14-12, $536
6th: Heath Eldridge, McAlester, Okla., five bass, 14-5, $454
7th: Kalin Leinberger, Muskogee, Okla., three bass, 12-8, $412
8th: Chris Leuze, Wichita, Kan., five bass, 11-9, $371
9th: David Blackstock, The Colony, Texas, four bass, 11-0, $330
10th: James Rogers, Springdale, Ark., five bass, 10-12, $289
Complete co-angler results can be found here.
The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 16-18 Regional Championship on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Jasper, Texas. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C 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. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Rayovac FLW 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 2014 over the course of 229 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, Instagram and YouTube.