Lieblong Wins Rayovac FLW Series Central Division Finale on Lake Dardanelle Presented by Mercury
Smith wins co-angler title
Jason Lieblong Photo by Shane Durrance. Angler: Jason Lieblong.
“I’m still stoked from that final weigh-in,” said Lieblong, who earned his second career win in FLW competition. “There are a lot of great anglers in this tournament so to come out on top is very exciting.”
Lieblong said he focused on six spots in a mid-lake area over the course of the three-day event.
“On day one I hit two areas in the morning which were full of lily pads. I threw a black Stanley Ribbit Frog,” said Lieblong. “As the morning progressed I fished reeds and a laydown, rotating between flipping a Redbug-colored Zoom Ol’ Monster Worm and pitching a black and blue Z-Man ChatterBait to some logs.”
Around noon, Lieblong said he switched to a white ChatterBait to imitate the shad that were schooling around flats and points – a tactic he would use over the course of the tournament.
“I had 16 or 17 pounds by 8:45 a.m.,” said Lieblong. “Every fish I caught on day one was a 4-pounder.”
On the final two days of competition, Lieblong headed straight for the reed walls, lily pads and the laydown early in the morning.
“I flipped the reeds and laydown using the Ol’ Monster Worm,” said Lieblong. ”Between noon and 1 o’ clock I used the white Chatterbait again on open-water flats and points.”
With an hour left before check-in on day three, Lieblong said he headed to a southern spot to fish drop-offs with an Ol’ Monster Worm.
“At 11:30 a.m. I only had three fish, but I was able to catch a few more down in the brush,” said Lieblong. “Today was a slow day of fishing. I ended up only having seven bites.”
Lieblong said he ended up catching approximately 25 keepers over the three days of competition.
“It was a pretty textbook fishing tournament,” said Lieblong. “Unfortunately my spots weren’t replenishing each day. I got pretty nervous because my weights kept falling. Luckily it all worked out.”
The top 10 pros on Lake Dardanelle were:
1st: Jason Lieblong, Conway, Ark., 15 bass, 46-3, $39,733 + Ranger Z518 w/ 200-horsepower outboard
2nd: Spencer Grace, Dardanelle, Ark., 15 bass, 44-1, $15,397
3rd: Jeff Keene, Vinita, Okla., 15 bass, 43-13, $11,920
4th: Barry Wilson, Birmingham, Ala., 15 bass, 43-9, $9,933
5th: Kerry Milner, Bono, Ark., 13 bass, 40-11, $8,940
6th: Scott Suggs, Alexander, Ark., 15 bass, 37-3, $7,947
7th: Austin Brown, Benton, Ky., 13 bass, 32-14, $6,953
8th: Josh Hilton, Clarksville, Ark., 11 bass, 32-1, $5,960
9th: Wells Kaiser, Cuba City, Wis., 10 bass, 29-4, $4,967
10th: Michael Stetich, Ankeny, Iowa, 11 bass, 27-11, $3,973
Kevin Flurry of Roland, Okla., caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division Friday, weighing 7 pounds, 1 ounce that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $298.
Jeffery Smith of Knob Noster, Missouri, won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117C with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor, with a three-day total of 11 bass weighing 28 pounds, 15 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers on Lake Dardanelle were:
1st: Jeffery Smith, Knob Noster, Mo., 11 bass, 28-15, Ranger Z117C w/ 90-horsepower outboard
2nd: Sawyer Grace, Russellville, Ark., 14 bass, 26-1, $4,967
3rd: Mark Heidt, Versailles, Ind., 11 bass, 24-11, $3,973
4th: Dustin Roberts, Clarksville, Ark., eight bass, 24-9, $3,477
5th: Brian Pierce, Colorado Springs, Colo., 10 bass, 22-12, $2,980
6th: Derek Rowsey, Ada, Okla., nine bass, 21-7, $2,483
7th: James Ingram, Quitman, Ark., eight bass, 19-3, $1,987
8th: Rick Krassinger, House Springs, Mo., nine bass, 18-11, $1,738
9th: Kirk Sims, Lowell, Ark., nine bass, 17-9, $1,490
10th: Ryan Lejeune, Eunice, La., seven bass, 17-4, $1,242
The Rayovac FLW Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the no-entry-fee Rayovac FLW Series Championship. The 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Championship is being held Oct. 29-31 on the Ohio River in Paducah, Kentucky.
The Rayovac FLW Series on Lake Dardanelle was presented by Mercury and was the third and final Central Division tournament of 2015. The next Rayovac FLW Series tournament will be a Northern Division event, held Aug. 27-29, on Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio. For a complete schedule, visit FLWFishing.com
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 2015 over the course of 240 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. For more information about FLW visit FLWFishing.com
and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
# # #