RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Local angler Zack Freeman of Russellville, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 12 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Dardanelle. For his victory, Freeman earned $3,718.
“I spent the day picking apart a main-lake ledge," said Freeman, who earned his first win in FLW competition. “I targeted bass in a school that I had located the week before, but in sunny weather. On Friday evening some storms moved through, so I didn’t know if they’d still be there. Thankfully, after a little time, I had them figured out again.”
Freeman said the bass were suspended in 6 to 8 feet of water, not on top of the brush piles like he had originally planned.
“I had to swim a jig over the top of them,” said Freeman. “I used a custom green-pumpkin and purple-colored football-head jig and ran along a 50-yard stretch. I fished the area until noon and then hit a couple of other spots.”
Freeman said he switched to a Carolina-rigged, green-pumpkin-colored Zoom Mag 2 Worm toward the end of his day.
“Of the 11 keepers I caught during the event, I ended up weighing two from the Mag 2,” said Freeman. “I had a great day out there.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Zack Freeman, Russellville, Ark., five bass, 18-12, $3,718
2nd: Brandon Lee, Ratcliff, Ark., five bass, 18-3, $1,859
3rd: Shawn Gordon, Russellville, Ark., five bass, 18-2, $1,538
4th: Spencer Grace, Dardanelle, Ark., five bass, 17-12, $867
5th: Joey Cifuentes, Clinton, Ark., five bass, 17-10, $744
6th: Cody Burke, Bryant, Ark., five bass, 17-0, $682
7th: Zach King, Clarksville, Ark., five bass, 16-3, $620
8th: Robert Stevens, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 15-10, $558
9th: Josh Hilton, Clarksville, Ark., five bass, 15-6, $496
10th: Mike Webster, Atkins, Ark., five bass, 15-3, $412
10th: Chris Morgan, Mineral Springs, Ark., five bass, 15-3, $412
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Lance Pyle of Sherwood, Arkansas, caught a bass weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces – the biggest of the tournament in the pro division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $485.
Rick Cole of Hot Springs, Arkansas, weighed in five bass totaling 16 pounds, 14 ounces, Saturday to win the co-angler division and earn $1,859.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Rick Cole, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 16-14, $1,859
2nd: Ron Knight, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 13-7, $929
3rd: Jason Broomfield, Waldron, Ark., five bass, 13-5, $861
4th: A.J. Mays, Cabot, Ark., five bass, 13-0, $434
5th: Branko Todorovic, Hot Springs, Ark., four bass, 12-1, $372
6th: Jason Scoggins, Benton, Ark., five bass, 10-10, $341
7th: Ed Howerton, Rogers, Ark., four bass, 10-5, $310
8th: Colton Garrett, Jonesboro, Ark., four bass, 9-14, $279
9th: Jon Paulovich, Benton, Ark., five bass, 9-9, $248
10th: Joe Grafeman, Lake Ozark, Mo., five bass, 9-7, $217
Broomfield caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $242.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Sept. 29 – Oct. 1 Regional Championship on Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, Tennessee. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, 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 50 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Periscope: @FLWFishing.
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