RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas angler Quincy Houchin of Mabelvale, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 11 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to lead wire-to-wire and win the Costa FLW Series Central Division opener on Lake Dardanelle presented by T-H Marine. Houchin’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 45 pounds, 4 ounces, was enough to earn him the win by an 11-ounce margin and a check for $50,200.
“I was really nervous today when I was only bringing 11 pounds to the scale, but I knew that it was pretty tough out there for everybody,” said Houchin, a 10-year Bass Fishing League (BFL) veteran who was fishing in his first career FLW Series event. “Midday I lost a 5-pounder right at the boat and I thought that I had just lost $50,000. To get the win, today, in my first Costa event – I am blessed.”
Houchin said that he caught his fish this week fishing a backwater area in the mid- to upper-end of the lake. He said it was a ¾-mile long stretch full of wood and timber that was 4 to 8 feet at its deepest point, but he fished it as shallow as 2 feet.
“I was catching 8 to 10 keepers a day out of there,” Houchin said. “There wasn’t a lot of fish, but the ones that I was catching there were quality.”
Houchin said that of the 15 bass that he weighed in throughout the week, one came on a natural-green-colored Spro Bronzeye frog, two came on a black moss-colored Lucky Craft 2.5 crankbait and the rest came flipping a Texas-rigged green-pumpkin and red-colored Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver.
“The key for me was finding that backwater where no one else was fishing,” Houchin said. “There is a huge sandbar you have to cross to get back there, and most of the time you can’t. But, I checked it in practice and the water was ankle deep, so I was able to work my way back in there. I don’t know if anyone else had tried, but I was the only boat in there all week.”
The top 10 pros on Lake Dardanelle were:
1st: Quincy Houchin, Mabelvale, Ark., 15 bass, 45-4, $50,200
2nd: Tom Silber, Labadie, Mo., 15 bass, 44-9, $20,600
3rd: Joey Cifuentes, Clinton, Ark., 15 bass, 43-13, $14,500
4th: Josh Ray, Alexander, Ark., 15 bass, 43-8, $12,500
5th: Zach King, Clarksville, Ark., 15 bass, 42-1, $11,500
6th: Evan Barnes, Hot Springs, Ark., 15 bass, 40-8, $9,250
7th: Garrett Paquette, Canton, Mich., 14 bass, 39-1, $8,000
8th: Shannon Pierce, Pine Bluff, Ark., 15 bass, 38-15, $7,000
9th: Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, 15 bass, 38-15, $6,000
10th: Brandon Lee, Ratcliff, Ark., 10 bass, 31-4, $4,500
A complete list of results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Michael Stetich of Ankeny, Iowa, caught a bass weighing 6 pounds, 8 ounces Thursday – the biggest of the tournament in the Pro Division. For his catch, Stetich earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $300.
Robert Bartoszek of Hampshire, Tennessee, won the Co-angler Division and a new Ranger Z175 boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude outboard motor. Bartoszek earned his win with a three-day total catch of 14 bass weighing 37 pounds, 2 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers on Lake Dardanelle were:
1st: Robert Bartoszek, Hampshire, Tenn., 14 bass, 37-2, $28,350
2nd: Mark Howard, Mesquite, Texas, 13 bass, 31-13, $6,300
3rd: Alan Hults, Gautier, Miss., 12 bass, 29-13, $5,000
4th: Bud Pruitt, Houston, Texas, 15 bass, 29-1, $4,000
5th: James Ingram, Quitman, Ark., 12 bass, 28-5, $3,500
6th: Buddy Rudolph, Hot Springs, Ark., nine bass, 27-5, $3,000
7th: Max Wilson, Everton, Mo., 13 bass, 26-4, $2,500
8th: Mark Shelton, Fayetteville, Ark., eight bass, 23-3, $2,200
9th: Scott Blaesi, North Platte, Neb., seven bass, 20-0, $1,600
10th: Christopher Lemon, Mooresville, Ind., seven bass, 19-7, $1,350
Shelton caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Thursday, a largemouth weighing 6 pounds, 12 ounces, and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $200.
The Costa FLW Series on Lake Dardanelle was hosted by Russellville Advertising and Promotions. It was the first Central Division tournament of 2017. The next Costa FLW Series tournament will be a Southwestern Division event, held April 20-22, on Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma. For a complete schedule, visit FLWFishing.com.
The Costa FLW Series consists of five U.S. divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the Costa FLW Series Championship. The 2017 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Nov. 2-4 on Kentucky Lake in Paris, Tennessee.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Costa FLW Series on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.
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 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 274 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa 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 Snapchat.
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