BRANSON, Mo. – Pro Hensley Powell of Whitwell, Tennessee, brought a five-bass limit weighing 11 pounds, 7 ounces, to the scale Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Central Division opener on Table Rock Lake presented by Lowrance. Powell’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 40 pounds, 12 ounces, was enough top the 197-boat field and take the first place prize of $49,700.
Powell spent the majority of the event fishing the backs of pockets on the White River. He said he used an umbrella rig with White Ice-colored Zoom Swimmin’ Super Fluke Jr. soft jerkbaits to work through 30 to 35 pockets a day, catching smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass in the process.
“I threw an umbrella rig the entire tournament and a Strike King jerkbait maybe a dozen or so times when I was in clearer water,” said Powell, who notched his first career win in FLW competition. “For me, it was more about where the fish were this week. In practice I figured out that they were in the back third of the pockets, in 8 to 12 feet of water. Even the spotted bass and smallmouth were up there staging to spawn, and that’s where the majority of the largemouth were.”
Powell said he was able to catch plenty fish in each of his areas, but their weight gradually decreased throughout the event.
“I thought this front we had would make the big ones bite again, but it didn’t,” said Powell.
Powell credited his 7-foot, 6-inch heavy-action Cashion rod with being his most beneficial piece of equipment. He said it provided the sensitivity he needed to feel the bites.
“I could feel the largemouth as they were about to bite the bait and I was able to keep it with them. I could feel them come up behind it and push it. When they did that, I would speed it up a little bit, slow down and then they’d eat it.”
The top 10 pros on Table Rock Lake finished:
1st: Hensley Powell, Whitwell, Tenn., 15 bass, 40-12, $49,700
2nd: Mike McClelland, Bentonville, Ark., 14 bass, 39-4, $19,500
3rd: Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., 15 bass, 39-1, $14,000
4th: Stacey King, Reeds Spring, Mo., 15 bass, 38-15, $12,000
5th: Derek Jenkel, Pinckneyville, Ill., 14 bass, 35-2, $11,100
6th: Kevin Meeks, Smyrna, Tenn., 13 bass, 34-9, $9,000
7th: Keith Amerson, Bethel Springs, Tenn., 13 bass, 34-8, $7,800
8th: Graden Hansen, Lee’s Summit, Mo., 12 bass, 33-3, $7,100
9th: Todd Castledine, Nacogdoches, Texas, 12 bass, 30-13, $5,800
10th: Cody Hahner, Wausau, Wis., 10 bass, 28-0, $4,400
A complete list of results will be posted at FLWFishing.com.
Hansen weighed a 7-pound, 3-ounce bass Friday – the biggest of the tournament in the Pro Division. For his catch, Hansen earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $300.
Chad Allison of Carl Junction, Missouri, won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower outboard motor. Allison earned his win with a three-day cumulative catch of 14 bass weighing 39 pounds, 10 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers on Table Rock Lake finished:
1st: Chad Allison, Carl Junction, Mo., 14 bass, 39-10, $28,200
2nd: Cullen Baxter, Columbia, Mo., 15 bass, 35-1, $6,050
3rd: Robbie Bartoszek, Hampshire, Tenn., 13 bass, 32-0, $4,800
4th: Dewey Larson, Fayetteville, Ark., 14 bass, 31-8, $3,900
5th: Matthew Justice, Fair Play, S.C., 12 bass, 29-10, $3,400
6th: Bryan Tracy, St. Peters, Mo., 12 bass, 29-0, $2,900
7th: Jeffrey Smith, Concordia, Mo., 12 bass, 27-15, $2,400
8th: Jason Sandidge, Centerton, Ark., 12 bass, 27-1, $1,950
9th: Eric Nance, Washington, Mo., 12 bass, 25-14, $1,580
10th: Gerald Andrews, Benton, Ky., 10 bass, 23-4, $1,330
John Fuller of Salem, Arkansas, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Friday, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 4 ounces that earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $200.
The Costa FLW Series on Table Rock Lake presented by Lowrance was hosted by ExploreBranson.com. It was the first of three Costa FLW Series Central Division tournaments of the 2018 regular season. The next Costa FLW Series tournament will be a Western Division event, held May 10-12 on Clear Lake in Lakeport, California, and is presented by Evinrude. For a complete schedule, visit FLWFishing.com.
The Costa FLW Series consists of five U.S. divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western – along with the International division. Each U.S. division consists of three regular-season tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to compete in the season-ending Costa FLW Series Championship. The 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Nov. 1-3 on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama, and is hosted by the Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Costa FLW Series on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.
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 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. 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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