WARSAW, Mo. – Boater Darin Lankford of Clinton, Missouri, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 5 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Ozark Division tournament on Lake Truman. For his efforts, Lankford netted $4,553.
“I casted a square-billed crankbait up into shallower water in the Grand River arm of the lake,” said Lankford, who earned his first career victory in FLW competition. “I caught fish in four different locations, but they looked similar. I really keyed in on main-lake flats that had any kind of underwater point and looked for bigger stumps with more roots.”
Lankford said he used a large Dave’s Custom Baits Black Market Balsa crankbait with a chartreuse-pattern color scheme on 20-pound-test monofilament line to catch his fish.
“I threw the same bait all day. I had to burn it and hit the stumps and cause the reaction bite,” said Lankford. “I barely had them hooked – every one of them was on the back hook.
“I actually fished the same locations earlier in the week with jigs, but I think the front and a little cloud cover moved them shallower, so I switched to a crankbait,” continued Lankford. “I used the heavier line to get the fish out of the stumps. It was also a little more buoyant so the bait didn’t dive so deep.”
Lankford said he ended up catching six keepers during the tournament.
“It was a typical day of fishing on Lake Truman,” said Lankford. “When it gets hot they get a little shallower, I’m not sure why, but that’s what they do.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Darin Lankford, Clinton, Mo., five bass, 19-5, $4,553
2nd: Tom Alsop, Overland Park, Kan., five bass, 15-11, $1,977
3rd: Brock Reinkemeyer, Lone Jack, Mo., five bass, 14-10, $1,185
4th: Matt King, Olathe, Kan., five bass, 13-12, $929
5th: Mike Barnes, Mackinaw, Ill., five bass, 12-11, $1,011
6th: Eric Poindexter, Eufaula, Okla., five bass, 11-7, $651
7th: David McCormick, Lees Summit, Mo., five bass, 11-5, $592
8th: Stan Tucker, Festus, Mo., three bass, 11-3, $533
9th: Marcus Sykora, Osage Beach, Mo., five bass, 11-2, $444
9th: Mark Tucker, Kirkwood, Mo., three bass, 11-2, $444
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Thomas Rallo of Springfield, Missouri, brought a 5-pound, 15-ounce, bass to the scale – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $455.
Dennis Meyer of Ballwin, Missouri, won the Co-angler Division and $2,204 Saturday after catching four bass weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Dennis Meyer, Ballwin, Mo., four bass, 12-10, $2,204
2nd: Kelly Nunn, Urbana, Mo., five bass, 12-9, $888
3rd: Larry Rothweil, Saint Charles, Mo., five bass, 12-7, $592
4th: Gary Martin, Gladstone, Mo., four bass, 10-15, $415
5th: Kyle Anderson, Foley, Mo., four bass, 8-5, $355
6th: Cullen Baxter, Columbia, Mo., three bass, 6-12, $376
7th: Joseph Lay, Gardner, Kan., two bass, 6-8, $296
8th: Spencer Clark, Maryland Heights, Mo., two bass, 6-3, $267
9th: Trey Schroeder, Crestwood, Mo., three bass, 5-12, $237
10th: Carl Breeden, Valley Park, Mo., two bass, 5-5, $207
Meyer also caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 6 pounds, 4 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $227.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 18-20 BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky and Barkley lakes in Gilbertsville, Kentucky. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.
The 2018 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they 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 performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League 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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