OSAGE BEACH, Mo. – FLW Tour pro Jeremy Lawyer of Sarcoxie, Missouri, brought a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 12 ounces, to the scale Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude. Lawyer’s three-day total of 15 bass totaling 46 pounds, 3 ounces, was enough to earn the win by a 3-pound, 3-ounce margin and the top prize of $88,500, including a brand new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
“I spent the first two days of the tournament fishing between the Toll Bridge and the Gravois Arm,” said Lawyer, who earned his first career victory on Lake of the Ozarks after 10 prior top-10 finishes on the lake in FLW competition. “I tried to not fish any waypoints or history and just rely on my fishing instinct. If there’s one thing on the Tour that I have learned that has really helped me, it’s visiting a bunch of new lakes and not having waypoints. I feel more confident and comfortable fishing like that, and that is something that I really tried to do this week.
“I started out on the same stretch this morning and ran back into some creeks that I hadn’t been to yet,” Lawyer continued. “I had a limit in the first 45 to 50 minutes – including a 4½-pounder – and that settled me down a bit. I pulled the plug around 10:30 and went to the Hurricane Deck area and ended up culling up three more times.”
Lawyer credited a Zoom Magnum Trick worm and a Freedom Tackle Swing Buzz buzzbait as being his key baits throughout the week that, “helped me get five each day.” Saturday he caught one good one on the Magnum Trick worm and the rest came on a River2Sea Whopper Plopper, custom-painted by Fall Creek Lures.
“They’ve got a color – midnight shad – that I’ve got a lot of confidence in,” Lawyer said. “I also threw the original bone color this week as well.
“So many guys had the opportunity to do well this week with that Plopper and they just lost them,” Lawyer continued. “I was fortunate enough to not lose them when they bit. I really credit my Lew’s Heavy Cover Carbon Pro rod for that. It’s a heavy-duty rod, but still parabolic. It takes a little bit of the shock out of them when you initially set the hook.”
Lawyer bested a stacked final-day field that included some of the top Lake of the Ozarks anglers of all-time. He was extremely humbled and proud of his accomplishment Saturday.
“I still can’t believe it happened for me today,” he went on to say. “I grew up watching Stacey (King) fishing on television and he has been the man here for many years. Dennis Berhorst wins everything. I told my wife back when I started that if I could compete with Dennis, Roger (Fitzpatrick) and Marcus Sykora that I could survive anywhere. And that was back in 2005. I have so much respect for all of those guys. It feels good to be on top this week, but next week I’m sure one of those guys will be on top again.”
The top 10 pros on Lake of the Ozarks finished:
1st: Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., 15 bass, 46-3, $88,500
2nd: Garrett Paquette, Canton, Mich., 14 bass, 43-6, $16,500
3rd: Dennis Berhorst, Holts Summit, Mo., 15 bass, 43-5, $12,700
4th: Stacey King, Reeds Spring, Mo., 13 bass, 43-3, $10,800
5th: Austin Brown, Benton, Ky., 12 bass, 40-14, $9,600
6th: Jason Vance, Battle Ground, Ind., 15 bass, 40-11, $8,250
7th: Arnold Payne Jr., Kokomo, Ind., 14 bass, 39-11, $7,200
8th: James Watson, Lampe, Mo., 14 bass, 39-8, $6,200
9th: Shawn Kowal, Linn Creek, Mo., 14 bass, 39-7, $5,200
10th: David Ryan, Levasy, Mo., 11 bass, 36-13, $4,100
Complete results for the remaining field can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Will Yelverton of Hazel Green, Alabama, caught a 7-pound, 1-ounce fish on Thursday that earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $300. King won the Boater Big Bass award on Friday with a 6-pound, 13-ounce bass worth $300.
Steve Freeman of Eddyville, Kentucky, won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower outboard motor plus a $5,000 Ranger Cup bonus with a three-day total catch of 13 bass weighing 33 pounds, 12 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers on Lake of the Ozarks finished:
1st: Steve Freeman, Eddyville, Ky., 13 bass, 33-12, $27,350 + Ranger Cup ($5,000)
2nd: J.P. Sims, Cookeville, Tenn., 13 bass, 30-15, $5,250
3rd: Phil Williams Jr., Jamestown, Ky., nine bass, 28-14, $4,250
4th: Scott Parsons, Rogers, Ark., 11 bass, 28-14, $3,600
5th: Max Wilson, Everton, Mo., 11 bass, 28-0, $3,100
6th: Mike Youngblood, St. Louis, Mo., 11 bass, 25-9, $2,600
7th: Brad Hostetler Jr., Franklin, Ind., nine bass, 24-6, $2,100
8th: Jason Sandidge, Centerton, Ark., 10 bass, 23-7, $1,800
9th: Joshua Dyrland, Imperial, Mo., eight bass, 22-2, $1,520
10th: Tyrone Phillips, Little Rock, Ark., 10 bass, 20-1, $1,270
Ray Larson of Springfield, Illinois, caught a 6-pound, 1-ounce bass on Thursday that won the day one Co-angler Big Bass award worth $200. Rick Parker of Kaufman, Texas, won the Co-angler Big Bass award on day two with a 5-pound, 9-ounce fish worth $200.
The Costa FLW Series on Lake of the Ozarks was presented by Evinrude and hosted by the Tri-County Lodging Association. It was the third and final FLW Series Central Division tournament of the 2018 regular season. The next Costa FLW Series tournament will be the the season-ending Costa FLW Series Championship, held Nov. 1-3 on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama, and hosted by the Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau. 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.
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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