MOUNT IDA, Ark. – Boater Russell Richmond of Sheridan, Arkansas, brought three bass to the scale Saturday totaling 11 pounds, 5 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Ouachita in Mount Ida, Arkansas. Richmond topped his nearest competitor, Stephen Browning of Hot Springs, Arkansas, by 1-pound, 1-ounce and earned $4,394 for his victory.
“I caught all of my fish on a white Strike King swimjig, running grass in Webb and Twin Creeks,” said Richmond, who earned his second career win in FLW competition. “I had all of my fish that I weighed in by 6:30 (a.m.). I caught a bunch of more small ones throughout the day, but I never could upgrade.
“The area that I was fishing had a creek channel really close. My boat was sitting in about 10 foot of water and it went up to about 3 to 4 feet at the edge of the grass,” Richmond continued. “I hadn’t practiced there, but I had fished it before and I was committed to that spot. I knew that if I stayed there long enough I could catch enough to win, and it only took 15 minutes.”
Richmond was ecstatic about earning the win in the tough Bass Fishing League Arkie division.
“This division is very hard to win as a boater. These guys are very good, and we fish all different types of water – clear-water reservoirs, rivers – so it’s hard to beat these guys,” Richmond went on to say. “I’ve been fishing BFL events since 2005 and this is my second trophy. I’ve been to the All-American once, and I really want to make it back.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament as follows:
1st: Russell Richmond of Sheridan, Ark., three bass, 11-5, $4,394
2nd: Stephen Browning of Hot Springs, Ark., three bass, 10-4, $1,940
3rd: Beau Browning of Hot Springs, Ark., three bass, 10-1, $1,293
4th: Chris Darby of Hot Springs, Ark., three bass, 9-13, $905
5th: Chris Layton of North Little Rock, Ark., three bass, 9-8, $776
6th: Brian Bean of Hot Springs, Ark., three bass, 9-5, $711
7th: Josh Busby of Rogersville, Mo., three bass, 9-3, $1,147
8th: Eric Pinter of Little Rock, Ark., three bass, 9-1, $582
9th: Evan Barnes of Hot Springs, Ark., three bass, 8-12, $517
10th: Derwin Thomas of Little Rock, Ark., three bass, 8-11, $453
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Richmond caught brought a 5-pound, 3-ounce bass to the scale to add the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $515 to his winnings.
Busby was the highest-finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member and took home an extra $500. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
Alvin Williams of Hartman, Arkansas, won the Co-angler Division and $1,897 Saturday after catching three bass weighing 8 pounds, 5 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers finished as follows:
1st: Alvin Williams of Hartman, Ark., three bass, 8-5, $1,897
2nd: Bryan Barnard of Harrison, Ark., three bass, 7-7, $949
3rd: Brian Choate of Conway, Ark., three bass, 7-0, $661
4th: Justin Eldridge of Marion, Ark., three bass, 7-0, $538
5th: Jason Phillips of Rison, Ark., three bass, 6-14, $379
6th: John McCullar of Benton, Ark., three bass, 6-12, $348
7th: Buck Blackwell of Pine Bluff, Ark., three bass, 6-10, $316
8th: Terry Dugger of Little Rock, Ark., three bass, 6-9, $285
9th: Robert Bogard Jr. of Conway, Ark., three bass, 6-8, $237
9th: Chris Cusick of Hot Springs, Ark., three bass, 6-8, $237
Choate caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, weighing in at 3 pounds, 9 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $123.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Ouachita was the fourth of five qualifying events in the Arkie Division.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the Arkie Division based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 22-24 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, hosted by Explore Branson. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new 18-foot Phoenix bass boat with a 200-horsepower outboard.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine 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 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American will be held Nov. 11-13 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina and is hosted by Visit Anderson. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division earn priority entry into the FLW Series, the pathway to the FLW Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour, where top pros compete with no entry fees.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, FLW and its partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe.
FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show while Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. Acquired by Major League Fishing in late 2019, FLW is expanding its programming in 2020 to the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel as well as on-demand at MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).
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