RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Conway, Arkansas’ Jason Lieblong weighed five bass totaling 15 pounds, 15 ounces, Saturday – the largest limit of the event – to win the three-day Toyota Series at Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel tournament in Russellville, Arkansas. Lieblong’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 40-9 earned him the top payout of $70,227, including the lucrative $35,000 FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency award, in the first tournament of the 2020 Toyota Series Plains Division.
Lieblong spent most of the tournament in a relatively small area in the lower part of Lake Dardanelle that teemed with baitfish. He caught most of them on a white Z-Man ChatterBait Jack Hammer and a bone colored topwater by Paycheck Baits called The One, which is no longer produced. He also flipped wood cover with a green pumpkin Zoom Brush Hog.
Discouraged from nearly a half decade of futility on his home lake, Lieblong said he dedicated himself this year to winning this Toyota Series event. He fished many small tournaments throughout the summer and paid close attention to prominent local anglers like Kevin Short, who finished 10th in this event.
“That’s the best of the best,” Lieblong said. “Fishing against those guys every weekend, you’re doing something. It’s time on the water. Find a spot here and there and find out what’s going on. It’s making the right choices, like coming back downriver yesterday when we weren’t getting bit upriver.
“The lake level was high on the lower end, which makes it good for my kind of fishing,” Lieblong explained. “The wind pushed the bait out, but they were still on points in 2 to 3 feet of water. The shad were so thick you could almost walk on them. We threw a ChatterBait or Spook to fire them up, and it never stopped.”
The top 10 pros on Lake Dardanelle finished:
1st: Jason Lieblong of Conway, Ark., 15 bass, 40-9, $70,227
2nd: Kevin Riney of Bono, Ark., 15 bass, 38-5, $13,069
3rd: Teddy Bogard of Rison, Ark., 15 bass, 36-1, $10,118
4th: Joe Bennett of Ashland, Mo., 14 bass, 34-0, $8,432
5th: Steve Floyd of Leesburg, Ohio, 14 bass, 33-12, $7,589
6th: Dicky Newberry of Houston, Texas, 15 bass, 33-3, $6,745
7th: Billy Doak of Centerview, Mo., 15 bass, 32-5, $5,902
8th: Kyle Weisenburger of Columbus Grove, Ohio, 13 bass, 32-0, $5,172
9th: Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas, 14 bass, 31-8, $4,216
10th: Kevin Short of Fairfield Bay, Ark., 11 bass, 24-4, $3,373
A complete list of results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Lieblong took home an extra $35,000 as the highest finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $35,000 per event in each Toyota Series tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
Jeremy Parker of Batavia, Illinois, won the Co-angler Division Saturday with a three-day total of nine bass weighing 17 pounds, 1 ounce. Parker took home the top prize package of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard motor.
The top 10 co-anglers on Lake Dardanelle finished:
1st: Jeremy Parker of Batavia, Ill., nine bass, 17-1, Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat w/115-hp outboard
2nd: Bill Amis of Shawnee, Kan., seven bass, 16-12, $4,376
3rd: Scott Parsons of Rogers, Ark., six bass, 16-1, $3,478
4th: Don Billiot of Hot Springs Village, Ark., seven bass, 15-15, $3,011
5th: Derrick Wright of Carl Junction, Mo., eight bass, 15-4, $2,581
6th: John Kozel of Overland Park, Kan., seven bass, 15-3, $2,151
7th: Matt Kelley of Willard, Mo., six bass, 13-14, $1,757
8th: John Foster Case of Clarksville, Ark., seven bass, 13-11, $1,505
9th: Jaret Rushing of Hampton, Ark., eight bass, 12-13, $1,290
10th: Kendrick Hopes of Lonoke, Ark., seven bass, 12-0, $1,075
The Toyota Series at Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel was hosted by Russellville Advertising and Promotions. It was the first of three regular-season tournaments in 2020 for Plains Division anglers. The next event for Toyota Series anglers will take place Sept. 24-26 – the Toyota Series at Clear Lake in Clearlake, California. For a complete schedule, visit FLWFishing.com.
The Toyota Series consists of eight divisions – Central, Eastern, Northern, Plains, Southeastern, Southern, Southwestern and Western – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International division. Anglers who fish all three qualifiers in any of the eight divisions and finish in the top 25 will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series Championship for a shot at winning $235,000 cash, including a $35,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus for qualified anglers. The winning co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard. The 2020 Toyota Series Championship will be held Dec. 3-5 on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Kentucky, and is hosted by the Somerset Tourist & Convention Commission and the Burnside Tourism Commission.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Toyota Series 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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