Pro Michael Yoder of Texarkana, Ark., caught a five-bass limit weighing 27 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win the FLW American Fishing Series Texas Division tournament on Falcon Lake with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 93 pounds, 8 ounces. For his victory, Yoder earned $25,000 plus a Ranger boat, motor, and trailer.
Despite the worst weather Zapata has recorded in the past 20 years, Michael Yoder showed up ready to fish, made adjustments and earned the victory under what some called dangerous and treacherous conditions. Yoder’s amazing victory included not only battling Mother Nature, but battling the physical world too as he had to piece together his boat/motor after the first day when his boat hit a wave and was sent airborne 27-feet!
“It was scary tough,” said Yoder. “My boat was a mess when I came in, but I have to thank Ranger for staying up with me until 10:30 Thursday night making sure I would be ready to go Friday morning.”
“I stayed in one spot most of the week, fishing shallow,” he added. “ I knew the other guys were going to be burning it up fishing deep, but I couldn’t get a bite deep. I was using choice baits, mostly crankbaits and throwing a jig.I have to tell you the fish here are big, mean, and ugly, but it has been an incredible week and I am ready to go home!”
Rounding out the top five pros were Keith Combs of Del Rio, Texas (15 bass, 87-14, $8,500); David Mullins of Coppell, Texas (15 bass, 76-14, $6,000); Justin Morton of Etoile, Texas (15 bass, 70-5, $4,500); and Richard Cremo of Laredo, Texas (12 bass, 68-7, $4,500).
David Mullins caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Thursday – an 11-pound, 12-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $600.
Steve Hope of Ovilla, Texas, won the Co-angler Division and $10,000 with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 61 pounds, 6 ounces.
“I had a good pre-fish,” said Hope. “So I fished my strengths. I caught my big one this morning about 10:30 and was very fortunate the rest of the day. I was mostly using brush hogs.”
Hope caught five bass weighing 16 pounds Thursday while fishing with pro Jeffery Bunch of Lebanon, Tenn., to open the tournament in eighth place. On Friday he added five more bass weighing 18-4 to make the top-10 cut in fourth place while fishing with pro Jim Milson of Odessa, Texas. Finally, on Saturday, he sealed the win with five bass weighing 27-2 while fishing with David Mullins.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers were Bo Standley of Silsbee, Texas (15 bass, 59-11, $4,000); John Ellender, Jr. of Hemphill, Texas (11 bass, 52-14, $2,000); Tom Jeser of El Paso, Texas (12 bass, 49-4, $1,750); and Ryan Parker of Kaufman, Texas (13 bass, 45-1, $1,500).
Barry Bennett of San Angelo, Texas, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Thursday – a 9-pound, 3-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $400.
After three qualifying events are complete in each FLW American Series division – Central, Northern, Southeast, and Texas – the top 50 pros and 50 co-anglers based on the points standings from each division advance to the FLW American Fishing Series Invitational on Wheeler Lake, in Decatur Ala., Nov. 4-6. The highest-finishing pro and co-angler from each division at the American Fishing Series Championship also qualify for the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup.
ABOUT FLW OUTDOORS
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 189 tournaments in 2010. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing awarding the largest prizes in the history of fantasy sports. FLW Outdoors memberships are available featuring numerous benefits including Player’s Advantage. For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FantasyFishing.com.