Ultimate Bass

Hibdon wins FLW Series on Lake Eufaula

FLW OutdoorsEUFAULA, Ala. (April 4, 2009) – Team BP pro Guido Hibdon of Sunrise Beach, Mo., caught a five-bass limit weighing 24 pounds, 1 ounce

FLW OutdoorsEUFAULA, Ala. (April 4, 2009) – Team BP pro Guido Hibdon of Sunrise Beach, Mo., caught a five-bass limit weighing 24 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win $125,000 in the Walmart FLW Series® BP Eastern Division tournament on Lake Eufaula with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing 83-9.

The catch gave him the win by a solid 5-pound, 1-ounce margin over Tom Mann Jr. of Buford, Ga., who caught a total of 20 bass weighing 78-8 and earned $50,000.

“Every fish I caught was spawned out,” said Hibdon, who now has earned more than $604,000 in FLW Outdoors events. “I don’t know when they spawned, but it was a good ways back. And what these fish were doing, they were coming out of the creeks, and they were coming to me. And every day there was more of them. The hardest part of the deal was being patient and making the same casts.

“You know, my camera guy this morning, I about ran him nuts,” Hibdon added. “I sat and threw at one rock 40 times and caught a five- or six-pounder or whatever it was, and he said ‘I can’t believe it.”

Hibdon said he fished the entire tournament near the dam south of Eufaula and managed to land about 10 keepers on the last day of competition. Hibdon said every one of the fish he caught Saturday came on a Copper Perch-colored Lucky Craft RC 2.5 square-billed crankbait. Hibdon said he controlled the depth of the crankbait by varying the size of line he paired it with.

“You could have caught them on a black (crankbait),” Hibdon said. “You just had to make a lot of casts.”

Hibdon opened the tournament in fifth place Wednesday with five bass weighing 19-3. On Thursday he added another five bass weighing 17-1 but slipped to sixth place. He then caught five bass weighing 23-4 Friday to make the crucial top 10 cut in second place. In addition to the crankbait, Hibdon used a jig and a hollow worm fished on a Carolina rig during the first three days of competition.

“This was just a classic case of an old man slowing down and fishing real slow,” Hibdon said. “And trust me, I do that really well.”

Rounding out the top five pros are Team Berkley pro Glenn Browne of Ocala, Fla. (20 bass, 76-5, $40,000); Matthew Wilbanks of Gainesville, Ga. (18 bass, 75-15, $30,000) and Team Keebler pro Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa. (20 bass, 70-1, $20,000).

O.T. Fears of Sallisaw, Okla., caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Thursday – a 9-pound, 8-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $500.

Overall there were 45 bass weighing 160 pounds caught by 10 pros Saturday. The catch included eight five-bass limits.

Chris Hults of Vancleave, Miss., won the Co-angler Division and $20,000 Friday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 44 pounds, 2 ounces followed by Tim Peek of Sharpsburg, Ga., in second place with 11 bass weighing 40-2 worth $10,000.

Hults opened the tournament in 12th place Wednesday with five bass weighing 11-15 while fishing with pro Matthew Wilbanks. On Thursday he jumped to fifth place on the strength of a five-bass catch weighing 14-5 while fishing with Team National Guard pro Jonathan Newton of Rogersville, Ala. He wrapped up the win Friday with a five-bass catch weighing 17-14 while fishing with pro Tim McDonald of Lexington, Ky.

“I’ve won several BFLs in the past and have never quite been able to finish it in these bigger tournaments,” said Hults, who finished third in the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup at Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C. “I think Eufaula fishes a lot like my home water does. I think that helped me.”

Hults said he fished shallow during his three days of competition and relied on an arsenal of baits, including a Berkley PowerBait Chigger Craw, a swimming jig, a soft-plastic creature bait and a spinnerbait.

Hults’ brother, Alan, also fished the tournament and Hults cited family knowledge of Lake Eufaula as being key to his victory.

“Normally we practice before the tournaments, but this time we didn’t get to,” Hults said. “We just relied on past history with Alan doing so well the past couple of years. Basically we just came into it and did the same thing he’s done the past two years.”

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Chuck Thurlow of Auburn, Ala. (10 bass, 38-8, $7,500); Derrick Snavely of Rogersville, Tenn. (nine bass, 35-15, $5,000) and Charles Stevenson of Albany, Ga. (13 bass, 35-11, $4,000).

Snavely caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Wednesday – a 9-pound, 8-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $333.

Coverage of the Lake Eufaula tournament, hosted by the Eufaula Barbour County Chamber of Commerce, will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS, the network which brings anglers the best fishing programming on television featuring the most-trusted authorities on the water. The Emmy-nominated “FLW Outdoors,” will air May 10 from 11 a.m. to noon ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide, including internationally through agreements with WFN (World Fishing Network) and Matchroom Sport to such countries as Canada, Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world.

The next FLW Series BP Eastern Division tournament, hosted by the Russellville Advertising and Promotion Commission, will be held Aug. 12-15 on Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, Ark. Boats will launch from Lake Dardanelle State Park in Russellville and the final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart located at 2409 E. Main St. in Russellville.

FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also is taking fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Player’s Advantage for only $10 to get your edge and win.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.

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