Brent Long of Cornelius, N.C, caught a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds even Saturday to win $125,000 at the FLW Tour event presented by Ranger on Lake Guntersville with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing 95-7.
The catch gave him the win by a solid 8-pound, 3-ounce margin over Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., who caught a total of 20 bass weighing 87-4 and earned $36,077.
“You know, an eight-pound lead on this lake is one bite,” said Long, who won his first FLW Tour event. “I saw a picture at a bait shop of a fish that was caught last week that weighed 12-3 and that’s all I could think about was Mark Rose catching a 12-3 (fish) and a good limit. I had such a great week out here … I’m emotional.
“I called my dad Sunday and wished him a happy Father’s Day and he said, ‘Thank you, but are you catching any fish?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ And he said, ‘Well, that’s what I want for Father’s Day.’ I can only imagine what him and my mom are doing right now. She’s probably laying on the floor fainted right now.”
Long’s approach to the event was nothing out of the ordinary. It’s just not one that he would have chosen.
“I’m not a deep-water fisherman,” Long said. “I’m not an off-shore fisherman. I like shallow power fishing, fast-as-you-can-go flipping boat docks … but I knew coming into this tournament that it was going to be won offshore. It’s the middle of June and that’s just the way they catch them here.
“I did a lot of homework and I spent a lot of time practicing on this lake,” Long added. “I had about 75 waypoints marked — places I thought I could catch fish — but I probably fished three. I caught all three of those 25-pound sacks off of a spot as big as this stage. That’s just unheard over three days, much less four.”
Long said he caught his fish deep during the tournament by dragging a ¾-ounce football jig and casting a Norman DD22 crankbait.
Long said he began fishing on the final day of competition and never felt comfortable about his approach. He said at 12:15 p.m. he had only three small keepers. He decided to take a chance and return to a spot he fished on the first two days of competition where he caught small limits.
“I got five big bites in 10 minutes,” Long said. “I lost two of them … I should have had over 25 pounds again today and busted the 100-pound mark. But it wasn’t meant to be. I won the tournament and that’s fine with me.”
Long opened the tournament in second place Wednesday with five bass weighing 25-11. On Thursday he added another five bass weighing 25-8 to capture the lead. He then caught five bass weighing 25-4 Friday to make the crucial top-5 cut in first place. On Saturday he sealed his victory.
The remaining top five pros finished the tournament in:
3rd: David Fritts, Lexington, N.C., 20 bass, 87-2, $27,010
4th: David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn., 20 bass, 84-0, $17,943
5th: Keith Combs, Del Rio, Texas, 20 bass, 82-2, $16,130
A complete list of results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Overall there were 20 bass weighing 95 pounds, 14 ounces caught by five pros Saturday. The catch included five five-bass limits.
Mike Devere of Berea, Ky., won the Co-angler Division and $27,500 Friday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 53 pounds, 9 ounces followed by Eric Schultz of Minnetonka, Minn., in second place with 15 bass weighing 52-7 worth $9,029.
Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C., and Devere each won a $2,500 gift card as part of the new Cabela’s Angler Cash program. In 2010, Cabela’s is offering pro and co-anglers the opportunity to register and win a $2,500 gift card for being the highest qualified finisher in each division at all FLW Tour events, making the stakes even higher in an already rich payout.
In FLW Tour competition, anglers and co-anglers are also vying for valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup, where they could win up to $600,000 and $60,000 respectively.
Next up for the FLW Tour anglers is the Forrest Wood Cup at Lake Lanier in Atlanta, Ga., Aug 5-8. The Lake Guntersville event was the final qualifying event for the Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing. Visit ForrestWoodCup.com for a complete list of Forrest Wood Cup qualifiers.
Coverage of the Lake Guntersville tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. “FLW Outdoors,” will air Oct. 3 from 12:30 to 1:30 ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide.
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. FLWOutdoors.com