Pro Kurt McGuire of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., caught five bass weighing 23 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the FLW American Fishing Series Central Division tournament on Kentucky/Barkley lakes with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 70 pounds, 8 ounces. For his victory, McGuire earned $25,000.
“It feels good to finally win,” said McGuire, who has had four AFS top-five finishes. “It’s been … it’s been … I was just about due.”
McGuire said he was targeting fish that had already spawned and were moving out of coves. He said he caught 14 of the 15 fish he weighed during the tournament on a chartreuse and blue Bomber Fat Free Shad crankbait and the other bass came on a Booyah football jig.
“Basically, the first part of the week, I was just looking for somewhere I could hit the bottom,” McGuire said, referring to the unusually high water levels. “Everything was so deep.
“Normally those fish are sitting at a certain depth this time of year, so I looked for some stuff at a medium depth that had a hard bottom,” McGuire added. “A lot of the stuff that’s only four feet deep on top was 14 feet deep on top when I started practice. You had to get in there and look for all new stuff.”
Rounding out the top five pros were:
2nd: Randy Haynes, Counce, Tenn., 15 bass, 59-13, $8,500
3rd: Mike Terry, Troy, Tenn., 15 bass, 57-14, $6,000
4th: John Hopkins, Hendersonville, Tenn., 15 bass, 52-0, $5,000
5th: Brien Vaughn, Kinmundy, Ill., 13 bass, 48-4, $4,500
James Keller of Bettendorf, Iowa, won the Co-angler Division and $10,000 cash with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 51 pounds, 14 ounces.
Keller caught five bass weighing 23-4 Thursday while fishing with pro John Johnson of Liberty, Ky., to open the tournament in first place. On Friday he added five more bass weighing 14-2 to make the top-10 cut in first place while fishing with pro Mark Frickman of Grand Ledge, Mich. Finally, on Saturday, he sealed the win with five bass weighing 14-8 while fishing with McGuire.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers were:
2nd: Andrew Luxon, Richmond, Ky., 15 bass, 50-9, $4,000
3rd: Brian Brecka, Alma, Wis., 15 bass, 45-15, $2,000
4th: Steve Keller, Jr., Felicity, Ohio, 15 bass, 42-0, $1,750
5th: Jim Hippensteel, Rochester, Ind., 15 bass, 39-6, $1,500
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 will 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. FLWOutdoors.com