Kelly Owens of Crowley, La., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 15 pounds even Saturday and led wire-to-wire to win the FLW EverStart Series Texas Division event presented by Mercury on Choke Canyon with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 68 pounds, 3 ounces. For his victory, Owens earned $29,919 and a 198VX Ranger boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor.
“The key was that I found a group of fish in practice,” said Owens. “I found them on my electronics. They were pulling up into a pocket and everybody was just fishing way too shallow for them.”
Owens said he prefers to fish for staging fish in the early part of the year, and the event played right into his hands. He said that many of the ditches or drains at Choke Canyon are flat, but the one he found fish on had definition and featured hydrilla and milfoil. Owens described it as the “perfect place for the fish to pull up on.” He caught all of his fish except one on a pearl/chartreuse/black Norman Deep Little “N” crankbait in 5 to 11 feet of water. His only other bass came on a Rat-L-Trap on a windy point.
“Any event would be great to win, but the quality of the top 10 here it just made it more special,” Owens said. “It made me understand that I could go out and compete with these guys.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Russell Cecil, Willis, Texas, 13 bass, 53-9, $10,258
3rd: Kevin Lasyone, Dry Prong, La., 12 bass, 47-0, $8,548
4th: Matthew Scogin, Magnolia, Texas, 15 bass, 46-11, $7,693
5th: David Curtis, Trinity, Texas, 14 bass, 44-4, $6,839
6th: Charles Bebber, Willis, Texas, 14 bass, 42-5, $5,948
7th: Todd Castledine, Nacogdoches, Texas, 13 bass, 38-11, $5,129
8th: Kellogg’s pro Jim Tutt, Longview, Texas, 10 bass, 37-8, $4,274
9th: Cody Bird, Granbury, Texas, 14 bass, 36-3, $3,419
10th: Tommy Martin, Hemphill, Texas, 11 bass, 33-15, $2,564
Owens caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Friday – an 11-pound, 3-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $236.
Dan Wilson of Pilot Point, Texas, won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger boat with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor with a three-day total of 13 bass weighing 31 pounds even.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Trevor Rogge, San Antonio, Texas, 11 bass, 29-12, $3,985
3rd: Clinton McNiel, George West, Texas, 11 bass, 27-8, $3,542
4th: James McKeithen, Baton Rouge, La., 10 bass, 23-2, $3,099
5th: Russell Lohman, Pineville, La., seven bass, 22-10, $2,656
6th: Keith Hawkins, Missouri City, Texas, eight bass, 22-3, $2,214
7th: Steve Corbin, Bacliff, Texas, eight bass, 21-3, $1,771
8th: Joseph Brozak, Orange, Texas, nine bass, 20-2, $1,328
9th: Gary Fields, New Orleans, La., seven bass, 19-15, $885
10th: Danny Bickom, Canastota, N.Y., six bass, 19-15, $708
Tommy Hagler caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Thursday – a 9-pound, 13-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $157.
The EverStart Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Angler of the Year title along with $5,000 for the pro and $2,000 for the co-angler. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series Championship that will be held on Kentucky Lake in Buchanan, Tenn., Oct. 27-30.
The next EverStart Series Texas Division tournament will be Feb. 10-12 at Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Sam Rayburn, Texas.
ABOUT FLW OUTDOORS FLW Outdoors is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 191 tournaments in 2011. FLW Outdoors has taken fishing mainstream with the world’s richest fantasy sports game, FLW Fantasy Fishing presented by Straight Talk, where competitors can play for free as well as sign up for Player’s Advantage to gain an edge. For more information about FLW Outdoors and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FLWOutdoors.com or FantasyFishing.com. FLWOutdoors.com