The first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy Division tournament of 2016 happened on Toledo Bend. The winner was a local angler named Cody Pitt of Many, Louisiana. He weighed a five-bass limit totaling 24 pounds, 5 ounces, Saturday to win . For his victory, Pitt earned $4,872.
“I focused on two areas in Tennessee Bay about a mile south of the takeoff ramp,” said Pitt, who earned the win fishing in the first FLW tournament of his career. “Half of the bass I dialed in on were in the backs of ditches and on the sides of humps near flats, and the other half were still out deep in their winter patterns.
“All of the keepers I caught were from big schools – sometimes with 50 or more fish in them,” Pitt continued. “They were feeding heavily on shad so I knew that was a pattern I needed to follow.”
The Louisiana pro said he used two baits to catch his winning stringer – a white Sworming Hornet Fish Head Spin rigged with a Sight Flash-colored Keitech Swimbait and a sexy shad-colored Strike King 10XD crankbait.
“Three of the fish that I weighed in came on the Fish Head Spin while the other two preferred the crankbait,” said Pitt. “I fished each one fairly slow along the bottom, occasionally bouncing the 10XD.”
Pitt said he ended up catching nearly 25 keepers throughout his day.
“Everything I brought in was found with the help of my Lowrance electronics,” said Pitt. “I couldn’t have won this tournament without them.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Cody Pitt, Many, La., five bass, 24-5, $4,872
2nd: Dusty Anders, Pineville, La., five bass, 24-0, $2,436
3rd: Darold Gleason, Leesville, La., five bass, 23-2, $2,358
4th: Dylan Poche, Natchez, La., five bass, 22-8, $1,137
5th: Nick Lebrun, Bossier City, La., five bass, 21-8, $974
6th: Wade Hudgens, Longview, Texas, five bass, 21-4, $893
7th: Keith Hawkins, Missouri City, Texas, five bass, 20-15, $812
8th: Lane McGaha, Dubach, La., five bass, 20-4, $731
9th: Jason Bonds, Lufkin, Texas, five bass, 19-2, $609 + $300 Evinrude bonus
9th: Anthony Sharp, Silsbee, Texas, five bass, 19-2, $609
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Gleason caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a largemouth weighing 9 pounds, 7 ounces and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $735.
Bryan McDonough of Katy, Texas, weighed in five bass totaling 16 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to earn $2,398 and win the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Bryan McDonough, Katy, Texas, five bass, 16-13, $2,398
2nd: Derek Allen, Ponchatoula, La., five bass, 15-6, $1,199
3rd: Randall Bellard, Denham Springs, La., five bass, 15-4, $795
4th: Cody Canerday, Welsh, La., five bass, 14-10, $560
5th: Chaz York, Vidor, Texas, five bass, 14-9, $480
6th: Nick Whittemore, Austin, Texas, five bass, 14-2, $440
7th: Jerry Riddle, Summit, Miss., five bass, 13-11, $400
8th: Larry Becker, Waskom, Texas, three bass, 13-10, $360
9th: Kerry Barnett, Waldron, Ark., five bass, 13-4, $320
10th: Marcus Newton, Angleton, Texas, three bass, 12-14, $280
Logan Buss of Dallas, Texas, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 7 pounds, 5 ounces and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $357.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 27-29 Regional Championship on Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, Arkansas. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 50 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.