Oklahoma’s Collings Wins FLW Bass Fishing League Regional Tournament on Lake Dardanelle Presented By Ranger Boats
RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (Oct. 31, 2016) – Eighteen-year-old Sheldon Collings of Grove, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds even Saturday to win the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional event on Lake Dardanelle presented by Ranger Boats, with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 47 pounds, 4 ounces. For his win, Collings earned $65,000, including a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard, and a berth into the 2017 BFL All-American Championship.
Collings said he spent the first two days of the event at a creek mouth in an Arkansas River tailwater, below the Dardanelle Lock & Dam.
"The mouth had a point protruding from it," said Collings, who earned his first win in FLW competition. "The shad were in the slack water behind it, along a shelf. The shelf was shallow, and ran across the entire mouth. The first bass I caught was a 6-pounder on a finesse jig."
On Day Two, Collings said he switched to a chartreuse and black-colored Strike King KVD 2.5 square-bill crankbait.
"I caught six keepers there on Friday," said Collings. "Casting into the current was key. You had to position the boat straight into it, cast the lure forward and then reel it back in."
Collings said he focused on wing dams on the final day of the competition.
"I made a milk run and fished the dams that had the most current," said Collings. "I caught seven keepers including a 6-pounder on the crankbait before heading in. I didn't catch a lot of fish in this tournament, but I definitely got some big ones. I've never done this well here before."
The top six boaters that qualified for the 2017 BFL All-American were:
1st: Sheldon Collings, Grove, Okla., 15 bass, 47-4, $65,000
2nd: Melvin Dunn, Orange, Texas, 12 bass, 41-13, $10,000
3rd: Justin Atkins, Florence, Ala., 14 bass, 38-13, $5,000
4th: Jeffrey Smith, Knob Noster, Mo., 12 bass, 37-15, $3,000
5th: Roger Fitzpatrick, Eldon, Mo., 13 bass, 36-10, $2,200
6th: Lane McGaha, Dubach, La., 15 bass, 35-0, $1,900
Rounding out the top-10 boaters were:
7th: Ryan Wilbanks, Wagoner, Okla., 14 bass, 34-4, $1,600
8th: Jimmy Washam, Covington, Tenn., 11 bass, 31-10, $1,400
9th: Austin Lowrey, Webb City, Mo., 15 bass, 31-2, $1,200
10th: Dicky Newberry, Houston, Texas, 12 bass, 27-2, $1,000
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Michael Montgomery of Cuba, Missouri, won the co-angler division and a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard with a three-day cumulative catch of 14 bass weighing 25 pounds even.
The top six co-anglers that qualified for the 2017 BFL All-American were:
1st: Michael Montgomery, Cuba, Mo., 14 bass, 25-0, $45,000
2nd: Ronald Smith Jr., Kansas City, Kan., seven bass, 16-4, $5,000
3rd: Damon Duncan, Kansas, Okla., five bass, 16-1, $2,500
4th: David Lansford, Muskogee, Okla., five bass, 14-14, $1,500
5th: Dennis Meyer, Ballwin, Mo., five bass, 13-14, $1,100
6th: Justin Newell, Muskogee, Okla., six bass, 13-11, $950
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers were:
7th: Heath Gilmore, Meridian, Miss., six bass, 13-9, $800
8th: Stephen Brown, Arlington, Tenn., five bass, 13-7, $700
9th: Sam Bremmerkamp, Joplin, Mo., six bass, 12-15, $600
10th: Steven Fisher, Lufkin, Texas, six bass, 12-3, $500
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. The 2017 BFL All-American will be held May 31-June 3 on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Alabama. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the BFL on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Korea and South Africa. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat: @FLWFishing.