KNEPPER WINS T-H MARINE FLW BFL COWBOY DIVISION TOURNAMENT ON SAM RAYBURN RESERVOIR
Nacogdoches’ Moore Wins Co-angler Title
BROOKELAND, Texas (March 4, 2019) – Boater Jeremy Knepper of Montgomery, Texas, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 27 pounds, 9 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy Division tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Knepper took home $5,261 for his efforts.
Knepper said he caught his fish flipping bushes along an approximately 200-yard stretch near Veach Basin. He said he’d had some success at the area in practice, and decided to return to it during the event.
“The stretch had some bushes with deep water nearby. During practice, I had only gotten five bites – including a 6-pounder – and lost a good one at the boat,” said Knepper, who logged his first win in FLW competition. “It was one of those deals where I knew that if I could get five bites during the tournament, they’d be the right ones, but I wasn’t sure that I could get those five bites.”
Knepper said he arrived at the area first thing in the morning and within about 10 minutes, put a 9-pounder in the boat.
“I flipped into a bush, felt a hard tug and boat-flipped it. That one calmed me down. With the water dropping and the weather changing like it is, I wasn’t sure that the pattern was going to hold. But that one told me they were there,” said Knepper. “About 10 or 15 minutes later I caught one of my 5-pounders. I looked at the clock and saw it was about 8:15 (a.m.) and I knew I was way ahead of schedule.”
Knepper said he got a couple more bites, but could tell he had hit a mid-morning lull, so he decided to let the area rest.
“I didn’t want to go back through – I wanted to let it sit. You had to let the stretch rest and reload,” said Knepper. “I spent about two hours running the bank looking for similar water before coming back to the stretch. Then I got a 6-pounder and then a 5-pounder toward the end of it. With four fish in the boat, I let it rest again, and caught my fifth around 2 (p.m.).”
The Texas boater said he used one bait to catch his fish – a ½-ounce, Texas-rigged, Hematoma-colored Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver on an Owner Jungle flipping hook.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Jeremy Knepper, Montgomery, Texas, five bass, 27-9, $5,261
2nd: Brandon Thrash, Downsville, La., five bass, 24-13, $2,931
3rd: Bryan Trahan, Orange, Texas, five bass, 20-1, $2,573
4th: Randy Deaver, Blanchard, La., five bass, 19-14, $1,428
5th: Kevin Jeane, Natchitoches, La., five bass, 19-6, $1,052
6th: Cade Rudiger, Mansfield, Texas, five bass, 19-1, $965
7th: Ken Smith, Dallas, Texas, five bass, 18-14, $977
8th: Matthew Armand, Hessmer, La., five bass, 18-13, $789
9th: Ricky Guy, Humble, Texas, five bass, 17-3, $657
9th: Michael LaFleur, Orangefield, Texas, five bass, 17-3, $657
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Trahan caught an 11-pound, 10-ounce largemouth – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $820.
Clark Moore of Nacogdoches, Texas, won the Co-angler Division and $2,631 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 19 pounds even.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Clark Moore, Nacogdoches, Texas, five bass, 19-0, $2,631
2nd: Steven Fisher, Lufkin, Texas, five bass, 16-3, $1,315
3rd: Hannah Gryder, Milam, Texas, five bass, 15-4, $877
4th: Jerry Meece, Lufkin, Texas, five bass, 14-14, $714
5th: Tate Allen, West Monroe, La., five bass, 14-13, $526
6th: Billy Eddins, Broaddus, Texas, five bass, 14-4, $482
7th: James Corley, Deridder, La., five bass, 14-2, $438
8th: Michael Greer Jr., Deridder, La., five bass, 13-11, $445
9th: Don Johnson, Lufkin, Texas, five bass, 13-2, $351
10th: Byron Smith, Missouri City, Texas, five bass, 13-1, $307
Keith Hawkins of Lake Providence, Louisiana, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 7 pounds, 9 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $410.
The tournament was hosted by the Jasper County Development District.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 24-26 BFL Regional Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.
The 2019 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they 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 2019 BFL All-American will be held May 30-June 1 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland, and is hosted by the Charles County Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism and the Commissioners of Charles County. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.