Arkansas’s Larson Grabs Co-angler Title on Lake of the Ozarks

Boater Mike Feldermann of Galena, Illinois, caught a three-day cumulative total of 15 bass weighing 45 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional championship on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Mercury. Feldermann earned $66,200 for his efforts, including a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and automatic entry into the 2019 BFL All-American Championship.

“I knew going into this tournament that Lake of the Ozarks is a topwater lake,” said Felderman, who earned his 10th win in BFL competition. “But I also knew, from years of fishing, that you can get your feelings hurt on any topwater bite. Between not getting bites and losing them, it can go bad fairly quickly.”

Feldermann said he ended up fishing the Osage arm during the event, working through a 10-mile stretch of major creek arms and shallow main-river pockets.

“It was rainy and overcast when the tournament started. I couldn’t catch anything off of wood,” said Feldermann. “I ended up catching all of my keepers from suspended docks in 2 to 7 feet of water.”

The Illinois boater said he caught all of his keepers on his spinnerbait, noting that his limits consisted of three good-sized fish and two 15-inchers each day.

“The spinnerbait was homemade and had a small Colorado blade,” said Feldermann. “It gets down in the water column faster and it’s less affected by the wind, so my casts were more accurate. Another key was the 5:1 gear ratio on my [Shimano Calais] reel. In these events, it’s easy to get revved up and fish faster, but the ratio helped offset that.”

The top six boaters that qualified for the 2019 BFL All-American were:

-1st: Mike Feldermann, Galena, Ill., 15 bass, 45-4, $66,200

-2nd: Wade Ramsey, Choctaw, Okla., 15 bass, 43-11, $10,000

-3rd: Jeremy Johnson, Henryetta, Okla., 15 bass, 41-14, $5,000

-4th: Brad Leifermann, Andover, Minn., 13 bass, 41-3, $3,100

-5th: Shawn Gordon, Russellville, Ark., 14 bass, 40-9, $2,000

-6th: Dennis Berhorst, Holts Summit, Mo., 15 bass, 40-8, $1,800

Rounding out the top-10 boaters were:

-7th: Rob Leidholdt, Milton, Wis., 15 bass, 38-4, $1,600

-8th: Joseph Norris, Bossier City, La., 14 bass, 36-14, $1,400

-9th: Jaret Rushing, Hampton, Ark., 13 bass, 35-8, $1,200

-10th: Randy Ramsey Jr., Chicago, Ill., 12 bass, 34-8, $1,000

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Dewey Larson of Fayetteville, Arkansas, won the Co-angler Division and a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard with a three-day cumulative catch of 11 bass weighing 28 pounds, 1 ounce.

The top six co-anglers that qualified for the 2019 BFL All-American were:

-1st: Dewey Larson, Fayetteville, Ark., 11 bass, 28-1, $45,100

-2nd: Matt Finkeldei, Davenport, Iowa, 11 bass, 28-0, $5,050

-3rd: Alan Bernicky, Joliet, Ill., 12 bass, 27-11, $2,500

-4th: Jimmy Green, Tulsa, Okla., 10 bass, 24-13, $1,500

-5th: Brandon Ackerson, Afton, Okla., 10 bass, 22-10, $1,000

-6th: Eugene Moore III, Little Rock, Ark., six bass, 21-10, $900

Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers were:

-7th: Bryan Schuster, Oklahoma City, Okla., eight bass, 21-2, $800

-8th: Ben Faucheaux, Natchitoches, La., 10 bass, 18-5, $700

-9th: Bill Wiles, Arcadia, Okla., six bass, 17-0, $600

-10th: Cannon Rush, Grand Prairie, Texas, eight bass, 16-4, $500

The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Mercury was hosted by the Tri-County Lodging Association.

The 2018 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 take place May 30-June 1 on the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland, and is hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners and the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism. 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, YouTube and Snapchat.