“I’m really excited about my new Ranger boat,” Dodson said. “I stuck with the same route I was making all week.”
Dodson caught two bass on a custom-painted Rogue and three on a Lucky Strike swimbait and a single tail grub.
Dodson opened the tournament in 1st place Thursday with four bass weighing 10-12 that he caught on stick baits and jigs while fishing pockets. He then caught four bass weighing 7-08 on a ½-ounce jig and a custom-painted Rogue Friday to make the crucial top 10 cut in 1st place.
Rounding out the top five pros are Preston Havens of Mountain Home, Ark. (12 bass, 26-11, $7,462); Travis Fox of Springdale, Ark. (11 bass, 24-09, $6,716); Wes Endicott of Joplin, Mo. (10 bass, 22-13, $5,970); and Steve Ruff of Wentzville, Mo. (10 bass, 21-12, $5,224).
Dodson caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Thursday – a 4-pound, 9-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Snickers Big Bass award of $225.
Overall there were 30 bass weighing 72 pounds, 15 ounces caught by 10 pros Saturday. The catch included two five-bass limits.
Howard Fulgham Jr. of Ash Flat, Ark., won the Co-angler Division, with a three-day total of seven bass weighing 14-07.
“It was a pretty tough tournament,” said Fulgham. “I had to put on so many clothes just to stay warm. There was rain, snow, ice and then the sun came out and made it tough, too.”
Fulgham used a Megabass jerk bait to catch his bass.
Fulgham caught no bass on Thursday while fishing with pro Same Rosefsky of Morris, Ill., and did not place. On Friday he added three more bass weighing 5-07 to make the top 10 cut in 8th place while fishing with pro Travis Fox of Springdale, Ark. Finally, on Saturday, he sealed the win with a four-bass catch weighing 9-00 he caught on a jerk bait while fishing with pro Steve Ruff of Wentzville, Mo.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Kurt Evans of Hardy, Ark. (five bass, 12-09, $3,177); Chuck Lee of South Bend, Ind. (four bass, 7-10, $2,582); Jamie Alan Horne of Jonesboro, Ark. (four bass, 7-08, $1,986); and Brad Baldwin of Dayton, Ohio (three bass, 7-03, $1,589).
Kurt Evans of caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Thursday – a 3-pound, 9-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Snickers Big Bass award of $119.
Overall there were seven bass weighing 14 pounds, 3 ounces caught by 10 co-anglers Saturday. There were no five-bass limits.
The next Stren Series Central Division event, hosted by Marshall County Tourist Commission, will be held April 30-March 3 on Kentucky Lake in Benton, Ky. Boats will launch from Moors Resort & Marina in Gilbertsville and the final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart located at 310 West Main St. in Benton.
After four qualifying events are complete in each of the Stren Series’ five divisions, the top 40 pros from each division will advance to the $1 million Stren Series Championship in Branson, Mo., Nov. 5-8 for a shot at $140,000. The highest-finishing pro from each division at the championship will also earn a spot in the $2 million 2009 Forrest Wood Cup, where they will compete against top pros from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour®, Wal-Mart FLW Series®, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League® and TBF (The Bass Federation) for bass fishing’s biggest prize – $1 million.
Tournament pros aren’t the only ones winning big this season. With the introduction of FLW Fantasy Fishing™, FLW Outdoors® offers anyone the opportunity to enter for their chance to land the catch of a lifetime with the opportunity to win $7.3 million in cash and prizes. Players can become a virtual pro angler by signing up for Player’s Advantage, providing them with exclusive insider information that could guide them to a $100,000 victory at every Wal-Mart FLW Tour® stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. Player’s Advantage will give them an edge over the competition and increase their shot for a $1 million cash grand prize that will be awarded to the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Those who visit FantasyFishing.com today can sign up for Player’s Advantage and FLW Outdoors will include a $15 Wal-Mart gift card.
The top 40 co-anglers from each Stren Series division will also advance to the championship, where they will fish for as much as $70,000. The highest-finishing co-angler from each division at the championship will then advance to the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup.
FLW Outdoors historically maintains a 98 percent live release rate in all of its bass tournaments.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. In 2008 alone the organization is offering more than 90,000 anglers the chance to win over $40 million through 230 tournaments in 10 circuits targeting bass, walleye, redfish, kingfish and striped bass. FLW Outdoors is also taking fishing mainstream with the largest cash awards in the history of fantasy sports, $7.3 million.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.