"It was a fun day, everything went as planned," said Hibdon, who took his local knowledge of this lake to win first place from a power packed top-10 field. "Winning this tournament on my home lake in front of the hometown crowd was great. It is a really cool deal to have me and dad (Guido Hibdon) both finish in the top-five. This is definitely something that I will treasure for the rest of my life. Anytime we finish in the top-10 its fun but this is awesome."
While he had been somewhat vague about his fishing techniques all week, Hibdon was more than happy to share the information with an appreciative crowd of cheering fans at the final weigh-in. He fished a Luck-E-Strike football head jig on deeper ledges and points. He was keying in on the edges of the drops in 10 to 20 feet of water.
"The fish were hanging right on the edges of the drops and you had to find the right rocks that were holding the fish," he said.
Hibdon finished in the No. 2 spot on opening day with five bass weighing 21-9. He then grabbed first place on day two with a five-bass catch weighing 16-2 that pushed his two-day total to 10 bass weighing 37-11. On Friday he caught another solid limit, weighing 14-4, to retain control of first place heading into the final round with a total catch of 15 bass weighing 51-15.
Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark., who finished 25th on opening day then jumped to sixth place on day two only to climb into third on day three, came up 6-pounds, 4-ounces short on day four. He caught five bass weighing 17-1 Saturday and finished the tournament with a total of 20 bass weighing 65-5 to earn $50,000.
Rounding out the top five pros were Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas (20 bass, 62-12, $40,000); Guido Hibdon of Gravois Mills, Mo. (20 bass, 61-13, $30,000) and Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa. (20 bass, 58-1, $20,000).
On Friday, Bud Strader of Rockwood, Tenn., earned a $20,000 victory in the Co-angler Division with a three-day total of 12 bass weighing 30-10.
Strader caught two bass weighing 5-10 to finish in 37th place on opening day then added five bass weighing 12-2 Thursday to finish in fifth. On Friday, he wrapped up his climb to the top of the leaderboard with five bass weighing 12-14 that he caught behind pro Scott Lunsford of Calhoun, Ga.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers were David Lawson of Richmond, Ky. (13 bass, 29-9, $10,000); Gayle Jullian of Bakersfield, Mo. (eight bass, 26-1, $9,000); Bill Gift of Alix, Ark. (nine bass, 25-6, $8,000) and Jim Short of Ocean Pines, Md. (10 bass, 24 pounds, $7,000).
Overall, 44 bass weighing 123 pounds, 13 ounces were caught by the top 10 pros Saturday, including 7 five-bass limits.
The new $6.5 million FLW Series features five $900,000 qualifying tournaments, each with a top award of $100,000 and $10,000 through 50th place in the Pro Division. The final regular-season FLW Series tournament will be held on Lewis Smith Lake in Jasper, Ala., Nov. 15-18. Each tournament takes the world's best bass anglers a step closer to the $2 million, 2007 Forrest Wood Cup in Hot Springs, Ark., where the winning pro will earn as much as $1 million cash.
Complete coverage of the Lake of the Ozarks FLW Series tournament will be broadcast to 80 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States as part of the "FLW Outdoors" television program airing Nov. 12. "FLW Outdoors" airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. "FLW Outdoors" is also broadcast internationally to approximately 350 million households in such countries as Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely viewed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 servicemembers stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Stratos Owners' Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $37.9 million through 249 events in 2006.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
Wal-Mart and many of America's largest and most-respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world's leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.