“This win means a lot,” said Hibdon, whose win puts him over the $1 million in FLW Outdoors events. “It’s very gratifying to me that I was able to figure out the fish every day. I was able to figure out new little tidbits to the pattern every day.
“I was tickled with the way it played out,” Hibdon added. “I kept working hard and tried to figure out new things every day, and if I had to go fishing tomorrow I think I could catch another 15 pounds.”
Hibdon said he caught every fish of the tournament on an “almost” 3/8-ounce black and blue jig with a black and blue Guido Bug trailer around docks to weigh his daily limits of bass.
“I didn’t have any preconceived notions about how to fish,” Hibdon said. “I didn’t get to practice for the tournament. That’s what dad (Team BP pro Guido Hibdon) had been catching a few on, so I took it and fished new water every day and was fortunate enough to catch them.
“I caught them on docks I had caught fish on the in the past, but I also caught them off of brand new ones, too,” Hibdon said. “Once I figured what kind of docks they were on and what it took … well, I won’t say it was ever easy. But I figured them out a little bit every day.”
Hibdon said his experience on Lake of the Ozarks played a key part in his victory. Hibdon said he knew boat traffic would be heavy Saturday, so he ran upriver an extra 30 miles to get some solitude.
“Boat traffic hurts fishing the docks real bad,” Hibdon said. “When the docks get to bobbing up and down in the water, the fish won’t position themselves on them as good.”
Hibdon opened the tournament in 27th place Wednesday with five bass weighing 11-00. On Thursday he added another five bass weighing 15-08 to move to fifth place. He then caught five bass weighing 13-08 Friday to make the crucial top 10 cut in third place.
Rounding out the top five pros are Wes Endicott of Joplin, Mo. (20 bass, 48-13, $7,462); Zack Bull of Lakeland, Tenn. (19 bass, 48-12, $6,716 plus $5,000 Ranger bonus); Team BP pro Guido Hibdon of Sunrise Beach, Mo. (20 bass, 48-09, $5,970); and Travis Fox of Springdale, Ark. (20 bass, 46-14, $5,224).
Doyle Isom Jr. of Bourbon, Mo., caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Thursday – a 5-pound, 12-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Snickers Big Bass award of $225.
Overall there were 43 bass weighing 84 pounds, 14 ounces caught by pros Saturday. The catch included seven five-bass limits.
Leo Reiter of Goshen, Ind., won the Co-angler Division and $35,000, including a 198VX Ranger boat, with a four-day total of 17 bass weighing 43-10.
“It was a grind today,” said Reiter, who led the event wire-to-wire. “I caught a keeper right off the bat, and that put me at ease. I didn’t care what happened the rest of the day, but I still fished.
“I just did not get the bites today,” Reiter said. “I happened upon another keeper late in the day. It seemed late in the day we got the most bites, but there just weren’t many keeper bites.”
Reiter said he caught 10 fish during the course of the day, and all of his fish came on a green pumpkin 4-inch Berkley PowerBait Fat Dover Crawler rigged on a shaky-head rig.
“This win feels great,” Reiter said. “I’ve worked hard and fished a lot of events. It feels really good. I’ve got some confidence and some momentum, and I hope I can take it to the championship with me.”
Reiter caught five bass weighing 19-14 Wednesday while fishing with pro Joel Baker of Talala, Okla. He then caught five bass weighing 10-07 Thursday while fishing with pro Doug Weiser of Springdale, Ark., to maintain his lead. On Friday he added five more bass weighing 10-08 to make the top 10 cut in first place while fishing with pro Jason Weast of Camdenton, Mo. Finally, on Saturday, he sealed the win with a two-bass catch weighing 2-13 while fishing with Michael Wooley of Collierville, Tenn., who led the first three days in the Pro Division.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Tony Young of Depauw, Ind. (13 bass, 29-14, $3,177); Phil Shafer of Lake Ozark, Mo. (12 bass, 25-13, $2,582); Bradley Rice of Pine Bluff, Ark. (nine bass, 19-10, $1,986); and Robert Prebeck of Norwood, Mo. (10 bass, 18-04, $1,589).
Max Wilson of Everton, Mo., caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Thursday – a 5-pound, 11-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Snickers Big Bass award of $119.
Overall there were seven bass weighing 12 pounds, 13 ounces caught by co-anglers Saturday. The catch included no five-bass limits.
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 Walmart FLW Tour®, Walmart FLW Series®, Walmart Bass Fishing League® and TBF (The Bass Federation) for bass fishing’s biggest prize – $1 million.
Tournament anglers aren’t the only ones winning big this season. With the introduction of FLW Fantasy Fishing™, FLW Outdoors® offered 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 could become a virtual pro angler by signing up for Player’s Advantage, which provided them with exclusive insider information that could have guided them to a $100,000 victory at every Walmart FLW Tour® stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. Player’s Advantage gave them an edge over the competition and increased their shot for the $1 million cash grand prize awarded to the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Visit FantasyFishing.com today to find out more information and to register for next season.
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. 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.