Fitts wins Costa FLW Series Central Division opener on Lake Dardanelle

Category: press release

 Apr 3rd, 2016 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Apr 3rd, 2016 at 12:00 AM

Jeff Fitts of Keystone Heights, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Central Division opener on Lake Dardanelle presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 13 bass weighing 48 pounds, 10 ounces. For his win, Fitts took home $48,000.

“I don’t really have the words to describe how incredible this feels right now,” said Fitts, who earned his second career win in FLW competition. “I’d like to fish the FLW Tour full-time next year, so this win means a lot. I feel like I’m one step closer to that goal.”

Fitts said he spent the majority of his tournament punching heavy vegetation in two spawning pockets, located between the launch ramp and the Illinois Bayou. He said he used one bait all three days of the event – a Strike King Rage Tail DB Structure Bug rigged on a Trokar Big Nasty Flippin Hook with a 1½-ounce tungsten weight.

Jeff Fitts (FLW Fishing)

“The grass was really thick so I’d pitch the Rage Tail in, lift it to see if anything was on it, hop it a few times and then pull it out,” said Fitts. “The bites were soft and sporadic, but I’m from Florida so that’s the kind of cover I’m comfortable with and that’s how I like to fish. I only weighed in three on day one, but had lost one earlier on in the day.”

On day two, Fitts said he returned to his pockets and used a Black Blue Flake-colored Rage Tail. He said he caught the majority of his fish from a 100-yard stretch of thick grass.

“I pulled into the first pocket and on my third flip I nabbed a three pounder,” said Fitts. “Within a 20-foot stretch, I was able to catch two more five-pounders. I had a limit by 9:30 a.m. and caught my last keeper to make a final cull around 3 p.m. I was really excited about what I was bringing to the scale.”

Fitts weighed in a tournament-best limit of 23 pounds, 15 ounces to move inside the top-10 cut in sixth place. Fitts said he followed the same pattern on day three and was able to catch his final limit out of a 20-yard stretch using a Summer Craw-colored Rage Tail.

“It was a slower bite on day three,” said Fitts. “I only had four bass until about 20 minutes left to fish. I culled once more and brought in what I had. It ended up working out well.”

The top 10 pros on Lake Dardanelle were:

            1st:          Jeff Fitts, Keystone Heights, Fla., 13 bass, 48-10, $48,000

            2nd:         Daniel Kweekul, Bryant, Ark., 15 bass, 47-14, $19,500

             3rd:          Teddy Bogard, Pine Bluff, Ark., 15 bass, 47-0, $14,000

             4th:          Todd Castledine, Nacogdoches, Texas, 11 bass, 45-3, $12,000

             5th:          Evan Barnes, Hot Springs, Ark., 15 bass, 44-12, $11,000

             6th:          Zach King, Clarksville, Ark., 13 bass, 43-0, $9,000

             7th:          Christopher Jones, Bokoshe, Okla., 14 bass, 40-2, $7,800

              8th:          Greg Jones, Wentzville, Mo., 13 bass, 39-7, $6,800

              9th:          Joe McClary, Kirkwood, Mo., 11 bass, 32-2, $5,800

            10th:        Brandon Hunter, Benton, Ky., 11 bass, 31-14, $4,400   

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

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