Oklahoma’s Birge wins Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event on Grand Lake

Category: press release

 Apr 10th, 2016 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Apr 10th, 2016 at 12:00 AM

Pro Zack Birge of Blanchard, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 3 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event on Grand Lake presented by Evinrude with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 51 pounds, 13 ounces. For his win, Birge took home $40,000.

Birge, who started the day in eighth place, said he spent the majority of his tournament targeting prespawn bass in three mid-lake areas that were littered with small chunk rock.

“I’d fish a 300-yard staging area in Wolf Creek, and then leave it alone to replenish,” said Birge, who earned his third career victory in FLW competition. “I’d make my way down to the mouth of the creek and fish another 200-yard stretch, and then make my way back up. There were fish moving up shallow throughout the day, so I just kept bouncing around and junkfishing.”

Zack Birge (FLW Fishing)

Birge said he rotated through his three areas for the duration of the three-day event, and that his bites gradually got heavier.

“I know the fish in this lake and their quality,” said Birge. “I knew the numbers were here if I stuck with it until they started to bite. I probably casted my lure a thousand times each day. I just kept chunking and plowing the bottom with it. I just about wore the paint and bill off of it.”

The Oklahoma pro said he used one lure and rod to catch his bass over the course of the tournament – a Live Baby Bluegill-colored 6th Sense Crush Mini 25X Crankbait on a 7-foot, medium-action Falcon Cara T7 casting rod.

“I found that the bigger bass didn’t like bluegill and were biting at them,” Birge said. “One of my keepers spit up a bluegill in my livewell yesterday, and it reassured me that what I was doing was right.”

The top 10 pros on Grand Lake were:

               1st:          Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., 15 bass, 51-13, $40,000

              2nd:         Toby Hartsell, Afton, Okla., 14 bass, 50-5, $15,500

               3rd:          Sammy Burks, Joplin, Mo., 15 bass, 48-7, $12,000

               4th:          Quaker State pro Matt Arey, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 48-3, $10,000

               5th:          Chad Warren, Sand Springs, Okla., 14 bass,   47-1, $9,300

               6th:          Jesse Wolfe, Nelson, Wis., 13 bass,  47-0, $8,000

               7th:          Bill Tervin, Pocola, Okla., 12 bass, 44-11, $7,000

               8th:          Matt Cooper, Smithville, Texas, 12 bass, 39-7, $6,000

               9th:          Russell Cecil, Willis, Texas, 10 bass, 37-0, $5,000

             10th:        Earl Hoskins, Burns Flat, Okla., 10 bass, 33-2, $4,000

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

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