Johnston Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament On Stockton Lake


STOCKTON, Mo. – Rick Johnston of Joplin, Mo., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament on Stockton Lake. For his victory, Johnston earned $6,718.
     “I only fished one bait for most of the day, but I rigged it a couple of different ways,” said Johnston. “I was using a green pumpkin-colored 5-inch Luck “E” Strike Jogger worm. At first, I had it rigged on a 3/16-ounce shaky-head jig, but I switched midday and started fishing it weightless, real slow with 8-pound-test line. The water on the lake was up quite a bit – into the bushes – and you could catch fish all day, but they didn’t have any real size.
     “Based on my practice, I had decided to target the clearer water in the lower end of the lake,” Johnston went on to say. “I was not having much luck in the shallow trees and bushes, so I decided to back off into the deeper water, and that is where I had my success. I ended up catching eight keepers on the day. I had won the points title for the Ozark division in 2009, but I had never won a BFL tournament. This is such a thrill for me, and I couldn’t be more excited.”
     Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
Boater Rick Johnston of Joplin, Mo., took first at the April 21 Ozark Division event on Stockton Lake with a total weight of 19 pounds, 6 ounces.
          2nd:   Wes Endicott, Joplin, Mo., five bass, 13-10, $1,859
          3rd:   Bill Jared, Bella Vista, Ark., five bass, 13-2, $1,238
          4th:    Josh Busby, Rogersville, Mo., five bass, 12-15, $867
          5th:    David McCormick, Lee’s Summit, Mo., five bass, 12-14, $744
          6th:    Nalon Jones, Marshfield, Mo., five bass, 12-13, $682
          7th:    Dirk Sluyter, Russellville, Mo., five bass, 12-11, $620
          8th:    Ronnie Kane, Gardner, Kan., five bass, 12-10, $558
          9th:    Brent Algeo, Ozark, Mo., five bass, 12-8, $496
          10th: Robert Derr, Reeds Spring, Mo., five bass, 12-6, $434
     Brian Thompson of Springfield, Mo., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win $1,820 in the co-angler division.
     Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
          2nd:   Brian Jones, Villa Ridge, Mo., five bass, 11-5, $910
          3rd:   Don Mason, Eldon, Mo., five bass, 10-15, $607
          4th:    Brian Gibler, Baldwin City, Kan., five bass, 10-1, $425
          5th:    Joe Waggoner, Carthage, Mo., five bass, 9-10, $364
          6th:    John Luzynski, St. Louis, Mo., five bass, 9-9, $334
          7th:    Bryan Barnard, Harrison, Ark., five bass, 9-6, $303
          8th:    Kal Chamaoun, St. Louis, Mo., five bass, 9-5, $273
          9th:    Micah Lawson, Leawood, Kan., five bass, 9-3, $243
          10th: Derek Felton, Republic, Mo., five bass, 9-2, $212
     The next BFL Ozark Division tournament is scheduled for June 2 on Lake Truman in Warsaw, Mo. After the fifth Ozark Division tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 11-13 Regional Championship on Lake Barkley in Kuttawa, Ky. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
     The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 40 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them the BFL All-American. The 2012 BFL All-American is being held May 17 – 19 on the Potomac River in National Harbor, Md. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the FLW Tour.

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