Swayze Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament at Greers Ferry

March 25, 2024
Bass Fishing League (BFL) News

GREERS FERRY, Ark. (March 25, 2024) – Boater Justin Swayze of Gurdon, Arkansas, caught a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 13 ounces, Saturday to win the Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Greers Ferry. The tournament was the second event of the season for the BFL Arkie Division. Swayze earned $11,385, including the lucrative $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus, for his victory.

During his practice, Swayze found prespawn bass staging around buck brush in 5 to 6 feet of water. At that time, the water temperatures ranged from the mid- to upper 50s. A cooldown accompanied by high winds the night prior to the tournament, and continuing on tournament day, knocked the water temperature back to the low 50s, which caused the fish to slide out.

“I started out where I’ve been catching them and they weren’t there,” Swayze said. “I looked on my graph and I could tell that they weren’t shallow. I took the (Garmin) LiveScope and just kind of shot it around the other side of the boat, and they were out in like 10, 12 feet of water.

“They were the same fish. Instead of running up the bank in 5, 6 feet of water, today (Saturday) they were running out in 10, 12 feet of water.”

Swayze said the fish were set up near some standing timber, and he caught them using his favorite big-bass bait for Greers Ferry: a Gene Larew Biffle Bug rigged on an 11/16-ounce Gene Larew Biffle Hardhead.

“I pretty much caught all of them like that,” added Swayze, who spent the whole tournament cycling through a few key stretches within one big mid-lake bay. “I caught probably 30 keepers.”

For Swayze, owner of a heat-and-air company, this is win No. 1 at the BFL level.

“I’ve gotten like second, third, fourth, fifth. I’ve won a Toyota Series as a co-angler. I’ve always wanted to win as a boater on the BFL. And man, that’s hard to do. It feels good. It feels really good.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Justin Swayze, Gurdon, Ark., five bass, 14-13, $11,385 (includes $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
2nd:      C.J. Brustrom, Sulphur Rock, Ark., five bass, 14-8, $2,813
3rd:       Chip Hawkins, Little Rock, Ark., five bass, 13-12, $1,243
3rd:       Dillon Smith, Harrisburg, Ark., five bass, 13-12, $1,243
5th:        Chris Darby, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 13-3, $877
6th:        Mike Webster, Pottsville, Ark., five bass, 12-15, $804
7th:        Carl Cole, Little Rock, Ark., five bass, 12-14, $731
8th:        Brian Bean, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 12-13, $621
8th:        Travis Mosley, Benton, Ark., five bass, 12-13, $621
10th:     Chris Huselton, Conway, Ark., five bass, 12-11, $512

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

C.J. Brustrom of Sulphur Rock, Arkansas, caught a bass that weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce, and earned the Big Bass Boater award of $620. Zach Gilbert of Bauxite, Arkansas, won the co-angler division and $2,442 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 11 pounds, 4 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers finished:

1st:        Zach Gilbert, Bauxite, Ark., five bass, 11-4, $2,422
2nd:       Jason Phillips, Rison, Ark., five bass, 11-0, $1,061
3rd:       Steve Meredith, Jessieville, Ark., five bass, 10-12, $707
4th:        Jody Jones, Harvey, Ark., five bass, 10-8, $495
5th:        Tim Dycus, Heber Springs, Ark., five bass, 10-7, $424
6th:        Buck Blackwell, Pine Bluff, Ark., five bass, 10-6, $489
7th:        Jonathan Dotson, Dover, Ark., five bass, 10-2, $354
8th:        Stan Harris, Searcy, Ark., five bass, 9-10, $318
9th:        Dwayne Allen, Maumelle, Ark., five bass, 9-9, $283
10th:     Jon Paulovich, Benton, Ark., five bass, 8-15, $248

Gilbert also earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $300, catching a bass that weighed in at 5 pounds – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After two events, Chris Darby of Hot Springs, Arkansas, leads the Fishing Clash Arkie Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 495 points, while Steve Meredith of Jessieville, Arkansas, leads the Fishing Clash Arkie Division Co-Angler of the Year race with 489 points.