Martin Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Ouachita

February 27, 2023
BFL News Archive

MOUNT IDA, Ark. (Feb. 27, 2023) – Boater Blake Martin of Dardanelle, Arkansas, caught a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 13 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake Ouachita. The tournament was the first event of the season for the BFL Arkie Division. Martin earned $4,507 for his victory.

“I thought this tournament would be won in clear water, so I tried fishing deep grass, but I couldn’t figure it out,” said Martin. “So, I went up into mud into the river like I’m used to.

“I wasn’t catching much; the wind was blowing and I was cold,” Martin added. “And it’s funny - that’s the reason I found the fish I did. I was just trying to get out of the wind in the back of a pocket and was just fishing while I was trying to warm up. It turns out they were way more shallow than I thought they would be.”

Martin said most of his fish came in 1 to 2 feet of water on a Z-Man Evergreen ChatterBait Jack Hammer, and the bait provided enough weight to post his first BFL win in three tries.

“I thought I could compete in them, but never thought I would win a BFL,” Martin said. “I’ve been fishing my whole life, but I didn’t expect this.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:          Blake Martin, Dardanelle, Ark., five bass, 17-13, $4,507
2nd:        Samuel Hutson, Benton, Ark., five bass, 17-4, $2,908
3rd:        Braxton Shifflett, Jessieville, Ark., five bass, 14-15, $1,502
4th:         Chris Huselton, Conway, Ark., five bass, 14-14, $1,052
5th:         Matt Wood, Jessieville, Ark., five bass, 14-12, $901
6th:         Teddy Bogard, White Hall, Ark., five bass, 14-11, $1,326 Includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
7th:         Damian Roberts, Dumas, Ark., five bass, 14-9, $751
8th:         Austin Johnston, Mena, Ark., five bass, 14-8, $676
9th:         Justin Bean, Benton, Ark., five bass, 14-6, $601
10th:      Jordan Haas, Russellville, Ark., five bass, 13-15, $526

Hutson caught a largemouth that weighed 8 pounds, 2 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $655. John Clark of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, won the Strike King co-angler division and a total of $2,232 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 17 pounds, 6 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

1st:          John Clark, Pine Bluff, Ark., five bass, 17-6, $2,232
2nd:        Taylor Nichols, Stephens, Ark., five bass, 12-3, $1,116
3rd:        Steven Logan, Hugo, Okla., three bass, 11-14, $1,063
4th:         Lance Fowler, Dardanelle, Ark., five bass, 11-9, $521
5th:         Steve Meredith, Jessieville, Ark., five bass, 11-5, $446
6th:         John Hankins, Atkins, Ark., three bass, 11-2, $390
6th:         Mike Toska, Hot Springs, Ark., four bass, 11-2, $390
8th:         Dave Tull, Waldron, Ark., five bass, 10-10, $335
9th:         Derek Dixon, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 10-8, $498
10th:      Jody Jones, Harvey, Ark., five bass, 10-5, $260

Logan earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $320, catching a largemouth that weighed in at 6 pounds, 15 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.