Hulsey Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament at Table Rock Lake

May 8, 2023
BFL News Archive

KIMBERLING CITY, Mo. (May 8, 2023) – Boater Bryan Hulsey of Troy, Missouri, caught a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 13 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Table Rock Lake. The tournament was the fourth event of the season for the BFL Ozark Division. Hulsey earned $4,720 for his victory.

“My morning started off really slow,” said Hulsey. “I had a 4½-pounder in the first 20 minutes, but I couldn’t get a bite in my primary area, so I kind of just bounced around looking for bites.”

Hulsey said he searched for bites with a Crock-O-Gator Swamp Bug where bluffs transitioned to pea gravel in 3 to 7 feet of water, but only had only two keepers by noon. He then returned to his primary area to find more bites.

“It was like somebody had just flipped a switch,” Hulsey said. “Not only did I catch them, but my co-angler (winner Ryan Bechard) caught them, too.

“I was pretty nervous at noon,” Hulsey added. “I know from past experience that you just keep your head down and give it 100 percent. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.”

Hulsey said he wasn’t confident in his weight, even after taking the lead, and was waiting for another angler to weigh a 20- to 21-pound sack. The big bag never came.

“This win is pretty special,” Hulsey said. “To come away with the win and qualify for the Regional … what a surprise. It’s one of those things you just don’t expect to happen.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

                1st:        Bryan Hulsey, Troy, Mo., five bass, 17-13, $4,720
                2nd:       Anthony Johnson, Excelsior Springs, Mo., five bass, 17-2, $3,055
                3rd:       Quenten Reed, Osage Beach, Mo., five bass, 16-7, $1,574
                4th:        Brock Bolden, Rogers, Ark., five bass, 16-1, $1,601 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
                5th:        Tyler Stuart, Fenton, Mo., five bass, 15-10, $944
                6th:        Eric Olliverson, Lampe, Mo., five bass, 15-9, $865
                7th:        Wesley Rogers, Thayer, Mo., five bass, 15-2, $747
                7th:        Aaron Stanphill, Bella Vista, Ark., five bass, 15-2, $747
                9th:        Dustin Lippe, Blue Eye, Mo., five bass, 14-13, $1,099
                10th:     Bobby Shockley, Springfield, Mo., five bass, 14-12, $551

Anthony Johnson of Excelsior Springs, Missouri, caught a bass that weighed 5 pounds, 11 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $695. Ryan Bechard of Hays, Kansas, won the co-angler division and a total of $3,307 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 16 pounds even.

The top 10 co-anglers finished:

                1st:        Ryan Bechard, Hays, Kan., five bass, 16-0, $3,307
                2nd:       Eric Wright, Bella Vista, Ark., five bass, 14-1, $1,180
                3rd:       Corey Henderson, Fenton, Mo., five bass, 13-13, $787
                4th:        Travis McKee, Fayetteville, Ark., five bass, 13-1, $551
                5th:        Sam Box, Rogers, Ark., five bass, 11-13, $472
                6th:        Charles Coleman, Reeds Spring, Mo., five bass, 11-11, $433
                7th:        Tom Alsop, Overland Park, Kan., five bass, 11-10, $354
                7th:        D.J. Pugh, Overland Park, Kan, five bass, 11-10, $354
                7th:        Kirk Short, St. Clair, Mo., five bass, 11-10, $354
                10th:     Michael Shinstine, Springdale, Ark., five bass, 10-15, $275

Bechard also earned the Big Bass co-angler award of $347, catching a bass that weighed in at 4 pounds, 10 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After four events, Justin Luetkemeyer of Lake Ozark, Missouri, leads the BFL Ozark Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 914 points, while Ryan Bechard of Hays, Kansas, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 924 points.