Alan Hults Wins FLW Series Eastern Division on Lake Eufaula – Photo by Rob Newell FLWOutdoors.com
Rookie pro Alan Hults of Gautier, Miss., caught a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win $50,000 in the FLW Series Eastern Division tournament on Lake Eufaula with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing 80 pounds, 2 ounces. Hults also received $6,000 for being the Ranger Cup program winner.
The catch gave him the win by a solid 5-pound, 1-ounce margin over Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., who caught a total of 20 bass weighing 75-1 and earned $20,000.
The Hults family was well represented at the Lake Eufaula event. Hults’ three brothers fished the co-angler side and posted a victory, a 2nd-place and a 13th-place finish.
â€œWe love coming to Lake Eufaula in the spring of the year,â€ said Hults, whose Eufaula victory came at the first tournament he entered as a pro. Hults also has posted one FLW Series and two American Fishing Series Eufaula victories as a co-angler.
Hults began his FLW Outdoors fishing career in 2002 at the Bass Fishing League (BFL) level. He has worked his way up the series ladder by advancing to the American Fishing Series, the FLW Series and the FLW Tour. The Lake Eufaula tournament is the only tournament he’s fished out of the front of the boat.
â€œThis isn’t something I’m going to do all the time,â€ Hults said. â€œThis was a one-time deal. I enjoy fishing out of the back of the boat. You learn so much. And that’s why I’m here today. When you get to fish with that many people and see that many different techniques, you’re going to pick up a lot of good stuff.â€
Hults said he caught the majority of his fish on a bull bream-colored Lucky Craft RC2.5 crankbait. Hults said the crankbait was the same one he has had so much success with in the past on Lake Eufaula.
Hults said he began the final day of competition by flipping and quickly caught a three-pounder, his smallest weighed fish. He said the fish came from a â€œreally ugly bank.â€
â€œI said, â€˜Well, that’s a pretty good start,’ because I hadn’t even got to what I thought was the best part,â€ Hults said. â€œI just fished super, super slow and got all the way up there and never had another hit. So I was a little concerned because by that time in the day yesterday, I already had my limit.â€
Hults said the water had gotten progressively dirtier throughout the week and was â€œsuspended mudâ€ Saturday. Hults switched to a chatter-style bait but said he wasn’t comfortable with it and changed to the crankbait.
Hults opened the tournament in third place Wednesday with five bass weighing 24-1. On Thursday he added another five bass weighing 19-14 to capture the lead. He then caught five bass weighing 19-5 Friday to make the crucial top-5 cut in first place.
Rounding out the top-5 pros are:
3rd: Tom Monsoor, La Crosse, Wis., 20 bass, 73-5, $15,000
4th: Lloyd Pickett Jr., Bartlett, Tenn., 20 bass, 72-1, $10,000
5th: J.T. Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla., 18 bass, 63-15, $9,000
A complete list of results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Overall there were 23 bass weighing 68 pounds, 15 ounces caught by five pros Saturday. The catch included four five-bass limits.
Matt Hults of Gautier, Miss., won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger 177TR with a 90 horsepower Evinrude outboard motor Friday with a three-day total of 14 bass weighing 47 pounds, 12 ounces followed by his brother Chris Hults of Vancleave, Miss., in second place with 12 bass weighing 35-13 worth $6,386. Matt also received $1,500 for being the Ranger Cup program winner.
Alan Hults and co-angler Matt Hults each won a $1000 gift card as part of the new Cabela’s Angler Cash program. Beginning in 2010, Cabela’s is offering pro and co-anglers the opportunity to register and win a $1000 gift card for being the highest qualified finisher in each division at all FLW Series events, making the stakes even higher in an already rich award package. Anglers can visit FLWOutdoors.com for a complete list of rules and to register.