Eufaula, OK – The Skeeter XFL Extreme Fishing League hosted its first tournament of the South Division on March 19, 2017 at sprawling, wind swept Lake Eufaula. 178 teams entered this event and were greeted with mild conditions at the beginning of the day and rapidly warming temperatures, topping out a near record highs of 90 degrees.
Just one week prior to this event this region of Oklahoma saw low temps in the mid 20s with highs near 40. Oklahoma weather can be crazy at times. The yo-yo like temperatures seemed to have the bass confused on what to do as evidenced by the results of this tournament. In what should have been a proverbial “toad fest” Eufaula proved to be quite stingy. Only 72 limits were brought to the scales and 74 teams didn’t weigh a fish. Yours truly was one of the 74 not to weigh. After a relatively decent practice, I thought we could at least catch a limit. It was not to be. We only managed 2 dinks and 1 barely keeper all day. The highlight of our day was when Vance set the hook on a “big fish” only to have it turn out be a 10lb blue cat. We should have taken him home to eat. At least we would have had something to show for our lackluster effort. Enough of my tale of woe, lets talk about the guys who figured out how to catch some fish that count.
In a very close finish, the father/son team of Randy and David McDuffee weighed a 5 fish limit for 18.72lbs narrowly beating out the 2nd place team of Matt Miller and Will Power with 18.71lbs. Randy and David took home $15,000 for 1st place. Matt and Will won a total of $5500 which included $500 in Skeeter Bonus Money for fishing out of a qualifying Skeeter Boat. Big Bass of the event was a 7.52 lb lunker weighed by the team of Mathew Norris and Matt Clouse worth $1000. Other Skeeter Bonus money winners were David Buck and Tommy Furstenberg – $1500 and Casey Sullivan and Robert Jones – $3000. Total money collected for this event was $35,600, money paid out was $44,491 yielding a 125% payout percentage. I had a chance to visit with Randy McDuffee and he shared a little insight on how they went about catching the winning stringer.
Randy and David are no strangers to the XFL. The father/son team has fished our circuit for many years and have drawn several checks but nothing like this. Randy lives in the town of Eufaula and owns and operates the Jeweler’s Box jewelry store in Checotah, the teams only sponsor. Son David lives in Harrah. OK and has competed in these tournaments with his 66 yr. old father for many years. Randy said they practiced on the north end of the lake and it was “HORRIBLE” only yielding 3 small fish in a day’s fishing. When tournament time came around the team decided to roll the dice and head to the far southern end of the lake to an area they knew well. This proved to the be smart strategy. Using a combination of spinnerbaits and crankbaits they only caught 9 fish but they were all keepers. They upgraded throughout the day and ended up with 18.72 lbs. Randy indicated the key to their win was “fishing clean”. They caught and landed every fish that bit. Anyone that has ever done well in a tournament can certainly agree “fishing clean” is always a key. Congratulations to Randy and David on their win. We here at the XFL are happy to see our long-time participants do well.
The next event on a very busy March and April schedule is the 1st tournament of the North Division to be held on Beaver Lake near Rogers, AR on Sunday, March 26th. Host site is Prairie Creek ramp. We hope to see everyone there.
On behalf of the XFL staff, I want to thank all the sponsors and participants in this event and the events to come.