Muskogee, OK – The XFL-Extreme Fishing League hosted its second event of the Southern Division on the Arkansas River at 3 Forks landing on April 2, 2017. Heavy rains in the northern portion of the Arkansas and Verdigris River watersheds led to large volume discharges from the lakes upstream resulting in muddy water and heavy current in the main river channel. With the heavy current and the bass being primarily in a pre-spawn to spawning mode, main river channel fishing was pretty much out of the question.
Most, if not all, of the 145 teams concentrated their efforts in the various protected creeks and coves off the main river channel. From visiting with several teams during the weigh-in it appeared that the field was about equally divided in fishing the Afton pool to the north, Webbers Falls in the middle and Kerr to the south. As is always the case when fishing a river system and a team chooses to lock through, there is a risk involved. Several teams that chose to lock either upstream or downstream were delayed by unexpected barge traffic and missed their appointed weigh-in time. One team that chose to stay in the Webbers Falls pool was the father/son team on Sherman and Wesley Nofire. Sherman and Wesley brought in a very impressive 23.34lb stringer worth $15,000.00. Second place went to the team of Chris Jones and Larry Jones with 19.38 lbs anchored by a 6.45 lb kicker fish that tied for big bass honors with the 11th place team of Rob Wadley and Vance Montgomery. Chris and Larry took home $5,500.00 for their efforts. The Skeeter Owner Customer appreciation awards of $3,000 went to Rob Wadley and Vance Montgomery, $1,500 to David Buck and Tommy Furstenberg and $500 to Billy Dahlem and Daryl Smith. There were a total of 34 5 fish limits weighed, 76 teams did not weigh (partly due to barge delays), there were 3 fish over 5 lbs weighed and 4 fish over 6 lbs weighed. Total payout was $39,965 on $29,000 in entry fees for a 138% payout.
I spoke with Sherman Nofire and he provided a bit of insight on how they went about catching the winning stringer.
Sherman Nofire is no stranger the to XFL trail. Sherman has fished this trail since its inception many years ago. After a brief hiatus from tournament fishing Sherman decided to fish again, this time with son Wesley. Interesting fact about Wesley. Wesley is a professional boxer with a record of 19-1 and has had several televised bouts. Sherman and Wesley’s day started out on a bad note. After they launched their boat Wesley went to lower the trolling motor to pick up Sherman off the dock only to have the pull rope break. They removed a set screw and spacer from the bracket, dropped the spacer and it bounced into the water. Without the spacer there was no way to attach the motor to the bracket. They tried several things and finally settled on using the handle end of a crescent wrench. The wrench had a hole in the handle that allowed them to get the set screw to bite. They ended up fishing the entire time with a crescent wrench sticking out of the side of their trolling motor. Sherman and Wesley overcame this setback in time to meet their take-off time. The team ran to their first spot in the Webbers Falls pool and had a limit of about 19 lbs by 8:30. Sherman said they “junk fished” catching fish on a variety of lures. All their fish came on one stretch of bank that was about 40 yards long. They caught 10 keepers and culled a couple of times through the day for their total weight of 23.34lbs. Congratulations to Sherman and Wesley on their victory.
After a less than stellar turnout at the first Northern Division event on Beaver Lake in Arkansas, the Northern Division returns to Oklahoma on May 7th at Grand Lake out of Wolf Creek Park. We look forward to seeing everyone at Grand in what should prove to be great event. Please check out our sponsor page and call upon our sponsors for anything you might need and be sure to mention that you appreciate their sponsorship. On behalf of the XFL Staff we want to thank the anglers and sponsors for their support.
See you on the water!