Kingston, OK – After what seemed like an eternity, the XFL-Extreme Fishing League finally got to hold a regularly scheduled tournament. Torrential rains pounded Oklahoma from late April through early May causing the lakes in NE Oklahoma to reach record levels forcing the tournament directors to reschedule the Grand and Ft. Gibson tournaments.
Many tournament anglers and tournament directors were frustrated by this turn of events. But, when dealing with Mother Nature there is really nothing anyone can do about it. All we have to do is make the best of it and move on. After the long, unanticipated break, the XFL hosted its 3rd event, and 4th overall, at the inland sea known as Lake Texoma. Texoma had been largely spared from the torrential rains earlier in the year. 98 teams were faced with good water conditions and a lake level about 2′ above normal. The days leading up to this event saw temps near 100 degrees on Friday with a cold front passing through on Saturday bringing some much needed rain and relief from the heat. Tournament day on Sunday dawned under partly cloudy skies, a light breeze and much cooler temperatures making for a pleasant day on the water. Tournament results were pretty good for this time of year with 55 teams bringing in 5 fish limits and the average fish weighing a very respectable 2.6 lbs. The husband/wife team of Joe and Tami Copeland bested the field with a 5 fish limit weighing 19.33lbs worth $15,000. Coming in 2nd and taking home $5,000 was the team of Red Rutherford and David Brese with a limit weighing 18.72 lbs. Big Bass of the event at a whopping 7.09lbs and worth $1,000 was brought in by the team of Grey Fowler and Darren Turner. Skeeter Owner Bonus winners were Marco Vaca and Doyle Idleman, $3,000, Phillip Lunceford and Shane Fields, $1,500 and Dusty Raper and Matt Weber, $500. Congratulations to these teams and all the other teams that got in the money. This event took in $19,600 in entry fees and paid out $33,080 for a total payout of 169%. I visited with Joe Copeland and he provided some insight on how he and Tami went about catching their winning stringer.
Joe and Tami have nearly 40 yrs of fishing experience on Lake Texoma and this experience played a key role in taking home the 1st place paycheck. 15 minutes after arriving at their first spot, they put 2 quality keepers in the boat. They hit several other spots and by 10:00 their bite dwindled and they had about a 12 lb. limit in the boat. At this point, the team had to resort to a “run and gun” approach by hitting as many spots possible. At around 1:30, they still had not improved upon their limit. Knowing they would need to cull up to have a shot at getting a check, they decided to run to a spot where they have caught big fish in the past. This proved to be ticket because they landed one fish that would go about 6 lbs and another over 4 lbs. Joe and Tami fished shallow cover in the mid-lake area of the lake and used Texas rigged creature baits to catch their winning stringer. I’ve known Joe and Tami for several years and they are truly a very nice couple. I’ve enjoyed getting to know them over the years and am happy to see them win. Congratulations to you both!
The next stop on the XFL is the rescheduled Ft. Gibson event to be held July 9th out of Taylor’s Ferry North. This will be the 2nd event of the North Division. To qualify for the championship teams must compete in any 3 events, in any combination of North or South Divisions. Since a make-up date for the Grand event has yet to be determined, if your team has not yet fished 3 total events and you plan on fishing the Championship, I strongly suggest you enter the Ft. Gibson tournament. Ft. Gibson has been fishing well of late and it could be a very strong event. We look forward to seeing everyone there.
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See you on the water,