Eufaula, OK – The XFL-Extreme Fishing League held its 2-Day Championship on Lake Eufaula on September 29th and 30th. After what can only be deemed an “interesting year” in terms of extreme weather conditions and tournament cancellations due to tragic events it was a relief that the final event of the season went off without a hitch.
156 teams participated in this event and were greeted with what most dubbed as good weather conditions of seasonal temps with overcast skies and decent winds. About 2 weeks prior to this event reports were coming in of good stringers of fish being caught. Then heavy rains pounded the area for 2 days causing the lake to rise to a little over 1′ above normal. Then the authorities started dropping the water level and by tournament time the lake was only about 1/2 above normal. Despite the great weather, the dropping water levels seemed to put the fish in a funk and caused fishing to be really tough. But, as always somebody figures them out good enough to win and that team was Curt Warren and Jeff Booth. After Day 1 Curt and Jeff held about a 5 lb lead with a little over 21 lbs on 5 fish anchored by a 7.04 big bass. Curt and Jeff managed 4 fish on Sunday bringing their 2 Day total to 33.88 and good enough to take home the $20,000 1st Place check. 2nd place and $10,000 went to the 2nd place team of Kelly Webster and Darrell McClure with a 2 day total of 31.05. 3rd Place and $7690, which included $3000 Skeeter Customer Appreciation Money, went to the team of Thomas Canady and Creston Harrell with a 2 day total of 29.12. Big Bass of the event was brought in by the team of Ward Jones and Alan Heavner with a 7.50 monster worth $1000. Congratulations to these teams and all the other teams that drew a check in what most felt was a real grind fest tournament. Total entry fees collected for this event were $46,800 and total payout was $71,680 for a 153% payout percentage. I spoke with Jeff Booth of the winning team and he offered a little insight as to how their tournament progressed.
Due to family commitments, Jeff was unable to pre-fish on Friday so Curt had to take the lead on finding some fish. Curt did well and found 3 areas in 25-30 of water that were holding good schools of fish. On Day 1 they stopped at spot to try some topwater action but abandoned that after only about 5 minutes because they “just weren’t feeling it”. They ran to their 1st deep water spot and Jeff boated a 5 lb fish on a 3/4 jig. This gave the team confidence that they were doing the right thing. They caught 2 more good fish off this spot, then started rotating through the other 2 places. Curt boated the 7.04 lb fish and added a couple more solid keepers. After this they knew they had a good sack of fish and decided to let their spots rest for the next day. Day 2 arrived and they ran to their first spot only to find another competitor on it. Undaunted, they went to their 2nd and 3rd spots but were unable to put a keeper fish in the boat. Sticking to these two deep water spots they finally boated their 1st keeper at 1:00. They stuck with their plan and managed to bring in 4 fish at nearly 13 lbs. which was good enough to secure the win. Jeff said the key to their win was sticking to their game plan and being patient. They knew these areas held quality fish, it was just a matter of time to get them to bite. Congratulations to Curt and Jeff on their victory.
On behalf of the XFL staff I want to thank all the sponsors and participants. Without your support we could not provide the premier tournament fishing league in the State of Oklahoma. We look forward to your continued support in 2019. Scheduling, etc. for 2019 is in the works. Be sure to check this website in the coming months for announcements regarding the 2019 season.
Come see me at the BlackBeard Marine booth at the Tulsa Boat Show in late January. Until then be safe and good luck fishing. I would say I will see you on the water, but its about time for me to go sit in a tree and look for deer.