Bass on The Fly crowns its 2018 champions

Once again the 9th World Championship Bass on The Fly Fishing Tournament was held at Lake Fork Marina on Saturday, May 5th. The weather was beautiful on tournament day but it rained heavily Wednesday and Thursday and apparently scared off some of the fair weather anglers. This year there were 62 competitors from Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.

There were a 20 teams (39 people) entered in the boater division and 23 in the kayak division. Twelve (60%) of the boater teams caught fish with 6 five fish limits. A total of 51 fish were photographed by the boaters. It was tougher for the kayakers where 12 (52%) of them caught 22 fish and there were no limits. This is a catch-photo-release tournament so even the Lake Fork “slot fish” can be measured to get the total length of the longest 5 fish caught.

The 2018 World Champions are:

Boater Division

1. Don & Kim Penick, $800. 86.50”
2. Rex White & Eric Dilts, $450. (second year in a row for 2nd.)
3. Bubba Headrick & Dennis North, $350
4. Benson & B.C Fowler, $200

Big Bass – Kim Penick, 20”, $195

Kayak Division

1. Kevin Fuller, $400. 56”
2. Lee Kodet, $275
3. Adam Davis, $175
4. Greg Stine, $120

Big Bass – Chris Horsley, 20”, $125

(Cash payouts are determined by the number of entries in each division.)

The winners consistently reported they caught fish on streamers, some of which were homemade, early in the day or around Noon. The fish were shallow, primarily around beds as the cool Spring has resulted in the spawn extending later this year.

The optional Friday afternoon Blue Gill tournament, $60, was won by Cliff Gilbert in a light drizzle.

The accuracy casting contest was won by Juan Saucedo and the distance casting contest was won by Mark Yarbrough in a cast-off with Reese Hunt. The winners each received the TFO NXT Combo that was used for the respective contest.

The early entry Sage Bass II rod with a matching Sage reel was donated by Sage & Tailwaters Fly Shop. It was won by Ray LeBlanc, one of our long time boater division participants.

The coveted TEAM trophy , and bragging rights, was retained by the Lone Star Fly Fishers of Tyler. The East Texas Fly Fishers were close once again.

The tournament donated $555 to Reel Recovery (retreats for men with cancer) and $455 to the Texas Council of the Fly Fishers International, both 501(c)3 organizations.

Once again, Gypsy Jack donated some new foam frog lures designed to be fished with a fly rod which garnered a lot of interest. Unfortunately, no one claimed the Gypsy Jack “Catch them hawgs” cash award for the largest fish caught on a Gypsy Jack lure during the tournament.

Our great sponsors provided door prizes which included rods, reels, fly lines, flies & fly boxes, discount coupons, gift cards, sun wear, landing net, belts, billfolds, hats, DVD’s, shirts, lip protection, sunscreen, key rings, sunglasses, kayak accessories, lodging, bracelet, and many decals. Once again, we had enough prizes for everyone to win something thanks to our sponsors,

Our Sponsors include Sage Rods, Skeeter Boats, Umpqua, Tailwaters Fly Shop, Redington, Rio, Mariner-Sails, TFO Rods, Smith Optics, Bass Pro Shop-Garland, Simms, Orvis-Plano, Lake Fork Marina, Buffs, Ranger Boats, Gypsy Jack Lures, Fatties on the Fly, Lone Star Fly Fishers, Gray Wolf Fly Shop, Living Waters Fly Shop, Yellow Dog adventures, Sight Line Provisions, East Texas Fly Fishers, Lake Fork Chamber of Commerce, and Wood County Industrial Commission. Thank you all for making this a fun tournament!

The 10th World Championship Bass on The Fly Fishing Tournament will be held in May 4, 2019. We’re already planning for this to be an even bigger and better event with special activities and guests. Check the website,, for the latest information.