UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Grand Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Fulps Holds on at Fort Gibson

Fulps Holds on at Fort Gibson
Derek Fulps

Struggling on the final day, Derek Fulps of Broken Arrow, Okla., brought only three bass to the scale to close out the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Lowrance on Fort Gibson. Fortunately for Fulps, the three he weighed were good ones, so with 11-12 on the final day, Fulps clinched the win with a total of 45 pounds, 5 ounces. For his victory, Fulps earned a prize package worth $78,500.

With the exception of a couple hours of flipping visible shoreline wood, Fulps spent the majority of his tournament fishing up the Grand River and targeting a large laydown positioned off the bank in about 12 feet of water. The tree’s full profile led him to believe it was a fairly recent addition to the river’s woody collection.

“I think this was one of the trees that was blown into the river during one of the recent storms,” he says. “I don’t think it had been there long, because the end was still very bushy with lots of leaves. That gave the fish a lot of cover to hide in.”

Derek Fulps

Fulps says he found the big tree on Monday, while practicing with co-angler Branson Phillips, who placed second in his division. The two were inspecting likely targets on the shoreline, but Fulps wasn’t happy with what he was seeing.

“I was asking Branson ‘What am I missing?’,” Fulps says. “What we did was back off the bank and when we did that, I saw on my sonar the head of a huge log that was totally under the water. Most of my fish came off that one tree.”

Fulps caught most of his fish on a green pumpkin candy Gene Larew Hoodaddy Jr., but he also caught keepers on a Zoom Trick Worm. He Texas-rigged both with a 5/0 hook and a 3/16- to 3/8-ounce weight, depending on current strength.

That water flow was the key to his early success, which yielded a 4th-place limit of 17-7 on day one and a day-two weight of 16-2 that put him in the lead. Fulps carried a lead of 2-6 into the final round and that margin proved essential, as day three saw him catch only three fish.

Derek Fulps

As Fulps explained, fluctuating lake levels and varying periods of current told the story of his tournament experience. On day one, Fort Gibson was down about a foot from where it was in practice, but the lake level varied throughout the tournament.

As for current, the local dam authority started pulling water around 11 a.m. on day one, so Fulps’ day took a dramatic upturn once the current positioned fish tight to his tree. Day two brought current by about 9, so he had longer to work his spot.

“When the current was running, those fish would tuck in tight to the tree and they started feeding more aggressively,” he says. “Whenever my bait would fall in front of them and one would move up to get it, that would stimulate the other ones.”

Unfortunately, Fulps found barely a trickle of current on day three and had to pick at the tree more broadly, as the fish were scattered in the slack water.

Fulps says that managing his spot with minimal practice catches and then measured doses each of the first two tournament days was essential to ensuring strong final round opportunities. Today, he fished with 16-year-old Tate Brumnett, who entered day three leading the co-angler division and secured his victory with two big fish caught from Fulps’ tree.

Derek Fulps

Top 10 pros

1. Derek Fulps – Broken Arrow, Okla. – 45-5 (13)

2. Kyle Cortiana – Broken Arrow, Okla. – 43-4 (15)

3. Brandon Mosley – Choctaw, Okla. – 42-1(15)

4. Jim Tutt – Longview, Texas – 41-10 (15)

5. Zack Birge – Blanchard, Okla. – 41-3 (15)

6. Brett Brumnett – Wagoner, Okla. – 40-15 (13)

7. Brian Potter – Claremore, Okla. – 37-14 (15)

8. Jeff Sprague – Point, Texas – 34-11 (12)

9. Chad Warren – Sand Springs, Okla. – 30-9 (12)

10. Jeff Dobson – Ponca City, Okla. – 30-1 (11)

Complete results

Tags: fort-gibson  derek-fulps  david-a-brown  headline-story  2016-09-29-fort-gibson-lake 

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