UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Mead

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Houchin Goes Wire to Wire

Quincy Houchin

Quincy Houchin of Mabelvale, Ark., went wire-to-wire to win the Costa FLW Series Central Division opener presented by T-H Marine Saturday at Lake Dardanelle.

QUINCY HOUCHIN

Houchin won the three-day event with a total production of 15 fish that weighed 45 pounds, 4 ounces to best a field of 203 pros. He caught 19-12 on day one and followed with 14-1 on day two and 11-7 in the championship round to win $50,000.

It was Houchin's first Costa FLW Series event.

Quincy Houchin

“I never dreamed I'd win this,” says Houchin, who caught all of his keepers in a small area on the north side of the lake that was nearly inaccessible because of a sandbar that stretched across the opening. Nobody else wanted to risk damaging his equipment to enter.

“When I went in there, I hit extremely hard,” Houchin says.

It was necessary, says Houchin, to escape the pressure of 405 other pros and co-anglers.

Quincy Houchin

“With all the backwater fish spawning and with 203 boats, you've got to get away from people,” he says. “I cannot stand to fish behind people all the time. I spent my entire practice trying to find a place I could get into where most are not getting into. It just so happened I found that spot. No one was going in it, and there's no doubt that helped.”

The spot is well known and well fished locally, but Houchin called his friends and shared his plans.

“They respect me enough not to come in when I told them I was fishing there,” Houchin says.

He described the area as a big square loop. It has all the things Houchin likes, including a variety of wood cover in 2- to 3-foot depths and 8- to 9-foot depths. It also has rocks.

Houchin says he caught most of his fish flipping shallow and deep wood with a green pumpkin/red flake Reactions Innovations Sweet Beaver and a Real Deal Tungsten weight. He delivered it with a 7-foot, 3-inch Denali flipping stick and 25-pound-test Seaguar line. He also caught several fish on a Lucky Craft crankbait with a 7-3 Denali cranking rod and 17-pound-test Seaguar.

Houchin prevailed despite steadily losing weight over three days. A stiff east wind cut his pattern in half by taking his deep cover out of play.

“Almost all my 8- and 9-foot stuff today had 2-foot rollers coming through it,” Houchin says. “I didn't even get to fish it.”

He said Friday that he believed he would be beaten on Saturday, and he was certain he lost the tournament at midday when a 5-pounder dodged a crankbait.

“I said, 'There goes $50,000,’” Houchin recalls.

With a fading pattern and shrinking fish, Houchin thought about relocating but decided to persevere.

“When I left here this morning, I wanted to hit a few places back in the [Illinois] Bayou, but I said to myself, 'No, you found that place. You need to go there and stick to it,’” Houchin says. “I did throw a crankbait more today. I hadn't been doing that, but the wind was crashing in there, and I couldn't flip my stuff.”

The tournament featured radical daily weather changes that encompassed the worst fishing conditions western Arkansas can offer. The water was muddy from rain. Day one was cold and overcast, with a northwest wind. Day two was bluebird clear and calm. Day three was bluebird clear with a fierce east wind. The fact that Houchin's spot produced in all three conditions convinced Houchin that it could be a money spot in any tournament.

“It's very possible,” he says.

Full Results

Tags: lake-dardanelle  flw-series  marshall-ford  headline-story  2017-03-30-lake-dardanelle 

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