Former FLW Tour pro Tommy Dickerson of Orange, Texas, brought three bass weighing 5-13 to the scale Saturday to win the Fort Gibson Lake Southwestern FLW Series with a three-day total of 32-06.
Dickerson actually finished with the same three-day total weight as Coweta, Okla. pro Kyle Cortiana. However, according to tournament rules, ties on day 3 are resolved by day 2 standings. Dickerson was in first place after day 2, and Cortiana in 4th, so Dickerson was declared the champion.
Dickerson caught his fish using a Santone spinnerbait in the back of a creek far up the Grand River. Accessing the creek required him to pull and grind his way over a shallow shoal with his trolling motor – a perfect scenario to avoid the heavy fishing pressure from other competitors on the main lake. On day 1, accessing the creek went smooth and easy. On day 2, getting in and out was a much bigger challenge due to falling water.
“I got stuck several times and began to think I wasn’t going to get back out,” Dickerson recalled.
By the final morning, the water had dropped enough that, despite 30 minutes of work, Dickerson couldn’t get in. He spent a couple hours fishing secondary areas on the main river, where he noticed a clue that eventually led to his winning move.
“The current was running in the river and the water was coming back up,” he says. “I’ve heard this lake can come up a foot in a couple of hours, so I decided to fish out on the river for a while, bide my time and try it )getting into the smaller creek) again later.”
When Dickerson returned, he skated easily over the shoal and into the deeper water beyond it. Dickerson slow-rolled his spinnerbait in waters that were about 4 feet deep, intentionally making contact with rocky areas and boulders that were about 2 feet down.
“The water was too stained to see the rocks, so I just fluttered the spinnerbait down there until I felt the rock,” he says. “If I could get that spinnerbait to deflect off a rock, one would eat it.”
With his time cut short due to the falling water, Dickerson wasn’t able to work the creek over as thoroughly as he’d have liked, but with three keepers he weighed in just enough to get his third FLW victory.
“Yeah, you might say it’s been a week of ounces and inches,” Dickerson adds. “That just shows you how hard it is to win one of these things. The last one I won was 12 years ago at Lake Texoma. And trust me, the older you get, the more you appreciate these wins because you just don’t know how many more chances you’re going to get.”
Here are the final totals for the top 10:
1. Tommy Dickerson 32-06
2. Kyle Cortiana: 32-06
3. Brady Winans: 32-00
4. Cody Bird: 29-14
5. Tommy Biffle: 29-14
6. Mitchell Webb: 27-11
7. Brandon Mosley: 27-09
8. Ryan Wilbanks: 23-06
9. Joel Baker: 23-05
10. Darrel Robertson: 22-15