Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 07/30/2018

Story courtesy of FLW Communications

BUFFALO, N.Y.  – Pro Neil Farlow of St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, won the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie presented by Polaris with a single-day catch of five bass weighing 24 pounds, 4 ounces, after high winds forced tournament officials to shorten the three-day event to one day of competition. Farlow’s weight was caught on Thursday and was enough to earn him the top prize of $87,500 including a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower outboard engine.

“It feels awesome to win one of these tournaments,” said Farlow, who earned his first career win in FLW competition. “I’ve been thinking about this tournament since the schedule was released and I put in a lot of time preparing for it. I was ready for three days out there but the wind had a different plan.”

Farlow said he fished his way from Point Abino on the Canadian side of Lake Erie, to Myers Reef on the U.S. side, and then back in toward Buffalo. He said of the six areas he worked through, four of them produced his biggest fish.

“I fished old spots and anywhere I could get to where there weren’t any boats around,” said Farlow. “I was boat No.156, so I had to keep running until I found something that didn’t have anyone around. I think that’s what made the difference.”

Farlow said bottoms that were a mix of rock and gravel or gravel and sand produced best for him.

“I fished in 20 to 40 feet of water, but most of the fish were 20 to 30 feet down,” said Farlow. “I fished basically anywhere there was something different – a depth change, hump or a boulder.”

Farlow said he caught around eight bass throughout the day, including the largest of the event – a 6-pound, 6-ouncer – around 9 a.m. He weighed his fish all from one lure – a green-pumpkin-colored Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm on a drop-shot rig.

“I did what pretty much everyone else was doing, which was using drop shots and tubes,” said Farlow. “I didn’t catch many fish because some of the crowded spots were the ones that had more fish in them, so I ended up going after more individual fish that were bigger. I had less bites and it was stressful, but I knew that if I did get a bite it would be the right size.”

The top 10 pros on Lake Erie finished:
1st: Neil Farlow, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, five bass, 24-4, $87,500
2nd: Ben Wright, Peru, N.Y., five bass, 24-3, $16,600
3rd: Charles Sim, Nepean, Ontario, Canada, five bass, 23-3, $12,500
4th: J.T. Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla., five bass, 23-2, $10,500
5th: J. Todd Tucker, Moultrie, Ga., five bass, 22-15, $9,500
6th: Lowrance pro Austin Felix, Eden Prairie, Minn., five bass, 22-12, $8,250
7th: Moo Bae, West Friendship, Md., five bass, 22-8, $7,200
8th: Travis Manson, Conshohocken, Pa., five bass, 22-6, $6,200
9th: Philip Jarabeck, Spout Spring, Va., five bass, 22-5, $5,200
10th: T.J. Lacey, Selwyn, Ontario, Canada, five bass, 22-3, $4,100

A complete list of results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Farlow’s 6-pound, 6-ounce bass – the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division – also earned him Thursday’s Boater Big Bass award of $300.

Sakae Ushio of Tonawanda, New York, won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower outboard motor. Ushio earned his win with a one-day catch of five bass weighing 23 pounds, 7 ounces.