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Tournament News Powered By Lake Drive MarineTournament News Powered By Lake Drive Marine

By Louie Stout

Bo Thomas of Edwardsburg, Mich. - 5th PlaceBo Thomas of Edwardsburg, Mich. - 5th Place

Bo Thomas proved again that he’s becoming a serious threat on the Bassmaster Open Tournament Trail with a fifth place finish at Lake Eufaula, OK. over the weekend.

It marked the second time he finished in the top five of a very tough and talented Bassmaster Open field that includes nearly 200 anglers. He finished fourth last year at the St. Lawrence River.

Thomas was at home resting in Edwardsburg Monday when he reflected upon his near-win in Oklahoma. He was in second place going into the last day but couldn’t get the big bites he needed to lock up the win that would have guaranteed him a spot in next winter’s Bassmaster Classic.

Three hours of Saturday’s morning competition was televised live on Fox Sports 1 and Thomas got a lot of that air time. Unlike a lot of young anglers in the opens, he handled it like a true professional.

“I wasn’t nervous at all,” he said. “I just stayed true to who I am.”

He was fishing a deep point in a creek near the Eufaula dam where the bottom was strewn with rocks, stumps and trees. He fished the same area for most of three days, catching bags of 15-8, 19-0 and 11-10.

His Garmin Livescope played a role but says he wasn’t “scoping” bass.

“The fish were glued to the bottom and you really couldn’t see them,” Thomas said. “I used the scope to find the cover and had to use my lure to feel around to get the bites.”

He primarily fished a drop-shot rig with a Strike King Filler Worm and a Roboworm, both in morning dawn color. He Texas-rigged the worms with an Owner Cover Shot 2/0 hook and ½-ounce tungsten weight.

Thomas, who fished and was president of the Western Michigan University fishing team a few years ago, was blown away by the support he received.
His parents, sister and niece drove 13 hours to attend the last two weigh-ins.

“That was really surprising, but so was the number of people from Edwardsburg to Kalamazoo who had eyes on me during the tournament,” said Thomas. “You have no idea what that kind of support means to me. I’m truly grateful.”

The next event is July 11-13 at Lake St. Clair where Thomas oozes with confidence. From there the Opens go to Leech Lake, Minn. Aug. 22-24, Mississippi River at Lacrosse, Wisc. Sept. 12-14 and finish up at Lake Hartwell, N.C. Oct 10-12.

Thomas currently ranks 64th in the Bassmaster Open Angler of Year Standings where the top nine get invites to fish the premier Bassmaster Elites – a longtime goal of the young Michigan angler.

It’s an uphill battle to get there, but with two smallmouth tournaments coming, anything is possible.