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If you're staying home for spring break, you can enjoy some of the year's best fishing in Arkansas, as well as a bass fishing immersion at the Arkansas Big Bass Shootout.

The Big Bass Shootout will be held March 17-18 at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds in Little Rock. Dustin Crow, the event's founder and coordinator, described the Big Bass Shootout as a bass fishing exposition.

Loosely based on the successful Arkansas Big Buck Classic held every January at the fairgrounds, the Big Bass Shootout will be a family-friendly gathering where bass anglers can mingle with other bass fishing enthusiasts and have access to a wide range of vendors selling boats, fishing tackle, fishing clothing and other fishing gear.

"It's not just an expo," Crow said. "We'll have vendors and stuff, but we'll have even more square footage of activities for people to do in addition to vendors."

For example, there will be a flippin' contest in the Hall of Industry, Crow said. It will be a timed competition where bass anglers will match their flippin' skills head to head.

Flippin' is an underhand casting technique designed to toss lures short distances into small openings. It is a staple technique for bass tournament fishing. One competition will be for youngsters who compete on a school fishing team. The winning team will earn a $500 scholarship and $500 for its school, Crow said. Representatives also will explain opportunities for earning bass fishing scholarships for college.

The Pro Bass Flippin' competition will be March 17 from 7-9 p.m. Entry fee will be $10.

There also will be a timed breakoff and knot-tying competition.

Local anglers, including Quincy Houchin of Mabelvale, will give bass fishing seminars. You can also attend a kayak fishing seminar.

The Big Bass Shootout will be held in conjunction with a Mr. Bass of Arkansas Pro-Am tournament. The live weigh-in will be held at the Big Bass Shootout.

Also, the Bassmaster Classic, which will be in progress at Columbia, S.C., will be live-streamed on a 12-foot TV in the Hall of Industry.

Spring turkey season will begin April 7 for youths, and the regular season will begin April 9. The Big Bass Shootout will acknowledge turkey hunters with a turkey-calling contest. For information on entering, call (870) 451-3599.

For youngsters, there will be a fun zone that's themed on a national park, including campsites and virtual campfires. There will also be crafts and a catch-and-release fishing pond.

A beer garden will be available for adults. Jayma Crow, the event's co-coordinator, said the beer garden will be away from the kids. There will be a Baggo tournament in the beer garden.

Admission to the Big Bass Shootout will be $10 for adults. Admission will be free for children ages 12 and younger. The first 50 children ages 5 and younger will get a free fishing rod or tacklebox.

Bogard wins BFL event

Teddy Bogard of Rison recently won the Fishing League Worldwide Bass Fishing League Arkie Division tourament at Lake Ouachita with a five-bass limit that weighed 16 pounds, 14 ounces to win $4,444. It was Bogard's second BFL win.

Bogard said he fished in the backs of pockets on the upper end of the lake. He targeted ditches that were 6- to 7-feet deep. He said he used a red craw-colored ¾-ounce Rat-L-Trap to catch most of his fish.

"The ditches had flats on both sides that were 2- to 3-feet down," Bogard said. "I worked around standing timber and caught 10 or 11 keepers by the end of the day."

Bogard said he caught his final fish late in the day.

"I had a small ditch that took me 20 minutes to idle in to," Bogard said. "I went in there, caught a 4½-pounder and immediately had to idle back out and head in. That was my anchor fish."

Larry Gragg of Pine Bluff finished second with five bass weighing 16-7 to win $3,022, followed by Doug Thompson of Mabelvale, a former Bassmaster Classic qualifier, who caught five bass weighing 15-3 to win $1,513, Quincy Houchin of Mabelvale (5/14-10; $919), Steve Howard of Conway (5/14-10; $919), Timmy Poe of Bryant (5/14-8; $778), Wayne Dixon of Morrilton (5/14-0; $707), Spencer Shuffield of Hot Springs (5/13-12; $637) and Fred Martin of North Little Rock (5/13-2; $502).

Sports on 03/01/2018

Print Headline: Big Bass Shootout on its way

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