Oklahoma’s BASS Nation president Mike Myers wanted the Central Divisional fishing tournament on Lake Eufaula so the state anglers would have a home field advantage.
It worked as Oklahoma captured the team title, while Arkansas angler Josh Wray won the individual crown in the three-day tournament that concluded Friday.
Wray totaled 41 pounds, 5 ounces and edged Preston Frazell by less than two pounds. Frazell lives in Cleveland, Okla., but was fishing with the Kansas BASS Nation.
Three anglers from Oklahoma finished in the top 12: John Soukup of Agra (9th), Billy Lemon of Sand Springs (10th) and Robert DeGraffenreid of Oklahoma City (12th).
The 12-member Oklahoma squad weighed in 257 pounds of bass during the tournament to easily win the team title.
By being the top angler on the Oklahoma team, Soukup advances to the BASS Nation Championship in November on Louisiana’s Ouachita River, where he will have a chance to earn a spot in the Bassmaster Classic if he is the top angler there from the Central Division.
Each state qualifies its top angler from the Central Divisional to the BASS Nation Championship.
The Oklahoma team won a Skeeter/Yamaha prize package valued at $40,000. Anglers from Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi and Nebraska competed in the event.
The anglers had to qualify through a series of tournaments in their home states to reach the Central Divisional Championship.