BRACEY, Va. – Richard Owen of Chester, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 3 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Gaston. For his victory, Owen earned $6,830.
Owen said he sight-fished beds in the backs of main-lake coves in order to catch his winning stringer.
“I was fishing shallow, not too far from the launch ramp around Holly Grove Creek,” said Owen, who earned his first career win after nine previous top-10 finishes in BFL competition. “The bite was strong anywhere shade hit the water, like on the sides of boat docks or around trees. There was also a lot of dead grass from last year that the fish were spawning in.”
Owen said his bait of choice was a wacky-rigged watermelon-colored Zoom Finesse Worm.
“I caught my kicker around 8:30 a.m. At that point I felt pretty good about my strategy of bed fishing,” said Owen. “I stuck with the worm and the bites stayed consistent.”
Owen said he caught around 12 fish throughout the day, from 2 to 5 feet of water.
“I didn’t think I was going to win it by as much weight as I did,” said Owen. “It was one of those surprises I don’t mind having.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Richard Owen, Chester, Va., five bass, 18-3, $4,830 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Brian Calloway, Danville, Va., five bass, 16-8, $2,415
3rd: Shawn Hammack, Gasburg, Va., five bass, 16-7, $1,609
4th: Wesley Harris, Rustburg, Va., five bass, 15-15, $1,127
5th: Steve Wagner, Raleigh, N.C., five bass, 15-11, $925
5th: Bryan Welch, Greensboro, N.C., five bass, 15-11, $925
7th: Robert House, Nashville, N.C., five bass, 15-8, $805
8th: Ryan Harrell, Emporia, Va., five bass, 15-7, $684
8th: Ryan Reynolds, Danville, Va., five bass, 15-7, $684
10th: Carlton Owens, Franklin, Va., five bass, 15-4, $563
Complete results can be found here.
Owen also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 11 ounces and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $720.
Whittaker wins co-angler title
Chris Whittaker of Waverly, Virginia, weighed in a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win $2,381 in the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Chris Whittaker, Waverly, Va., five bass, 12-7, $2,381
2nd: Kenneth Johnson, Richmond, Va., five bass, 12-4, $1,191
3rd: Hunter Collins, Sanford, N.C., four bass, 11-13, $791
4th: Matthew Oakley, Farmville, N.C., four bass, 11-11, $556
5th: Lee Johnson, Charlottesville, Va., five bass, 11-9, $476
6th: Marvin Reese, Gwynn Oak, Md., four bass, 11-5, $437
7th: Ryan Brown, Emporia, Va., five bass, 10-4, $397
8th: Clint Daniels, Kittrell, N.C., five bass, 10-3, $357
9th: Brian Stack, Nanjemoy, Md., five bass, 10-2, $318
10th: Scott Mooneyham, Fayetteville, N.C., three bass, 9-12, $278
Collins caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $355.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 8-10 Regional Championship on the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.