Randy Gillespie of Sanford, North Carolina, weighed a five bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 11 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament of 2016 on the James River presented by Navionics. For his win, Gillespie earned $4,247.
“I primarily flipped wood, rocks and laydowns in Falling Creek,” says Gillespie, who earned his first win in BFL competition. “We caught the outgoing tide and fished in 2- to 3-foot depths. I had a limit in the boat by 8 a.m.”
Gillespie ran south and caught another keeper around 9:30 a.m. before returning to the creek to work the incoming tide.
“I caught six of my eight keepers flipping a drop-shot rig with a green-pumpkin Zoom Finesse Worm,” says Gillespie. “It’s definitely an unusual tactic. In practice, the fish wanted something small and compact. I left only an 8-inch leader between the sinker and the bait.”
With five minutes left in the event, Gillespie says he boated a 4-pounder on a Texas-rigged, green-pumpkin Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver out of some grass near the takeoff ramp.
“It was my final cast, and that fish ended up winning the event for me,” says Gillespie. “I guess it was meant to be.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Randy Gillespie, Sanford, N.C., five bass, 14-11, $4,247
2nd: Mike Cherry, Hampton, Va., five bass, 14-7, $1,623
3rd: Todd Harris, Clemmons, N.C., five bass, 13-14, $1,082
4th: Josh Wagy, Dewitt, Va., five bass, 13-11, $958
5th: Rick Hawkins, Roanoke, Va., five bass, 12-5, $649
6th: Kyle Fisher, Boone, N.C., four bass, 12-0, $568
6th: Kelly Pratt, Williamsburg, Va., five bass, 12-0, $568
8th: Joel Eberts, Powhatan, Va., five bass, 11-12, $487
9th: Kennon Ball, Colonial Heights, Va., five bass, 11-11, $533
10th: Harrison Baker, Providence Forge, Va., five bass, 11-4, $379
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Michael Martinez of Lanexa, Virginia, caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 15 ounces – the biggest of the tournament in the pro division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $390.
Riveras wins co-angler title
Victor Riveras of Newport News, Virginia, weighed in five bass totaling 18 pounds, 5 ounces, Saturday to win the co-angler division and earn $2,018.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Victor Riveras, Newport News, Va., five bass, 18-5, $2,018
2nd: Lavar James, Woodbridge, Va., five bass, 13-12, $812
3rd: Brent Enos, Bracey, Va., five bass, 11-4, $541
4th: Conner Davis, Bear Creek, N.C., five bass, 10-11, $429
5th: Scott Spencer, Raleigh, N.C., five bass, 8-12, $325
6th: Roy Alston, Henrico, N.C., five bass, 8-9, $298
7th: Greg Fox, Fayetteville, N.C., four bass, 7-12, $271
8th: Cornell Badra, Clarksburg, Md., four bass, 6-12, $244
9th: Dexter Andrews, Louisburg, N.C., five bass, 6-9, $216
10th: Al Berkley, Madison Heights, Va., four bass, 6-6, $189
Riveras also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 14 ounces, and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $195.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 27-29 Regional Championship on Lake Hartwell in Seneca, South Carolina. 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.