Ken Wheeler of Martin, Georgia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 15 pounds, 6 ounces, Saturday to win the first T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division tournament of 2017 on Lake Keowee presented by Navionics. For his win, Wheeler took home the top award of $5,889.
“I started in Cane Creek and got my first bite on a brown Outkast football-head jig with a watermelon-red Zoom Super Chunk Jr. trailer,” says Wheeler, who earned his first career win in FLW competition. “I ran through three areas before moving to a mid-lake hole where I caught another on a Zoom Z Drop Worm rigged on a drop-shot in about 50 feet of water.”
Wheeler switched to a Fish Head Spin to catch his third fish out of some rocks that were 25 feet down.
“My first three bites were the only ones I had in those areas, so I had to keep moving,” says Wheeler. “I kept fishing nearby rocks with the Z Drop and caught four or five more to finish my limit. I culled a couple of times and ended up bringing in what I had.”
Wheeler says his total catch for the day included 15 keepers.
“I didn’t catch a lot of fish, but they were the right bites,” says Wheeler. “I mixed up my lures and kept trying something different and it worked out.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Ken Wheeler, Martin, Ga., five bass, 15-6, $5,889
2nd: Hunter Eubanks, Inman, S.C., five bass, 14-15, $3,764
3rd: Jeremy Strong, Elberton, Ga., five bass, 13-5, $2,198
4th: Anthony Marks, Spartanburg, S.C., five bass, 12-9, $1,232
4th: Vince Smith, Westminster, S.C., five bass, 12-9, $1,332
6th: Heath Pack, Mineral Bluff, Ga., five bass, 12-7, $995
6th: Greg Glouse, Liberty, S.C., five bass, 12-7, $995
8th: Todd Goade, Suwanee, Ga., five bass, 11-14, $805
8th: Conrad Bolt, Seneca, S.C., five bass, 11-14, $805
10th: Chris Nelson, Social Circle, Ga., five bass, 11-11, $664
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Eubanks caught a 6-pound, 11-ounce bass – the largest of the event – which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $920.
Parton wins co-angler title
Dwayne Parton of Anderson, South Carolina, weighed in five bass totaling 12 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the co-angler division and earn $3,044.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Dwayne Parton, Anderson, S.C., five bass, 12-14, $3,044
2nd: Jimmi Leuthner, Tamassee, S.C., five bass, 11-3, $1,422
3rd: Bob Brown, Seneca, S.C., five bass, 10-15, $1,408
4th: Shane Swann, Mars Hill, N.C., five bass, 10-14, $616
4th: Jody Rogers Sr., Clarkesville, Ga., five bass, 10-14, $616
6th: Douglas Bryson, Westminster, S.C., five bass, 10-13, $521
7th: Edward Cooper, Anderson, S.C., five bass, 10-3, $474
8th: Matthew Guffey, Simpsonville, S.C., five bass, 9-15, $403
8th: Brad Surett, Travelers Rest, S.C., five bass, 9-15, $403
10th: Ron Bryson, Mount Airy, Ga., five bass, 9-14, $332
Brown caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, weighing 4 pounds, 6 ounces, and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $460.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 19-21 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.