Mel Long of Hampton, South Carolina, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division tournament on Lake Wateree presented by Navionics Saturday with five bass totaling 15 pounds, 7 ounces. For his victory, Long earned $3,466.
“I was originally going to target bream beds in pockets, but the visibility was terrible so I had to adjust,” says Long, who earned his first career win in BFL competition. “I decided to hit main-lake points, especially ones right inside of pockets. It all connected pretty quickly after that. I just went looking and was able to put something together.”
“I only had one bass in the boat by 10:30 (a.m.),” says Long. “I had enough confidence in my areas to run back through them again and around 11 the fish really turned on.”
Long said he preferred points that were flatter than others.
“Flat points without the steep drops seemed to do better for me,” says Long. “I couldn’t get bites if they had deep water close by.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Mel Long, Hampton, S.C., five bass, 15-7, $3,466
2nd: Dustin Henson, Landrum, S.C., five bass, 15-3, $1,733
3rd: Matt Bickley, North Augusta, S.C., five bass, 15-2, $1,355
4th: Michael Richardson, Elgin, S.C., five bass, 14-11, $909
5th: Christopher Chavis, Rincon, Ga., four bass, 14-7, $1,128
6th: Matthew Mollohan, Prosperity, S.C., five bass, 14-4, $635
7th: Bobby Purvis, Eastover, S.C., three bass, 13-15, $578
8th: Donald Hinson, Lugoff, S.C., five bass, 13-12, $520
9th: Steve Wicker, Pomaria, S.C., five bass, 12-7, $462
10th: Woody Parks, Lincolnton, Ga., four bass, 11-14, $404
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Chavis caught a 6-pound, 2-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $435.
Greg Atkinson of Ridgeway, South Carolina, won the Co-angler Division and $1,693 Saturday after weighing a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 4 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Greg Atkinson, Ridgeway, S.C., five bass, 17-4, $1,693
2nd: Brandon Jeffcoat, Columbia, S.C., three bass, 10-5, $946
3rd: Daniel Cook, Ridgeway, S.C., five bass, 9-12, $479
3rd: Mike Ware, Rock Hill, S.C., two bass, 9-12, $691
5th: James Meadows, Goose Creek, S.C., three bass, 9-9, $339
6th: Rodney Tapp, North Augusta, S.C., four bass, 8-12, $310
7th: Nathan Turbyfill, Asheville, N.C., four bass, 8-10, $282
8th: Josh Day, Aiken, S.C., four bass, 8-5, $254
9th: Wesley Mullins, Bloomingdale, Ga., three bass, 8-1, $226
10th: Jack Hoy, Hollywood, S.C., four bass, 8-0, $248
Ware caught the biggest bass among Co-angler Division anglers, a fish weighing 7 pounds, 5 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $212.
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.