Local angler Rodney Bell of Salisbury, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 11 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament on High Rock Lake presented by Navionics. For his win, Bell netted $6,963.
“I spent the day in Flat Swamp Creek,” said Bell, who earned his fourth career-win in BFL competition. “I caught four of my seven keepers of out of some bushes, and the other three from docks. The water was pretty high, so I had to take the cover off of my motor to get under a bridge and access the areas I fished.”
“The bushes were in the back of the creek and I caught my four early, within the first two hours,” said Bell. “Later on, after the bite died, I switched to docks. I was still in Flat Swamp, just closer to the mouth. The sun got up high and positioned bass under the docks in the shade and that’s where I caught them from.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Rodney Bell, Salisbury, N.C., five bass, 19-11, $4,963 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: James Funk, Portsmouth, Va., five bass, 18-13, $2,381
3rd: David Wright, Lexington, N.C., five bass, 16-10, $2,295
4th: Chris Baldwin, Lexington, N.C., five bass, 16-6, $1,111
5th: Shawn Hammack, Gasburg, Va., four bass, 15-1, $913
5th: Scott Henley, Randleman, N.C., five bass, 15-1, $913
7th: Kevin Chandler, New London, N.C., five bass, 14-15, $894
8th: Jackson Pleasant, Raleigh, N.C., four bass, 14-2, $714
9th: Michael Belter, Reidsville, N.C., five bass, 14-0, $635
10th: Bryan Elrod, Mechanicsville, Va., five bass, 13-6, $556
Wright caught a bass weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $710.
Robert Wells of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, and James Howerton of Danville, Virginia, tied for the Co-angler Division title after each weighing bass totaling 9 pounds, 14 ounces. For their efforts, each angler was awarded $1,786.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Robert Wells, Kill Devil Hills, N.C., three bass, 9-14, $1,786
1st: James Howerton, Danville, Va., four bass, 9-14, $1,786
3rd: Chip Crews, Trinity, N.C., three bass, 9-9, $791
4th: Greg Deal, China Grove, N.C., four bass, 8-5, $556
5th: Robert Tysinger, Coats, N.C., two bass, 8-3, $676
6th: Mark Davis, Bear Creek, N.C., three bass, 7-11, $487
7th: Chris Napier, Virginia Beach, Va., two bass, 7-7, $752
8th: Scott Spencer, Raleigh, N.C., four bass, 7-0, $357
9th: Anthony Rife, Max Meadows, Va., three bass, 6-15, $318
10th: Alden Patterson, Mebane, N.C., two bass, 6-13, $278
Napier caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $355.
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. 12-14 BFL Regional Championship on the James River in Williamsburg, Virginia. 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.