David Wright of Lexington, North Carolina, caught five bass weighing 23 pounds, 2 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament on Falls Lake presented by Navionics. For his efforts, Wright pocketed $5,122.
“After jumping around trying to avoid boat pressure, I pulled up to a bar right off of the main-river channel that was near deep water,” says Wright, who notched his 12th career-win in FLW competition. “I noticed my co-angler was really catching them on a June Bug-colored (Zoom) Trick Worm, so I began throwing one as well. I put it on a shaky-head rig and caught two, including a 6-pounder.”
Wright said his bass were positioned on top of the bar and in the shallowest water.
“I didn’t fish the very tip of the bar because everyone had stopped there,” says Wright. “I sat right off of the edge, in 12 to 14 feet of water, and fished the back side. I preferred to throw the worm over the top of it if the section wasn’t too wide.
“At about 10:30 (a.m.), I hit a small piece of cover on the side of the bar and caught a 7-pounder using a black (Zoom) Magnum Worm,” explains Wright. “After bringing in one more 4-pounder, I moved on.”
Wright said he finished his day on a ledge with a Zoom ‘Ol Monster Worm, and caught his final bass with 15 minutes left in the event.
The top 10 boaters:
1st: David Wright, Lexington, N.C., five bass, 23-2, $5,122
2nd: William Small, Wake Forest, N.C., five bass, 20-11, $2,436
3rd: Flash Butts, Roanoke Rapids, N.C., five bass, 20-2, $1,592
4th: Mike Miller, Trinity, N.C., five bass, 18-5, $1,043
5th: Dan Glosson, Rougemont, N.C., five bass, 17-10, $894
6th: Skeet Bennett, Wake Forest, N.C., five bass, 17-7, $820
7th: Aaron Bussard, Apex, N.C., four bass, 16-12, $745
8th: Bryan Elrod, Mechanicsvlle, Va., five bass, 16-8, $671
9th: Timothy Scott, Bassett, Va., five bass, 16-6, $559
9th: Tommy Little, Chester, Va., five bass, 16-6, $559
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Wright’s 7-pound, 15-ounce catch was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division, and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $650.
Hank Cooke of Emporia, Virginia, won the Co-angler Division and $2,661 Saturday after catching four bass weighing 16 pounds, 15 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Hank Cooke, Emporia, Va., four bass, 16-15, $2,661
2nd: Thomas Hirsch, Powhatan, Va., five bass, 16-2, $1,168
3rd: Charles Curtis, Wake Forest, N.C., five bass, 16-1, $745
4th: Mark Whitman, Elon, N.C., five bass, 14-8, $522
5th: Stacy Metz, Staley, N.C., five bass, 12-5, $447
6th: Gilbert Brown, Fredericksburg, Va., four bass, 11-7, $410
7th: Greg Ravitsky, Ashburn, Va., five bass, 9-15, $373
8th: Matthew Noraas, Pamplin, Va., three bass, 9-8, $335
9th: Ronald Haley, Danville, Va., three bass, 8-12, $298
10th: Jason Hinger, Timberlake, N.C., four bass, 8-11, $261
Cooke also caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 6 pounds, 2 ounces – and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $325.
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.
The 2017 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.