Boater Ben Brisbois of Gainesville, caught five bass weighing 20 pounds, 11 ounces, Saturday to win the 2018 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division opener on Lake Lanier. Brisbois earned $6,380 for his victory.
“Lanier is my home lake, and I knew that my best bet was to target spotted bass, so that’s what I did,” says Brisbois, who was fishing in his first career event as a boater in FLW competition. “I made a 20 to 25 minute run to the south end of the lake and I stayed there all day.
“I started off throwing a crankbait, but to no avail,” Brisbois continues. “Around 9 a.m. we weren’t getting any action so we moved to the backs of some pockets. I caught a couple of fish on a shaky head, then the wind started blowing around 10 a.m. I knew that I had to get back out offshore, so we moved back out and I was able to put some keepers in the boat.”
“The key was definitely moving back out when the wind started blowing,” Brisbois says. “They wouldn’t touch the crankbait earlier in the day, but when the wind picked up, in the exact same spots, we caught them.”
Brisbois limit was anchored by a 6-pound, 3-ounce spotted bass that he caught on the crankbait – his personal best.
“I was fishing a 7-foot, medium-heavy ALX IKOS Hustler rod with my crankbait and it made a huge difference,” Brisbois went on to say. “It’s designed for fishing mid-depth crankbaits and was a perfect set up for the DT10. The rod has enough tip where you’re not going to pull the hooks right out of their mouths, but enough backbone to crank 5- and 6-pounders in.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Ben Brisbois, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 20-11, $6,380
2nd: David Morton, Suwanne, Ga., five bass, 20-7, $2,242
2nd: Alan Piacentine, Dallas, Ga., five bass, 20-7, $3,097
4th: Jesse Millsaps, Jasper, Ga., five bass, 19-3, $1,455
5th: Brock Turner, Jasper, Ga., five bass, 19-1, $1,076
6th: Shane Peck, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 18-2, $986
7th: Patrick Bone, Cleveland, Ga., five bass, 17-13, $897
8th: Brad Fowler, Townville, S.C., five bass, 17-3, $907
9th: Josh Maddox, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 16-8, $717
10th: Bryan Hinkle, Cumming, Ga., five bass, 16-7, $628
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Piacentine caught a largemouth weighing 8 pounds, 8 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $855.
Harris wins co-angler title
Ronald Harris of Jefferson, Georgia, won the Co-angler Division and $2,620 Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Ronald Harris, Jefferson, Ga., five bass, 14-12, $2,620
2nd: Ben Adams, Buford, Ga., five bass, 13-8, $1,310
3rd: Jack Fowler, Coleman, Ga., five bass, 12-14, $744
3rd: Andrew Fisher, Alexandria, Ala., five bass, 12-14, $744
5th: Josh Kemp, Ball Ground, Ga., five bass, 12-13, $502
5th: Jerry Bryant, Douglas, Ga., five bass, 12-13, $502
7th: Jerry Brumfield, Cumming, Ga., five bass, 12-3, $415
7th: Stephen Young, Canton, Ga., five bass, 12-3, $415
9th: Joe Anders, Easley, S.C.., three bass, 11-14, $349
10th: Jason Wilson, Lula, Ga., five bass, 11-13, $390
10th: Don Hall, Mableton, Ga., five bass, 11-13, $290
John Blevins of Cumming, Georgia, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a 5-pound, 3-ounce fish. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $412.
The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division event on Lake Lanier was hosted by the Gainesville Convention & Visitors Bureau.
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. 11-13 BFL Regional Championship on the St. John’s River in Palatka, Florida. 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.