Boater Rob Linkous of Rogersville, Tennessee, caught a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the 2018 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division opener on Norris Lake presented by Navionics. Linkous earned $3,545 for his victory.
“I was fishing on the main lake, on the Clinch side,” says Linkous, who earned his first career victory in FLW competition. “I figured out a pattern late Friday while practicing and I just went to the bank and started cranking.”
Linkous caught around 25 fish throughout the day – six keepers. He says the key to his victory was his lure – an Ike’s Demon-colored Rapala DT6 crankbait.
“I was sitting in 17 feet of water and throwing parallel to the bank,” Linkous says. “I would use a fast retrieve, then stop and twitch the bait. The fish would bite on the pause.
“The keepers were coming out of 10 feet of water,” he continues. “Once I had my limit, I cut off the DT6 and gave it to my co-angler to tie on and catch a few. It was his first tournament and he ended up cashing a check as well. It was a fun day on the water.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Rob Linkous, Rogersville, Tenn., five bass, 18-1, $3,545
2nd: Chris Bullock, Lake City, Tenn., five bass, 17-13, $1,773
3rd: Brian Pate, Wise, Va., five bass, 16-5, $1,181
4th: Kyle Smith, Elizabethton, Tenn., five bass, 16-3, $827
5th: Craig Powers, Rockwood, Tenn., five bass, 14-10, $709
6th: Willie Bryan, Sevierville, Tenn., five bass, 14-7, $650
7th: Justin McGaha, Knoxville, Tenn., five bass, 14-2, $1,091
8th: Jimmy Taylor, Clinton, Tenn., five bass, 13-7, $532
9th: Nick Huff, Corbin, Ky., four bass, 13-0, $543
9th: Burton Bryan, Sevierville, Tenn., five bass, 13-0, $443
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Tyler Duckworth of Gray, Tennessee, caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 14 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $445.
Brown wins co-angler title
Matt Brown of Harriman, Tennessee, won the Co-angler Division and $1,889 Saturday after catching four bass weighing 12 pounds, 8 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Matt Brown, Harriman, Tenn., four bass, 12-8, $1,889
2nd: Brandon Harris, Spring City, Tenn., five bass, 11-12, $894
3rd: Bobby Hendricks, Reliance, Tenn., five bass, 11-6, $564
4th: Dan Roberts, Cincinnati, Ohio, five bass, 10-12, $394
5th: David Blakely, Kingsport, Tenn., five bass, 10-5, $338
6th: Chad Ball, Abingdon, Va., three bass, 10-3, $310
7th: John Coker, Knoxville, Tenn., four bass, 9-0, $281
8th: Matthew Rasnick, Elizabethton, Tenn., four bass, 8-15, $253
9th: Scott Standafer, Hamilton, Ohio, three bass, 8-12, $211
9th: Dakota Vance, Lenore, W. Va., three bass, 8-12, $211
Ryan Buchanan of Gray, Tennessee, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a 4-pound, 9-ounce fish. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $207.
The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division event on Norris Lake presented by Navionics was hosted by the Anderson County Tourism Council.
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. 18-20 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Norman in Huntersville, North Carolina. 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.