Tim Vanegmond of Gay, Georgia, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 11 ounces, to take top honors at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament on Lake Oconee presented by Navionics. Vanegmond earned $4,806 for his win.
“I caught everything flipping a green-pumpkin-colored Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver and a Strike King Rage Bug under docks,” says Vanegmond, who earned his first career win in FLW competition. “I had to skip the bait all the way to the center, that’s the only way I could get a bite.”
Vanegmond says he spent his time fishing 15 docks, in sight of the takeoff ramp in Sugar Creek. He says once he figured out the fish weren’t on the dock’s edges, the bite improved dramatically.
“It took me about two hours to get my first bite, but after that I really started catching them,” says Vanegmond. “I probably had 18 fish throughout the rest of the day.”
Top 10 boaters
1st: Tim Vanegmond, Gay, Ga., five bass, 18-11, $4,806
2nd: Terry Adams, Mansfield, Ga., five bass, 15-9, $2,403
3rd: Matt Henry, Milledgeville, Ga., five bass, 14-4, $1,605
4th: Joe Jackson, Newnan, Ga., five bass, 13-6, $1,121
5th: Frank Kitchens III, Oxford, Ga., five bass, 13-0, $1,461
6th: Stacy Adams, Hazlehurst, Ga., five bass, 12-7, $981
7th: Mark Svendsen, Doraville, Ga., five bass, 12-6, $801
8th: Pat Fisher, Colbert, Ga., five bass, 12-0, $721
9th: David Pettis, Tifton, Ga., five bass, 11-10, $641
10th: Tony Couch, Buckhead, Ga., five bass, 11-9, $561
Girard Jones of Macon, Georgia, weighed a 6-pound, 9-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the boater division – and earned the day’s boater big bass award of $725.
Slupczynski takes co-angler title
Adam Slupczynski of Marietta, Georgia, won the Co-angler Division and $2,403 Saturday after catching four bass weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce.
Top 10 co-anglers
1st: Adam Slupczynski, Marietta, Ga., four bass, 8-1, $2,403
2nd: Scott Sayasing, Grantville, Ga., two bass, 7-13, $1,563
3rd: Donald Peppers, Good Hope, Ga., four bass, 7-10, $806
4th: Thom Dickson, Cartersville, Ga., two bass, 7-8, $561
5th: Christopher Wilder, Macon, Ga., two bass, 7-1, $581
6th: Ariska Savior, Atlanta, Ga., three bass, 6-12, $441
7th: Steve Garrett, Bishop, Ga., three bass, 6-11, $400
8th: Frank Godwin Jr., Bainbridge, Ga., four bass, 6-9, $410
9th: James South, Dawsonville, Ga., two bass, 6-4, $300
9th: Matthew O’Connell, Brooks, Ga., four bass, 6-4, $300
Sayasing caught the largest bass in the co-angler division weighing in at 5 pounds, 10 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s co-angler big bass award of $362.
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. Johns 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.
The 2018 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. The 2018 BFL All-American will be held May 31-June 2 at Cross Lake in Shreveport, Louisiana, and is hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.