Boater Rick Tilley of Moneta, Virginia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 18 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the 2018 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division event at Smith Mountain Lake. Tilley earned $4,350 for his victory.
“I was fishing up the Roanoke River – between the State Park and the bridge,” says Tilley, who earned his first career win in BFL competition. “I was fishing the bank and everything that I caught was coming in less than 2 feet of water.
“There is a unique type of fishing here that a lot of the locals know about,” Tilley says. “The shad spawn at night – between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. – and the bass sit on the rocks and you can throw a topwater bait and they will just annihilate it. With the cloudy conditions on Saturday morning, I knew the leftover fish from the night time would stay there and that they would come into play.
“I had most of my weight by 10:30-11 (a.m.),” Tilley goes on to say. “All of my fish came on a blue and silver-colored Lucky Craft Sammy, although I did catch one smallmouth on a swimbait. The key was that you had to be dead up on the bank to catch them. After 12:30 I went deeper and tried to fish ‘big fish’ areas, but I never did upgrade.”
Top 10 boaters
1st: Rick Tilley, Moneta, Va., five bass, 18-5, $4,350
2nd: Scooter Lilley, Williamson, N.C., five bass, 17-12, $2,175
3rd: Chad Green, Moneta, Va., five bass, 16-15, $1,451
4th: Brandon Reynolds, Callands, Va., five bass, 16-7, $1,015
5th: Todd Langford, Great Falls, Va., five bass, 15-15, $870
6th: Dexter Andrews, King George, Va., five bass, 15-14, $798
7th: Matthew Funk, Suffolk, Va., five bass, 15-12, $1,540
8th: Martin Villa, Charlottesville, Va., five bass, 15-11, $653
9th: Tommy Little, Chester, Va., five bass, 15-1, $580
10th: Mike McDonald, Randleman, N.C., five bass, 15-0, $508
Funk caught a bass weighing 4 pounds, 14 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – to earn the Boater’s Big Bass award of $615.
Williams tops co-anglers
David Williams of Fredericksburg, Virginia, won the Co-angler Division Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 14 ounces. Johnson earned $2,582 for his victory.
Top 10 co-anglers
1st: David Williams, Fredericksburg, Va., five bass, 16-14, $2,582
2nd: Matt Powers, Glade Hill, Va., five bass, 15-14, $1,088
3rd: Jamie Newton, Falls Church, Va., five bass, 15-13, $726
4th: Tyler Folts, Ashburn, Va., five bass, 15-7, $557
5th: Phil Witmer, Huddleston, Va., five bass, 13-13, $435
6th: William Lane, Midlothian, Va., five bass, 13-11, $399
7th: Lenny Baird, Stafford, Va., five bass, 13-8, $363
8th: Nelson Bailey, Virginia Beach, Va., five bass, 13-4, $326
9th: Michael Duarte, Baltimore, Md., five bass, 12-13, $290
10th: Andre Wynn, Windsor Hill, Md., five bass, 12-10, $254
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 Chesapeake Bay in North East, Maryland. 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.