John Duarte of Middle River, Maryland, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 8 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division season opener on Lake Hartwell presented by Navionics. For his win, Duarte earned $4,396.
“I fished mid-lake docks in pockets and tried to cover as much water as I could,” says Duarte, who earned his second career victory in BFL competition. “It was on fire from 11 (a.m.) until the end of the tournament. I think the time of day positioned those fish in the backs of the pockets and put them where they were easy to catch.”
Duarte caught 12 to 15 keepers overall, saying that four of the five fish he weighed came on a 4.8-inch Pro Blue Red Pearl-colored Keitech FAT Swing Impact swimbait with a ¼-ounce jighead.
“I was skipping it under the docks and casting to the edges,” says Duarte.
Duarte’s other limit-fish came on a ½-ounce homemade green-pumpkin-colored jig with a Zoom Big Salty Chunk trailer of the same color. He said he caught it around 8:30 a.m. from under a docked pontoon boat up the Seneca River.
The top 10 boaters:
1st: John Duarte, Middle River, Md., five bass, 18-8, $2,396 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Wesley Sandifer, Chapin, S.C., five bass, 16-0, $1,148
3rd: Kyle Austin, Ridgeville, S.C., five bass, 15-14, $701
4th: Scott Allgood, Fair Play, S.C., five bass, 15-8, $489
5th: Shayne McFarlin, Martin, Ga., five bass, 15-6, $419
6th: Nitro pro David Williams, Maiden, N.C., five bass, 14-13, $384
7th: Thomas Guthke, Anderson, S.C., five bass, 13-9, $349
8th: Randy Childers, Anderson, S.C., five bass, 13-7, $314
9th: Travis Garrett, Toccoa, Ga., five bass, 13-6
10th: Jayme Rampey, Liberty, S.C., five bass, 13-1
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Brian Tucci of Surfside Beach, South Carolina, caught a 5-pound, 4-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $100.
Hough wins co-angler title
Kate Hough of Gilbert, South Carolina, won the Co-angler Division and $1,248 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 11 pounds, 13 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Kate Hough, Gilbert, S.C., five bass, 11-13, $1,248
2nd: Stephen Britt, Columbia, S.C., five bass, 10-3, $574
3rd: Jeff Horton, Boiling Springs, S.C., five bass, 9-7, $349
4th: Mario Hill, Thomson, Ga., five bass, 9-4, $245
5th: Lee Inman, Inman, S.C., five bass, 8-15, $210
6th: Kyle Deeds, Greenville, S.C., five bass, 8-6, $192
7th: Bill Hawkins, Piedmont, S.C., five bass, 8-3, $175
8th: Shawn Kincaid, Lexington, S.C., five bass, 8-1, $157
9th: Jeff Rikard, Leesville, S.C., four bass, 6-1
10th: Weston Thomas, Chapin, S.C., five bass, 6-0
Dwayne Parton of Anderson, South Carolina, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 3 pounds, 10 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $100.
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. 10-12 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, Georgia. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.
The T-H Marine FLW BFL South Carolina Division tournament on Lake Hartwell presented by Navionics was hosted by the Anderson Convention & Visitors Bureau.