Carson Orellana of Mooresville, caught five bass Saturday weighing 15 pounds even to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) North Carolina Division opener on Lake Norman presented by Navionics. For his win, Orellana took home $4,209.
Orellana says he split his day between the upper and lower ends of Lake Norman, catching seven or eight keepers in the process.
“I started out fishing rocks in the morning, on the upper side of the lake, in dingy water. The water levels were up and I used moving baits,” says Orellana, who notched his first career victory in FLW competition. “I caught one that I weighed from the bank around rocks. After that, the wind picked up so I chased it. It’s a wind-driven lake.
“I headed to the lower side of the lake because it’s more wide open. I fished prespawn areas in the creeks – they were pretty much wind-blown banks,” continues Orellana. “I used C-Maps on my Lowrance electronics to find some of the steeper banks. There were banks that had a foot or so of water on them, and they didn’t seem to be as good as the ones that had 5- to 6-feet of water right off them.”
Orellana says he ended up weighing four from areas around docks with rocks. He used a ½-ounce Phatback Blue-colored TrueSouth Custom Lures Pro Shimmy Jig with a green-pumpkin-colored Zoom Fat Albert Twin Tail Grub.
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Carson Orellana, Mooresville, N.C., five bass, 15-0, $4,209
2nd: Dylan Fulk, Charlotte, N.C., five bass, 14-15, $2,105
3rd: Jody Wright, Ellenboro, N.C., five bass, 14-10, $1,336
4th: Chris Dover, Blacksburg, S.C., five bass, 14-4, $1,485
5th: Hank Cherry, Lincolnton, N.C., five bass, 14-2, $802
6th: Michael Stephens , Gastonia, N.C., five bass, 12-10, $735
7th: Scott Hamrick, Denver, N.C., five bass, 11-11, $668
8th: Jonathan Foster, Maiden, N.C., five bass, 11-2, $601
9th: Richard Phillips, Asheville, N.C., five bass, 11-1, $535
10th: Drew Montgomery, Maiden, N.C., five bass, 10-15, $468
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Dover caught a 4-pound, 13-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $550.
Goble wins co-angler title
Josea Goble of Newton, North Carolina, won the Co-angler Division and $2,005 Saturday after catching four bass weighing 10 pounds, 12 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Josea Goble, Newton, N.C., four bass, 10-12, $2,005
2nd: Darren Jeter, Marshall, N.C., two bass, 8-13, $1,477
3rd: Grant McPeters, Marion, N.C., five bass, 8-11, $668
4th: Jay Wright, Ellenboro, N.C., three bass, 8-1, $468
5th: Scott Anderson, China Grove, N.C., five bass, 7-6, $401
6th: Lee Montgomery, Hendersonville, N.C., five bass, 7-5, $368
7th: Wayne Smelser, Rural Retreat, Va., four bass, 7-2, $334
8th: Russell Hoyle, Newton, N.C., three bass, 6-15, $301
9th: Michael Hartsfield Sr., Zebulon, N.C., two bass, 6-11, $250
9th: Dwayne Parton, Anderson, S.C., three bass, 6-11, $250
Jeter caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 2 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $275.
The tournament was hosted by the Mooresville 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. 17-19 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama presented by Mercury. 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 2019 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 2019 BFL All-American will be held May 30-June 1 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland, and is hosted by the Charles County Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism and the Commissioners of Charles County. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.