Eddie Jewell of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 21 pounds even to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division tournament on Wheeler Lake. Jewell earned $3,747 for his efforts.
Jewell says he primarily ran chunk rock banks and gravel bars on the lower end of the lake near First and Second creeks, and caught the majority of his fish in 4 to 6 feet of water. He describes his main area as a chunk rock and gravel point heading into a pocket off of the main river.
“I struggled early – it was probably 8 [a.m.] by the time I found my fish,” says Jewell, who earned his first win in FLW competition. “On Monday in practice I’d found a couple fish on a spot with gravel and chunk rock, and when I went to it Saturday, they were loaded on it. I pretty much stayed there all day.”
Jewell used a chartreuse and white-colored custom vibrating jig with a white Zoom Super Fluke Jr. trailer and a crawfish-colored Strike King 1.5 KVD Rattling square-billed crankbait to catch his fish. He caught 15 fish on the vibrating jig, with three largemouth and one smallmouth reaching the scale, and six or seven fish on the crankbait, with one smallmouth topping off the limit.
“I started off with the vibrating jig, and went to the crankbait every once in a while,” says Jewell. “In clear water I went with the crankbait, and when it was stained I used the vibrating jig.”
During the final 90 minutes of his day, Jewell said he made a “milk-run” through some “big-fish” spots, eventually landing the heaviest bass of the tournament in the Boater Division – a 6-pound, 3-ouncer.
“The fish was on big chunk rock offshore and there was a boat sitting right on top of it. I waited for the boat to leave, then threw up there and caught it on the vibrating jig,” says Jewell. “It was out in 12 feet of water.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Eddie Jewell, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., five bass, 21-0, $3,747
2nd: Lavoyd Lemmond, Decatur, Ala., five bass, 18-12, $1,868
3rd: Rick Williams, Decatur, Ala., five bass, 18-2, $1,112
4th: Donny Beck, Killen, Ala., five bass, 16-10, $779
5th: Tony Harvey, Rogersville, Ala., five bass, 16-7, $667
6th: Jimmy Mason, Rogersville, Ala., five bass, 16-6, $612
7th: Ricky Parpolowicz, Decatur, Ala., five bass, 16-1, $556
8th: Chaz McMahan, Leoma, Tenn., five bass, 16-0, $501
9th: Jett Loach, Chickamauga, Ga., four bass, 15-11, $545
10th: Trey Gamble, Helena, Ala., five bass, 15-5, $369
10th: Kenneth Smith, Tullahoma, Tenn., five bass, 15-5, $369
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Jewell’s 6-pound, 3-ounce bass also earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $410.
Markus wins co-angler title
Zach Markus of Nashville, Tennessee, won the Co-angler Division and $1,873 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 18 pounds even.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Zach Markus, Nashville, Tenn., five bass, 18-0, $1,873
2nd: Cody Davis, Hico, Texas, four bass, 15-3, $834
3rd: Tony Hill, Chatsworth, Ga., five bass, 14-5, $658
4th: Charles Billingsley, Huntsville, Ala., five bass, 13-12, $361
4th: Audie Aultman, Knoxville, Tenn., five bass, 13-12, $361
6th: Jeff Morgan, Kennesaw, Ga., five bass, 13-11, $356
7th: Shane Jewell, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., three bass, 13-4, $278
8th: Raymond Hanlon, Chattanooga, Tenn., five bass, 13-1, $250
9th: Randall Wiggins, Birmingham, Ala., five bass, 13-0, $222
10th: Ethan Flack, Cullman, Ala., three bass, 11-10, $195
Markus also caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 6 pounds, 3 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $205.
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 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.