Keith Williamson of Evans, Georgia, brought five bass to the weigh-in stage Saturday totaling 19 pounds, 13 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division tournament on Clarks Hill Lake. For his catch, Williamson took home $2,675.
Williamson says he primarily fished the Little River arm on the Georgia side of the lake, not far from the Highway 47 bridge. He used a brown and purple-colored Greenfish Tackle Original Square Rubber Jig with a green-pumpkin and green-glitter Zoom Tiny Salty Chunk trailer to catch his first keeper. His next two came on a ½-ounce Almost-colored Greenfish High Class Double Willow spinnerbait with a Pearl-colored Zoom Fat Albert Grub on a trailer hook.
“My first three came pretty quickly,” says Williamson, who earned his third career win on Clarks Hill Lake in BFL competition. “I caught one on a jig at the rocks a little deeper and then went shallower to see if they were bedding, but didn’t get any bites. The wind started blowing a bit, so I switched to a spinnerbait. I threw to the shallowest part of the ridge – 5 or 6 feet of water – and caught one right away – a 3- or 4-pounder. Within a few casts I caught another one giving me three good fish before 10 [a.m.]
“I left that spot and hit another shallow hump nearby that was probably 3 feet deep on top and caught a good 2½- to 3-pound spotted bass on the spinnerbait,” says Williamson.
After the sun got up, Williamson moved from the clear water to more stained water above the Highway 47 bridge to finish out his day. There, he caught the heaviest bass of the tournament– an 8-pound, 3-ouncer – on his Greenfish spinnerbait.
“I’m pretty sure I caught that fish in practice and then caught it again during the tournament,” says Williamson. “It was in front of a willow bush. I tried for it and she swatted the spinnerbait next to the boat. I left to fish some pockets and flats, but returned with an hour left before weigh-in and caught her.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Keith Williamson, Evans, Ga., five bass, 19-13, $2,675
2nd: James Meadows, Goose Creek, S.C., five bass, 14-14, $1,225
3rd: Bart Blackburn, North Augusta, S.C., five bass, 14-3, $750
4th: Brandt Tumberg, Moore, S.C., five bass, 14-1, $525
5th: Adam Beckum, Martinez, Ga., five bass, 14-0, $700
6th: John Duarte, Middle River, Md., five bass, 13-7, $413
7th: John Long, Grovetown, Ga., five bass, 12-11, $375
8th: Michael Maxfield, Hanahan, S.C., five bass, 12-6, $337
9th: Baylen Gaillard, Clark Hill, S.C., five bass, 12-4, $100
9th: Nicholas Toomey, Evans, Ga., five bass, 12-4, $100
9th: Jeffrey Borne, Gilbert, S.C., five bass, 12-4, $250
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Williamson’s 8-pound, 3-ouncer was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $225.
Pare wins co-angler title
Mitchell Pare of Statesboro, Georgia, won the Co-angler Division and $1,437 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 14 pounds, 3 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Mitchell Pare, Statesboro, Ga., five bass, 14-3, $1,437
2nd: Jack Daniel Hoy, Hollywood, S.C., five bass, 11-14, $612
3rd: Clay Wilson, Evans, Ga., five bass, 11-4, $376
4th: Bobby McDonald, Easley, S.C., five bass, 11-3, $412
5th: Shawn Kincaid, Lexington, S.C., five bass, 10-4, $225
6th: Kate Hough, Gilbert, S.C., five bass, 9-13, $306
7th: Kevin Henderson, Honea Path, S.C., five bass, 9-10, $178
7th: Travis Ruff, Connelly Springs, N.C., five bass, 9-10, $178
9th: Hunter Vincent, Santee, S.C., three bass, 9-0, $150
10th: James Akins, Cumming, Ga., five bass, 8-14
Pare also caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 1 ounce. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $112.
The tournament was hosted by the Columbia County Board of Commissioners.
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 the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. 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.