David Hudson of Jasper, and Greg Pugh and Dexton Gregory, both of Cullman, Alabama, ended up in a three-way tie for the win at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division tournament on Lewis Smith Lake after each bringing five bass weighing 15 pounds, 1 ounce, to the scale. After contingency awards, Hudson earned $3,001, with Gregory taking home $2,801 and Pugh $2,501.
Gregory and Pugh say they caught their bass sight-fishing. Gregory caught his fish from Rock Creek – both largemouth and spotted bass.
“I had a few largemouth I found first thing [in the morning]. After that I went and got some spotted bass that I actually found on Friday during practice,” says Gregory, who earned his first in win FLW competition. “The largemouth were on little flats in the backs of pockets in 1 to 3 feet of water, while the spots were keyed in on certain rocks in 5 to 7 feet of water. I ended up catching 15 keepers throughout the day.”
Gregory flipped a white ½-ounce custom jig with a white Zoom Super Chunk trailer for his largemouth, while his spotted bass ate a 1/8-ounce shaky-head rig with a Bold Bluegill-colored Strike King KVD Fat Baby Finesse Worm.
Pugh, who earned his second career victory in BFL competition, primarily fished mid-lake, catching bass on jerkbaits, topwaters, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and Hawg Caller jigs. All of the fish that he weighed in came via sight-fishing, though.
Hudson worked in Ryan Creek and on the main lake and said he caught approximately 50 fish throughout the day.
“The other two [Gregory and Pugh] were sight-fishing, but I just fished, with most of my bites coming from 8 to 10 feet of water,” says Hudson, who earned his first career victory as a boater in FLW competition. “They could’ve been spawning, but I couldn’t see them – I didn’t try to. All of my fish were spotted bass, and I think that the Gamma 6-pound-test fluorocarbon line is what made the difference for me. The water in the area was so clear, and when I started using it I had a lot more bites.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: David Hudson, Jasper, Ala., five bass, 15-1, $3,001
1st: Greg Pugh, Cullman, Ala., five bass, 15-1, $2,501
1st: Dexton Gregory, Cullman, Ala., five bass, 15-1, $2,801
4th: Josh Butler, Hayden, Ala., five bass, 14-10, $979
5th: David Milsaps, Ranger, Ga ., five bass, 14-9, $1,053
6th: Randall Allen, Owens Cross Roads, Ala., five bass, 14-5, $690
7th: Jackie Flack, Cullman, Ala., five bass, 14-3, $628
8th: James Swindle, Parrish, Ala., five bass, 13-15, $565
9th: Justin Blalock, Cullman, Ala., five bass, 13-10, $502
10th: Kyle Glasgow, Guin, Ala., five bass, 13-4, $439
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Chad Aaron of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, caught a 4-pound, 12-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $500.
Stephenson wins co-angler title
Justin Stephenson of Jasper, Alabama, won the Co-angler Division and $1,873 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 15 pounds, 5 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Justin Stephenson, Jasper, Ala., five bass, 15-5, $1,873
2nd: Cameron Gatlin, Chattanooga, Tenn., five bass, 15-4, $936
3rd: Daniel Swartz, Jasper, Ala., five bass, 14-3, $591
4th: Randy Hill, Athens, Ala., five bass, 13-6, $564
5th: William Ryan, Jasper, Ala., five bass, 12-9, $355
6th: Hayden Obarr, Gurley, Ala., five bass, 12-6, $325
7th: Donnie Gamble, Bessemer, Ala., five bass, 11-14, $295
8th: Richard Lucia, Buford, Ga., five bass, 11-10, $266
9th: Hank Golden, Tallassee, Ala., five bass, 11-4, $336
10th: David Marr, Cleveland, Tenn., five bass, 10-13, $207
Matthew Spears of Jasper caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 3 pounds, 14 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $222.
The tournament was hosted by the Chamber of Commerce Walker County.
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.