CAMDEN, S.C. – Steve Phillips of Lugoff, S.C., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2014 on Lake Wateree. For his victory, Phillips earned $4,977.
“I was kind of surprised to win,” said Philips, who has now won three BFL tournaments on Lake Wateree. “I thought it would take more like 21 pounds to win.
“I’ve fished that lake since the mid-70’s,” said Phillips. “I only live about 15 minutes from there so I know it pretty well.
“I knew what I was going to do. I was going to go deep and stay deep,” Phillips explained. “The key for me was sticking with the crankbait all day long. I had cramps in my hands at the end of the day.
“Wateree isn’t a very big lake and it can be hit or miss,” continued Phillips. “You are fishing behind a lot of people and you have to time when the fish are ready to feed just right. I would say I caught around 13 bass throughout the day.”
Phillips said that he targeted ledges, points and humps with stumps and rocks on them in about 15-feet of water and that he was throwing a chartreuse-colored and shad-colored Norman DD22 crankbait.
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Matthew Nettles, Columbia, S.C., five bass, 18-6, $1,489
3rd: Glenn Altman, Marion, S.C., five bass, 17-8, $992
4th: Greg Rikard, Leesville, S.C., five bass, 17-6, $645
4th: Thomas Rubbo, Lexington, S.C., five bass, 17-6, $645
6th: Jerry Freezon, Elgin, S.C., five bass, 16-11, $546
7th: Jay Keith, Camden, S.C., five bass, 16-7, $471 + $300 Evinrude Bonus
7th: Rob Thames, Lexington, S.C., five bass, 16-7, $471
9th: Alan Fletcher, Hartsville, S.C., five bass, 16-6, $397
10th: Derek Schlotterback, Simpsonville, S.C., five bass, 16-2, $347
Complete results can be found here.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Richie Dixon, Camden, S.C., four bass, 12-14, $744
3rd: Jimmy Bihlear Sr., Goose Creek, S.C., four bass, 12-9, $497
4th: Lee Montgomery, Hendersonville, N.C., five bass, 11-5, $347
5th: Jeff Rikard, Leesville, S.C., four bass, 11-3, $298
6th: Evan Weaver, Lexington, S.C., four bass, 10-3, $273
7th: Tyler Moore, Walterboro, S.C., five bass, 9-9, $248
8th: Kevin Edge, Conway, S.C., three bass, 9-7, $223
9th: Gregory Littles, Columbia, S.C., three bass, 9-4, $198
10th: Vernie Haltiwanger, Lexington, S.C., four bass, 9-2, $174
Complete co-angler results can be found here.
The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 2-4 Regional Championship on the James River in Richmond, Va. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 40 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy. The 2014 BFL All-American is being held June 5-7 on Wilson Lake in Florence, Ala. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Rayovac FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2014 over the course of 229 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. For more information about FLW visit FLWOutdoors.com and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.