HENRICO, Va. – Chris Daves of Spring Grove, Virginia, weighed a three-day total of 15 bass totaling 33 pounds even to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on the James River Saturday. For his victory, Daves took home a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy 1500 Silverado as well as entry into the 2015 BFL All-American presented by Chevy. This regional tournament featured the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from each of the Northeast, Piedmont, Shenandoah and South Carolina divisions.
“I would start up the James River, because the tide was lower up there in the morning, and then run down to Chickahominy Creek around lunchtime,” said Daves, who earned the third BFL win of his career. “The tide was coming in during the morning, and the further down the river you went the higher it got. But, it would start to fall in the afternoon down in the Chick. We had an east wind that kept the water high, and that’s what made the conditions so tough.”
Daves said that he caught about half of his fish in the James River, and the rest in Chickahominy Creek.
“I targeted wood with a Lucky Craft RC 1.5 squarebill crankbait in the James, and I caught some key fish on a homemade buzzbait with a gold blade and a white, blue and chartreuse-colored skirt in the grass in the Chick,” said Daves. “Up in the James River I was fishing the same places every day, because there was a lot of bait and they replenished. In the Chick I ran new water every day. I was just covering as much water as I could with the buzzbait. I wasn’t catching many fish on the buzzbait, but when I did it was a good one.
“The first day I caught a lot of keepers and the tide was good, but I didn’t catch much weight,” Daves continued. “The second and third days I only caught five keepers each day. It was hard to scratch out a limit. I caught two 4-pounders on the buzzbait on the second day, and that really was the key to my win.
“I knew it was going to be tough,” finished Daves. “I figured if I caught 10 pounds per day I would make the All-American, and that was my goal. It feels great to win. I’ve been fishing for over 20 years, but I always seem to end up finishing second or third. I’ve been doing it a long time and this was a well-deserved win.”
Daves said he also caught a few fish on a ½-ounce black and blue-colored jig.
The top six boaters that qualified for the 2015 BFL All-American:
1st: Chris Daves, Spring Grove, Va., 15 bass, 33-0, Ranger Z518C with 200-horsepower outboard + Chevy 1500 Silverado
2nd: Chris Panetta, Red Hook, N.Y., 15 bass, 32-2, $1,500 + $300 Evinrude Bonus
3rd: Josh Wagy, Dewitt, Va., 15 bass, 30-0, $1,100
4th: Dennis Middleton, Madison Heights, Va., 15 bass, 26-8, $1,000
5th: Steven Wiseman, Bryans Road, Md., 15 bass, 26-6, $900
6th: James Cassaday, Wirtz, Va., 13 bass, 25-7, $800
Rounding out the top 10 pros:
7th: James Seabolt, Dunn, N.C., 15 bass, 24-12, $700
8th: Marc Wagy, Dewitt, Va., 12 bass, 24-6, $650
9th: Cody Pike, Powhatan, Va., 12 bass, 23-8, $600
10th: David Deciucis, Chester, Va., 14 bass, 23-1, $550
Complete results can be found by clicking here.
Burdette wins co-angler title
Dennis Burdette of Lindside, West Virginia, won the co-angler division with a three-day total of 11 bass totaling 22 pounds, 1 ounce. For his efforts, Adair took home a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard along with a berth in the 2015 BFL All-American tournament.
The top six co-angers that qualified for the 2015 BFL All-American:
1st: Dennis Burdette, Lindside, W.Va., 11 bass, 22-1, Ranger Z518C with 200-horsepower outboard
2nd: Tim Cales, Sandstone, W.Va., 10 bass, 19-7, $750
3rd: Edward Honaker, Richmond, Va., seven bass, 17-6, $550
4th: Travis Garrett, Charlottesville, Va., nine bass, 15-12, $500
5th: Lawrence Aucoin, Durham, N.C., nine bass, 15-3, $450
6th: Brett Holmes, Claverack, N.Y., eight bass, 15-2, $400
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers:
7th: Lonnie Drusch, Sumter, S.C., five bass, 14-15, $350
8th: Cherif Zaher, Orangeville, Pa., 10 bass, 14-11, $325
9th: Christopher Moore, Mechanicsville, Va., nine bass, 14-4, $300
10th: Richard Plemons, Virginia Beach, Va., five bass, 13-11, $275
Complete co-angler results can be found by clicking here.
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. 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, Instagram and YouTube.