DAYTON, Tenn. – Ryan Davidson of Branchland, West Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 5 ounces, Saturday to win the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional event on Lake Chickamauga presented by Mercury, with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 46 pounds, 14 ounces. For his win, Davidson earned $65,200, including a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard, and a berth into the 2017 BFL All-American Championship.
“This week I fished all the way from Soddy Creek south to the Chickamauga Dam,” said Davidson, who notched his first win in FLW competition. “I ran through a lot of areas and burned a lot of gas. The fish were in transition, so I had to keep covering water.”
Davidson said he caught the majority of his bass flipping a black and blue-colored Yum Bad Mamma to submerged hydrilla.
“I was targeting stuff that I thought the fish would be staging in,” said Davidson. “On Day One I got a lot of bites and caught them quick, but that pattern kind of fizzled out. On Day Two, I ran the same type of areas and couldn’t get bit.”
Davidson said he adjusted by moving in closer to the bank. He said he ended up with six keepers on Day Two.
“Even though I was flipping, I moved fast,” said Davidson. “I was just hitting as many clumps of grass as I could with the trolling motor on high. I’d flip the Bad Mamma in there, hop it one time and if I didn’t get bite I was on to the next clump. Every fish I caught that was over 2½ pounds bit before the lure got to the bottom.”
On the final day of the event, Davidson said he decided to switch patterns and caught two keepers on a black Booyah Poppin’ Pad Crasher Frog. He returned to flipping later in the day and capped off his limit.
“I fished clean all week, and that made the difference,” said Davidson. “When they bite in these challenging tournaments, you have to put them in the boat.”
The top six boaters that qualified for the 2017 BFL All-American were:
1st: Ryan Davidson, Branchland, W. Va., 15 bass, 46-14, $65,200
2nd: Dustin Huggins, Russellville, Ark., 10 bass, 35-0, $10,000
3rd: Matt Stanley, Alexandria, Tenn., 11 bass, 33-14, $5,000
4th: William Merrick, Mount Juliet, Tenn., 15 bass, 32-11, $3,000
5th: Scott Bateman, Jasper, Ind., 14 bass, 30-15, $2,000
6th: Drew Boggs, Lebanon, Tenn., 11 bass, 30-8, $1,800
Rounding out the top-10 boaters were:
7th: Aaron Singleton, La Grange, Ky., 10 bass, 30-7, $1,600
8th: Jeremiah Kindy, Benton, Ark., eight bass, 30-3, $1,400
9th: Steve Roberts, Fort Smith, Ark., 12 bass, 27-5, $2,200
10th: Tim Phy, Cookeville, Tenn., nine bass, 24-3, $1,100
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Jimmy Terry of Mabelvale, Arkansas, won the co-angler division and a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard with a three-day cumulative catch of seven bass weighing 20 pounds, 11 ounces.
The top six co-anglers that qualified for the 2017 BFL All-American were:
1st: Jimmy Terry, Mabelvale, Ark., seven bass, 20-11, $45,200
2nd: Jacob Harris, Bonne Terre, Mo., six bass, 20-7, $5,050
3rd: Brody Campbell, Oxford, Ohio, three bass, 17-11, $2,500
4th: Dennis Taylor, Murray, Ky., seven bass, 17-1, $1,500
5th: Billy Watson, Murfreesboro, Tenn., eight bass, 16-13, $1,000
6th: Jeremy New, Yorktown, Ind., six bass, 16-0, $900
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers were:
7th: Bryce Morrison, Collierville, Tenn., seven bass, 14-8, $800
8th: Michael Pelston, Seymour, Ind., four bass, 14-3, $700
9th: Billy French, Hamilton, Ohio, five bass, 12-9, $600
10th: Charles Hardin, Evansville, Ind., two bass, 10-12, $500
The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 50 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and 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 2017 BFL All-American will be held May 31-June 3 on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Alabama. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Korea and South Africa. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat: @FLWFishing.
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