BAINBRIDGE, Ga. – Marshall Deakins of Dunlap, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 13 ounces, Saturday to take top honors at the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional event on Lake Seminole presented by Mercury, with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 50 pounds, 1 ounce. For his win, Deakins took home $66,000, including a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard, and a berth into the 2017 BFL All-American Championship.
Deakins said he spent his entire tournament targeting suspended fish near standing timber in the Spring Creek area of Lake Seminole. For the first two days, he said he threw an electric shiner-colored Zoom Z Craw rigged with a 1/8-ounce weight.
“My practice partner actually figured out how to get them biting initially,” said Deakins, who notched his fifth win in FLW competition. “He let the lure slowly fall down the trunks of the timber, and the fish would eat it on the way down. That worked for two days, but eventually I had to change it up.”
After catching nearly 30 keepers in two days, Deakins said strong winds forced him to adjust his pattern on Day Three.
“I had a tougher time because the light sinker was hard to control in the wind,” said Deakins. “I switched things up around 10:30 a.m. and went with an umbrella rig to get bites.”
Deakins said he rigged his umbrella rig with two dummy baits and three ¼-ounce heads paired with 4-inch natural light-colored Scottsboro Tackle Company Swimbaits. He said he targeted a group of fish that he had located during the first two days of the event.
“That’s the first place I went to, and they were deep,” said Deakins. “I caught some keepers almost immediately. I’m really glad I threw to them.”
The top six boaters that qualified for the 2017 BFL All-American were:
1st: Marshall Deakins, Dunlap, Tenn., 15 bass, 50-1, $66,000
2nd: Steve Phillips, Douglas, Ga., 15 bass, 47-5, $10,200
3rd: Mike Keyso Jr., North Port, Fla., 14 bass, 42-14, $5,000
4th: Robert Crosnoe, Inverness, Fla., 14 bass, 42-9, $3,100
5th: Chris Kirksey, Fairmount, Ga., 14 bass, 41-12, $2,000
6th: Tyler Morgan, Columbus, Ga., 15 bass, 41-7, $1,800
Rounding out the top-10 boaters were:
7th: Rodger Beaver, Dawson, Ga., 12 bass, 40-12, $1,600
8th: Clabion Johns, Covington, Ga., 14 bass, 38-7, $1,400
9th: Dustin Royer, Davie, Fla., 13 bass, 33-7, $1,200
10th: Nathan Thomas, Weirsdale, Fla., 13 bass, 32-6, $1,000
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Jessey Rudolph of Deltona, Florida, won the co-angler division and a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard with a three-day cumulative catch of 15 bass weighing 36 pounds, 2 ounces.
The top six co-anglers that qualified for the 2017 BFL All-American were:
1st: Jessey Rudolph, Deltona, Fla., 15 bass, 36-2, $45,200
2nd: John Trudel, Lighthouse Point, Fla., 12 bass, 31-4, $5,000
3rd: David Bozeman, Ocala, Fla., nine bass, 26-4, $2,500
4th: Randy Paquette, Sarasota, Fla., 15 bass, 25-5, $1,500
5th: Tony Dimauro, Watkinsville, Ga., eight bass, 22-13, $1,050
6th: Stanley Shaw, Dunnellon, Fla., seven bass, 20-5, $900
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers were:
7th: Christopher Wilder, Macon, Ga., seven bass, 20-4, $800
8th: Richard Mongiovi, Indian Lake Estates, Fla., seven bass, 19-15, $700
9th: Johnny Pittman, Albertville, Ala., eight bass, 19-15, $600
10th: Isaac Clemmons, Fitzgerald, Ga., eight bass, 17-9, $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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