GAINESVILLE, Ga. – Tyler Morgan of Columbus, Georgia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds,15 ounces, Saturday to win the first T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament of 2017 on Lake Lanier. For his win, Morgan took home $5,214.
“I’m not extremely familiar with Lanier, but I was fishing up the river,” said Morgan, who earned his first career victory as a boater after three prior wins as a co-angler in BFL competition. “Most of the other anglers were fishing the main-lake and they would fish around the points, but they weren’t fishing in the pockets. I was going to the very back of pockets and catching fish extremely shallow.”
Morgan said that he caught 16 or 17 keepers throughout the day throwing a Special Red Craw-colored Berkley Pit Bull crankbait and a black and blue-colored Z-Man ChatterBait with a black Keitech FAT Swing Impact 4.3 swimbait.
“I was cranking bluff walls up the river and put together a quick 9-pound limit of spotted bass by 9 a.m.,” Morgan said. “Then I went running the back of pockets looking to upgrade with largemouth. I was upgrading by ounces all day long, and ended up weighing in one spot and four largemouth.
“Coming back to the weigh-in I thought that I had a shot to finish in the top-10, but I never expected to win. It was a pleasant surprise.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Tyler Morgan, Columbus, Ga., five bass, 16-15, $5,214
2nd: Johnathan Akins, Lula, Ga., five bass, 16-12, $2,507
3rd: Rob Jordan, Flowery Branch, Ga., five bass, 16-9, $1,420
3rd: Steve Foster, Jasper, Ga., five bass, 16-9, $1,420
5th: Chris Baxter, Winder, Ga., five bass, 16-8, $1,403
6th: Brock Turner, Jasper, Ga., five bass, 16-6, $919
7th: Tristan Thomas, Lula, Ga., five bass, 16-0, $836
8th: Mike Shepard, Dawsonville, Ga., five bass, 15-11, $752
9th: Kip Carter, Social Circle, Ga., five bass, 15-3, $668
10th: Jason Densmore, Dawsonville, Ga., five bass, 15-1, $555
10th: Doug Workman, Cleveland, Ga., five bass, 15-1, $555
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Willie McMullen of Oxford, Georgia, caught a 6-pound, 12-ounce bass – the largest of the event – which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $765.
Harold Grizzle of Gainesville, Georgia, weighed in five bass totaling 16 pounds, 3 ounces Saturday to win the co-angler division and earn $2,707.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Harold Grizzle, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 16-3, $2,707
2nd: Chris Davies, Griffin, Ga., five bass, 14-15, $1,635
3rd: Stanley Smith, Greensboro, Ga., five bass, 14-6, $837
4th: Brent Thomas, Cleveland, Ga., five bass, 13-8, $585
5th: Ronald Harris, Jefferson, Ga., five bass, 13-5, $501
6th: Chance Hebert, Norcross, Ga., five bass, 12-11, $460
7th: Adam Thomas, Cleveland, Ga., five bass, 12-2, $468
8th: Matthew O’Connell, Brooks, Ga., four bass, 12-1, $376
9th: Brian Benedit, Canton, Ga., five bass, 11-11, $334
10th: Robert Barker, Monticello, Ga., five bass, 11-10, $292
Davies caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 1 ounce, and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $382.
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. 12-14 BFL Regional Championship on Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Alabama. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.
The T-H Marine BFL event at Lake Lanier was hosted by the Gainesville Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The 2017 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they 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. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the 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 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 274 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. 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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