HENDERSON, N.C. – Kevin Chandler of New London, North Carolina, weighed a 20-pound, 14-ounce, limit Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division opener on Kerr Lake presented by Navionics. For his win, Chandler earned $8,211.
Chandler said he split his day between fishing rocks in Grassy Creek, and docks and laydowns in the main-river channel. He said every fish he weighed in came on a ½-ounce green-pumpkin-colored Shooter Lures Jig.
“I flipped and made little underhand pitches with the jig because the fish were so shallow,” said Chandler, who logged his fifth career-win in BFL competition. “Every bite came in 1 to 4 feet of water. My medium-heavy Level rod was a big part of my success. It’s got the perfect tip for flipping. I could make soft presentations under everything I targeted.”
Chandler said he spent a lot of his day running, including making 30 to 40 stops in the afternoon.
“I didn’t catch very many fish in one spot,” said Chandler. “My biggest bass – a 6-pound, 4-ouncer – came out of the rocks early on, but I got more bites in the afternoon. The water warmed up a couple of degrees when the sun came up, which helped.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Kevin Chandler, New London, N.C., five bass, 20-14, $6,211 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Ray Griffin, Greensboro, N.C., five bass, 20-2, $4,001
3rd: Mike Miller, Trinity, N.C., five bass, 20-0, $2,101
4th: Todd Harris, Clemmons, N.C., five bass, 18-7, $1,403
5th: Rodney Bell, Salisbury, N.C., five bass, 17-12, $1,202
6th: Chris Daves, Spring Grove, Va., five bass, 16-11, $1,102
7th: George Lambeth, Thomasville, N.C., five bass, 16-9, $1,302
8th: Keith Roberts, Hurt, Va., five bass, 16-1, $902
9th: David Wright, Lexington, N.C., five bass, 16-0, $802
10th: Scooter Lilley, Williamston, N.C., five bass, 15-13, $666
10th: Chris Baldwin, Lexington, N.C., five bass, 15-13, $666
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Griffin caught a bass weighing 6 pounds, 11 ounces – the largest of the event – which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $995.
Larry Freeman Jr. of La Crosse, Virginia, weighed in five bass totaling 14 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the Co-angler Division and the top prize of $3,006.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Larry Freeman Jr., La Crosse, Va., five bass, 14-11, $3,006
2nd: Derek Sewell, Forest, Va., four bass, 14-8, $1,503
3rd: Graham Burke, Clemmons, N.C., four bass, 13-0, $1,008
4th: Randy Ruffin, Norfolk, Va., four bass, 12-9, $1,198
5th: Bailey Hollingsworth, Lexington, N.C., five bass, 12-1, $601
6th: Jake Rowe, Selma, N.C., five bass, 11-11, $551
7th: Francis Andrews, Matoaca, Va., five bass, 11-8, $501
8th: Mark Whitman, Elon, N.C., five bass, 11-4, $651
9th: Scott Anderson, China Grove, N.C., five bass, 11-2, $401
10th: Chris Tucker, Albemarle, N.C., three bass, 10-12, $351
Ruffin caught the biggest bass among Co-angler Division anglers, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 5 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $497.
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 the James River in Williamsburg, Virginia. 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 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.
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