MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Boater Craig Chambers of Charlotte, North Carolina, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) North Carolina Division tournament on Lake Norman Sunday with a two-day cumulative catch of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 3 ounces. Chambers pocketed $4,944 for his win.
Chambers said he mainly fished the Davidson and Ramsey creek areas of the lake.
“I flipped piers and also threw a spinnerbait under them. There were tall piers with wooden poles and they provided shade for the fish,” said Chambers, who logged his first career win in FLW competition. “Most of my fish Saturday came on a (9/16-ounce, Angry Gill-colored) True South Fathead flipping jig with a (green-pumpkin) Zoom Big Salty Chunk trailer. I also weighed one on a ½-ounce (Sun Perch-colored) True South spinnerbait with three gold and silver blades.
“There were scattered clouds each day,” continued Chambers. “When it was cloudy I leaned more towards the spinnerbait, and when the sun came out I leaned more on the jig. That’s when shady spots showed up and you could target them a little more.”
Chambers said he covered a lot of water, catching around 50 keepers Saturday, but only 11 or 12 Sunday. He cited high-pressure systems rolling through and the sunnier weather as the likely culprits for the slower bite.
“On Sunday I decided to make a 35-mile trip up into the Catawba River. Luckily, my Triton boat and Mercury outboard had no problem getting me there,” said Chambers. “I had one little spot, and if they were pulling current, I knew I could catch a big one. My first bite my jig rod snapped on the hookset and I had to hand-reel it in. It was 15 or 20 yards away, but I ended up getting it to the side of the boat. It was a 4¼-pounder and my co-angler grabbed it and got it in the boat. That was the fish that won the tournament for me.”
Chambers said he also weighed two off of the spinnerbait Sunday.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Craig Chambers, Charlotte, N.C., 10 bass, 26-3, $4,944
2nd: Shane LeHew, Catawba, N.C., 10 bass, 24-8, $2,772
3rd: Scott Hamrick, Denver, N.C., 10 bass, 24-7, $1,579
4th: Jeff Queen, Catawba, N.C., 10 bass, 24-1, $1,107
5th: Michael Stephen, Gastonia, N.C., 10 bass, 23-9, $949
6th: Ryan Deal, Indian Trail, N.C., nine bass, 22-2, $1,440
7th: Artie Phillips, Monroe, N.C., 10 bass, 21-15, $791
8th: Shane Lineberger, Lincolnton, N.C., 10 bass, 21-13, $712
9th: Timmy Thompkins, Myrtle Beach, S.C., 10 bass, 21-13, $633
10th: Doug Easton, Concord, N.C., 10 bass, 21-7, $553
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Deal caught a bass weighing 4 pounds, 5 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division. The catch earned him the Boater Big Bass award of $570.
Bobby Henderson of Charlotte, North Carolina, caught a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 17 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the Co-angler Division and $2,572.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Bobby Henderson, Charlotte, N.C., 10 bass, 17-11, $2,572
2nd: Charles Wood, Thomasville, N.C., eight bass , 16-2, $1,186
3rd: Nathan Grose, Summersville, W. Va., eight bass, 13-11, $842
4th: Tristen Trull, Mt. Holly, N.C., nine bass, 13-1, $553
5th: Mike Shatley, North Wilkesboro, N.C., nine bass, 12-4, $474
6th: Steve Reynolds, Concord, N.C., six bass, 11-11, $435
7th: Nikki Hames, Gaffney, S.C., seven bass, 11-0, $395
8th: Mathew Baker, Asheboro, N.C., seven bass, 10-8, $356
9th: Chris McMillan, Charlotte, N.C., five bass, 10-7, $601
10th: Paul Foley, Mooresville, N.C., five bass, 9-11, $277
McMillan caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 3 pounds, 11 ounces – and earned the Co-angler Big Bass award of $285.
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. 11-13 BFL Regional Championship on Chesapeake Bay in North East, Maryland. 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 2018 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. The 2019 BFL All-American will take place May 30-June 1 on the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.
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 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. 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.
# # #