DAYTON, Tenn. – Boater Gil Summerlin of Guntersville, Alabama, caught a three-day cumulative total of 15 bass weighing 47 pounds, 3 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional championship on Lake Chickamauga presented by Realtree Fishing. Summerlin earned $65,000 for his efforts, including a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and automatic entry into the 2019 BFL All-American Championship.
Summerlin said he spent the event in a bay on the lower end of the lake near the Chester Frost Park area, focusing on six waypoints he had marked.
“My first keeper ended up being my biggest of the event,” said Summerlin, who earned his third career win in FLW competition. “It came on a (Sparrow-colored) Bobby’s Perfect Snag Proof Frog out of peppergrass. The frog bite died off for me when the conditions changed, but I saw some schooling-fish so I started throwing a topwater. I ended up catching the majority of my keepers on it Thursday – a (Shad White-colored) Mean Mouth Walker hardbait.
“I started out with the topwater again Friday morning, but they weren’t coming up and eating shad,” Summerlin continued. “I knew they were there holding in the little indentions in the grass line, but they weren’t showing themselves. I tried a lot of different baits before they finally ate a fluke, so I stuck with it.”
Summerlin said the bass preferred a Texas-rigged Glimmer Blue-colored Zoom Super Fluke Jr. on a 5/0-sized Lazer Trokar Wide Gap EWG Worm Hook.
“We had the same conditions Saturday as we did on Friday, so I used the fluke again and caught five keepers,” said Summerlin. “On my second-to-last cast, right before I had return to the ramp, I lost a four-plus-pounder. She didn’t really get hooked – just clamped down and then opened her mouth and the fluke came out. I thought that fish cost me the tournament.”
The top six boaters that qualified for the 2019 BFL All-American were:
1st: Gil Summerlin, Guntersville, Ala., 15 bass, 47-3, $65,000
2nd: Matt Stanley, Alexandria, Tenn., 14 bass, 45-15, $10,200
3rd: Brennon McCord, West Frankfort, Ill., 15 bass, 42-14, $5,000
4th: Cody Santel, Benton, Ky., 15 bass, 40-0, $3,000
5th: Tommy Williams, Shepherdsville, Ky., 15 bass, 38-6, $2,000
6th: Seth Davis, Harrison, Tenn., 15 bass, 37-5, $1,900
Rounding out the top-10 boaters were:
7th: Greg Lamb, Harrison, Tenn., 14 bass, 37-1, $1,600
8th: Casey O'Donnell, Guntersville, Ala., 15 bass, 35-11, $1,400
9th: Sam Morgan, Coalmont, Tenn., 15 bass, 34-13, $1,200
10th: Michael Black, Toledo, Ill., 11 bass, 32-0, $1,000
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Lake Blasingame of Killen, Alabama, won the Co-angler Division and a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard with a three-day cumulative catch of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 12 ounces.
The top six co-anglers that qualified for the 2019 BFL All-American were:
1st: Lake Blasingame, Killen, Ala., 10 bass, 26-12, $45,200
2nd: Mitch Murphy, Metropolis, Ill., eight bass, 24-7, $5,050
3rd: Todd Blakeman, Chatham, Ill., 11 bass, 24-3, $2,500
4th: Wayne Kilgore, Attalla, Ala., seven bass, 21-14, $1,500
5th: Terry Smith, Tullahoma, Tenn., nine bass, 20-15, $1,000
6th: Gary Megson, Dayton, Ohio, eight bass, 20-9, $900
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers were:
7th: Harry Peyton, Decatur, Ala., nine bass, 20-9, $800
8th: Chase Maddox, Crane Hill, Ala., eight bass, 18-6, $700
9th: Billy Gardner, Livingston, Tenn., eight bass, 16-0, $600
10th: Amanda Black, Greenup, Ill., seven bass, 15-14, $500
The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lake Chickamauga presented by Realtree Fishing was hosted by the Rhea Economic & Tourism Council.
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, and is hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners and the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
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.
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