JASPER, Ala. – Boaters David Hudson of Jasper, and Greg Pugh and Dexton Gregory, both of Cullman, Alabama, ended up in a three-way tie for the win at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division tournament on Lewis Smith Lake after each bringing five bass weighing 15 pounds, 1 ounce, to the scale. After contingency awards, Hudson earned $3,001, with Gregory taking home $2,801 and Pugh $2,501.
Gregory and Pugh said they caught their bass sight-fishing. Gregory caught his fish from Rock Creek – both largemouth and spotted bass.
“I had a few largemouth I found first thing [in the morning]. After that I went and got some spotted bass that I actually found on Friday during practice,” said Gregory, who earned his first in win FLW competition. “The largemouth were on little flats in the backs of pockets in 1 to 3 feet of water, while the spots were keyed in on certain rocks in 5 to 7 feet of water. I ended up catching 15 keepers throughout the day.”
Gregory said he flipped a white ½-ounce custom jig with a white Zoom Super Chunk trailer for his largemouth, while his spotted bass ate a 1/8-ounce shaky-head rig with a Bold Bluegill-colored Strike King KVD Fat Baby Finesse Worm.
Pugh, who earned his second career victory in BFL competition, primarily fished mid-lake, catching bass on jerkbaits, topwaters, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and Hawg Caller jigs. All of the fish that he weighed in came via sight-fishing, though.
Hudson worked in Ryan Creek and on the main lake and said he caught approximately 50 fish throughout the day.
“The other two [Gregory and Pugh] were sight-fishing, but I just fished, with most of my bites coming from 8 to 10 feet of water,” said Hudson, who earned his first career victory as a boater in FLW competition. “They could’ve been spawning, but I couldn’t see them – I didn’t try to. All of my fish were spotted bass, and I think that the Gamma 6-pound-test fluorocarbon line is what made the difference for me. The water in the area was so clear, and when I started using it I had a lot more bites.”
Hudson said his baits of choice were wacky-rigged Watermelon Seed- and green-pumpkin-colored Yamamoto Senkos and a shaky-head rig with a Payback-colored Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: David Hudson, Jasper, Ala., five bass, 15-1, $3,001
1st: Greg Pugh, Cullman, Ala., five bass, 15-1, $2,501
1st: Dexton Gregory, Cullman, Ala., five bass, 15-1, $2,801
4th: Josh Butler, Hayden, Ala., five bass, 14-10, $979
5th: David Milsaps, Ranger, Ga ., five bass, 14-9, $1,053
6th: Randall Allen, Owens Cross Roads, Ala., five bass, 14-5, $690
7th: Jackie Flack, Cullman, Ala., five bass, 14-3, $628
8th: James Swindle, Parrish, Ala., five bass, 13-15, $565
9th: Justin Blalock, Cullman, Ala., five bass, 13-10, $502
10th: Kyle Glasgow, Guin, Ala., five bass, 13-4, $439
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Chad Aaron of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, caught a 4-pound, 12-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $500.
Justin Stephenson of Jasper, Alabama, won the Co-angler Division and $1,873 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 15 pounds, 5 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Justin Stephenson, Jasper, Ala., five bass, 15-5, $1,873
2nd: Cameron Gatlin, Chattanooga, Tenn., five bass, 15-4, $936
3rd: Daniel Swartz, Jasper, Ala., five bass, 14-3, $591
4th: Randy Hill, Athens, Ala., five bass, 13-6, $564
5th: William Ryan, Jasper, Ala., five bass, 12-9, $355
6th: Hayden Obarr, Gurley, Ala., five bass, 12-6, $325
7th: Donnie Gamble, Bessemer, Ala., five bass, 11-14, $295
8th: Richard Lucia, Buford, Ga., five bass, 11-10, $266
9th: Hank Golden, Tallassee, Ala., five bass, 11-4, $336
10th: David Marr, Cleveland, Tenn., five bass, 10-13, $207
Matthew Spears of Jasper caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 3 pounds, 14 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $222.
The tournament was hosted by the Chamber of Commerce Walker County.
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. 10-12 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, Georgia. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.
The 2019 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 be held May 30-June 1 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland, and is hosted by the Charles County Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism and the Commissioners of Charles County. 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, and YouTube.
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 2019 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct more than 290 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 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, and YouTube.
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