SALISBURY, N.C. – Boater Martin Villa of Charlottesville, Virginia, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament on High Rock Lake after catching a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 10 ounces. For his win, Villa pocketed $3,932.
“I started out at a point where I’d caught a 5-pounder in practice Friday, but didn’t catch anything,” said Villa, who earned his first career victory in FLW competition. “I was planning on fishing the shoreline there, but eight to 10 boats showed up and after an hour and a half, I didn’t have anything and I didn’t see anyone else catching anything.
“I jumped across the cove within eyeshot of the first area, flipped a laydown and caught a 2-pounder,” continued Villa. “I went down the shoreline and lost a 5-pounder. I went further down and at the next point, caught a 6-pounder and lost a good one off of a boat dock.”
Villa said he stayed in the same southwestern arm of the lake as Tamarac Marina, the same marine where the field launched from, and that he eventually caught 12 keepers throughout the day.
“I essentially junk-fished and realized after eight or nine catches that everything was on points,” said Villa. “You had to look for the dominant piece of structure on the point to catch fish – it didn’t matter if it was wood, rock or a dock. I steadily caught fish throughout the day and made my last cull at 12:30 [p.m.], which put me at about 20 pounds.”
Villa’s key baits included a Texas-rigged Zoom Brush Hog with a 5/16-ounce Strike King Tour Grade tungsten weight and a Zoom Trick Worm in Green-Pumpkin and Red and Redbug colors. The lures were rigged on 17-pound-test Gamma Edge fluorocarbon line. Villa said he also threw the Trick Worm with a 1/8-ounce Strike King Tour Grade shaky-head rig, on a Carolina-rig and weightless depending on the circumstances.
“I have [Garmin] Panoptix on my boat and I noticed that fish were all up underneath the trolling motor, including some big ones,” said Villa. “So, I’d throw that worm weightless and they’d get it as soon as it hit the water.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Martin Villa, Charlottesville, Va., five bass, 20-10, $3,932
2nd: Landon Whicker, Winston-Salem, N.C., five bass, 18-2, $2,066
3rd: Todd Walters, Kernersville, N.C., five bass, 17-15, $1,410
4th: Jeffrey Davis, Williamston, N.C., five bass, 17-5, $847
5th: Chad Poteat, Mount Airy, N.C., five bass, 15-15, $976
6th: Powell Kemp, Scotland Neck, N.C., five bass, 15-11, $666
7th: Derik Hudson, Concord, Va., five bass, 15-10, $605
8th: Jerry Davis, Lexington, N.C., five bass, 15-6, $545
9th: Jack Dice, Lynchburg, Va., five bass, 15-1, $484
10th: Todd Harris, Clemmons, N.C., five bass, 14-14, $424
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Ben Reynolds of Callands, Virginia, caught a bass weighing 6 pounds, 7 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $465.
Scott Howard of Bedford, Virginia, won the Co-angler Division and $2,016 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 12 pounds, 1 ounce.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Scott Howard, Bedford, Va., five bass, 12-1, $2,016
2nd: Pat Kendrick, Bumpass, Va., four bass, 11-4, $958
3rd: J.C. Miller, Washington, Pa., five bass, 11-1, $606
4th: Timothy Kinder, Manassas, Va., four bass, 10-11, $424
5th: Charles Wood, Thomasville, N.C., five bass, 10-1, $363
6th: Robert Raymond, Farmville, Va., four bass, 9-8, $333
7th: Tim Privette Jr., Wendell, N.C., five bass, 9-5, $303
8th: Robert Bruguiere, Mechanicsville, Va., four bass, 9-2, $272
9th: Brad Hendrix, Greensboro, N.C., four bass, 8-12, $242
10th: Bruce Pettiford, Roxboro, N.C., one bass, 8-6, $444
Pettiford caught the heaviest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $232.
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. 17-19 BFL Regional Championship on the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. 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 2020 BFL All-American will be held April 30-May 2 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina, and is hosted by Visit Anderson. 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, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe. 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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