Fishing & Boating News

Sabbagha Wins Walmart Bass Fishing League North Carolina Division Event on High Rock Lake

Wright wins co-angler title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Joey Sabbagha of Chapin, South Carolina, weighed a 5-bass limit totaling 16 lbs, 6 oz Saturday to win the North Carolina Division tournament on High Rock Lake and a check worth $6,155.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Jun 8, 2015 - SALISBURY, N.C.) Joey Sabbagha of Chapin, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League North Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on High Rock Lake. For his victory, Sabbagha earned $6,155.
“Competing in this tournament was a great way to spend the weekend,” said Sabbagha, who earned his first win after 12 previous career top-10 finishes in FLW competition. “I couldn’t be happier with the results.”
Sabbagha said he spent the majority of his day fishing docks in Abbotts Creek.
“I caught five fish along the docks,” Sabbagha said. “The first bass came around 8 a.m. and the last one came at 10.
“My bait of choice was a green-pumpkin-colored Buckeye Lures Mini Mop Jig with a green-pumpkin Zoom Super Chunk trailer,” continued Sabbagha. “Most of the fish I located were in three feet of water. They were very active in the shallow depths.”
Around 1:30 p.m., Sabbagha said he moved to a northern spot where he was able to catch his sixth keeper and cull out a smaller fish with five minutes remaining in the tournament. With just a 3-ounce margin of victory, that fish was the difference maker.
“The medium-heavy rod I was using was crucial to my success,” said Sabbagha. “The extra-soft tip allowed me to get the jig way up under the docks.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st:          Joey Sabbagha, Chapin, S.C., five bass, 16-6, $4,155 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd:         Tommy Jones, Salisbury, N.C., five bass, 16-3, $2,078
3rd:          Nathan Webber, Lake Wylie, S.C., five bass, 16-2, $1,383
4th:          Rodney Bell, Salisbury, N.C., five bass, 15-7, $970
5th:          Todd Walters, Kernersville, N.C., five bass, 15-3, $831
6th:          David Farrington, Greensboro, N.C., five bass, 14-12, $762
7th:          Scott Hamrick, Denver, N.C., five bass, 14-11, $693
8th:          Jerry Craig, Hiddenite, N.C., five bass, 14-7, $588
8th:          Chad Poteat, Mount Airy, N.C., five bass, 14-7, $588
10th:        Richard Bradford, Hoffman, N.C., five bass, 14-6, $460
Farrington caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 14 ounces and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $570.
Brad Wright of Taylorsville, North Carolina, weighed in five bass totaling 15 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win $2,078 in the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st:          Brad Wright, Taylorsville, N.C., five bass, 15-11, $2,078
2nd:         Matthew Benge, Maiden, N.C., five bass, 14-1, $1,039
3rd:          Kurt Moser, Max Meadows, Va., five bass, 12-4, $691
4th:          Wayne Smelser, Rural Retreat, Va., four bass, 11-3, $485
5th:          John Farmer, Mooresville, N.C., four bass, 9-9, $398
5th:          Tim Royall, Winston-Salem, N.C., four bass, 9-9, $398
7th:          Herbert Louthen, Bluefield, W. Va., three bass, 9-7, $346
8th:          George Boyce, Fuquay Varina, N.C., three bass, 9-0, $277
8th:          Marty Gardner, Chesnee, S.C., four bass, 9-0, $277
8th:          Will White, Wake Forest, N.C., four bass, 9-0, $277
Chip Crews of Trinity, North Carolina, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $285.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 15-17 Regional Championship on Lake Wateree in Camden, South Carolina. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 50 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Walmart BFL All-American. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Rayovac FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2015 over the course of 240 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.