Fishing & Boating News

Butts Wins Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division Event on James River

Everhart wins co-angler title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Flash Butts of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, weighed a 5-bass limit totaling 16 lbs, 6 oz Saturday to win the Shenandoah Division tournament on the James River and a check for $5,514.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Jul 27, 2015 - HENRICO, Va.) Flash Butts of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament on the James River. For his victory, Butts earned $5,514.
“I spent a lot of time practicing for this tournament so to have something to show for it is really exciting,” said Butts, who has two wins and 26 top-10 finishes in his FLW career. “I’m very happy with how the day unfolded.”
Butts said he primarily targeted fish in the incoming tide between the northern tournament boundary lines down to where the James meets the Appomattox River.  
“I mixed in a few other spots that had some nice wood up shallow – especially stumps,” said Butts. “I caught a nice bass before 9 a.m., two more keepers between 9:30 and 10, and another at 11:30.”
Butts caught all of his fish – including the biggest bass of the tournament – on a Texas-rigged black grape-colored Zoom U-Tail Worm.
“I only had five bites all day,” Butts said. “The big bass came around 1 p.m. There was a little ditch in about a foot of water with two stumps nearby. I put my Power Poles down to anchor, pitched the worm, and it hit about five feet from the boat beside the stumps.
“I’d call myself extremely lucky to have caught the heaviest bass out of five total bites,” said Butts. “It turned out to be a great day.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st:          Flash Butts, Roanoke Rapids, N.C., five bass, 16-6, $3,514 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd:         Dennis Burdette, Lindside, W. Va., five bass, 14-10, $1,757
3rd:          Brian Bersik, Disputanta, Va., five bass, 13-3, $1,172
4th:          Bryan Elrod, Mechanicsville, Va., five bass, 11-10, $820
5th:          Jeff Williams, Sandston, Va., five bass, 11-5, $673
5th:          Cavin Young, Prince George, Va., five bass, 11-5, $673
7th:          Scott Banton, Powhatan, Va., five bass, 11-2, $586
8th:          Moo Bae, West Friendship, Md., five bass, 10-12, $527
9th:          Marc Wagy, Dewitt, Va., five bass, 10-10, $469
10th:        Steve Wagner, New Kent, Va., five bass, 10-8, $410
Butts also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $450.
David Everhart of Kearneysville, West Virginia, weighed in four bass totaling 11 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win $1,757 in the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st:          David Everhart, Kearneysville, W. Va., four bass, 11-1, $1,757
2nd:         Randy Trail Jr., Pulaski, Va., five bass, 8-14, $879
3rd:          Trevor Wright, Chesterfield, Va., five bass, 8-5, $585
4th:          Brett Stewart, Hopewell, Va., five bass, 8-3, $410
5th:          Todd Hurst, Pulaski, Va., three bass, 7-12, $351
6th:          Austin Burdette, Lindside, W. Va., three bass, 7-4, $322
7th:          William Burke, New Holland, Pa., four bass, 7-1, $293
8th:          Otto Hecht, Stafford, Va., four bass, 6-15, $264
9th:          Keith Allen, Sumerduck, Va., three bass, 6-13, $234
10th:        Aaron Bartlett, Mechanicsville, Va., four bass, 6-12, $205
Hurst caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $225.
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.