(Feb 1, 2016 - SENECA, S.C.)
Randy Childers of Anderson, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 7 ounces, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Keowee presented by Power-Pole. For his victory, Childers earned $4,271.
“I decided to run straight to a mid-lake area where the corps (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) was discharging water back into the lake,” said Childers, who logged the second win of his BFL career. “The water they were releasing was warmer than the lake, which allowed me to fish shallower.
“I targeted rocks in a small cut,” Childers continued. “I swam a D&L jig with a green-pumpkin Zoom Super Chunk Jr. right under the surface unless I was out a little deeper, then I’d let it get out of sight before reeling back in.”
Childers said he also targeted docks in the area, but only if they had rocks under them. He caught eight keepers throughout the day.
“After the sun came out, I switched to an Ashley Craw-colored Knight’s Custom Lures Dock Buster Jig,” said Childers. “I fished it much slower than the D&L jig and let it hit the bottom. That approach really worked out well for me. I had all five stringer fish by 1 p.m.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Randy Childers, Anderson, S.C., five bass, 14-7, $4,271
2nd: Hunter Hill, Flat Rock, N.C., five bass, 11-13, $2,136
3rd: Jeremy Strong, Elberton, Ga., five bass, 11-8, $1,724
4th: Jack Howell, Westminster, S.C., five bass, 11-7, $997
5th: Mark Gibson, Seneca, S.C., five bass, 10-8, $854
6th: Todd Goade, Suwanee, Ga., five bass, 10-5, $783
7th: Ben Stone, Donalds, S.C., five bass, 10-4, $640
7th: John Nixon, Anderson, S.C., five bass, 10-4, $640
7th: Daniel Jackson, Townville, S.C., five bass, 10-4, $640
10th: B.J. Ballard, Abbeville, S.C., five bass, 10-3, $498
Collin Smith of Honea Path, South Carolina, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 4 pounds, 14 ounces and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $595.
Bill Odell of Hodges, South Carolina, weighed in five bass totaling 10 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to earn $2,136 and win the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Bill Odell, Hodges, S.C., five bass, 10-6, $2,136
2nd: Conner Giella, Lincolnton, Ga., five bass, 9-11, $1,068
3rd: Brandon Brock, Honea Path, S.C., five bass, 9-1, $712
4th: Dustin Shirley, Royston, Ga., five bass, 8-15, $439
4th: David Winters, Rock Hill, S.C., five bass, 8-15, $439
4th: Brandon Pilgrim, Central, S.C., five bass, 8-15, $439
7th: Shane Swann, Mars Hill, N.C., five bass, 8-14, $338
7th: Donnie Davis, Greer, S.C., five bass, 8-14, $338
9th: Willard Smith Jr., Anderson, S.C., five bass, 7-9, $285
Bryan Transon of Sherrils Ford, North Carolina, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 4 pounds, 13 ounces and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $297.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 6-8 Regional Championship on Kerr Lake in Henderson, North 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 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. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
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 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. 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.