(Feb 29, 2016 - MOORESVILLE, N.C.)
David Wright of Lexington, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 15 pounds, 11 ounces, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) North Carolina Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Norman. For his victory, Wright took home $5,905.
Wright said he targeted bass along rocky banks in dirty water on the upper-end of the lake to earn his victory.
“I split my day between three shallow areas and used a small crankbait,” said Wright, who earned his 10th career win FLW competition. “The bait was important. It had a tight wiggle which gave a subtle presentation that the bass seemed to like.”
Wright declined to share the specific crankbaits he used, but said he preferred chartreuse in muddy water and olive if he fished in a cove where the water was clearer.
“I fished them slow with a Lew’s reel,” said Wright. “I paid close attention to how fast I was cranking. When I told myself to slow down, I’d get a bite.
“The fish weren’t aggressive at all,” continued Wright. “There were a few that I know bumped up on the bait and didn’t bite.”
Wright said he caught around 15 keepers consistently over the course of the day.
“Normally I bring in all spotted bass, but since the water was muddy I ended up weighing in three largemouth and two spots,” said Wright. “I just kept my head down and stayed persistent.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: David Wright, Lexington, N.C., five bass, 15-11, $5,905
2nd: Russell Hoyle, Newton, N.C., five bass, 14-13, $2,753
3rd: Travis Ruff, Connelly Springs, N.C., five bass, 14-8, $1,635
4th: Michael Fox, Statesville, N.C., five bass, 14-6, $1,145
5th: Dustin Clontz, Albemarle, N.C., five bass, five bass, 14-0, $981
6th: Brian Travis, Conover, N.C., five bass, 13-14, $858
6th: Jacob Moore, Stanley, N.C., five bass, 13-14, $858
8th: Lee Williams, Durham, N.C., five bass, 13-13, $695
8th: Chad Poteat, Mount Airy, N.C., five bass, 13-13, $695
10th: Hank Cherry, Maiden, N.C., five bass, 13-12, $543
10th: Jason Wilson, Lincolnton, N.C., five bass, 13-12, $543
Jonathan Foster of Maiden, North Carolina, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 11 ounces and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $740.
Paul Foley of Mooresville, North Carolina, weighed in four bass totaling 12 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to earn $2,419 and win the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Paul Foley, Mooresville, N.C., four bass, 12-11, $2,419
2nd: Brian Transon, Sherrills Ford, N.C., four bass, 12-0, $1,225
2nd: Andrew Shundich, Mooresville, N.C., five bass, 12-0, $860
2nd: James Windham, Charlotte, N.C., five bass, 12-0, $860
5th: Bradley Cooper, Lexington, N.C., five bass, 11-9, $484
6th: Steve Postell, Gastonia, N.C., five bass, 11-7, $423
6th: Eddie Cook, Clemmons, N.C., five bass, 11-7, $423
8th: Brian Souza, Cornelius, N.C., five bass, 10-2, $363
9th: Joe Westmoreland, Greensboro, N.C., five bass, 10-0, $323
10th: Weston Lineberry , Troy, N.C., five bass, 9-13, $282
Transon caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 14 ounces and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $365.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 27-29 Regional Championship on Lake Hartwell in Seneca, 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 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.