(Feb 29, 2016 - )
Byron Kenney of Griffin, Georgia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 7 ounces, Saturday to win the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament on Lake Lanier presented by Power-Pole. For his victory, Kenney took home $4,763.
Kenney said he started his day by running south to target bass in ditches that were 8- to 30-feet deep. He said he used a shad-colored Fish Head Spin and was able to get three spotted bass in the boat fairly quickly.
“The fish I caught were mostly from water that I had never been in before,” said Kenney, who earned his third career win in FLW competition. “They just happened to be in the type of structure that I was targeting and it worked out.”
Kenney said he fished the ditches for about an hour, then moved to shallower water and focused on wood and docks using a Citrus Shad-colored Strike King KVD HC Square Bill Silent Crankbait. He said he caught his fourth fish – a 5-pounder – near a lay-down.
“It was so deep in there that I have no idea how I caught it,” said Kenney. “I was very fortunate that I didn’t lose it when I was pulling up.”
The Georgia angler said he then went nearly five hours without a bite before catching his fifth and final keeper at 2:45 p.m. on a custom jig near some rock.
“After the day I had, I didn’t think I would have enough weight to win,” said Kenney. “I was quite surprised when I ended up on top. I guess it was meant to be.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Byron Kenney, Griffin, Ga., five bass, 16-7, $4,763
2nd: Brad Stalnaker, Milledgeville, Ga., five bass, 15-9, $2,381
3rd: Karey Dickerson, Dahlonega, Ga., five bass, 14-3, $1,585
4th: John Christopher, Watkinsville, Ga., five bass, 13-6, $1,111
5th: Phil Sanders, Hoschton, Ga., five bass, 13-5, $953
6th: William Rogers, Hiram, Ga., five bass, 12-12, $873
7th: Todd Goade, Suwanee, Ga., four bass, 12-9, $1,094
8th: Josh Maddox, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 12-6, $674
8th: Pat Wallace, Lizella, Ga., five bass, 12-6, $674
10th: Tony Couch, Buckhead, Ga., five bass, 12-4, $505
10th: Rodger Beaver, Dawson, Ga., five bass, 12-4, $505
10th: Brad Wiley, Alto, Ga., five bass, 12-4, $505
Phil Johnson of Cumming, Georgia, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 10 ounces and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $710.
Ronald Harris of Jefferson, Georgia, weighed in five bass totaling 15 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to earn $2,381 and win the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Ronald Harris, Jefferson, Ga., five bass, 15-13, $2,381
2nd: Wayne Hancock, Cumming, Ga., five bass, 12-6, $1,191
3rd: Noah Rega, Douglasville, Ga., four bass, 11-15, $1,146
4th: Scott Edwards, Jefferson, Ga., five bass, 10-14, $556
5th: Isaac Clemmons, Fitzgerald, Ga., five bass, 10-7, $476
6th: Harold Grizzle, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 9-15, $437
7th: Emory Walden, Newnan, Ga., three bass, 9-2, $397
8th: Michael Wilder, Macon, Ga., four bass, 9-1, $357
9th: Tony Dimauro, Watkinsville, Ga., four bass, 8-9, $318
10th: Daniel Buswell Jr., Fayetteville, Ga., five bass, 8-8, $278
Rega caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 4 ounces and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $355.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 13-15 Regional Championship on Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, Georgia. 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.