(Mar 7, 2016 - MCCORMICK, S.C.)
Joey Spradley of Gloverville, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds, 7 ounces, Saturday to win the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division tournament on Clarks Hill Lake presented by Power-Pole. For his victory, Spradley took home $3,990.
Spradley said he focused on creek points on the lower end of the lake using a green pumpkin-colored Buckeye Lures Mop Jig with a Zoom Super Chunk trailer of the same color.
“I rotated through three different areas where fish were starting to pull up off of the river,” said Spradley, who earned his first win in BFL competition. “Everybody else was fishing shallow using crankbaits, but I figured bass wouldn’t be up that far yet. I opted to stay in around 30 feet of water which was deeper than everyone else.”
The South Carolina angler said that he caught around 10 keepers over the course of the event.
“I dragged the jig along the bottom very slowly,” said Spradley. “I wanted the skirt to flair out. That’s important. You have to slow it down and let it do what it’s supposed to do.”
Spradley’s winning stringer was anchored by an 8-pound, 2-ounce kicker which he caught along a secondary point.
“If I hadn’t boated that 8-pounder, there’s no way I would’ve won,” said Spradley. “I couldn’t have asked for a better day on the water.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Joey Spradley, Gloverville, S.C., five bass, 20-7, $3,990
2nd: Chuck Howard, Elloree, S.C., five bass, 18-6, $2,073
3rd: Ken Ellis, Bowman, S.C., five bass, 18-0, $1,181
4th: Greg Rikard, Leesville, S.C., five bass, 17-11, $827
5th: Mel Long, Hampton, S.C., five bass, 17-10, $709
6th: Bart Blackburn, North Augusta, S.C., five bass, 17-4, $650
7th: Chris Hadden, North Augusta, S.C., five bass, 17-1, $591
8th: Charles Doyle, Augusta, Ga., five bass, 16-9, $532
9th: Chris Marshall, Forest City, N.C., five bass, 15-15, $443
9th: Chris Epting, Chapin, S.C., five bass, 15-15, $443
Spradley’s 8-pound, 2-ounce bass – the biggest of the tournament in the pro division – earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $445.
Christopher Chavis of Rincon, Georgia, weighed in five bass totaling 17 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to earn $1,773 and win the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Christopher Chavis, Rincon, Ga., five bass, 17-15, $1,773
2nd: Scott Faile, Harlem, Ga., five bass, 13-5, $1,108
3rd: Rodney Tapp, North Augusta, S.C., five bass , 13-0, $591
4th: Chad Hamm, Aiken, S.C., five bass, 12-12, $414
5th: Eddie Hall, Inman, S.C., five bass, 12-0, $355
6th: Michael Thomas, York, S.C., four bass, 11-3, $325
7th: David Smith, Anderson, S.C., five bass, 10-7, $295
8th: Beau Wilder, Charlotte, N.C., five bass, 10-4, $266
9th: Todd Sosebee, Bessemer City, N.C., five bass, 9-14, $236
10th: Mitchell Pare, Guyton, Ga., five bass, 9-13, $207
Faile caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $222.
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.