(Mar 21, 2016 - BEDFORD, Va.)
Steven Coleman of Madison Heights, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds, 4 ounces, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division tournament of 2016 on Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Coleman took home $5,565.
“I’m still in shock,” said Coleman, who was fishing in his first event ever as a professional in BFL competition. “I went to the Blackwater River arm and ran pockets, looking for stained water. I knew that with as many boats that there were in this event that a lot of people would be looking for clear water. I figured that if I fished the stained water then I wouldn’t have to try to fight the crowds to get a good spot.
“I lost a 5-pounder right away, and I really thought that I had just lost the tournament when that one came off,” Coleman continued. “If you want to win you cannot have any mistakes, so when I lost that first fish it was pretty disheartening. I just put my head down and kept fishing, running pockets and skipping boat docks.”
Coleman said that he only had six bites all day – the 5-pounder that he lost along with the five fish that he weighed in. Four of his five stringer fish came on an unnamed 3/8-ounce black and blue jig with a black and blue Zoom Super Chunk trailer. One came via a white and purple-colored War Eagle spinnerbait.
“The key for me was my decision making,” Coleman went on to say. “I didn’t panic when I lost that big one and I knew what I had to do – keep my head down and grind it out.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Steven Coleman, Madison Heights, Va., five bass, 20-4, $5,565
2nd: Bradley Staley, Pleasant Garden, N.C., five bass, 19-11, $2,783
3rd: Brian Calloway, Danville, Va., five bass, 19-1, $1,853
4th: Kevin Pfautz, Raleigh, N.C., five bass, 19-0, $1,299
5th: Marvin Reese, Gwynn Oak, Md., five bass, 18-11, $1,113
6th: Joey Dawson, Rustburg, Va., five bass, 18-4, $1,020
7th: Danny Moss Jr., Norlina, N.C., five bass, 18-0, $881
7th: Brian Peak, Wytheville, Va., five bass, 18-0, $881
9th: Wally Szuba, Cary, N.C., five bass, 17-12, $742
10th: Brandon Reynolds, Callands, Va., five bass, 17-11, $649
Dustin Maccumbee of Bunker Hill, West Virginia, caught a 6-pound, 1-ounce bass – the biggest of the tournament in the pro division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $900.
Ian McRoy of Boones Mill, Virginia, weighed in five bass totaling 20 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to earn $2,783 and win the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Ian McRoy, Boones Mill, Va., five bass, 20-9, $2,783
2nd: David Lanaville, Goldsboro, N.C., five bass, 17-6, $1,391
3rd: Travis Garrett, Charlottesville, Va., five bass, 16-6, $1,376
4th: Matt Stoupa, Colonial Heights, Va., five bass, 15-7, $649
5th: Jonathan Sayers, Wytheville, Va., five bass, 15-2, $557
6th: Dewey Knight, Collinsville, Va., five bass, 14-12, $510
7th: Ben Hudson, Lynchburg, Va., five bass, 14-1, $464
8th: David Stone, Midlothian, Va., four bass, 12-15, $417
9th: Jeff Lederman, Powhatan, Va., five bass, 12-9, $371
10th: Cody Griffey, Newport News, Va., three bass, 12-8, $325
Garrett caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $450.
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.