(Apr 18, 2016 - SUMMERTON, S.C.)
Ronnie McCoy of Lamar, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 25 pounds, 5 ounces, Saturday to win the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division tournament on Santee Cooper presented by Navionics. For his win, McCoy took home $5,756.
McCoy said he spent his day in the Wyboo area of Potato Creek fishing various clumps of cypress trees.
“We had a cold front blow through Friday night so the morning bite was slow, especially near trees where there wasn’t any wind,” said McCoy, who earned the second win of his career in FLW competition. “I decided to move to a group of trees that the wind was hitting on the Potato Creek side and caught three fish. The wind definitely affected how the bass were setting up in the water.”
McCoy said he threw a Buckeye Lures Su-Spin Blade spinnerbait with a white Zoom Split Tail Trailer to catch his initial keepers.
“At 1:30 p.m. I went into a smaller creek off Potato looking for spawning fish,” said McCoy. “Within 30 minutes I caught three 6-pounders off of three different beds using a green-pumpkin-colored Zoom Roadkill Craw. That was the deal-maker. The craw, with its unique shape, is great for sight-fishing.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Ronnie McCoy, Lamar, S.C., five bass, 25-5, $3,756 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Bradford Beavers, Ridgeville, S.C., five bass, 24-8, $1,878
3rd: Ken Ellis, Bowman, S.C., five bass, 23-10, $1,253
4th: Mark Hutson, Moncks Corner, S.C., five bass, 23-4, $1,366
5th: Greg Rikard, Leesville, S.C., five bass, 23-3, $751
6th: Jason Morse, Sumter, S.C., five bass, 22-1, $689
7th: Chris Gramling, Gilbert, S.C., five bass, 21-9, $626
8th: Marty Quesada Jr., Appling, Ga., five bass, 21-7, $863
9th: Dustin Henson, Landrum, S.C., five bass, 20-13, $501
10th: Brent Riley, Cross, S.C., five bass, 20-9, $438
Hutson caught a 9-pound, 10-ounce bass – the biggest of the tournament in the pro division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $490.
Rodney Tapp of North Augusta, South Carolina, weighed in five bass totaling 15 pounds, 13 ounces, Saturday to win the co-angler division and earn $1,973.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Rodney Tapp, North Augusta, S.C., five bass, 15-13, $1,973
2nd: Jeffrey Borne, Leesville, S.C., four bass, 14-0, $876
3rd: Mark Wingate, Gaston, S.C., five bass, 12-7, $585
4th: Jack Hoy, Hollywood, S.C., four bass, 12-1, $409
5th: Beau Wilder, Charlotte, N.C., three bass, 11-10, $351
6th: Randy Brown, Lugoff, S.C., four bass, 10-7, $306
6th: Jeff Rikard, Leesville, S.C., three bass, 10-7, $306
8th: Joseph Thomasson, Columbia, S.C., four bass, 9-4, $263
9th: Chris Newton, Martinez, Ga., two bass, 7-11, $234
10th: Virgil Wicks, Gaffney, S.C., two bass, 7-1, $204
Tapp also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 8 pounds even, and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $220.
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.