Fishing & Boating News

North Carolina’s Gillespie Wins FLW Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division Event on James River

Riveras wins co-angler title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Randy Gillespie of Sanford, NC, weighed a 5 bass limit totaling 14 lbs, 11 ozs, to win the 4th (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament of 2016 on the James River.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Aug 1, 2016 - HENRICO, Va.)

 Randy Gillespie of Sanford, North Carolina, weighed a five bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 11 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament of 2016 on the James River presented by Navionics. For his win, Gillespie earned $4,247.
“I primarily flipped wood, rocks and laydowns in Falling Creek,” said Gillespie, who earned his first win in BFL competition. “We caught the outgoing tide and fished in 2- to 3-foot depths. I had a limit in the boat by 8 a.m.”

Gillespie said he ran south and caught another keeper around 9:30 a.m. before returning to the creek to work the incoming tide.

“I caught six of my eight keepers flipping a drop-shot rig with a green-pumpkin Zoom Finesse Worm,” said Gillespie. “It’s definitely an unusual tactic. In practice, the fish wanted something small and compact. I left only an 8-inch leader between the sinker and the bait.”

With five minutes left in the event, Gillespie said he boated a 4-pounder on a Texas-rigged, green-pumpkin Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver out of some grass near the takeoff ramp.

“It was my final cast, and that fish ended up winning the event for me,” said Gillespie. “I guess it was meant to be.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
               1st:          Randy Gillespie, Sanford, N.C., five bass, 14-11, $4,247
               2nd:         Mike Cherry, Hampton, Va., five bass, 14-7, $1,623
               3rd:          Todd Harris, Clemmons, N.C., five bass, 13-14, $1,082
               4th:          Josh Wagy, Dewitt, Va., five bass, 13-11, $958
               5th:          Rick Hawkins, Roanoke, Va., five bass, 12-5, $649
               6th:          Kyle Fisher, Boone, N.C., four bass, 12-0, $568
               6th:          Kelly Pratt, Williamsburg, Va., five bass, 12-0, $568
               8th:          Joel Eberts, Powhatan, Va., five bass, 11-12, $487
               9th:          Kennon Ball, Colonial Heights, Va., five bass, 11-11, $533
               10th:        Harrison Baker, Providence Forge, Va., five bass, 11-4, $379

Michael Martinez of Lanexa, Virginia, caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 15 ounces – the biggest of the tournament in the pro division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $390.

Victor Riveras of Newport News, Virginia, weighed in five bass totaling 18 pounds, 5 ounces, Saturday to win the co-angler division and earn $2,018.

The top 10 co-anglers were:
               1st:          Victor Riveras, Newport News, Va., five bass, 18-5, $2,018
               2nd:         Lavar James, Woodbridge, Va., five bass, 13-12, $812
               3rd:          Brent Enos, Bracey, Va., five bass, 11-4, $541
               4th:          Conner Davis, Bear Creek, N.C., five bass, 10-11, $429
               5th:          Scott Spencer, Raleigh, N.C., five bass, 8-12, $325
               6th:          Roy Alston, Henrico, N.C., five bass, 8-9, $298
               7th:          Greg Fox, Fayetteville, N.C., four bass, 7-12, $271
               8th:          Cornell Badra, Clarksburg, Md., four bass, 6-12, $244
               9th:          Dexter Andrews, Louisburg, N.C., five bass, 6-9, $216
               10th:        Al Berkley, Madison Heights, Va., four bass, 6-6, $189

Riveras also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 14 ounces, and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $195.

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.

About FLW
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.