(Oct 12, 2016 - HENDERSON, N.C.)
David Wright of Lexington, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 6 ounces, Saturday to win the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional event on Kerr Lake presented by Evinrude, with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 43 pounds, 9 ounces. For his win, Wright earned $65,000, including a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard, and a berth into the 2017 BFL All-American Championship.
Wright said he spent the majority of the tournament concentrating on flats with stumps and brush, or drops with rocks along a 10-mile stretch in Nutbush Creek.
“I started Thursday fishing a shaky-head jig with a Zoom Trick Worm because that’s what I had caught most of my fish on in practice,” said Wright, who logged his eleventh career win in FLW competition. “At my first area - a rock in a channel - I noticed two bass were following it as I was winding in.
When I noticed that, I told myself I ought to be throwing a crankbait. So I picked one up and never threw anything else.”
Wright said he rotated between Hot Mustard-colored Rapala DT10 and DT16 crankbaits, and a Bluegill-colored DT14, depending on how deep he was fishing.
“Around 11:30 a.m. I only had three fish for six pounds,” said Wright. “Around 1 p.m., I worked in a WEC Lures Crankbait and caught a 6-pounder. That’s the biggest fish I’ve caught in those waters in 20 years.”
On Day Two, Wright said he returned to his key areas and boated 15 keepers. He cited the DT14 as his most productive bait.
Wright said he continued rotating through his crankbaits on the final day of the event, and was able to piece together his limit on a fairly consistent basis.
“I went to a stump and caught two keepers in the morning,” said Wright. “From there, they got bigger. I caught a few more before lining up with two trees that I knew well. There, I caught a 4-pounder that I’m almost certain I had lost earlier in the event. I was feeling pretty good by then. I brought in what I had thinking I only had about 12 pounds, but ended up weighing more than 13 pounds.”
The top six boaters that qualified for the 2017 BFL All-American were:
1st: David Wright, Lexington, N.C., 15 bass, 43-9, $65,000
2nd: Brandon Gray, Bullock, N.C., 15 bass, 35-5, $10,000
3rd: Richard Phillips, Asheville, N.C., 11 bass, 34-7, $5,200
4th: Cavin Young, Prince George, Va., 13 bass, 34-2, $3,100
5th: Derrick Snavely, Johnson City, Tenn., 13 bass, 32-14, $2,000
6th: Chris Daves, Spring Grove, Va., 13 bass, 31-8, $1,800
Rounding out the top-10 boaters were:
7th: Scott Browning, Franklin, N.C., 13 bass, 29-6, $1,600
8th: Kenny Beale Jr., Blairs, Va., 11 bass, 29-0, $1,400
9th: Randy Childers, Anderson, S.C., 12 bass, 28-8, $1,200
10th: Tony Woodard, Four Oaks, N.C., 11 bass, 27-9, $1,000
Peter Balishin of Sharps Chapel, Tennessee, won the co-angler division and a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard with a three-day cumulative catch of 11 bass weighing 24 pounds even.
The top six co-anglers that qualified for the 2017 BFL All-American were:
1st: Peter Balishin, Sharps Chapel, Tenn., 11 bass, 24-0, $45,000
2nd: David Winters, Rock Hill, S.C., eight bass, 21-3, $5,200
3rd: David Primavera, Winder, Ga., 11 bass, 20-15, $2,500
4th: Donnie Davis, Greer, S.C., eight bass, 20-13, $1,550
5th: Greg Ravitsky, Ashburn, Va., eight bass, 20-8, $1,000
6th: Timothy Wacker, Knoxville, Tenn., eight bass, 20-4, $900
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers were:
7th: Henry McKee, Haddon Heights, N.J., nine bass, 20-3, $800
8th: Don Bible, Knoxville, Tenn., eight bass, 18-12, $700
9th: Tony Toombs, Drakes Branch, Va., eight bass, 18-12, $600
10th: Tim Manning, Whitesburg, Tenn., six bass, 16-3, $500
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. The 2017 BFL All-American will be held May 31-June 3 on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Alabama. 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, South Korea and South Africa. 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.