(Oct 18, 2016 - SENECA, S.C.)
The FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) is headed to Lake Hartwell Oct. 27-29 for the fifth of six BFL regional championships scheduled around the country. The three-day tournament, which is presented by GoPro, will feature the top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers from each of the Bama, Music City, North Carolina and Piedmont BFL divisions.
The winning boater will receive a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower outboard and a check for $20,000, while the winning co-angler will receive a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower outboard. The top six boaters and co-anglers at each regional will advance to one of the longest-running championships in bass fishing – the BFL All-American.
“If I were fishing in this tournament, I’d be targeting docks with a jig,” said Walmart FLW Tour pro Todd Auten of Lake Wylie, South Carolina, a 12-year FLW Tour veteran who finished third at the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup – the world championship of bass fishing. “If there’s some color in the water, I’d use a vibrating jig, but other than that, docks would be the deal.
“The topwater bite should also come into play,” Auten continued. “This time of year, there are a lot of schooling fish. Anglers will find a lot of largemouth and spotted bass schooling with stripers on the main lake and around islands in clear water. I could also see some fish being caught in deeper water near timber on a drop-shot rig, but a lot of bass are on the move.”
Auten said a buzzbait or a topwater bait will be favored for fish roaming the banks.
“Competitors will likely see fish moving in wolf packs,” said Auten. “That means throwing to the banks between docks, and then picking apart the docks with a jig will be a strong pattern.”
Auten went on to say that a three-day cumulative catch of 43 pounds should be able to take top honors.
“I think someone will catch 15 pounds a day and run away with it,” said Auten. “Lake Hartwell has big ones in it and someone will find them.”
Anglers will take off from Clemson Beach and Recreation Area, located at 275 YMCA Circle in Seneca, at 7:30 a.m. EDT each day. Weigh-in on Thursday and Friday will be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at Walmart located at 1636 Sandifer Blvd., beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
The BFL Regional Championship event on Lake Hartwell is being hosted by the Mountain Lakes Convention & Visitors Bureau.
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.