(Apr 3, 2017 - ANDERSON, S.C.)
Jayme Rampey of Liberty, South Carolina, brought a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds even to the scale Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division event on Lake Hartwell. For his win, Rampey took home $5,148.
Rampey said he focused on the herring spawn to catch his limit. He said he worked through a 3- to 4-mile stretch on the main lake and was able to catch 60 fish throughout the day.
“It’s a little early for the herring to spawn, but the weather has been warm so I capitalized on bass that were heading out to points to feed on them,” said Rampey, who earned his fifth career-win in BFL competition. “I ran through about 15 points and didn’t even burn seven gallons of fuel.”
Rampey said he used a white Zoom Super Fluke to catch fish in the morning. After 10 a.m. he said he began mixing in a Hitch-colored Zoom Swimmer Paddle Tail Swimbait with a Buckeye Lures J-Will head.
“I caught a couple of my bigger fish with a Buckeye Lures jig rigged with a Zoom Creepy Crawler as well,” said Rampey. “My most productive baits were the Super Fluke and the swimbait, but it was steady all day.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Jayme Rampey, Liberty, S.C., five bass, 22-0, $5,148
2nd: Heath Pack, Ellijay, Ga., five bass, 18-6, $2,474
3rd: Troy Morrow, Eastanollee, Ga., five bass, 18-0, $1,649
4th: Hunter Smith, Seneca, S.C., five bass, 17-4, $1,155
5th: William Shipes, Williston, S.C., five bass, 16-7, $1,090
6th: Nick Rubio, Greer, S.C., five bass, 16-2, $907
7th: Franklin Ramey III, Abbeville, S.C., five bass, 15-14, $1,580
8th: William Fordree, Six Mile, S.C., five bass, 15-13, $742
9th: Derek Lehtonen, Woodruff, S.C., five bass, 15-6, $660
10th: Scott Chatham, Kingston, Ga., five bass, 15-4, $577
Ramey caught a bass weighing 6 pounds, 1 ounce – the largest of the event in the Boater Division – which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $755.
Tony Everhart of Gaffney, South Carolina, won the Co-angler Division title and $2,674 Saturday after weighing in five bass totaling 13 pounds, 13 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Tony Everhart, Gaffney, S.C., five bass, 13-13, $2,674
2nd: Tim Whitaker, Fairview, N.C., five bass, 13-3, $1,237
3rd: Wayne Smelser, Rural Retreat, Va., five bass, 12-8, $750
3rd: Rusty Smith, Six Mile, S.C., five bass, 12-8, $700
5th: Scott Roberts, Asheville, N.C., five bass, 12-4, $474
5th: Jason Whitfield, Anderson, S.C., five bass, 12-4, $474
7th: Brian Nappier, Huntersville, N.C., five bass, 12-2, $391
7th: Harold Grizzle, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 12-2, $391
9th: Evan Benton, Davidson, N.C., five bass, 12-0, $309
9th: Jimmi Leuthner, Tamassee, S.C., five bass, 12-0, $309
Tim Holbrooks of Franklin, North Carolina, caught the biggest bass among the Co-anglers, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 9 ounces. The catch earned Holbrooks the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $377.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 19-21 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.
The 2017 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they 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 performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the 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 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 274 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa 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.