(Apr 3, 2017 - BYRDSTOWN, TN.)
Tim Phy of Cookeville, Tennessee, brought a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 15 ounces, to the scale Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division event on Dale Hollow Lake. For his win, Phy took home $6,744.
Phy said the fishing was slow for the majority of his morning, but he was able to dial in on some quality bites just before noon.
“I pulled up to some gravel points in a pocket about a mile up the Wolf River,” said Phy, who earned his second victory of the year in BFL competition after winning a Music City Division event on Center Hill Lake last month. “There were three different points that had grass. It went about 10 to 12 feet down into the water and was green and healthy looking. If you were in the grass you wouldn’t get a bite. You had to cast to the shallower side, closer to the bank.”
Phy said he used a D&L jig rigged with either a green-pumpkin-colored Strike King Rage Tail Chunk, or a beaver-style creature bait to catch every fish that he brought to the scale.
“I caught them anywhere from 2 to 6 feet water,” said Phy. “I went back and forth around the points and dragged the jig after I casted. It was pretty simple. I fished it a lot like a Carolina rig.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Tim Phy, Cookeville, Tenn., five bass, 21-15, $4,744 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Adam Wagner, Cookeville, Tenn., five bass, 21-4, $2,222
3rd: Adam Militana, Nashville, Tenn., five bass, 21-3, $1,413
4th: Jason Cooper, Shelbyville, Tenn., five bass, 20-5, $990
5th: Brandon Johnson, Owingsville, Ky., five bass, 19-10, $778
5th: Michael Kennedy, Monroe, Tenn., five bass, 19-10, $778
5th: Terry Ledford, Gray, Ky., five bass, 19-10, $778
8th: Bill Day, Frankfort, Ky., five bass, 19-7, $637
9th: Robert Reagan, Byrdstown, Tenn., five bass, 18-15, $566
10th: William Campbell, Middlesboro, Ky., five bass, 18-12, $495
Aaron Bidarian of Lexington, Kentucky, caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 7 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $600.
Greg Trobaugh of Rickman, Tennessee, weighed in five bass totaling 17 pounds, 3 ounces Saturday to win the Co-angler Division and the top prize of $2,513.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Greg Trobaugh, Rickman, Tenn., five bass, 17-3, $2,513
2nd: Chris Rushing, Gamaliel, Ky., five bass, 17-1, $1,059
3rd: Todd Stopher, London, Ky., five bass, 15-12, $706
4th: Alex Straubing, Cincinnati, Ohio, five bass, 15-2, $544
5th: Larry Fuller, Harrodsburg, Ky., five bass, 15-0, $424
6th: Josh Boone, London, Ky., five bass, 14-10, $388
7th: Billy Gardner, Livingston, Tenn., five bass, 14-0, $353
8th: Raymond Manis, Jamestown, Tenn., five bass, 13-8, $318
9th: Mike Morrison, Prestonsburg, Ky., five bass, 13-7, $282
10th: Billy Hughes, Eubank, Ky., five bass, 11-13, $247
Trobaugh also caught the biggest bass among Co-angler Division anglers, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 7 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $295.
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. 5-7 BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky. 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.