(May 9, 2017 - MARBURY, Md.)
Aaron Dixon of Bel Alton, Maryland, brought five bass totaling 21 pounds, 9 ounces to the scale Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division tournament on the Potomac River. For his limit, Dixon earned $3,901.
“I primarily fished north of the takeoff ramp in a protected cove,” said Dixon, who earned his first career-victory in BFL competition. “I worked up and down the bank and was able to target bass in all three phases of the spawn.”
Dixon said the fact that bass were in all three phases was what made his 100- to 150-yard stretch of shoreline unique. He said that spawning bass were 4 feet down on pea gravel, and that pre- and postspawn bass were 6 to 10 feet deep in grass.
“I made long casts using a black and blue-colored (Yamamoto Baits) Senko and was able to hit both depths on the retrieve,” said Dixon. “The key factor was the protection in the cove and the deep water. With the extra-high tide, the bass that were there didn’t have to move – they just stayed in the grass.”
After the bite slowed around 10:30 a.m., Dixon said he encountered problems with his engine mounts and was forced to return early to the takeoff ramp.
“We really only got to fish for four hours because of the mounts,” said Dixon. “Luckily I already had enough in my livewell to win it.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Aaron Dixon, Bel Alton, Md., five bass, 21-9, $3,901
2nd: Frank Ippoliti, Mercersburg, Pa., five bass, 19-3, $1,733
3rd: Richard Haber, Linthicum, Md., five bass, 18-4, $982
3rd: Todd Harris, Clemmons, N.C., five bass, 18-4, $1,182
5th: Brian Tucci, Surfside Beach, S.C., five bass, 17-4, $693
6th: Timothy McFaul, Egg Harbor Township, N.J., five bass, 16-14, $635
7th: Todd Langford, Great Falls, Va., five bass, 16-9, $578
8th: Joseph Thompson, Coatesville, Pa., five bass, 16-3, $520
9th: Otis Darnell, Linden, Va., five bass, 16-0, $462
10th: Brian LaClair, Denton, Md., five bass, 15-11, $404
Dixon also caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 14 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $435.
Craig Wright of Rustburg, Virginia, won the Co-angler Division and $1,833 Saturday after bringing a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 10 ounces to the scale.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Craig Wright, Rustburg, Va., five bass, 17-10, $1,833
2nd: Carl Whipple, Manassas, Va., five bass, 17-4, $916
3rd: Daniel Moon Jr., Lynchburg, Va., five bass, 16-12, $577
4th: Travis Garrett, Charlottesville, Va., five bass, 15-6, $404
5th: Timothy Kinder, Manassas, Va., five bass, 14-9, $347
6th: Tom Carpenter, Alexandria, Va., five bass, 14-7, $318
7th: John Castro, Lorton, Va., five bass, 13-15, $289
8th: Moo Bae, West Friendship, Md., five bass, 13-12, $260
9th: Bill Naron, Beaverdam, Va., five bass, 13-8, $231
10th: Howard Williams, District Heights, Md., five bass, 13-6, $192
10th: Jeff Mellott, Warfordsburg, Pa., five bass, 13-6, $192
Elliot Pilson of Stuart, Virginia, caught the biggest bass among Co-angler Division anglers, a fish weighing 4 pounds, 6 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $217.
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.