(May 23, 2017 - Henderson, NC)
Boater Travis Ruff of Connelly Springs, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds even Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) North Carolina Division event on Kerr Lake. Ruff took home $5,466 for his victory.
“I had an awesome day,” said Ruff, who earned his first career win in BFL competition. “I fished the shad spawn in Nutbush Creek all day long, throwing a Lucky Craft Sammy around the bushes. I caught probably a dozen fish total, with 8 or 9 keepers.”
Ruff said that he was targeting points in Nutbush Creek and fished around 10 to 12 different areas.
“The key was the shad spawn,” Ruff said. “I discovered it in practice and knew that it was going to be the deal.”
Ruff said that his Lucky Craft Sammy that he threw was Ghost Minnow-colored. He did catch a couple of fish flipping a Zoom Brush Hog, but all of his keepers that he weighed in came on the topwater Sammy.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Travis Ruff, Connelly Springs, N.C., five bass, 18-0, $3,466 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Israel Gibson, Spruce Pine, N.C., five bass, 16-15, $2,033
3rd: Michael Chlomoudis, Murfreesboro, N.C., five bass, 14-13, $1,155
4th: James Blankenship, Siler City, N.C., five bass, 14-7, $751
4th: Jake Frye, Charlotte, N.C., five bass, 14-7, $751
5th: Cole Blythe, Charlotte, N.C., five bass, 14-2, $835
7th: Buddy Black, Lawndale, N.C., five bass, 13-13, $678
8th: Mike Winchester, Bryson City, N.C., five bass, 13-10, $520
9th: Ryan Deal, Indian Trail, N.C., five bass, 13-7, $462
10th: Wesley Cashwell, Roanoke Rapids, N.C., five bass, 13-1, $404
Marty Warren of Elon, North Carolina, caught a 5-pound, 2-ounce bass, which was the heaviest of the tournament in the Boater Division. The catch earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $435.
Barry Burford of Charlotte, North Carolina, weighed in five bass totaling 14 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the Co-angler Division and the top prize of $1,928.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Barry Burford, Charlotte, N.C., five bass, 14-2, $1,928
2nd: J.R. Milligan, Merry Hill, N.C., five bass, 10-5, $856
3rd: Steven Spivey, Whiteville, N.C., five bass, 10-4, $571
4th: Justin Bach, Kannapolis, N.C., four bass, 9-14, $600
5th: Brian Mann, Ballard, W.Va., five bass, 9-12, $343
6th: Lee McConnell, Lewisville, N.C., four bass, 9-8, $364
7th: Nathan Grose, Summersville, W.Va., four bass, 9-2, $285
8th: Joel Cerv, North Wilkesboro, N.C., five bass, 8-11, $257
9th: Tommy Young, Linden, N.C., three bass, 8-10, $228
10th: Brian Souza, Cornelius, N.C., three bass, 8-9, $200
Burford weighed a 4-pound, 14-ounce bass which also earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award and $215.
The T-H Marine BFL at Kerr Lake was hosted by the Vance County Department of Tourism.
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. 12-14 BFL Regional Championship on the James River in Williamsburg, Virginia. 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.