(Sep 12, 2017 - GAINESVILLE, GA.)
Brad Wiley of Alto, Georgia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament on Lake Lanier Sunday with a two-day cumulative catch of 10 bass weighing 28 pounds, 2 ounces. For his efforts, Wiley took home $5,942.
Wiley said he spent his weekend fishing on the south end of the lake, near the dam. He said he targeted schooling fish and rotated through five areas throughout the tournament.
“I concentrated on a hump, a ridge, a channel swing and some standing timber,” said Wiley, who earned his first career-win in FLW competition. “The wind made the tournament difficult. On Saturday, there were gusts up to 20 mph, and on Sunday they reached 40 mph. I couldn’t get anything going in the creeks, so there wasn’t much shelter.”
Wiley said he used a white Fish Head Spin Underspin with a White Pearl-colored Zoom Super Fluke to catch the majority of his fish.
“With the strong winds there weren’t many options for lures, especially yesterday (Sunday),” said Wiley. “The Underspin worked well because it handled the gusts and got down into those 40-foot depths where fish were suspended in the trees. Standing timber ended up being the most productive cover for me.”
Wiley said he also caught key fish using a Megabass Ito Vision 110 jerkbait.
“I used the jerkbait in the morning until the wind picked up,” said Wiley. “I actually caught my heaviest fish on it, including one Sunday that came early on my third or fourth cast.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Brad Wiley. Alto, Ga., 10 bass, 28-2, $5,942
2nd: Kip Carter, Social Circle, Ga., 10 bass, 26-15, $2,971
3rd: Brock Turner, Jasper, Ga., 10 bass, 25-2, $1,983
4th: Rob Jordan, Flowery Branch, Ga., 10 bass, 24-9, $1,386
5th: Phil Johnson, Alpharetta, Ga., 10 bass, 23-8, $1,188
6th: John Duvall, Madison, Ga., 10 bass, 21-14, $1,289
7th: Patrick Bone, Cleveland, Ga., eight bass, 21-8, $990
8th: Chris Baxter, Winder, Ga., 10 bass, 20-15, $1,191
9th: Trent Palmer, Alpharetta, Ga., 10 bass, 20- 8, $792
10th: Heath Pack, Ellijay, Ga., nine bass, 19-12, $693
Kim Carver of Milledgeville, Georgia, caught a bass weighing 3 pounds, 14 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division. The catch earned him the Boater Big Bass award of $802.
Spencer Sato of Warner Robins, Georgia, weighed a two-day cumulative total of nine bass totaling 22 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the Co-angler Division and $2,971.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Spencer Sato, Warner Robins, Ga., nine bass, 22-4, $2,971
2nd: Mark Denney, Bonaire, Ga., eight bass, 18-12, $1,586
3rd: Ben Brisbois, Gainesville, Ga., eight bass, 18-9, $989
4th: James Akins, Cumming, Ga., nine bass, 18-4, $693
5th: Sam Naib, Atlanta, Ga., nine bass, 17-1, $594
6th: Drew Harbin, Winder, Ga., eight bass, 16-5, $595
7th: Tony DiMauro, Watkinsville, Ga., eight bass, 16-2, $495
8th: Harold Grizzle, Gainesville, Ga., seven bass, 15-0, $446
9th: Randy Smith, Fayetteville, Ga., seven bass, 14-0, $396
10th: Undre Montgomery, Cumming, Ga., seven bass, 12-12, $347
Kevin Haggarty of Flowery Branch, Georgia, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 4 pounds, 1 ounce – and earned the Co-angler Big Bass award of $401.
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 Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Alabama. 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 258 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.