(Sep 18, 2017 - GALLATIN, TN.)
Rocco Simeri of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division event on Old Hickory Lake Sunday with a two-day cumulative catch of eight bass weighing 22 pounds, 8 ounces. For his win, Simeri took home $6,731.
“I probably hit 10 to 15 areas each day of the tournament,” said Simeri, who earned first career-victory in FLW competition. “It was kind of a one-two punch of upper end- and mid-lake-fish, but I stayed mid-lake Sunday. I only had eight keepers all weekend, but still felt lucky. A lot of the anglers only brought in a couple each day.
“I primarily fished secondary creek points,” continued Simeri. “They were basically prespawn or postspawn staging areas. The fish and shad were pulled out due to receding water. My boat sat in 12 feet of water and I casted into spots that were 5 to 7 feet down.”
Simeri said his primary lure was a 5/6-ounce Texas Craw-colored Jewel Bait Finesse Jig with a Watermelon Red-colored Zoom Z Craw Jr. trailer.
“I fished it slow with some short hops,” said Simeri. “I made long casts to the bank and then brought it halfway back to the boat."
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Rocco Simeri, Murfreesboro, Tenn., eight bass, 22-8, $4,731 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Hunter Bouldin, McMinnville, Tenn., 10 bass, 19-1, $2,365
3rd: Brandon Edel, Hendersonville, Tenn., 10 bass, 17-11, $1,511
4th: Adam Wagner, Cookeville, Tenn., 10 bass, 17-2, $1,057
5th: Clark Cowley, Lebanon, Tenn., nine bass, 16-9, $906
6th: John Graves, Mount Juliet, Tenn., seven bass, 14-11, $831
7th: Tony Eckler, Lebanon, Tenn., seven bass, 13-15, $1,272
8th: Josh Tramel, Smithville, Tenn., eight bass, 13-7, $680
9th: Jack Poindexter, Livingston, Tenn., seven bass, 12-4, $604
10th: Mickey Beck, Lebanon, Tenn., six bass, 11-1, $529
Eckler caught a bass weighing 6 pounds, 13 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division. The catch earned him the Boater Big Bass award of $517.
Travis Puckett of Monroe, Tennessee, caught a two-day total of six bass weighing 10 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the Co-angler Division and $2,266.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Travis Puckett, Monroe, Tenn., six bass, 10-4, $2,266
2nd: Robert Russell, Smyrna, Tenn., six bass, 10-3, $1,233
3rd: John Wilkerson, Nashville, Tenn., six bass, 8-5, $805
4th: Brandon Taylor, Russellville, Ky., three bass, 5-4, $529
5th: Sterling Brenneis, Goodlettsville, Tenn., three bass, 5-1, $453
6th: Ron Poland, Murfreesboro, Tenn., two bass, 5-0, $415
7th: Charles Bennington, Scottsville, Ky., five bass, 4-15, $378
8th: Richard Walker, Franklin, Tenn., two bass, 4-7, $340
9th: Todd Knois, Shelbyville, Tenn., two bass, 4-1, $302
10th: Edward Lovely, Manchester, Tenn., two bass, 3-10, $264
Joey Myers of Gallatin, Tennessee, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 3 pounds, 10 ounces – and earned the Co-angler Big Bass award of $259.
The T-H Marine FLW BFL Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake was hosted by the Sumner County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
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.