(Sep 25, 2017 - ROCKWOOD, TN.)
Brian Holcomb of Madisonville, Tennessee, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division tournament on Watts Bar Lake Sunday with a two-day cumulative catch of nine bass weighing 22 pounds, 1 ounce. For his win, Holcomb pocketed $6,804.
Holcomb said he started out the event fishing mid-lake pockets near Euchee Marina and Resort.
“I caught them on Saturday throwing a white 3/8-ounce buzzbait,” said Holcomb, who earned his first career-victory in FLW competition. “I targeted isolated milfoil clumps and caught four keepers in less than 2 feet of water.
“On Sunday I went back to the same area, but I couldn’t get a bite on the buzzbait,” continued Holcomb. “I switched to a (Gambler Cane) toad and was able to put together a limit.”
Holcomb said he worked through numerous pockets between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and caught seven keepers to finish out the tournament.
“There had to be a transition on the bottom to the grass,” said Holcomb. “That was the key for me. If there wasn’t deeper water in front of the grass, they wouldn’t be there. I just kept relying on my judgement and it worked out for me.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Brian Holcomb, Madisonville, Tenn., nine bass, 22-1, $4,804 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Kevin Edwards, Knoxville, Tenn., 10 bass, 19-15, $2,302
3rd: Tommy Brown, Louisville, Tenn., seven bass , 19-8, $1,636
4th: Joshua Short, Bean Station, Tenn., seven bass, 17-12, $1,074
5th: Glenn Carter, Rockwood, Tenn., nine bass, 17-8, $921
6th: Kyle Smith, Elizabethton, Tenn., seven bass, 16-14, $844
7th: Jesse Burnett, Knoxville, Tenn., 10 bass, 16-13, $767
8th: Jack Faulkner II, Jacksboro, Tenn., seven bass, 15-6, $691
9th: Derrick Blake, Rockwood, Tenn., seven bass, 15-4, $614
10th: Cody Seeber, Clinton, Tenn., four bass, 14-11, $1,077
Seeber caught a 6-pound, 10-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the Big Bass award of $540.
Chris Viers of Haysi, Virginia, caught a two-day total of four bass weighing 14 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the Co-angler Division and $2,270.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Chris Viers, Haysi, Va., four bass, 14-4, $2,270
2nd: Cameron Crider, Dwale, Ky., five bass, 12-2, $1,135
3rd: Dennis Napier, Dandridge, Tenn., three bass, 11-0, $1,023
4th: Don Bible, Knoxville, Tenn., five bass, 10-0, $530
5th: Jim Neece Sr., Bristol, Va., four bass, 8-14, $454
6th: Jason Khym, Maryville, Tenn., two bass, 7-12, $416
7th: Darren Kelly, Wartburg, Tenn., four bass, 7-4, $478
8th: Justin McGaha, Knoxville, Tenn., three bass, 7-3, $391
9th: Steve Hall, Hillsville, Va., three bass, 6-2, $303
10th: Colton Chambers, Elizabethton, Tenn., two bass, 5-5, $265
Napier caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 6 pounds, 2 ounces – and earned the Co-angler Big Bass award of $266.
The T-H Marine FLW BFL Volunteer Division tournament on Watts Bar Lake was hosted by the Roane County 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 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. The 2018 All-American will be held on Cross Lake in Shreveport, Louisiana, May 31-June 2 and is hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier City Sports Commission and the Red River Waterway Commission. 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.