(Oct 23, 2017 - GAINESVILLE, Ga.)
Boater Jayme Rampey of Liberty, South Carolina, caught a three-day cumulative total of 15 bass weighing 41 pounds, 13 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional event on Lake Lanier presented by General Tire. Rampey pocketed $65,200 for his win, including a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and automatic entry into the 2018 BFL All-American Championship.
Rampey said he focused on shallow docks to catch his fish throughout the weekend. He started each day by fishing near the Laurel Park launch site before heading to the Buford Dam, and said most of his bites came in 2 to 3 feet of water.
“I fished 150 to 200 docks each day,” said Rampey, who notched his seventh career win in BFL competition. “I went to several of them on multiple days, and I never caught fish on the same place more than once. I think they’re really finicky right now and once they see something, they have a really good memory.”
Rampey said he tempted his dock fish with a one-two punch: a white swimbait on a 1/2-ounce Buckeye Lures J-Will jighead and a green-pumpkin-colored stickbait on a 1/16-ounce Buckeye Lures Flick-It head. He alternated between the two until the bass showed their preference.
“On Friday the fish preferred the swimbait, and Saturday I caught my big one on the swimbait and had to grind it out with the Flick-It,” Rampey said. “If they were biting the swimbait, I’d keep on throwing it.”
Rampey said that each day delivered a good morning bite, followed by a lull and then a midday rally from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“You only had a few hours to catch them, and then they were really moody,” said Rampey. “They would follow the bait out and you’d see them, but they wouldn’t bite.”
The top six boaters that qualified for the 2018 BFL All-American were:
1st: Jayme Rampey, Liberty, S.C., 15 bass, 41-13, $65,200
2nd: Jeremy Strong, Elberton, Ga., 15 bass, 37-0, $11,000
3rd: Rob Jordan, Flowery Branch, Ga., 15 bass, 36-14, $5,100
4th: Roger Vinson, Flowery Branch, Ga., 15 bass, 36-7, $3,000
5th: David Nichol, Gainesville, Ga., 15 bass, 34-3, $2,000
6th: Heath Pack, Ellijay, Ga., 15 bass, 33-10, $1,800
Rounding out the top-10 boaters were:
7th: Greg Glouse, Liberty, S.C., 15 bass, 33-1, $1,600
8th: Steve Foster, Jasper, Ga., 14 bass, 32-9, $1,400
9th: Derek Lehtonen, Woodruff, S.C., 15 bass, 32-3, $1,200
10th: Matthew Mollohan, Prosperity, S.C., 13 bass, 29-6, $1,000
Harold Grizzle of Gainesville, Georgia, won the Co-angler Division and a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard with a three-day cumulative catch of 12 bass weighing 25 pounds, 12 ounces.
The top six Co-anglers that qualified for the 2018 BFL All-American were:
1st: Harold Grizzle, Gainesville, Ga., 12 bass, 25-12, $45,100
2nd: Eric Cerny, Alpharetta, Ga., 13 bass, 24-7, $5,000
3rd: Stephen Main, Chester, Va., 12 bass, 22-11, $2,500
4th: Brandon Brock, Honea Path, S.C., 11 bass, 22-2, $1,550
5th: Jeremy Bouldin, Kings Mountain, N.C., 11 bass, 21-13, $1,000
6th: Michael Miller, Greenville, S.C., 11 bass, 21-3, $900
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers were:
7th: Chester Tucker, Seneca, S.C., 10 bass, 19-4, $800
8th: Jay Trudel, Boca Raton, Fla., 10 bass, 18-1, $700
9th: Cody Coker, Comer, Ga., nine bass, 16-13, $600
10th: Derek Petruzelli, Saint Cloud, Fla., eight bass, 15-2, $500
The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Regional Tournament on Lake Lanier was hosted by the Gainesville Convention & Visitors Bureau.
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.