(Nov 13, 2017 - GILBERTSVILLE, Ky.)
Boater Kevin Powers of Unicoi, Tennessee, caught a two-day cumulative total of 10 bass weighing 32 pounds, 9 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card event on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his efforts, Powers earned $4,373 and one of the final entries into the 2018 BFL All-American Championship.
The Wild Card tournament is a last-chance shot at the All-American for BFL anglers that didn’t qualify for a Regional Championship.
“I didn’t have a very good year fishing regular-season BFL tournaments, so this was a great way to finish it off,” said Powers, who qualified for his second BFL All-American appearance in his FLW career. “This is my fifth win fishing FLW tournaments. Hopefully it won’t be my last.”
Powers spent the event fishing an array of banks on Lake Barkley.
“I looked for deeper banks on the main channel that had some laydowns on them,” said Powers. “With the water being down right now, and me not knowing the lake, I was just looking for the same things we’d fish back home in east Tennessee.”
For baits, Powers threw a green-pumpkin-colored Lunker Lure Rattleback Jig with a Zoom Big Salty Chunk trailer, as well as a homemade 5/8-ounce chartreuse and white-colored spinnerbait. He said his jig produced the bulk of his keepers, most notably from one laydown that he had found in practice. On the final day of competition, he plucked seven keepers from the spot to seal the deal.
“I hadn’t ever fished it before until Friday. I thought it looked good, but I never imagined that,” said Powers.
The top six boaters that qualified for the 2018 BFL All-American were:
1st: Kevin Powers, Unicoi, Tenn., 10 bass, 32-9, $4,373
2nd: Steve Ruff, Saint Charles, Mo., 10 bass, 28-2, $2,386
3rd: Freddy Palmer, Estill Springs, Tenn., five bass, 19-10, $1,474
4th: Danny Holloway, Corinth, Miss., five bass, 18-6, $1,288
5th: Billy Schroeder, Paducah, Ky., five bass, 17-11, $932
6th: Justin Royal, Vidor, Texas, seven bass, 16-8, $808
Rounding out the top-10 boaters were:
7th: Steve Hatfield, Ashland, Ohio, seven bass, 15-6, $713
8th: Mel Kennedy, Cumming, Ga., five bass, 13-4
9th: Taylor Ramey, Purvis, Miss., four bass, 12-9, $665
10th: Willie Rentmeister, Mount Pulaski, Ill., seven bass, 12-8, $618
Chris Lewis of Longview, Texas, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Boater Division Saturday, a largemouth weighing 7 pounds, 2 ounces, which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass Award of $235.
Scott Stallings of Glencoe, Oklahoma, won the Co-angler Division and $2,235 with a two-day cumulative of four bass weighing 11 pounds, 12 ounces.
The top six co-anglers that qualified for the 2018 BFL All-American were:
1st: Scott Stallings, Glencoe, Okla., four bass, 11-12, $2,235
2nd: Dave Roberts, Indianapolis, Ind., three bass, 8-2, $1,017
3rd: Robert Pillow, Campbellsville, Ky., two bass, 7-14
4th: Cory Miller, Blanchard, Okla., two bass, 7-4, $684
5th: Andrew Nickeson, Valdosta, Ga., three bass, 6-10, $603
6th: Carl Lingle, Dongola, Ill., two bass, 6-7, $434
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers were:
7th: Sank Payton, Bay Springs, Miss., two bass, 5-15, $376
8th: Taylor Wisniewski, Lexington, Ky., two bass, 5-10, $332
9th: Chris O'Bryan, Harned, Ky., three bass, 5-9, $310
10th: W.K. Luckett Jr., Ridgeland, Miss., two bass, 4-14, $288
Alford Cherry of Monroe, Louisiana, caught the heaviest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Saturday, a fish weighing 4 pounds, 6 ounces, which earned him the day’s Co-Angler Big Bass Award of $105.
The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Wild Card Tournament on Kentucky and Barkley lakes was hosted by the Kentucky Lake 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.