(Mar 6, 2018 - Appling, GA)
Boater Bart Blackburn of North Augusta, South Carolina, caught a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 6 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division event on Clarks Hill Lake. Blackburn earned $4,319 for his win.
Blackburn said he began his day fishing ditches with a green-pumpkin-colored Zoom Trick Worm. He said he caught a limit for about 12 pounds, including one that he weighed in.
“I figured 12 pounds wouldn’t be enough to win so I ended up switching patterns,” said Blackburn, who logged his first career win in FLW competition. “I realized the fish had pulled out into deeper water from where they were last week because of a cold front, so I went out into 7 to 12 feet of water and threw a crankbait.”
Blackburn used a ½-ounce Red Craw-colored Daiwa Flat Flash Crank to scour humps that had rock piles. After a while, he was able to find an area loaded with bait and fish.
“I look for loons diving for food this time of year, and the area had one loon that was really active,” said Blackburn. “I culled three fish, and picked up another good keeper from similar structure to finish out my day.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Bart Blackburn, North Augusta, S.C., five bass, 17-6, $4,319
2nd: Dustin Henson, Landrum, S.C., five bass, 17-3, $2,059
3rd: Woody Parks, Lincolnton, Ga., five bass, 14-13, $1,474
4th: Morne Duvenhage, Whigham, Ga., five bass, 14-9, $961
5th: Jason Duncan, Commerce, Ga., five bass, 13-15, $824
6th: Benny Rigney, Williamston, S.C., five bass, 13-14, $720
6th: Chris Nelson, Social Circle, Ga., five bass, 13-14, $720
8th: Chris Hadden, North Augusta, S.C., five bass, 13-11, $618
9th: Jerry Morgan, Inman, S.C., five bass, 13-7, $1,114
10th: Brad Gambrell, Seneca, S.C., five bass, 13-4, $456
10th: Charles Doyle, Augusta, Ga., five bass, 13-4, $456
Morgan caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 11 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $565.
Stewart Uldrick of Anderson, South Carolina, won the Co-angler Division and $2,300 Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 5 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Stewart Uldrick, Anderson, S.C., five bass, 12-5, $2,300
2nd: Caleb Hudson, Evans, Ga., five bass, 12-3, $999
2nd: Don Johnson, Townville, S.C., five bass, 12-3, $858
4th: Brandon Graham, Greer, S.C., five bass, 11-11, $530
5th: Ronnie Cutshall, Piedmont, S.C., five bass, 11-3, $412
6th: Dennis Henderson, Ware Shoals, S.C., five bass, 11-2, $378
7th: Dale Ball, Asheville, N.C., five bass, 10-10, $343
8th: Bill Hawkins, Piedmont, S.C., four bass, 10-8, $309
9th: Joshua Lyko, Greer, S.C., five bass, 10-6, $275
10th: Brandon Brock, Honea Path, S.C., five bass, 9-11, $240
Uldrick also caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a 5-pound, 15-ounce fish. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $141.
The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division event on Clarks Hill Lake was hosted by the Columbia County Board of Commissioners.
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. 11-13 BFL Regional Championship on the St. Johns River in Palatka, Florida. 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 2018 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 BFL All-American will be held May 31-June 2 at Cross Lake in Shreveport, Louisiana, and is hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier Sports 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 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. 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.