(Mar 12, 2018 - Byrdstown, TN)
Boater Rod Huff of Monterey, Tennessee, caught five bass Saturday weighing a total of 19 pounds, 5 ounces, to take top honors at the 2018 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music Division season opener on Dale Hollow Lake. Huff earned $6,586 for his win.
“I basically fished the last deep water before spawning flats,” said Huff, who logged his first career win in FLW competition. “The water was stained, and I probably had 30 to 35 different stops – all mid-lake.”
Huff said he rotated between a variety of lures during the tournament, but caught his limit using a ½-ounce green-pumpkin-colored Zorro Baits Booza Bug Jig and a Zorro Baits Swim Jig with green-pumpkin Strike King Rage Craw trailers.
“The areas had rocks, and most of the fish were caught in 2 to 8 feet of water,” said Huff. “Sometimes I casted all the way to the bank and worked the lure back, and sometimes I made short casts.”
Huff said he caught seven keepers throughout the day, culling out two fish to complete his 19-pound limit.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Rod Huff, Monterey, Tenn., five bass, 19-5, $4,586 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Robert Reagan, Byrdstown, Tenn., five bass, 16-9, $1,693
3rd: Dylan Wright, Murfreesboro, Tenn., five bass, 16-1, $1,129
4th: Tony Eckler, Lebanon, Tenn., five bass, 15-10, $790
5th: Bennie Mutter, Glasgow, Ky., five bass, 15-5, $649
5th: Aaron Bidarian, Lexington, Ky., five bass, 15-5, $649
7th: J.R. Stalcup, Albany, Ky., five bass, 14-11, $564
8th: Chris Holland, Winchester, Tenn., five bass, 14-10, $508
9th: Michael Kennedy, Monroe, Tenn., four bass, 14-7, $551
10th: Josh Tramel, Smithville, Tenn., five bass, 14-2, $395
Jason White of Sparta, Tennessee, weighed a 5-pound, 3-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $425.
Mike Morrison of Prestonsburg, Kentucky, won the Co-angler Division and $1,693 Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 12 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Mike Morrison, Prestonsburg, Ky., five bass, 12-12, $1,693
2nd: Brian Reed, Cookeville, Tenn., four bass, 12-4, $846
3rd: Bryan Brinson, Hendersonville, Tenn., five bass, 12-0, $564
4th: Darren Kelly, Wartburg, Tenn., three bass, 11-14, $807
5th: Brandon Eden, Hartsville, Tenn., four bass, 10-15, $339
6th: Nathan Adams, House Springs, Mo., three bass, 8-5, $360
7th: William Woods, Bowling Green, Ky., three bass, 6-10, $282
8th: Devin Bargatze, Nashville, Tenn., two bass, 6-9, $240
8th: Donnie Rubel, Murfreesboro, Tenn., three bass, 6-9, $240
10th: Brandon Taylor, Russellville, Ky., two bass, 6-4, $198
Kelly caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 5-pounds, 8-ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $212.
The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division event on Dale Hollow Lake was hosted by Star Point Marina.
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. 18-20 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Norman in Huntersville, North Carolina. 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.