(Mar 28, 2018 - HUDDLESTON, Va.)
Boater Kevin Chandler of New London, North Carolina, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament on Smith Mountain Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces. For his efforts, Chandler pocketed $7,327.
Chandler caught the majority of his fish targeting rocks in the west arm of Smith Mountain Lake. He said he used green-pumpkin- and black and blue-colored custom jigs with Zoom Super Chunk Jr. trailers.
“I just dragged the jig along the bottom. All of the fish I weighed in except for one came from rocks – the fifth came from a pier pole,” said Chandler, who earned his sixth win in BFL competition. “Most were in 3 to 8 feet of water and I was able to put 12 keepers in the boat.”
Chandler credited his 7-foot, 2-inch Medium Heavy Level Rod and Abu Garcia REVO STX Gen 4 Casting Reel as being crucial to his success.
“In my opinion, that rod has the perfect tip. You can make soft presentations and it has the backbone you need to get the hook in and catch them,” said Chandler.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Kevin Chandler, New London, N.C., five bass, 20-12, $5,327 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: David Perdue, Wirtz, Va., five bass, 19-13, $2,164
3rd: Ben Reynolds, Callands, Va., five bass, 18-6, $1,377
4th: Brian Calloway, Danville, Va., five bass, 17-13, $963
5th: Scott Hamrick, Denver, N.C., four bass, 16-11, $825
6th: Chris Lewis, Dublin, Va., five bass, 15-15, $757
7th: Justin Hicks, Roanoke, Va., five bass, 15-14, $688
8th: Bradley Staley, Pleasant Garden, N.C., five bass, 15-11, $619
9th: Eric Bailey, Lexington, N.C., five bass, 15-7, $550
10th: Chris Brummett, Lynch Station, Va., five bass, 15-6, $482
Gary D’Angelo of Woodbine, Maryland, weighed a 7-pound, 6-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $575.
Isaac Jones of Shawsville, Virginia, won the Co-angler Division and $2,059 Saturday after catching three bass weighing 14 pounds, 1 ounce.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Isaac Jones, Shawsville, Va., three bass, 14-1, $2,059
2nd: Kurt Moser, Max Meadows, Va., five bass, 12-11, $1,030
3rd: Jason Hinger, Timberlake, N.C., three bass, 12-3, $787
4th: Craig Wheeler, King George, Va., five bass, 10-8, $480
5th: David DeCiucis, Chester, Va., four bass, 10-5, $412
6th: Pat Kendrick, Bumpass, Va., three bass, 10-3, $378
7th: Josea Goble, Newton, N.C., three bass, 10-2, $343
8th: Shane Robbins, Raleigh, N.C., three bass, 9-11, $309
9th: Jamie Newton, Falls Church, Va., four bass, 9-8, $275
10th: Tony Laaper, Pittsboro, N.C., two bass, 9-4, $290
Steve Mazingo of Bedford, Virginia, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 6 pounds, 1 ounce. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $282.
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.