(Mar 28, 2018 - Brandon, MS)
Boater Anthony Thomas of Jackson, Mississippi, caught a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 9 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division event on Ross Barnett Reservoir. For his win, Thomas earned $5,475.
“I fished heavy grass patches in Pelahatchie Bay that had the coontail moss up under them,” said Thomas, who notched his first career win in FLW competition. “I had two areas, but one was more productive because there were bream bedding near the bass. Every year the bream seem to bed in the same area as the bass and they mess with them.”
Thomas said a natural-colored Spro Dean Rojas Bronzeye Poppin’ Frog produced his best bites.
“I caught one fish chasing a bream in practice on a frog and it was cloudy, so I knew I’d do the same thing if it was cloudy during the tournament,” said Thomas. “I only had eight bites all day – four in the morning and then four more throughout the day with my biggest coming around 2 (p.m.).
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Anthony Thomas, Jackson, Miss., five bass, 22-9, $5,475
2nd: Terry Whittington, Laurel, Miss., five bass, 19-5, $2,737
3rd: Michael Savell, Brandon, Miss., five bass, 18-9, $2,697
4th: Ramey Harrell, Brandon, Miss., five bass, 16-5, $1,277
5th: Dave Woodfin, Kosciusko, Miss., five bass, 15-10, $1,095
6th: Marty Torrence, Crystal Springs, Miss., five bass, 14-6, $1,004
7th: Kenny Churchill, Jackson, Miss., five bass, 14-3, $912
8th: Jason Hannah, Forest, Miss., four bass, 13-5, $821
9th: Brent Anderson, Kingston Springs, Tenn., five bass, 12-13, $930
10th: Shannon Denson, Brandon, Miss., five bass, 12-9, $639
Savell weighed a 7-pound, 13-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $870.
Michael Petras of Diberville, Mississippi, won the Co-angler Division and $2,668 Saturday after catching four bass weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Michael Petras, Diberville, Miss., four bass, 12-10, $2,668
2nd: Josh Taylor, Nesbit, Miss., three bass, 10-1, $1,334
3rd: Ken Pecanty, Vicksburg, Miss., four bass, 9-7, $988
4th: Justin Thomas, Braxton, Miss., three bass, 9-3, $673
5th: Marian Hall, Hattiesburg, Miss., two bass, 9-0, $954
6th: Leland Brown, Fulton, Miss., two bass, 7-10, $489
7th: Brent Ladnier, Wiggins, Miss., three bass, 7-1, $445
8th: Adam Horn, Madison, Miss., two bass, 7-0, $400
9th: Ray Higginbotham, Brooksville, Miss., three bass, 6-15, $356
10th: Tim Callahan, Houston, Miss., three bass, 6-10, $311
Hall caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 5 pounds, 14 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $420.
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 Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky. 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.