(Apr 11, 2018 - )
Boater Chip Chambers of Elizabethton, Tennessee, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division event on South Holston Reservoir Saturday after catching five bass weighing 18 pounds, 4 ounces. Chambers earned $6,718 for his win.
“I started out cranking some secondary points for prespawn bass on the lower end of the lake,” said Chambers, who notched his first career win in FLW competition. “They were sitting out in 8 to 12 feet of water just waiting for the conditions to be right to head up and spawn.”
Chambers said he used a Rapala DT6 crankbait, custom painted by Norris Lake Baits, and a CP Custom Baits Series 3 crankbait to catch his fish. Around 10 a.m., a change in the weather made Chambers switch patterns and target fish in deeper water.
“I picked up a Sexy Lavender-colored (Major League Lures) Boom Shad swimbait with a ½-ounce head and moved out to more main-channel points,” said Chambers. “The points had some mud and a mix of clay and chunk rock and I ended up catching two 5-pound smallmouth.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Chip Chambers, Elizabethton, Tenn., five bass, 18-4, $4,718 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Todd Nidiffer, LaFollette, Tenn., five bass, 17-4, $1,859
3rd: Kevin Powers, Unicoi, Tenn., five bass, 17-3, $1,238
4th: Wes Crager, Knoxville, Tenn., five bass, 16-5, $867
5th: Steve Coleman, Clayton, Ga., five bass, 16-3, $744
6th: Eddie Ball, Newport, Tenn., five bass, 15-13, $651
6th: Craig Powers, Rockwood, Tenn., five bass, 15-13, $1,136
8th: Steven Brady, Woodlawn, Va., five bass, 15-6, $558
9th: Brian Bogart, Jonesborough, Tenn., five bass, 15-2, $496
10th: Jessie Hall, Sweetwater, Tenn., five bass, 14-14, $634
Craig Powers brought a 6-pound, 4-ounce bass to the scale – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $485.
David Blakely of Kingsport, Tennessee, won the Co-angler Division and $1,959 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 13 pounds, 8 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: David Blakely, Kingsport, Tenn., five bass, 13-8, $1,959
2nd: Colton Bryan, Sevierville, Tenn., four bass, 11-8, $929
3rd: Jose Ramirez, Barbourville, Ky., three bass, 11-2, $526
3rd: Shawn Hudson, Bristol, Va., four bass, 11-2, $526
5th: Chad Ball, Abingdon, Va., four bass, 10-11, $372
6th: Richard Pugh, Knoxville, Tenn., three bass, 10-1, $341
7th: Austin Compton, Raven, Va., four bass, 9-15, $310
8th: Ryan Godsey, Chickamauga, Ga., three bass, 9-6, $279
9th: Cody Hammons, Bluff City, Tenn., four bass, 8-14, $232
9th: Joshua Jernigan, Rocky Top, Tenn., three bass, 8-14, $232
Scott Pittman of Powell, Tennessee, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 6 pounds, 13 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $242.
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.