Fishing & Boating News

Williams Leads Wire-to-Wire, Wins FLW Tour at Lewis Smith Lake

North Carolina Angler fends off 181 FLW Tour pros with more than 64 pounds, earns $100k

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

David Williams of Maiden, NC, brought a 13-lb, 13-oz, limit of bass to the stage to win the FLW Tour at Lewis Smith Lake with a 4-day cumulative total of 20 bass weighing 64 lbs, 9 oz.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Apr 29, 2018 - Jaspeer, AL)

 Pro David Williams of Maiden, North Carolina, brought a 13-pound, 13-ounce, limit of bass to the weigh-in stage Sunday to win the FLW Tour at Lewis Smith Lake presented by T-H Marine with a four-day cumulative total of 20 bass weighing 64 pounds, 9 ounces. For his dominant showing on the water this week, Williams earned $102,700 and moved up to the No. 4 position in the Pennzoil Marine Angler of the Year race.

“It’s an incredibly tough field of anglers and each one dreams of winning one of these tournaments. To win one in my first year on Tour is pretty special,” said Williams, who earned his first career Tour-level win and is now extremely likely to qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup. “It’s been a long time coming and its extra special when you really have to work for it.”

During the tournament Williams targeted the morning shad spawn, skipping a jig around and under docks up the White Oak, Crooked and Rock creek arms. He was able to rack up the majority of his weight fairly quickly each morning, catching both largemouth and spotted bass.

“I had no idea I’d lead from start to finish – I didn’t really have that great of a practice,” said Williams. “I had one good area and didn’t really realize how many fish were in there. But, I was able to milk it for four days. It was pretty incredible.”

Williams said his main baits this week were a white Queen Tackle Tungsten Swim Jig and a TrueSouth Custom Lures Fathead Jig with a Bizz Baits Cutter Craw and Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw as trailers. He also worked a TrueSouth Shimmy Jig with a Zoom Z Craw and a TrueSouth V-Twin buzzbait near flooded cover, in between docks, to lure a few key bites as well.

“Lewis Smith Lake fishes a lot like our lakes back home in North Carolina and that’s the reason I think that I did well,” said Williams.

The final 10 Pros on Lewis Smith Lake finished:
               1st:          David Williams, Maiden, N.C., 20 bass, 64-9, $102,700
               2nd:         John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 20 bass, 59-12, $30,000
               3rd:          Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., 20 bass, 59-2, $25,000
               4th:          Pennzoil Marine pro Matt Arey, Shelby, N.C., 20 bass, 57-6, $20,100
               5th:          Jordan Osborne, Longview, Texas, 20 bass, 54-10, $19,000
               6th:          Jason Reyes, Huffman, Texas, 20 bass, 54-8, $18,000
               7th:          Clent Davis, Montevallo, Ala., 20 bass, 52-2, $17,000
               8th:          Matt Becker, Finleyville, Pa., 20 bass, 51-12, $16,000
               9th:          Todd Auten, Lake Wylie, S.C., 20 bass, 50-9, $15,000
               10th:        Jimmy Reese, Witter Springs, Calif., 20 bass, 50-5, $14,000

Overall there were 50 bass weighing 128 pounds, 1 ounce, caught by the final 10 pros Sunday. All 10 pros weighed a five-bass limit.

Joel Willert of Prior Lake, Minnesota, won the Co-angler Division and $20,100 Friday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 24 pounds, 4 ounces. After winning the Co-angler title at Lake Cumberland earlier this month, Willert became the fifth co-angler in FLW Tour history to win back-to-back events.

Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Lewis Smith Lake presented by T-H Marine will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) June 6 from Noon-1 p.m. EST. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide.

The total purse for the FLW Tour at Lewis Smith Lake presented by T-H Marine was more than $930,000. The event was hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County. The next tournament for FLW Tour anglers will be the FLW Tour at Kentucky Lake presented by Costa, May 17-20, in Gilbertsville, Kentucky, hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau.

In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The full field of anglers competed in the two-day opening round. Co-angler competition concluded following Friday’s weigh-in, while the top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advanced to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continued competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.
Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2018 Forrest Wood Cup will be on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 10-12 and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.

For complete details and updated information visit

About FLW
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.