Fishing & Boating News

McKee’s Akemon Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Mountain Division Tournament on Lake Cumberland

Michigan’s Wathen Grabs Co-angler Title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Jason Akemon of McKee, Ky, won the(BFL) Mountain Division event on Lake Cumberland with5 bass weighing 18 lbs, 15 oz.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(May 8, 2018 - BURNSIDE, Ky.)

 Boater Jason Akemon of McKee, Kentucky, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division event on Lake Cumberland Saturday with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 15 ounces. For his efforts, Akemon took home $4,271.

Akemon said he spent his day sight-fishing toward the dam, and that his fish were scattered along a 5-mile stretch.

“I found 11 fish in practice that were worth going after and were fairly protected,” said Akemon, who notched his first career win in FLW competition. “I knew it was going to be windy and rainy, so I needed to have fish I could get to.”

Akemon said he originally planned on targeting smallmouth out deep, but decided to stick with bed-fishing.

“I was afraid the smallmouth bite would fall off with the front coming in, and it did. I fished for them in practice Thursday and by Friday it had already started falling off,” said Akemon. “I knew I could get 18 or 19 pounds bed-fishing and it ended up being the right decision. I had my limit by 7:45 a.m.”
Akemon ended up bringing two smallmouth and three largemouth to the scale. He used two baits - a Z-Man ChatterBait with a Strike King Rage Tail Craw trailer for smallmouth, and a white Texas-rigged Zoom Baby Brush Hog for largemouth.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
               1st:          Jason Akemon, McKee, Ky., five bass, 18-15, $4,271
               2nd:         Ryan Coleman, Utica, Ky., five bass, 17-10, $2,136
               3rd:          Michael Morrison, Georgetown, Ky., five bass, 16-2, $1,424
               4th:          Dwight Fox, Gainesboro, Tenn., five bass, 15-4, $1,125
               4th:          Jason Barr, Fort Campbell, Ky., five bass, 15-4, $925
               6th:          Brian Wilson, Somerset, Ky., five bass, 15-2, $1,183
               7th:          James Copeland, Bowling Green, Ky., five bass, 13-15, $712
               8th:          Robert Reagan, Byrdstown, Tenn., five bass, 13-14, $641
               9th:          Jeff Carman, Liberty, Ky., five bass, 13-13, $569
               10th:        Billy Hall, Florence, Ky., five bass, 13-12, $498

Curtis Hall of Florence, Kentucky, brought a 5-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 $595.

James Wathen of Royal Oak, Michigan, won the Co-angler Division and $2,346 Saturday after bringing four bass weighing 10 pounds, 14 ounces, to the scale.

The top 10 co-anglers were:
               1st:          James Wathen, Royal Oak, Mich., four bass, 10-14, $2,346
               2nd:         Levi Neathery, Albany, Ky., five bass, 10-8, $1,050
               3rd:          Mark Major, Nicholasville, Ky., five bass, 9-7, $701
               4th:          Darren Kelly, Wartburg, Tenn., five bass, 9-5, $540
               5th:          Taylor Wisniewski, Lexington, Ky., five bass, 9-4, $420
               6th:          R.J. Anderson, Beaver Dam, Ky., five bass, 8-13, $385
               7th:          Brian Reed, Cookeville, Tenn., four bass, 8-7, $350
               8th:          Jeff Pergram, Richmond, Ky., four bass, 8-6, $297
               8th:          Michael Skaggs, Brownsville, Ky., four bass, 8-6, $297
               10th:        Doug Adkins, Gray Hawk, Ky., four bass, 8-4, $245

Wathen also caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 3 pounds, 14 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $146.

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. 25-27 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, Tennessee. 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.

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.