(Oct 15, 2018 - PALATKA, Fla.)
FLW Tour pro Troy Morrow of Eastanollee, Georgia, caught a three-day cumulative total of 15 bass weighing 57 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional championship on the St. Johns River presented by Ranger. Morrow earned $65,000 for his efforts, including a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and automatic entry into the 2019 BFL All-American Championship.
“I had a rough start to practice. I got in late and had issues with my boat, so I missed some time,” said Morrow, who logged his fourth career victory in BFL competition. “I elected to stay close to where I was staying and learn as much as I could about the area, which was from the north end of Lake George to Little Lake George. I ended up fishing there all three days.
“As practice progressed, I found two shell beds they were schooled up on, so I started there on Day One,” Morrow continued. “I had a limit by the time I got to the second one, but they weren’t as big as they were in practice. After the second shell bed, I ran to some docks. I didn’t want to burn too many docks from my main area, so at about 12:30 (p.m.) I focused on a row of new docks and caught another big one.”
Morrow said that in addition to his keeper on Day One, those particular docks produced a 7-pound, 12-ouncer, on Day Three.
On Day Two, Morrow said he made the same milk run, but the fishing was slower. He said it took him longer to put together a limit and leave his main area.
“Day Three was even slower – I only had five keeper bites and thought I blew it,” said Morrow. “I stayed close to takeoff for the first 20 minutes and caught a keeper. The outgoing tide was later each day, and by Day Three it was approximately 11 (a.m.) before I felt comfortable fishing my key stuff. I went to the shoals, but didn’t get anything. At my main docks, I did get one that was close to 4 pounds at slack tide, which was a bonus. Once the tide got moving I caught the 7-pound, 12-ouncer.”
Morrow finished out the day by catching two keepers at the shoals.
For lures, Morrow said he used a Texas-rigged, Black Grape-colored Zoom Ol’ Monster Worm on a 5/0-sized Gamakatsu round bend hook with a ¼-ounce tungsten weight for both the shoals and the docks. His rig was attached to 20-pound-test Sunline fluorocarbon line and a 7-foot, 6-inch heavy-action Duckett Fishing rod. He also worked in a chrome-colored topwater bait at the shoals.
The top six boaters that qualified for the 2019 BFL All-American were:
1st: Troy Morrow, Eastanollee, Ga., 15 bass, 57-10, $65,000
2nd: Matt Kinney, Bunnell, Fla., 15 bass, 51-0, $10,200
3rd: Grant Kelly, Milledgeville, Ga., 13 bass, 49-11, $5,100
4th: Jason Reed, Hollister, Fla., 15 bass, 49-10, $3,000
5th: Nicholas Hoinig, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 15 bass, 49-6, $2,000
6th: Kip Carter, Mansfield, Ga., 15 bass, 48-11, $2,800
Rounding out the top-10 boaters were:
7th: George Kapiton, Inverness, Fla., 15 bass, 47-5, $1,600
8th: Dylan Peppers, Good Hope, Ga., 15 bass, 47-4, $1,400
9th: Kevin Dees, Montgomery, Ala., 14 bass, 42-5, $1,200
10th: Stacy Adams, Hazlehurst, Ga., 15 bass, 41-8, $1,000
Randy Paquette of Sarasota, Florida, won the Co-angler Division and a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard with a three-day cumulative catch of 10 bass weighing 34 pounds, 10 ounces.
The top six co-anglers that qualified for the 2019 BFL All-American were:
1st: Randy Paquette, Sarasota, Fla., 10 bass, 34-10, $45,200
2nd: Gary Murphy, Homer, Ga., 10 bass, 30-13, $5,050
3rd: Donnie Davis, Greer, S.C., 11 bass, 26-7, $2,500
4th: Ernie Thompson, Anthony, Fla., 13 bass, 24-2, $1,500
5th: Frank Godwin Jr., Bainbridge, Ga., 13 bass, 23-13, $1,000
6th: Levi Crossway, Jacksonville, Fla., 11 bass, 23-7, $900
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers were:
7th: Kenneth Hunnicutt, Jacksonville, Fla., 13 bass, 23-3, $800
8th: Donald Dills, Mineral Bluff, Ga., 10 bass, 23-0, $700
9th: Christian Greico, Tampa, Fla., 10 bass, 22-2, $600
10th: Spencer Sato, Warner Robins, Ga., nine bass, 21-6, $500
The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on the St. Johns River presented by Ranger was hosted by the Putnam County Tourist Development Council.
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 2019 BFL All-American will take place May 30-June 1 on the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland, and is hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners and the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism. 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 FLWFishing.com.
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.