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FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL)
Blankenship Wins Walmart Bass Fishing League North Carolina Division On Lake Norman

Toney wins co-angler title

by Brady Bolin
Page(s): 1
[Click to enlarge image]

James Blankenship of Lexington, N.C., weighed a 5-bass limit totaling 14 pounds even to win the North Carolina Division event on Lake Norman.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Feb. 26, 2013 - TERRELL, N.C.)...

James Blankenship of Lexington, N.C., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds even Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League North Carolina Division event on Lake Norman. For his victory, Blankenship earned $4,235.

"I hadn’t fished at all over the past two months," said Blankenship. "I was going to fish Thursday and Friday, but the weather was changing so much. I didn’t want to get into a rut of where the fish were the day before, so I chose not to pre-fish.

"My day started out a little slow," Blankenship continued. "I caught one early, but then it really slowed down for me. I was fishing deep brush piles in about 20 feet of water. At about 11 a.m. I pulled up on one brush pile and caught four fish very quick on back-to-back casts, all on a Fish Head Spin with a Zoom Fluke trailer in albino color. I fished around in the area after that and caught several other keepers, but was only able to cull up by a few ounces.

"That’s when I decided to leave there and went up the lake to fish some muddy water," Blankenship went on to say. "I caught one on a dock that went about 3 ? pounds on a black and blue jig. This was crucial to my victory, as I was able to cull and upgrade my catch by almost 2 pounds. I thought my bag would have been top 5 or maybe even top 10, but I really didn’t think it would be enough to win. I guess it was a lot tougher of a day than I had thought."

Rounding out the top 10 pros were:

2nd: Gordon Smith Lake Wylie, S.C. five bass 13-11 $2,118
3rd: Nathan Webber Lake Wylie, S.C. five bass 13-8 $1,413 + Evinrude Bonus: $300
4th: Wayne Hauser Mooresville, N.C. five bass 13-7 $917
4th: Shane Lineberger Lincolnton, N.C. five bass 13-7 $917
6th: Larry Houser Lincolnton, N.C. five bass 13-5 $776
7th: Drew Montgomery Denver, N.C. five bass 12-10 $706
8th: Pete Bejte Charlotte, N.C. five bass 12-8, $635 + Evinrude Bonus: $300
9th: Brian Travis Conover, N.C. five bass 11-13 $565
10th: Kevin Toler Statesville, N.C. five bass 11-11 $494

Tripp Toney of Rutherfordton, N.C., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win $2,118 in the co-angler division.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:

2nd: Kevin Hughes Bristol, Va. five bass 10-6 $1,059
3rd: Andrew Shundich Cornelius, N.C. five bass 8-4 $706
4th: George Hirapetian Charlotte, N.C. five bass 8-0 $494
5th: Mark Murphy Kannapolis, N.C. four bass 7-13 $406
5th: Charles Wood Thomasville, N.C. three bass 7-13 $406
7th: Johnny Guffey Bessemer City, N.C. five bass 7-12 $353
8th: Nicholas Shaver Marion, N.C. five bass 7-10 $318
9th: Brooks Singletary Cherryville, N.C. three bass 7-1 $282
10th: Thomas McDermott Madison, N.C. five bass 7-0 $247

The next BFL North Carolina Division tournament is scheduled for March 16 on Jordan Lake in Sanford, N.C. After the final divisional tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 10-12 Regional Championship on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Ga. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.

The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 40 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing - the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy. The 2013 BFL All-American is being held June 27-29 on the Nickajack Lake in Chattanooga, Tenn. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.

ABOUT FLW
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2013 over the course of 220 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy - the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 559 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the "Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water." For more information about FLW visit the FLWOutdoors website and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.

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