Fishing & Boating News

Leonard Wins Walmart Bass Fishing League Volunteer Division Finale on Douglas Lake

Holder wins co-angler title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Bryan Leonard of Blountville, Tennessee, weighed a 5-bass limit totaling 16 lbs, 10 ozs Sunday to win the Volunteer Division Super Tournament on Douglas Lake with a 2-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 lbs, 9 ozs. Leonard earned a $6,732 check for his win.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Sep 28, 2015 - KODAK, TN.) Bryan Leonard of Blountville, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 10 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Volunteer Division Super Tournament on Douglas Lake with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 9 ounces. For his victory, Leonard earned $6,732.
 
“The fishing was tough in this tournament,” said Leonard of his first win in FLW competition “The lake was being drawn down 8 inches a day and it affected my strategy.
 
“On Saturday morning I focused on an area down south near the Douglas Dam,” continued Leonard. “I threw a bone-colored Heddon Zara Spook topwater and caught my biggest fish around noon at the end of a bluff point. After that my co-angler and I did a lot of junk-fishing. I caught approximately 12 keepers.
 
“On day two I started out with the Zara Spook but decided to put it down after an hour,” said Leonard. “I headed up the French Broad River to the headwaters and found an area with clear water.”
 
Leonard said he used a spinnerbait and a green-pumpkin jig rigged with a green-pumpkin Berkley PowerBait Chigger Craw to catch 10 keepers on Sunday.
 
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
 
1st:          Bryan Leonard, Blountville, Tenn., 10 bass, 27-9, $4,732 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd:         Tim Smiley, White Pine, Tenn., 10 bass, 23-11, $2,366
3rd:          Dale Pelfrey, Rockwood, Tenn., seven bass, 22-12, $1,577
4th:          Michael Cantrell, Philadelphia, Tenn., 10 bass, 21-11, $1,104
5th:          Tim Saylor, Johnson City, Tenn., 10 bass, 20-1, $946
6th:          Eddie Ball, Newport, Tenn., 10 bass, 19-8, $868
7th:          Tee Watkins, East Point, Ky., 10 bass, 17-8, $789
8th:          Bill Freeman, Knoxville, Tenn., six bass, 17-4, $710
9th:          Steve Redmond, Waynesville, N.C., eight bass, 16-5, $631
10th:        Shane Sloan, Knoxville, Tenn., six bass, 15-7, $552
             
 
Ball caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division Friday. The fish weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $555.
 
Donnie Holder of Mooresburg, Tennessee, won the co-angler division and $2,238 with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 16 pounds, 13 ounces.
 
The top 10 co-anglers were:
 
1st:          Donnie Holder, Mooresburg, Tenn., 10 bass, 16-13, $2,238
2nd:         Travis Carpenter, Rogersville, Tenn., seven bass, 15-9, $1,119
3rd:          Stacey Newberry, Maryville, Tenn., eight bass, 14-10, $748
4th:          Chris Seese, Lenoir City, Tenn., seven bass, 14-4, $522
5th:          Kyle Warden, Bluff City, Tenn., eight bass, 12-10, $448
6th:          Jimmy Crum, Afton, Tenn., five bass, 11-9, $410
7th:          Justin McGaha, Knoxville, Tenn., eight bass, 10-14, $373
8th:          Marty Estep, Piney Flats, Tenn., five bass, 10-9, $336
9th:          John Gillespie, Princeton, W. Va., seven bass, 9-11, $298
10th:        Matt Brown, Harriman, Tenn., six bass, 8-4, $261
 
Wes Ratcliff of Knoxville, Tennessee, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $262.
 
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings now qualify for the Oct. 15-17 Regional Championship on Lake Wateree in Camden, South Carolina. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C 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 50 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. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Rayovac FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
 
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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 2015 over the course of 240 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 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world