(May 2, 2016 - Bracey, VA)
Scott Mooneyham of Fayetteville, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 2 ounces, Saturday to win the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament on Lake Gaston presented by Power-Pole. For his victory, Mooneyham took home $2,977.
Mooneyham said he concentrated on stumps and small patches of grass on the upper end of the lake.
“I grinded through three different areas to catch my limit,” said Mooneyham, who earned the first win of his FLW career. “There were hard stems on the grass and the fish were right on the edge of them. At the first stop, I boated around ten keepers before 11 a.m.
“Every fish I caught was on a green-pumpkin Yamamoto Senko,” said Mooneyham. “I’d cast it out there, let it fall straight down on the slackline and pull it in after a few seconds. I tried throwing a few other things but the Senko is what they wanted.”
Mooneyham said he finished his day navigating two areas, which included a nearby stump field and a spawning pocket.
“I caught a 3-pounder in the field and upgraded with one more in the pocket,” said Mooneyham. “I actually lost a 6-pounder in the pocket right at the end of the day. Luckily it didn’t cost me the tournament.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Scott Mooneyham, Fayetteville, N.C., five bass, 16-2, $2,977
2nd: Danny Moss Jr., Norlina, N.C., five bass, 16-1, $1,489
3rd: Michael Law, Arab, Ala., five bass, 15-2, $992
4th: Ryan Reynolds, Danville, Va., five bass, 14-6, $695
5th: Sean Lewis, Baskerville, Va., five bass, 13-14, $595
6th: Shawn Hammack, Gasburg, Va., five bass, 13-11, $546
7th: D. Keith Joyce, Apex, N.C., five bass, 13-6, $471
7th: Flash Butts, Roanoke Rapids, N.C., five bass, 13-6, $471
9th: Wally Szuba, Cary, N.C., five bass, 12-14, $397
10th: Raymond Jones III, Statesville, N.C., five bass, 12-7, $347
Chris Baldwin of Lexington, North Carolina, caught a 6-pound, 7-ounce bass – the biggest of the tournament in the pro division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $340.
Larry Freeman, Jr., of La Crosse, Virginia, weighed in four bass totaling 9 pounds, 14 ounces, Saturday to win the co-angler division and earn $1,489.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Larry Freeman Jr., La Crosse, Va., four bass, 9-14, $1,489
2nd: Dekle Taylor, Monroe, N.C., five bass, 9-10, $744
3rd: Dexter Andrews, Louisburg, N.C., five bass, 9-9, $497
4th: Conner Davis, Bear Creek, N.C., five bass, 8-11, $347
5th: Bill Naron, Beaverdam, Va., four bass, 8-10, $298
6th: Frank White, Marion, N.C., three bass, 8-9, $443
7th: Jerry Taylor, N. Prince George, Va., three bass, 8-2, $248
8th: Jerry Neuner, Rutherfordton, N.C., three bass, 7-12, $223
9th: Mark Davis, Bear Creek, N.C., three bass, 7-1, $198
10th: Douglas Washburn, Bracey, Va., two bass, 6-14, $174
White caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 4 pounds, 5 ounces and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $170.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 27-29 Regional Championship on Lake Hartwell in Seneca, 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 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. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
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 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. 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.