(Jun 20, 2016 - LAKE WYLIE, S.C.)
Joseph Marks of Duncan, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 3 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) North Carolina Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Wylie. For his victory, Marks took home $6,056.
“I spent the day fishing the lower end of the lake, on the South Carolina side,” said Marks, who earned his first win in FLW competition. “I rotated through five different brush piles and was able to piece together some decent catches.
“I started out throwing a drop-shot rig with a Morning Dawn-colored Roboworm in 14 to 18 feet of water,” Marks continued. “Before 9 a.m., I had a limit worth 12 pounds. Around 10:30 a.m., I switched to a green-pumpkin custom jig and caught another 15 keepers.”
Marks said preferred to position his baits inside the brush piles, even if it meant getting them hung up on the branches.
“I threw the jig and let it sit there on the bottom and the fish would pick it up,” said Marks. “It was hard to feel them bite and was very slow, but it worked. With the drop-shot, I used 5/16-ounce weights and went through about 40 of them from having to rip out of the brush. I had to let it fall inside, though, to get the reaction bite. It was a great day on the water.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Joseph Marks, Duncan, S.C., five bass, 16-3, $4,056 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Bernie Davis, Charlotte, N.C., five bass, 14-7, $1,878
3rd: Stephen Cannon, Wilkesboro, N.C., five bass, 14-1, $1,064
3rd: Jeff Queen, Catawba, N.C., five bass, 14-1, $1,064
5th: Kameron Harbin, Abbeville, S.C., five bass, 13-6, $751
6th: Jason Quinn, Rock Hill, S.C., five bass, 12-2, $689
7th: Michael Stephens, Gastonia, N.C., five bass, 11-13, $626
8th: Joey Sabbagha Prosperity, S.C., five bass, 11-3, $563
9th: Steve Godfrey, Candler, N.C., five bass, 11-1, $469
9th: Maurice Freeze, Concord, N.C., five bass, 11-1, $469
Travis Young of Gastonia, North Carolina, caught a 5-pound, 7-ounce bass – the biggest of the tournament in the pro division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $490.
Tommy Swicegood of Salisbury, North Carolina, weighed in five bass totaling 12 pounds, 13 ounces, Saturday to win the co-angler division and earn $2,123.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Tommy Swicegood, Salisbury, N.C., five bass, 12-13, $2,123
2nd: Dennis Langdon, Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., five bass, 11-3, $939
3rd: Erik Myers, Southmont, N.C., five bass, 10-7, $627
4th: Wayne Smelser, Rural Retreat, Va., five bass, 9-8, $438
5th: Doug File, Salisbury, N.C., four bass, 8-9, $376
6th: Darren Jeter, Marshall, N.C., five bass, 8-8, $344
7th: Brandon Coalter, Greensboro, N.C., five bass, 8-2, $313
8th: Aaron Digh, Denver, N.C., four bass, 7-15, $282
9th: Brian Transon, Sherrills Ford, N.C., four bass, 7-14, $250
10th: Michael Miller, Clemmons, N.C., four bass, 7-11, $219
Swicegood also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 1 ounce and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $245.
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.