(Sep 13, 2016 - SCOTTSVILLE, Ky.)
Brett Graham of Cold Spring, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces, Sunday to win the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division Super Tournament on the Barren River with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 31 pounds, 5 ounces. Graham earned $8,211 for his efforts.
“I went into this tournament wanting to target shallow fish,” said Graham, who earned his second win in FLW competition. “It can be tough to find them deep this time of year.
“On Saturday, I went into a creek on the north end of the lake that I had found in practice,” Graham continued. “There was a small area holding fish. I used a white buzzbait and flipped Texas-rigged soft-plastic craws into wood, logjams and laydowns. I had a limit by 9:30 a.m. I spent the rest of the day in that sweet spot trying to cull.
“On Day Two I returned to the creek and worked my way back there,” said Graham. “I caught three keepers in five minutes using the same Texas-rigged craws from Saturday. I lost a 4-pounder mid-morning, but I knew there was enough good bass in there to grind out another limit. We worked the entire area over.”
Around 10:30 a.m., Graham said he went to the very end of his spot and caught a fish nearing five pounds.
“At that point, I thought I had a good chance to win,” said Graham. “I was lucky to have my fish cooperate with me for two days in a row.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Brett Graham, Cold Spring, Ky., 10 bass, 31-5, $6,211 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Randall Christopher, Irvine, Ky., 10 bass, 25-14, $2,664
3rd: John Daniel, Bowling Green, Ky., 10 bass, 21-9, $1,777
4th: Charles Morrison, Georgetown, Ky., 10 bass, 21-1, $1,243
5th: Adam Wagner, Cookeville, Tenn., nine bass, 19-1, $1,166
6th: Michael Blanton, Richmond, Ky., nine bass, 18-1, $977
7th: Robert Reagan, Byrdstown, Tenn., eight bass, 17-12, $888
8th: Michael Bean, Bowling Green, Ky., six bass, 16-11, $799
9th: Tom Hill, Lexington, Ky., six bass, 15-15, $710
10th: Ryan Davidson, Branchland, W. Va., nine bass, 15-4, $622
Graham also caught the largest bass of the tournament, weighing 5 pounds, 3 ounces, and earned the Boater Big Bass award of $682.
Brent Clark of Bowling Green, Kentucky, won the co-angler division and earned $2,664 with a two-day cumulative catch of nine bass weighing 22 pounds, 8 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Brent Clark, Bowling Green, Ky., nine bass, 22-8, $2,664
2nd: Drew Campbell, Cookeville, Tenn., eight bass, 16-5, $1,332
3rd: Cody Loveless, Somerset, Ky., six bass, 14-15, $889
4th: Josh Boone, London, Ky., six bass, 14-9, $722
5th: Bart Vaughn, Lexington, Ky., five bass, 11-10, $533
6th: Levi Neathery, Albany, Ky., three bass, 8-12, $488
7th: Bryan Drury, Lexington, Ky., three bass, 7-13, $785
8th: Andrew Haunert, Batavia, Ohio, four bass, 7-8, $450
9th: Brenton Clemons, Somerset, Ky., five bass, 7-8, $355
10th: Tyler Sheffield, Dry Ridge, Ky., three bass, 7-5, $311
Drury caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 6 ounces, and earned the Co-angler Big Bass award of $341.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Sept. 29 - Oct. 1 Regional Championship on Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, Tennessee. 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.