Fishing & Boating News

Hampton’s Long Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division Event on Lake Wateree

Ridgeway’s Atkinson Grabs Co-angler Title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

1st Mel Long, Hampton, S.C., 5 bass, 15-7
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(May 16, 2017 - Camden, SC) Mel Long of Hampton, South Carolina, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division tournament on Lake Wateree presented by Navionics Saturday with five bass totaling 15 pounds, 7 ounces. For his victory, Long earned $3,466.

“I was originally going to target bream beds in pockets, but the visibility was terrible so I had to adjust,” said Long, who earned his first career win in BFL competition. “I decided to hit main-lake points, especially ones right inside of pockets. It all connected pretty quickly after that. I just went looking and was able to put something together.”

Long used two baits to craft his limit – a ½-ounce swimjig with a Zoom Super Chunk Jr. trailer, and a green-pumpkin Zoom Magnum Trick Worm, on a Texas rig or a shaky-head rig.

“I only had one bass in the boat by 10:30 (a.m.),” said Long. “I had enough confidence in my areas to run back through them again and around 11 the fish really turned on.”

Long said he preferred points that were flatter than others.

“Flat points without the steep drops seemed to do better for me,” said Long. “I couldn’t get bites if they had deep water close by.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

               1st:          Mel Long, Hampton, S.C., five bass, 15-7, $3,466

               2nd:         Dustin Henson, Landrum, S.C., five bass, 15-3, $1,733

               3rd:          Matt Bickley, North Augusta, S.C., five bass, 15-2, $1,355

               4th:          Michael Richardson, Elgin, S.C., five bass, 14-11, $909

               5th:          Christopher Chavis, Rincon, Ga., four bass, 14-7, $1,128

               6th:          Matthew Mollohan, Prosperity, S.C., five bass, 14-4, $635

               7th:          Bobby Purvis, Eastover, S.C., three bass, 13-15, $578

               8th:          Donald Hinson, Lugoff, S.C., five bass, 13-12, $520

               9th:          Steve Wicker, Pomaria, S.C., five bass, 12-7, $462

               10th:        Woody Parks, Lincolnton, Ga., four bass, 11-14, $404


Chavis caught a 6-pound, 2-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $435.

Greg Atkinson of Ridgeway, South Carolina, won the Co-angler Division and $1,693 Saturday after weighing a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 4 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers were:

               1st:          Greg Atkinson, Ridgeway, S.C., five bass, 17-4, $1,693

               2nd:         Brandon Jeffcoat, Columbia, S.C., three bass, 10-5, $946

               3rd:          Daniel Cook, Ridgeway, S.C., five bass, 9-12, $479

               3rd:          Mike Ware, Rock Hill, S.C., two bass, 9-12, $691

               5th:          James Meadows, Goose Creek, S.C., three bass, 9-9, $339

               6th:          Rodney Tapp, North Augusta, S.C., four bass, 8-12, $310

               7th:          Nathan Turbyfill, Asheville, N.C., four bass, 8-10, $282

               8th:          Josh Day, Aiken, S.C., four bass, 8-5, $254

               9th:          Wesley Mullins, Bloomingdale, Ga., three bass, 8-1, $226

               10th:        Jack Hoy, Hollywood, S.C., four bass, 8-0, $248

Ware caught the biggest bass among Co-angler Division anglers, a fish weighing 7 pounds, 5 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $212.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 19-21 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.

The 2017 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they 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 performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.


About FLW

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 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 274 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa 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.