Fishing & Boating News

Jacksboro’s McDeerman Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Volunteer Division Tournament on Douglas Lake

Knoxville’s McGaha Grabs Co-angler Title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Keith McDeerman of Jacksboro, TN, weighed 5 bass 19 pounds even to win the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division tournament on Douglas Lake.
Photo by Brian Johnson
(May 16, 2017 - Kodak, TN.) Keith McDeerman of Jacksboro, Tennessee, weighed five bass Saturday totaling 19 pounds even to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division tournament on Douglas Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, McDeerman was awarded $3,879.

McDeerman spent the tournament fishing mid-lake points and humps next to deep water.

“I caught them all in deep water with a (Strike King) 10XD crankbait,” said McDeerman, who won fishing in his first-ever event with FLW. “I probably hit 30 spots, but I only caught fish on seven of them. I would pull in, make several casts, and then move on. Most of my fish were 20 to 25 feet deep.

“Douglas Lake is pretty slick-bottomed,” continued McDeerman. “There’s not a lot of structure, so the fish seemed to be holding on depth changes.”

McDeerman said he only had seven bites throughout his day and that he caught his final bass with less than 10 minutes left to fish.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

               1st:          Keith McDeerman, Jacksboro, Tenn., five bass, 19-0, $3,879

               2nd:         Travis Lilly, Bluff City, Tenn., five bass, 16-13, $1,840

               3rd:          Craig Powers, Rockwood, Tenn., five bass, 16-11, $1,225

               4th:          Tee Watkins, East Point, Ky., five bass, 16-8, $859

               5th:          Cory Ownby, Seymour, Tenn., five bass, 15-14, $736

               6th:          Rex Pendergrass, Bristol, Tenn., five bass, 15-13, $1,075

               7th:          Gunter O'Dell, Dandridge, Tenn., five bass, 15-5, $613

               8th:          Greg Moore, Briceville, Tenn., five bass, 15-1, $552

               9th:          Brian Dortch, Bean Station, Tenn., five bass, 14-9, $971

               10th:        Brant Grimm, Church Hill, Tenn., five bass, 14-3, $429



Dortch caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 10 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $480.

Justin McGaha of Knoxville, Tennessee, won the Co-angler Division and $2,226 Saturday after weighing a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 8 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers were:

               1st:          Justin McGaha, Knoxville, Tenn., five bass, 16-8, $2,226

               2nd:         David Blakely, Kingsport, Tenn., five bass, 14-8, $898

               3rd:          Steve Hall, Hillsville, Va., five bass, 12-10, $598

               4th:          Michael Fields, Duffield, Va., three bass, 12-4, $419

               5th:          Don Bible, Knoxville, Tenn., five bass, 12-1, $359

               6th:          Brandon Hartgrove, Hiltons, Va., five bass, 11-8, $329

               7th:          Bryan Morton, Knoxville, Tenn., four bass, 11-4, $349

               8th:          Allen Hicks, Castlewood, Va., five bass, 11-3, $269

               9th:         Doug Austin, Bristol, Va., five bass, 11-0, $239

               10th:        Charles Roberts, Lebanon, Va., five bass, 10-14, $210

McGaha also caught the biggest bass among Co-angler Division anglers, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 6 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $230.

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. 12-14 BFL Regional Championship on the James River in Williamsburg, Virginia. 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.