(Jul 25, 2017 - HENRICO, Va.)
Ben Jacobi of North Chesterfield, Virginia, brought five bass weighing 16 pounds, 10 ounces, to the scale Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division tournament on the James River. For his win, Jacobi earned $3,426.
Jacobi said he started out the tournament fishing small feeder creeks near the mouth of the Chickahominy River.
“The water was lower than normal,” said Jacobi, who earned his first career-victory in FLW competition. “Around 7:15 (a.m.), I caught my second-largest bass on a ¼-ounce buzzbait.”
After his catch, Jacobi said he returned to the main river to fish wood and rock. He said he flipped a Texas-rigged green pumpkin-colored soft-plastic and was able to put a 5½ -pounder in the boat.
“I used the same bait the rest of the day and ran the tide back up to the takeoff ramp,” said Jacobi. “I worked through rock, wood and laydowns and had one nice cull in the last hour of competition that likely gave me the win.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Ben Jacobi, North Chesterfield, Va., five bass, 16-10, $3,426
2nd: Brian LaClair, Denton, Md., five bass, 15-11, $1,713
3rd: Andy Francis, Chester, Va., five bass, 15-1, $1,341
4th: Cavin Young, Prince George, Va., five bass, 14-4, $899
5th: Michael Martinez, Lanexa, Va., five bass, 13-14, $1,115
6th: Chris Dillow, Waynesboro, Va., five bass, 13-7, $928
7th: Keith Estes, Spring Grove, Va., five bass, 13-5, $571
8th: Stephen Miller, Mechanicsville, Va., five bass, 12-15, $514
9th: Curtis Talbott, Forest, Va., five bass, 12-11, $457
10th: Jason Holder, Powhatan, Va., five bass, 12-2, $400
Martinez weighed an 8-pound, 6-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division. The catch earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $430.
Victor Riveras of Newport News, Virginia, won the Co-angler Division and $1,913 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 12 pounds, 8 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Victor Riveras, Newport News, Va., five bass, 12-8, $1,913
2nd: Joshua Wright, Toano, Va., four bass, 9-5, $763
2nd: Jeff Lederman, Powhatan, Va., five bass, 9-5, $713
4th: Matt McCluskey, Ashburn, Va., three bass, 9-4, $400
5th: Danny Crickenberger, Charlottesville, Va., five bass, 8-15, $343
6th: John Poos, Manassas, Va., five bass, 8-14, $314
7th: Jerry Comperatore, Tarentum, Pa., four bass, 8-13, $271
7th: Al Berkley, Madison Heights, Va., five bass, 8-13, $271
9th: Corey Chatham, Ruther Glen, Va., five bass, 8-1, $228
10th: Matthew Harney, Manassas, Va., three bass, 7-15, $415
Harney caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 5 pounds, 4 ounces – and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $215.
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.
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 258 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