(Sep 12, 2017 - GILBERTSVILLE, Ky.)
Cole Floyd of Leesburg, Ohio, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) LBL Division tournament on Kentucky and Barkley lakes Sunday with a two-day cumulative catch of 10 bass weighing 40 pounds, 10 ounces. For his efforts, Floyd took home $5,504.
“I fished near Paris and worked through 15 different areas with bars and flats,” said Floyd, who earned his first career-victory in FLW competition. “Some of them had stumps and wood mixed in, and I got a couple of bites at each. When I got bit, they were the right kind of fish.”
Floyd said he caught 90 to 95 percent of his fish throwing a Bone-colored Evergreen SB 125 Topwater Plug. He said he put 15 keepers in the boat each day, and that they came from 1 to 2 feet of water.
“I feel like a lot of the field did the same thing out there,” said Floyd. “They fished flats and big bass areas, but didn’t know where their next bite would come from. I put down my Power Poles and fished small stretches – some were even as small as 20 by 20 feet. If I didn’t get a bite, I moved on and could usually get something going. I didn’t waste much time looking for them.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, 10 bass, 40-10, $5,504
2nd: Drew Boggs, Lebanon, Tenn., 10 bass, 32-1, $2,752
3rd: Terry Bolton, Paducah, Ky., 10 bass, 31-2, $3,040
4th: Brandon Hunter, Benton, Ky., six bass, 22-9, $1,384
5th: Dwight Fox, Gainesboro, Tenn., seven bass, 21-4, $1,101
6th: Dustin Vaal, Hardin, Ky., five bass, 20-15, $1,009
7th: John Hopkins, Hendersonville, Tenn., six bass, 20-1, $917
8th: Craig Hipsher, Benton, Ky., seven bass, 20-0, $826
9th: David Carroll, Manitou, Ky., seven bass, 19-12, $734
10th: Jim Eakin, Clarksville, Tenn., seven bass, 19-0, $642
Bolton caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 11 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division. The catch earned him the Boater Big Bass award of $705.
Ryan Dowell of Brandenburg, Kentucky, caught a two-day total of eight bass weighing 22 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the Co-angler Division and $2,752.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Ryan Dowell, Brandenburg, Ky., eight bass, 22-12, $2,752
2nd: Jeff Johnston, Nashville, Tenn., six bass, 16-10, $1,576
3rd: Ray Arning Jr, Walnut Hill, Ill., four bass, 12-8, $968
4th: Chris Brunt, Elkhart, Ind., four bass, 12-7, $642
5th: Trey Shearer, Nicholasville, Ky., five bass, 12-4, $550
6th: Wesley Dunn, Paducah, Ky., three bass, 11-10, $857
7th: Chuck Rounds, Benton, Ky., four bass, 9-2, $459
8th: Rick Lemar, Saint Louis, Mo., four bass, 8-6, $413
9th: Kerry Conkle, Bartlett, Tenn., two bass, 8-6, $367
10th: Danny Robinson, Fairland, Ind., three bass, 8-3, $321
Dunn caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces – and earned the Co-angler Big Bass award of $352.
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 Barren River in Scottsville, Kentucky. 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.