(Oct 24, 2017 - GLASGOW, Ky.)
Boater Eric Sanders of Lexington, Kentucky, caught a three-day cumulative total of 12 bass weighing 33 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional event on the Barren River presented by Lowrance. Sanders earned $65,000 for his efforts, including a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and automatic entry into the 2018 BFL All-American Championship.
Sanders spent the weekend targeting brush piles and deep rock about 25 feet deep. He said his best brush was located off the ends of bluffs outside main-lake pockets.
“The (U.S. Army) Corps of Engineers started the winter drawdown about a week ago, and it kind of screwed up the shallow bite,” said Sanders, who earned his first career victory in FLW competition. “I just knew I had to fish out deep.”
All week, Sanders slowly dragged a 1/2-ounce Stan Sloan’s Zorro Bait Co. Booza Brush Bug jig. He used a Strike King Rage Twin Tail Menace Grub trailer Thursday and Friday, and a Zoom Twin Tail Grub trailer on Saturday.
“As soon as you felt rock or wood with the jig and pulled off of it, that’s when they ate it,” said Sanders. “You had to feel the cover – that was crucial.”
The top six boaters that qualified for the 2018 BFL All-American were:
1st: Eric Sanders, Lexington, Ky., 12 bass, 33-10, $65,000
2nd: Tim Rhoades, Bowling Green, Ky., 14 bass, 33-2, $10,000
3rd: Clint Bissonett, Beavercreek, Ohio, 12 bass, 27-1, $5,200
4th: Jack Dalzell, Elyria, Ohio, 12 bass, 27-0, $3,100
5th: Kyle Weisenburger, Ottawa, Ohio, 11 bass, 25-11, $2,000
6th: Brad Leifermann, Andover, Minn., 11 bass, 25-3, $1,800
Rounding out the top-10 boaters were:
7th: Ronny Webb, Dyersburg, Tenn., 10 bass, 25-2, $1,600
8th: Dick Shaffer, Rockford, Ohio, 11 bass, 24-11, $1,400
9th: Brandon Houston, Burlington, Ky., 11 bass, 24-7, $1,200
10th: Heath Wagner, Angola, Ind., 12 bass, 23-15, $1,000
Jim Stone of Greenwood, Indiana, won the Co-angler Division and a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard with a three-day cumulative catch of eight bass weighing 23 pounds, 5 ounces.
The top six co-anglers that qualified for the 2018 BFL All-American were:
1st: Jim Stone, Greenwood, Ind., eight bass, 23-5, $45,100
2nd: Philip Borsa, Redford, Mich., 11 bass, 20-2, $5,000
3rd: Andrew Gilliland, McArthur, Ohio, nine bass, 16-9, $2,500
4th: Danny Nicklin, Highland, Ill., eight bass, 15-9, $1,500
5th: Paul Vonwald, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 14-11, $1,000
6th: Joseph Gulash, Edwardsville, Ill., five bass, 14-2, $900
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers were:
7th: James Wathen, Royal Oak, Mich., six bass, 13-1, $800
8th: Mark Saunders, Medina, Ohio, six bass, 12-2, $700
9th: David Dieling, Eddyville, Ky., five bass, 11-5, $600
10th: Hunter Fillmore, Waynesville, Ohio, five bass, 11-5, $550
The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Regional Tournament on the Barren River was hosted by the Glasgow-Barren County Tourist & Convention Commission.
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. The 2018 All-American will be held on Cross Lake in Shreveport, Louisiana, May 31-June 2 and is hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier City Sports Commission and the Red River Waterway Commission. 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.