Fishing & Boating News

Bates Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division Tournament on Lake Ferguson

Iuka’s Whipple Earns Co-angler Title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Terry Bates of Greenville weighed a 22-lb, 15-oz limit of bass to win (BFL) Mississippi Division tournament on Lake Ferguson.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Jun 18, 2018 - Greencille,MS)

Local boater Terry Bates of Greenville weighed a 22-pound, 15-ounce limit of bass to win Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division tournament on Lake Ferguson. Bates pocketed $4,559 for his catch.

“I made a 40-minute run from takeoff to Lake Lee to fish humps,” said Bates, who earned his third career win in BFL competition. “I pulled up to one and caught three, but also lost a couple of good ones. There were a lot of gar in the area and they tore up my bait so I decided to leave.”

Bates said he used Watermelon Candy- and Black Ruby-colored Zoom Brush Hogs along with a Carolina-rigged 10-inch plum-colored Berkley Powerbait Power Worm. He also caught some fish with a ¾-ounce football-head jig with a Watermelon Candy Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw trailer.

“I moved to another hump around 10 a.m. and caught two to finish my limit,” said Bates. “I kept moving and had five different areas to fish. I wasn’t able to cull so I went back to Lake Ferguson around 10:30 (a.m.).”

Bates’ winning limit was caught on 17-pound-test Berkley Trilene 100 percent Fluorocarbon Ice line on a 7-foot, 11-inch Fenwick Elite Tech Casting Rod and Abu Garcia Revo SX Generation 3 reel.

“On Ferguson I fished some gravel humps in 15 to 20 feet of water,” said Bates. “I got rid of a small 13-incher from Lee with a 2½-pounder. The last fish I caught was at 12:30 (p.m.) – a 6-pound, 9-ouncer.”

Bates’ final bass ended up being the largest fish of the event – caught with the Carolina-rigged Watermelon Candy Brush Hog.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
               1st:          Terry Bates, Greenville, Miss., five bass, 22-15, $4,559
               2nd:         Jeff Johnston, Marion, Ark., five bass, 20-12, $2,005
               3rd:          Tim McDaniel, Grenada, Miss., five bass, 19-3, $1,336
               4th:          Heath Gilmore, Meridian, Miss., five bass, 18-11, $1,135
               5th:          Marty Torrence, Crystal Springs, Miss., five bass, 18-4, $802
               6th:          Chad Mayfield, Brandon, Miss., five bass, 17-13, $835
               7th:          Percy Jones, Brandon, Miss., five bass, 17-10, $668
               8th:          Joel Barber, Brandon, Miss., five bass, 16-14, $601
               9th:          Sawyer Sparks, Summit, Miss., five bass, 16-9, $535
               10th:        David Dove, Steens, Miss., five bass, 16-7, $444
               10th:        Brent Anderson, Kingston Springs, Tenn., five bass, 16-7, $444

Bates’ 6-pound, 9-ounce bass earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $550.

Keith Whipple of Iuka, Mississippi, won the Co-angler Division and $2,205 Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 21 pounds, 10 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers were:
               1st:          Keith Whipple, Iuka, Miss., five bass, 21-10, $2,205
               2nd:         Leland Brown, Fulton, Miss., five bass, 19-6, $1,002
               3rd:          Bobby Bullock, Florence, Miss., five bass, 18-10, $718
               4th:          Kevin Culpepper, Seminary, Miss., five bass, 16-9, $468
               5th:          Austin Navarre, Carriere, Miss., five bass, 15-7, $401
               6th:          Jim Pierce, Medon, Tenn., five bass, 14-8, $368
               7th:          Jimmy Hughes, Bartlett, Tenn., five bass, 14-3, $334
               8th:          John Swords, Collierville, Tenn., five bass, 13-4, $284
               8th:          Justin Ketteringham, Pearl, Miss., five bass, 13-4, $284
               10th:        Joseph Breeden, Brandon, Miss., five bass, 13-1, $234

Louis Stevens of Grenada, Mississippi, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 5 pounds, 7 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $275.

The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division tournament on Lake Ferguson was hosted by the Greenville/Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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. 18-20 BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky and Barkley lakes in Gilbertsville, 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 2018 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.

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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 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. 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.