Fishing & Boating News

Easley's Anders Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division Opener on Lake Keowee presented by Navionics

Hiawassee’s McClure Wins Co-angler Division

by: Joe Opager, Director of Public Relations,

Boater Joe Anders of Easley, S.C., caught a 5-bass limit weighing 14 lbs, 11 oz, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River division event on Lake Keowee.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Feb 11, 2019 - SENECA, S.C.)

Boater Joe Anders of Easley, South Carolina, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River division event on Lake Keowee presented by Navionics. Anders earned $4,164 for his efforts.

“I caught the majority of my fish in the mid-lake area, feeding on shad,” said Anders, who also had a tournament win as a co-angler at the FLW Tour at Lake Lanier last season. ”I’ve fished Keowee as much as anybody, and this year the water never got as cold as it usually does. So the fish weren’t deep, they were already in more of a prespawn mode. Feeding on shad instead of the crawfish like normal.”

Anders said that most of his fish came on an EverGreen JT 95 topwater bait in his mid-lake areas, but he also caught a couple of key fish skipping docks in 40 feet-of-water with a bait fish-colored Zoom Swimmin’ Super Fluke Jr. along with a late-day keeper on a drop-shot rig.

“I only caught around 10 keepers, and I really struggled the last 3 to 4 hours of the tournament,” Ander said. “I caught my last one late in the day drop-shotting a 6-inch, straight-tail Roboworm, 35-feet-deep, and was able to cull up 4 ounces. I ended up winning by 3 ounces, so that fish was the difference maker.

“The key for me was not fishing history, and sticking to the pattern that I figured out in practice,” Anders went on to say. “They were not anywhere that I normally catch them on this time of year. I’m also fishing well and still rolling from the momentum of my co-angler win at the FLW Tour event last March at Lake Lanier. I’ve got a great support group around me and I’m in a really great place in my life. I can’t wait to get back out there.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
              1st:          Joe Anders, Easley, S.C., five bass, 14-11, $4,164
              2nd:         Shane Peck, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 14-8, $1,857
              3rd:         Jerry Morgan, Inman, S.C., five bass, 14-2, $1,172
              4th:         Ronnie Wald, Seneca, S.C., five bass, 14-1, $820
              5th:         Vince Smith, Westminster, S.C., five bass, 13-6, $703
              6th:         Edwin Pabon, Toccoa, Ga., five bass, 12-14, $644
              7th:         Michael Mengeling, Cumming, Ga., five bass, 12-12, $586
              8th:         Todd Goade, Suwanee, Ga., five bass, 12-9, $798
              9th:         Marcus Church, Seneca, S.C., five bass, 12-9, $498
              10th:       Mark Gibson, Seneca, S.C., five bass, 12-7, $410

Anders’ big fish of the day was a 6-pound, 3-ounce largemouth bass, which also was the tournament’s biggest bass of the day and earned Anders the Boater Big Bass award of $450.

Nathan McClure of Hiawassee, Georgia, won the Co-angler Division and $1,957 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 12 pounds, 7 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers were:
              1st:          Nathan McClure, Hiawassee, Ga., five bass, 12-7, $1,957
              2nd:         Chris Wilson, Easley, S.C., five bass, 11-8, $879
              3rd:         Charles Ellington, Cumming, Ga., five bass, 11-7, $585
              4th:         James South, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 11-5, $430
              4th:         Donnie Davis, Greer, S.C., five bass, 11-5, $430
              6th:         Vern Schmucker, Westminster, S.C., five bass, 9-14, $322
              7th:         Darren Jeter, Marshall, N.C., five bass, 9-3, $293
              8th:         Tucker Souther, Brevard, N.C., four bass, 9-0, $264
              9th:         Joseph Thomasson, Columbia, S.C., five bass, 8-14, $234
              10th:       Westley Denny, Westminster, S.C., five bass, 8-8, $205

Nathaniel Moore of Fairview, North Carolina, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 3 pounds, 9 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $225.

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. 10-12 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, Georgia. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.

The 2019 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 2019 BFL All-American will be held May 30-June 1 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland, and is hosted by the Charles County Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism and the Commissioners of Charles County. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.

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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 2019 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct more than 290 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" televisi