Fishing & Boating News

Winder’s Davis Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division Opener on Lake Lanier

Co-angler Title Goes to Covington’s Smith

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Boater Brad Davis of Winder, GA, caught 5 bass weighing 16 lbs, 5 oz, to win the (BFL) Bulldog Division opener on Lake Lanier.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Mar 1, 2019 - GAINESVILLE, Ga.)

Boater Brad Davis of Winder, Georgia, caught five bass weighing 16 pounds, 5 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division opener on Lake Lanier. For his win, Davis earned $5,014.

“I fished areas that have produced bigger spotted bass for me in the past. Lake Lanier is my home lake – I grew about 20 minutes away,” said Davis, who earned his first career victory in FLW competition. “I felt like the spotted bass bite would be more consistent with the cold front that was moving in. I focused all of my time on the south end of the lake because the water color on the north end was too stained.”

Davis only had five bites all day – four from points in the Old Federal Campground area, and the fifth from a spawning flat between Young Deer and Six Mile creeks. His said three came within the first hour on an Owner shaky-head rig with a 4-inch green-pumpkin-colored Yamamoto Senko.

“The first three came off of one point. I’ve had a lot of success with a Senko on it – it’s a lure with a bigger profile that appeals to the bigger fish,” said Davis. “I wanted to focus on main-lake points and stay as close to the main lake as possible. I didn’t want to run into any creeks, even on the south end, I just wanted to be as close to deep water as I could – literally right off the channel.”

From there, Davis said he went looking for points with the steepest drops he could find, catching his fourth with a 3/8-ounce green-pumpkin Gene Larew Biffle Hardhead jig with a Missile Baits Baby D Stroyer.

“I wasn’t fishing for a lot of bites out there – I was going for the right ones,” said Davis. “I fished really slow for the most part, and had really subtle bites. My Kissel Krafts Custom rods allowed me to feel the bites in the deep, cold water, which was key.”

Davis’ fifth fish from the spawning flat off of the main lake came on a Pro Blue-colored Megabass Ito Vision Jerkbait.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
               1st:          Brad Davis, Winder, Ga., five bass, 16-5, $5,014
               2nd:         Rob Jordan, Flowery Branch, Ga., five bass, 16-3, $2,707
               3rd:          Johnathan Akins, Lula, Ga., five bass, 15-14, $1,670
               4th:          Kip Carter, Mansfield, Ga., five bass, 15-7, $1,570
               5th:          Jason Johnson, Dawsonville, Ga., five bass, 15-0, $1,003
               6th:          Stephen Barday, Acworth, Ga., five bass, 14-13, $1,684
               7th:          Danny Hall, Ellijay, Ga., five bass, 14-12, $836
               8th:          Robert Williams, Lawrenceville, Ga., five bass, 14-3, $752
               9th:          Buster Slocumb, Juliette, Ga., five bass, 14-2, $626
               9th:          Jesse Millsaps, Jasper, Ga., five bass, 14-2, $626

Barday caught a 7-pound, 1-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $765.
Rick Smith of Covington, Georgia, won the Co-angler Division and $2,469 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 13 pounds even.

The top 10 co-anglers were:
               1st:          Rick Smith, Covington, Ga., five bass, 13-0, $2,469
               2nd:         Michael Welch, Douglasville, Ga., five bass, 12-13, $1,235
               3rd:          Cody Lundsford, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 12-3, $823
               4th:          Ronald Harris, Jefferson, Ga., five bass, 11-10, $676
               5th:          Kiwanas Andrews, Atlanta, Ga., five bass, 11-9, $494
               6th:          Early Whitaker, Iron City, Ga., five bass, 10-14, $453
               7th:          Wendell Grantham, Athens, Ga., four bass, 10-10, $462
               8th:          Trent Wall, Mount Airy, Ga., five bass, 10-9, $370
               9th:          William Perdue, Hawkinsville, Ga., four bass, 10-6, $329
               10th:        Eric Simpson, Lakeland, Ga., five bass, 10-1, $288

Brise Henson of Dawsonville, Georgia, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 7 pounds, 9 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $372.

The tournament was hosted by the Gainesville Convention and 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. 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.

For complete details and updated information visit For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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" television show while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.