Shawn Hammack of Gasburg, Va., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division event on Lake Gaston. For his victory, Hammack earned $3,883.
“I had a really good practice day coming into this tournament on Friday,” said Hammack. “I had found around 50 fish that were just sitting on the beds in the lake pockets. I ended up being the last boat out though and by the time I got to my first pocket, there were already three boats there that I had to fish behind. It was a grind, but I was able to catch a limit and I had around 15 pounds. I was sight fishing all day, and all of my fish came off of the beds. I could see a nice 6-pounder just sitting on her bed, but I could not get her to bite. So I left and fished some of my other pockets.
“Later in the day I returned to try to boat the 6-pounder, but there was another boat already on it,” continued Hammack. “I pulled up and the fisherman told me he had been working it for an hour with no luck, and he was leaving. I threw my jig out there and worked it for a bit, and finally was able to get her to bite. She ended up being the key to my win.
“I caught most of my fish on a small 3/16-ounce Pumpkin Pepper Green-colored Terminator Tiny T jig,” Hammack went on to say. “The big one came on a ½-ounce pumpkin and orange-colored jig, though. I was fishing mid-lake, near the Eaton’s Ferry Bridge and caught 10 fish throughout the day.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Flash Butts, Roanoke Rapids, N.C., five bass, 18-0, $1,442
3rd: Ryan Harrell, Roanoke Rapids, N.C., five bass, 17-13, $960
4th: Kendall Dail, Chinquapin, N.C., five bass, 17-10, $673
5th: Jeff Salmon, Chester, Va., five bass, 17-4, $577
6th: Chris Baldwin, Lexington, N.C., five bass, 16-9, $529
7th: William Kemp, Scotland Neck, N.C., five bass, 15-15, $481
8th: Danny Haire, Yadkinville, N.C., five bass, 15-2, $433
9th: Allen Haigh, Prospect Hill, N.C., five bass, 14-14, $384
10th: Kyle Joyce, Reidsville, N.C., five bass, 13-8, $336
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Larry Freeman of Baskerville, Va., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win $1,442 in the co-angler division.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Steven Selfridge, McLeansville, N.C., five bass, 10-12, $721
3rd: Bill Naron, Huntingtown, Md., four bass, 8-7, $483
4th: Rob Wells, Kill Devil Hills, N.C., three bass, 8-3, $336
5th: Bill Turonis, Kill Devil Hills, N.C., three bass, 7-3, $288
6th: Michael Baden, Stuart, Va., three bass, 6-14, $264
7th: Mark Hardy, Mechanicsville, Md., three bass, 6-8, $240
8th: Richard Buchanan, Durham, N.C., two bass, 6-6, $216
9th: David Bullock, Durham, N.C., three bass, 5-9, $192
10th: Thomas Jones, Kannapolis, N.C., two bass, 5-5, $168
The next BFL Piedmont Division tournament is scheduled for May 12 on High Rock Lake in Salisbury, N.C. After the fifth Piedmont Division tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 4-6 Regional Championship on Cherokee Lake in Morristown, Tenn. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 40 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy. The 2012 BFL All-American is being held May 17 – 19 on the Potomac River in National Harbor, Md. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
photo: FLW Outdoors