Steve Phillips of Lugoff, S.C., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division event on Lake Wateree. For his victory, Phillips earned $3,028.
“This tournament was slow and steady,” Phillips said. “I caught a couple of fish early in the morning, but the bite seemed to slow down a little bit after that. I only had seven bites all day. Later in the afternoon the wind picked up and there was a lot of boat traffic, so it seemed there was a small window of time to catch fish. I saw a lot of guys fishing the grass, and I knew that there were fish there, but it wasn’t the size needed to win. I wanted to either do or die with the big fish.
“I live 15 minutes away from the lake and have been fishing Lake Wateree since the early 70s,” Phillips continued. “I fished the mid-lake area looking for the steep drop-offs. I threw a crankbait all day long, fishing it from 10 to 15 feet deep. I figured that it was going to take 17 or 18 pounds to win, and I knew I had a pretty good bag when I was coming to the scales. I figured I was top three, but you never really know. I’m happy to get the win.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Scott Peavy, Lugoff, S.C., five bass, 13-13, $1,514
3rd: Mark Inman, Greensboro, N.C., five bass, 13-7, $1,008
4th: Rick McLean, Dalzell, S.C., five bass, 12-14, $707
5th: Roby Kelley, Sumter, S.C., five bass, 12-8, $606
6th: Dennis Reedy, Siler City, N.C., five bass, 11-12, $555
7th: Derrick Compton, Columbus, N.C., three bass, 11-8, $505
8th: Jason Perrego, Raeford, N.C., five bass, 11-5, $429
8th: Daryl Watson, Matthews, N.C., five bass, 11-5, $429
10th: Jeremiah Jensen, Columbia, S.C., five bass, 11-1, $353
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
D.J. McEachern of Columbia, S.C., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win $1,514 in the co-angler division.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Vernie Haltiwanger, Lexington, S.C., five bass, 9-5, $757
3rd: Jerry Lineberger, Lincolnton, N.C., four bass, 8-14, $505
4th: Stuart Toney, Raeford, N.C., three bass, 8-11, $353
5th: Bobby Henderson, Charlotte, N.C., five bass, 8-10, $303
6th: Michael Smith, Piedmont, S.C., five bass, 8-0, $278
7th: Bobby Littlejohn, Spartanburg, S.C., two bass, 6-11, $252
8th: Jamie Amerson, Pooler, Ga., three bass, 6-3, $202
8th: Travis Decker, Dublin, Va., two bass, 6-3, $202
8th: Jason Hueble, Whitmire, S.C., four bass, 6-3, $202
The final BFL South Carolina Division tournament is scheduled for Sept. 29-30 on Clarks Hill Lake in McCormick, S.C. After that tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 11-13 Regional Championship on Kerr Lake in Henderson, N.C. 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. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.