Kenny Seagle of Salisbury, N.C., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 24 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division event on High Rock Lake. For his victory, Seagle earned $6,641.
“I practiced on Thursday and didn’t get a single bite,” said Seagle. “I had a friend with me and he thought he may have gotten bit on a crankbait, but we fished for seven hours and came up fishless. Basically it was one of these deals where if I could have gotten my entry fee money back, I probably would have. But, I went to the pre-tournament meeting Friday night and talked to one of my buddies there. He said it was slow, but you could get bites on a jerkbait. The day of the tournament I started off throwing a jerkbait on a little spot that has been good to me in years past. I caught my first bass about 15 minutes in, and that gave me the confidence to keep throwing it all day. It was a sign.
“Every fish my co-angler and I caught came on a jerkbait,” Seagle continued. “The fish were pre-spawn, and suspended just over the top of brush piles. After fishing a point across from the take off, we started going down the bank to the side of it. I immediately hooked up with a 3-pounder and a 5-pounder. Five minutes after that, I caught my big fish, that weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces. All of my fish came before 10 o’clock – I never got a bite after that.
“My co-angler and I caught more than 35 pounds in that 40 yard stretch of the bank,” Seagle went on to say. “It was just one of those magical spots where you can get lucky every once and awhile. History, good luck and presentation all came together. It was my time to win.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Randy Childers, Anderson, S.C., five bass, 20-4, $1,820
3rd: Tom File, Salisbury, N.C., four bass, 11-3, $1,214
4th: Mike Miller, Trinity, N.C., two bass, 10-8, $850
5th: Chris Baldwin, Lexington, N.C., three bass, 8-10, $728
6th: David Drye, New London, N.C., two bass, 6-12, $668
7th: Chad Poteat, Mount Airy, N.C., two bass, 6-11, $607
8th: John Drew, Gold Hill, N.C., two bass, 6-4, $546
9th: Steve Wagner, Raleigh, N.C., one bass, 5-15, $485
10th: Brad Fowler, Pendleton, S.C., one bass, 5-3, $425
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Zak Davenport of Raleigh, N.C., weighed in three bass totaling 10 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win $1,820 in the co-angler division.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Wayne Smelser, Rural Retreat, Va., three bass, 10-10, $910
3rd: Tommy Swicegood, Salisbury, N.C., two bass, 6-10, $607
4th: Buster Swisher, Jamestown, N.C., two bass, 6-8, $425
5th: Dennis Surratt, Denton, N.C., two bass, 6-0, $364
6th: Jerry Robbins, Asheboro, N.C., one bass, 5-13, $334
7th: Richard Buchanan, Durham, N.C., one bass, 5-11, $303
8th: Larry Freeman, La Crosse, Va., one bass, 4-4, $273
9th: David Vandezande, Salisbury, N.C., two bass, 3-13, $243
10th: Doug File, Salisbury, N.C., one bass, 3-2, $212
The next BFL Piedmont Division tournament is scheduled for April 13 on Kerr Lake in Henderson, N.C. After the final divisional tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 17–19 Regional Championship on Lake Hartwell in Lavonia, Ga. 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 2013 BFL All-American is being held June 27–29 on the Nickajack Lake in Chattanooga, Tenn. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
Image courtesy FLW Outdoors