IUKA, Miss. (May 8, 2017) - Charles Watts of Corinth, Mississippi, brought a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 6 ounces to the scale Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division tournament presented by Mud Hole Custom Tackle on Pickwick Lake. Watts pocketed $5,181 for his efforts.
Watts said he threw a jig along bluff walls near the takeoff ramp to get his day started. He was able to put three keepers in the boat before moving to locations between Indian Creek and Yellow Creek.
"I had four areas that I liked - two humps and two flats," said Watts, who earned his first career-victory in FLW competition. "I sat in 25 feet of water and fished in anywhere from 15 to 18 feet. I would focus on one area for about 45 minutes and then move on. They ate well in each when we'd first pull up then they'd die off."
Watts said he used one lure to catch his fish - a Strike King 6XD Crankbait in Sexy Blue Back Herring and Sexy Shad colors. He said he caught approximately 15 keepers throughout the tournament.
"I think the fish were relating to the drops and rock on the bottom - they'll stack on them," said Watts. "It's a basic early-Summer pattern when they first get off the spawning beds."
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Charles Watts, Corinth, Miss., five bass, 20-6, $5,181
2nd: David Allen, Florence, Ala., five bass, 19-4, $2,076
2nd: Roger Stegall, Iuka, Miss., five bass, 19-4, $2,836
4th: Alan Langford, Tupelo, Miss., five bass, 18-7, $1,162
5th: Cody Harrison, Florence, Ala., five bass, 17-4, $1,096
6th: Justin Atkins, Florence, Ala., five bass, 17-3, $913
7th: Connor Martin, Marion, Ark., five bass, 16-14, $830
8th: Larry Materia, Somerville, Tenn., five bass, 16-5, $705
8th: Danny Walden, Columbus, Miss., five bass, 16-5, $705
10th: Mitch Crane, Columbus, Miss., five bass, 16-2, $581
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Stegall caught a bass weighing 7 pounds, 4 ounces - the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division - which earned him the day's Boater Big Bass award of $760.
Anthony Wilson of Greenville, Mississippi, won the Co-angler Division and $2,870 Saturday after bringing four bass totaling 18 pounds, 12 ounces to the scale.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Anthony Wilson, Greenville, Miss., four bass, 18-12, $2,870
2nd: Joseph Breeden, Brandon, Miss., five bass, 16-14, $1,245
3rd: Michael Smotherman, Savannah, Tenn., five bass, 15-9, $829
4th: Daniel Stover, Hernando, Miss., five bass, 13-13, $781
5th: Drew Crane, Columbus, Miss., five bass, 13-5, $498
6th: Tim Beale, Hernando, Miss., five bass, 13-2, $457
7th: Farley Fondren, Maben, Miss., five bass, 12-13, $415
8th: Ryan LeCompte, Picayune, Miss., five bass, 12-10, $424
9th: Andrew Garvin, Hamilton, Miss., five bass, 12-4, $332
10th: Mike Allen, Crystal Springs, Miss., five bass, 11-15, $291
Wilson also caught the biggest bass among Co-angler Division anglers, a fish weighing 8 pounds, 2 ounces. The catch earned him the day's Co-angler Big Bass award of $380.
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. 19-21 BFL Regional Championship on the Red River in Bossier City, Louisiana. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.
The 2017 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. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
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 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 274 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagra