Elizabethton’s Smith takes FLW Bass Fishing League tournament on Douglas Lake Johnson Wins Co-Angler Division

Published 8:48 am Wednesday, May 1, 2019

KODAK – boater Kyle Smith of Elizabethton, Tennessee, caught five bass Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division tournament on Douglas Lake.

For his victory, Smith pocketed $4,384.

Smith said he started the tournament fishing around the Interstate 40 Bridge and worked his way to the Dandridge Bridge as the day progressed.

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He initially threw a wacky-rigged green pumpkin-colored V&M Chopstick on a Dobyns Champion XP704SF rod, targeting spawning fish on flats and in pockets around laydowns.

“I caught the heaviest fish of my day early – a 4-pound, 11-ouncer – so the day started out really well,” said Smith, who earned his first win in FLW competition. “I caught a couple more on the Chopstick then switched over to a spinnerbait around 10 [a.m.] and targeted deeper bushes and points with rock.”

Smith used ½-ounce chartreuse and white-colored Dobyns D-Blade Beast spinnerbait with a glimmer blue-colored FoolinBass Custom Baits twin-tailed grub trailer on a Dobyns Champion XP733C rod.

He noted that his Lowrance electronics were also crucial to his success, helping him stay in the right depth range on the points.

“I probably boated 25 keepers throughout the day,” said Smith. “In the late afternoon, I ended up culling two fish in the last hour with the spinnerbait. It was a great day of fishing.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st:   Kyle Smith, Elizabethton, Tenn., five bass, 17-11, $4,384

2nd:  Chris Ferguson, Wittensville, Ky., five bass, 17-8, $1,322

2nd:  Brant Grimm, Church Hill, Tenn., five bass, 17-8, $1,322

4th:   Matt Linton, Kingston, Tenn., five bass, 15-9, $970

5th:   Steven Bean, Knoxville, Tenn., five bass, 15-9, $635

6th:   Todd Goade, Suwanee, Ga., five bass, 15-2, $988

7th:   Tee Watkins, East Point, Ky., five bass, 15-0, $489

8th:   Nathan Hipps, Canton, N.C., five bass, 14-10, $415

8th:   Bryan Leonard, Blountville, Tenn., five bass, 14-10, $415

10th: Chip Chambers, Elizabethton, Tenn., five bass, 14-7, $342

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Linton caught a 6-pound, 14-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $335.

Dustin Johnson of Elizabethton, Tennessee, won the Co-angler Division and $1,467 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 13 pounds, 6 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers were:

1st:   Dustin Johnson, Elizabethton, Tenn., five bass, 13-6, $1,467

2nd:  Jason Ridenour, Loudon, Tenn., five bass, 13-0, $733

3rd:  Eric Moore, Union, Ky., five bass, 12-4, $690

4th:  Curtis Hall II, Battle Creek, Mich., five bass, 12-1, $392

5th:  Joshua Jernigan, Rocky Top, Tenn., five bass, 12-0, $443

6th:  Ryan Bush, Big Stone Gap, Va., five bass, 11-12, $269

7th:  David Blakely, Kingsport, Tenn., five bass, 11-2, $244

8th:  Cody Melton, Greeneville, Tenn., five bass, 11-0, $220

9th:  Larry Brumett Jr., Bristol, Va., five bass, 10-15, $296

10th: Mike Byrd, McDermott, Ohio, three bass, 10-9, $171

Alex McGee of Knoxville, Tennessee, caught the heaviest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 13 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $167.

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 Hartwell in Seneca, South Carolina, presented by Navionics.

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 FLWFishing.com. 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. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.