Bill Humbard of New Market won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division tournament on Cherokee Lake Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 9 ounces.
For his efforts on the water, Humbard took home $6,337.
Humbard said he spent the tournament on the lower end of the lake, fishing around the Cherokee Dam, the islands and some secondary points.
“I concentrated on scattered brush before moving out to the islands and the deep points to fish big boulders and drops,” said Humbard, who earned his fourth win on Cherokee Lake in BFL competition. “I was sitting in 44 feet of water and throwing into 25 feet – most of them came from 25 to 34 feet this weekend.
“I started off the morning Saturday using a topwater bait and a crankbait, and then as the day went on I switched to a shaky-head rig,” Humbard added. “I finished off my limit with a keeper smallmouth on a brown ¼-ounce homemade jig with a [green pumpkin-colored] Zoom Super Chunk Jr. I ended up catching 14 keepers Saturday.”
Humbard said he used a Bone-colored Heddon Zara Spook Jr. and a 3/4-ounce blue and chartreuse-colored Spro John Crews Little John DD Crankbait. On his shaky-head rig, he said he preferred a Watermelon Candy Red Zoom Mag Finesse Worm. On Sunday, Humbard said conditions changed drastically after the water level dropped 2 inches from Saturday. He still managed to weigh four largemouth and one spotted bass.
“I went down to my area and my topwater and crankbait fish weren’t there. I threw the shaky-head for about 45 minutes with no luck. Everything had changed – the shad, the fish position, everything – so I switched things up,” Humbard said. “I scanned around on my [Garmin] Panoptix and noticed the fish from Saturday were in the brush piles, but suspended up about a foot off of the bottom. I got my Carolina rig out, tied on a 4-foot leader, and put on a chartreuse and pumpkin [Zoom] Baby Brush Hog and finished out a limit. Those five keepers were all I caught Sunday.”
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Bennie Mutter of Glasgow, Kentucky, caught a bass weighing 4 pounds, 15 ounces — the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division — and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $322.
Jonathan Sydnor of Canmer, Kentucky, won the Co-angler Division and $2,641 Sunday after catching a two-day total of four bass weighing 12 pounds, 14 ounces.
William Woods caught the heaviest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 4 pounds, 7 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $300.
The tournament was hosted by the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce.
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. 17-19 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Ala., presented by Mercury. 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 2020 BFL All-American will be held April 30-May 2 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina, and is hosted by Visit Anderson. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.