The other barely squeezed into the field at the last moment.
Tim Rhyne of Inman, who won the Feb. 4 Savannah River Division BFL on Lake Keowee, explained how he found his fish.
"It snowed one day last year, and a friend and I went looking around on the lake," Rhyne said. "We found this place, and I caught two 4-pounders, one almost four pounds and one I lost that probably weighed five pounds."
He had discovered a real honey hole - or so he thought. Rhyne started the 2007 tournament at that spot and did not do any good.
"This year, it did me just right, though," he said. "The whole time I practiced this year, I never went to it, just drove right past it. The day of the tournament I decided to go there - and it was the right decision."
Rhyne had his limit in 55 minutes and continued fishing, culling as he caught bigger fish. He caught his fish throwing a Fish Stalker Blade Runner on a flat about 22 to 23 feet deep.
"I put a Zoom Fluke on the back of the Blade Runner and just basically kept up with the bait that was working the flat," he said. "I had 14 bites and boated 13 of them."
Although he was catching spotted bass, Rhyne's big fish was a 4-pound, 5-ounce largemouth that hit the Blade Runner.
"I left that area around 2 o'clock and went to flipping a jig around some boat docks, trying to get one more big bite and increase the weight I already had and trying to help my co-angler catch a limit."
Rhyne weighed in five bass at 14-2, earning $4,508, plus $835 for the Boater Division Big Bass Award.
Rounding out the top five boaters were: 2. Chris Baxter (Winder, Ga.), 5 bass, 12-04, $2,652; 3. Mark Gibson (Seneca), 5, 11-14, $1,768; 4. Brandon Cobb (Greenwood), 5, 11-13, $1,238; and 5. Rick Steckelberg (Gainesville, Ga.), 5, 11-12, $1,061.
The top five co-anglers were: 1. Brett Littlefield (Greer), 5 bass, 11-06, $2,652; 2. Charles Dickens (Augusta, Ga.), 3, 10-09, $1,326; 3. Tommy Kimbrell (Eastanollee, Ga.), 5, 10-06, $887; 4. Chad Silver (Leicester, N.C.), 5, 9-14, $619; and 5. Cooper Lindsey (Taylors), 5, 9-12, $530. Big Fish: Dickens, 7-3, $417.
The Savannah River Division 2008 schedule includes: March 1, Clarks Hill; April 5, Lake Hartwell; May 3, Lake Hartwell; and a two-day Super Tournament on Clarks Hill, Sept. 6-7.
Lake Murray BFL
Justin Harvey of Gaffney was not sure he was going to get to fish the Wal-Mart BLF South Carolina Division tournament Feb. 18 on Lake Murray, but he's sure glad he did.
"I didn't find out I could get to fish the tournament until Friday, and I signed up about 5 o'clock that afternoon," he said.
Harvey had finished third in a federation tournament on Murray the previous week by fishing deep drops for big bass, but he learned quickly that the lake had changed in the week between tournaments.
"I started out that morning fishing deep and caught a couple of fish on a brown, 9/16ths-ounce Tabu jig, but I knew I couldn't win the tournament deep because the quality I needed was not there," he said.
So, when the sun got up, he moved to shallow water, flipping a brown, 3/8th-ounce Mop jig around boat docks.
"I was catching fish in two to three feet of water, but the docks had to be close to deep water," he said.
By 10:30, he had five fish in the 3½- to 4-pound range, but he kept fishing, culling up to the 18-8 it took the $3,793 first place purse.
Rounding out the top five boaters were: 2. Neil Huffstetler (Pomaria), 5 bass, 17-01, $2,232; 3. Kenneth Huntley (Matthews, N.C.), 4, 16-13, $1,489; 4. Andy Owens (Camden), 5, 16-06, $1,041; and 5. Matt Arey (Shelby, N.C.), 5, 15-15, $893. Big fish: Mario Colangelo (North Charleston), 7-4, $640.
Top five co-anglers: 1. Scott Peavey (Ridgeway), 5 bass, 15-12, $2,232; 2. Mark Osborne (Union), 5, 12-04, $1,116; 3. Tommy Lindler (Lexington), 5, 11-07, $743; 4. Brian Ruppe (Gaffney), 5, 10-15, $521; and 5. Alex Singleton (Ravenel), 4, 9-05, $446. Big fish: Russell Steen (Hartsville), 5-9, $320.
The South Carolina Division 2008 schedule includes: March 8, Clarks Hill; April 12, Lake Hartwell; June 14, Lake Wateree; and a two-day Super Tournament on Lake Wylie Sept. 27-28.Other bass
TournamentsNational Bass Circuit, SC UpState Pro Series, Lake Keowee, Jan. 27
1. Richard Phillips/Jerry Perkins (Asheville, N.C.) 12.20 pounds, $1,120; 2. Bobby Ayers/Ryan Bowman (Seneca), 12.03, $710; 3. Todd Pearson/Glenn Kimbrell (Anderson), 11.92, $760; 4. Jim O' Kelley (Seneca)/Corey Lewis (Liberty), 11.62, $326; 5. Barton Aiken (Greenville)/Jeff Rohaley (Greer), 11.43, $240. Big Fish: Pearson/Kimbrell, 4.36 pounds.National Bass Circuit, 2008 Southern Pro Series,
Lake Murray, Feb. 10
1. Brett Collins (Ridgeway)/Andy Owens (Camden), 21.75 pounds, $1,375; 2. Randall Driggers (Turbeville)/Josh McGregor (Timmonsville), 19.36, $850; 3. Scott Peavey/Lee Royson (Ridgeway), 17.86, $600; 4. John Cowart (Jefferson)-/Sam Jacoby (Marshville, N.C.), 15.90, $400; 5. Deron Donohoo/-Johnny Houser (Sumter), 14.05, $300. Big Fish: Peavey/Royson, 6.87 pounds, $360.Fishers of Men, Lake Keowee Jan. 26
1. David Vaughn (Royston, Ga.)/Tommy Royston (Hartwell, Ga.), 4 fish, 12.13 pounds, $1,218; 2. Eugene Rogers/Jimmy Rogers (Cashiers, N.C.), 5, 10.9, $567; 3. Tony Holliday (Piedmont)/Wayne Davenport (Pelzer), 5, 10.32, $581; 4. Jeff Wood (Townville)/Mike Easter (Piedmont), 5, 9.28, $378; 5. Author Sluder/Francisco Trejo (Cherokee, N.C.), 5, 9.28, $315. Big fish: Vaughn/ Royston, 5.15 pounds; 2nd Big Fish: Holliday/ Davenport, 3.44 pounds.
Carolina Angler's Team Trail, Lake Wylie, Feb. 2
1. Tim Chapman (Kings Mountain, N.C.)/Eddie smith (Gastonia, N.C.), 5 bass, 13-15, $640; 2. Joe Hansil (Gastonia, N.C.)/Steve Sexton (Belmont, N.C.), 12-9, $301; 3. John Schohn/Mark Glen (Lake Wylie), 12-9, $100. Big Fish: Hugh Moss/Joe Estes (Gaffney), 4-4, $119; 2nd Big Fish: Hansil/Sexton, 3-14.Carolina Anglers Team Trail,
Lake Murray, Feb. 9
1. Roger Medlock (Sullivans Island)/Todd Lawrence (Rock Hill), 5 fish, 16.05 pounds, $920; 2. Phil Christ (Lexington)/Jeremiah Jensen (Columbia), 5, 13.09, $400; 3. Tim Huffstetler (Little Mountain)/Neil Huffstettler (Pomaria), 5, 13.05 pounds, $300; 4. Tim Sox (West Columbia)/Alex Huffstetler (Chapin), 5, 13.05, $150; 5. Regi Floyd/Jeff Kerse (Columbia), 5, 13.03, $115. Big Fish: Medlock/Lawrence, 6.04 pounds, $224; 2nd Big Fish: Floyd/Kerse, 6.01, $96.
Striper TournamentsMidlands Striper Club, Lake Murray, Feb. 16
1. Louis and Lorraine Buckwell (Taylors), 4 fish, 37.14 pounds; 2. Team Wildman – Capt. Donnie Christopher/Justin Christopher/Skip Morgan (Rock Hill)/Danny Young (Sumter), 33 pounds; 3. Team Nobody – Captain Billy Durant (Chapin)/Weston Thomas/Rianne Thomas (Lexington) 23.8 pounds. Lowest creel weight: Wynn Corley/ Tony Carroll (Lexington), 4.11 pounds.
Catfish TournamentsCarolina Catmen,
Lake Murray Jan. 12
1. Greg Dutton/Lloyd Smith (Anderson), 5 fish, 48 pounds; 2. Wesley Noffz/Curtis Walters (Greenwood), 5, 44.90 pounds; 3. Neal Ferqueron/Doug Ferqueron (Greenwood), 13.80 pounds. Big Fish: Noffz/Walters, 11.30 pounds.
Crappie TournamentsSouthern Crappie Association,
Lake Greenwood, Jan. 5
1. Ed Duke/Trudie Duke (Concord, N.C.), 14.20 pounds, $934; 2. Eddie Werts/Kenny Winn (Saluda), 13.7 pounds, $440; 3. Gary Ashe/John Robinson (Concord, N.C.), 13.21 pounds, $279. Big Fish: Ellis Cannon/John Cannon (Chapin), 2.46 pounds, $265.
Tournament SchedulesCarolina Catmen Tournament Trail:
March 29, Lakes Marion and Moultrie, Popular Creek Landing; April 12, Lake Wateree, Dutchman's Creek Marina; May 10, Lake Monticello, Electric Co-op Ramp; June 6, Lake Hartwell night tournament, 12 Mile Recreation Area; July 18, Lakes Marion and Moultrie night tournament, Rocks Pond; Aug. 23, Lake Thurmond, Dorn Fishing Area; Sept. 13, Carolina Catmen 2008 Championship, Rocks Pond.
Contact: Gary Case, 864-844-3355; Entry fee: $100 2-person team, $10 big fish. Membership fee: $20.American Bass Anglers Couples Series, SC West Division No. 11:
March 1, Lake Keowee, Milecreek Ramp; March 29, Clarks Hill, Wildwood Ramp; April 26, Lake Hartwell, Fairplay; May 17, Lake Keowee, Milecreek Ramp; June 14, Lake Russell, Elbert Boat Ramp.
Contact: Directors Steven and Heather Broom, 828-508-0288 or 828-508-8091; www.abacouples.com.
Note to tournament directors: Send your schedules in the format shown above and your tournament results as soon as possible after your tournaments. Be sure to include names, hometowns, number of fish caught, total weight, prize money and big fish information. Email to Pat Robertson: email@example.com.