Newport News’ Riveras Takes Co-angler Title

HENRICO, Va. (July 24, 2017) – Ben Jacobi of North Chesterfield, Virginia, brought five bass weighing 16 pounds, 10 ounces, to the scale Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division tournament on the James River. For his win, Jacobi earned $3,426.

Jacobi said he started out the tournament fishing small feeder creeks near the mouth of the Chickahominy River.

“The water was lower than normal,” said Jacobi, who earned his first career-victory in FLW competition. “Around 7:15 (a.m.), I caught my second-largest bass on a ¼-ounce buzzbait.”

After his catch, Jacobi said he returned to the main river to fish wood and rock. He said he flipped a Texas-rigged green pumpkin-colored soft-plastic and was able to put a 5½ -pounder in the boat.

“I used the same bait the rest of the day and ran the tide back up to the takeoff ramp,” said Jacobi. “I worked through rock, wood and laydowns and had one nice cull in the last hour of competition that likely gave me the win.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st:          Ben Jacobi, North Chesterfield, Va., five bass, 16-10, $3,426

2nd:         Brian LaClair, Denton, Md., five bass, 15-11, $1,713

3rd:          Andy Francis, Chester, Va., five bass, 15-1, $1,341

4th:          Cavin Young, Prince George, Va., five bass, 14-4, $899

5th:          Michael Martinez, Lanexa, Va., five bass, 13-14, $1,115

6th:          Chris Dillow, Waynesboro, Va., five bass, 13-7, $928

7th:          Keith Estes, Spring Grove, Va., five bass, 13-5, $571

8th:          Stephen Miller, Mechanicsville, Va., five bass, 12-15, $514

9th:          Curtis Talbott, Forest, Va., five bass, 12-11, $457

10th:        Jason Holder, Powhatan, Va., five bass, 12-2, $400

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Martinez weighed an 8-pound, 6-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division. The catch earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $430.

Victor Riveras of Newport News, Virginia, won the Co-angler Division and $1,913 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 12 pounds, 8 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers were:

1st:          Victor Riveras, Newport News, Va., five bass, 12-8, $1,913

2nd:         Joshua Wright, Toano, Va., four bass, 9-5, $763

2nd:         Jeff Lederman, Powhatan, Va., five bass, 9-5, $713

4th:          Matt McCluskey, Ashburn, Va., three bass, 9-4, $400

5th:          Danny Crickenberger, Charlottesville, Va., five bass, 8-15, $343

6th:          John Poos, Manassas, Va., five bass, 8-14, $314

7th:          Jerry Comperatore, Tarentum, Pa., four bass, 8-13, $271

7th:          Al Berkley, Madison Heights, Va., five bass, 8-13, $271

9th:          Corey Chatham, Ruther Glen, Va., five bass, 8-1, $228

10th:        Matthew Harney, Manassas, Va., three bass, 7-15, $415

Harney caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 5 pounds, 4 ounces – and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $215.

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 Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia. 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.

For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the BFL on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.