Wytheville’s Sayers Claims Co-angler Title

HENRICO, Va. (Oct. 2, 2017) – Boater Keith Estes of Spring Grove, Virginia, weighed a two-day cumulative total of 10 bass weighing 28 pounds even to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division tournament on the James River. For his efforts, Estes received $4,101.

Estes said he concentrated on an array of creeks at the mouth of the Chickahominy River, near Jamestown. He targeted bass near trees and submerged wood in the 3- to 5-foot range.

“The main thing with tidal fisheries is that you have to pick whether you’re going to run the incoming or outgoing tide,” said Estes, who clinched his first career win in FLW competition. “Normally I like to fish the outgoing tide, but it was a very small window later in the day so I decided to run the incoming tide.”

Estes said a Blue Fleck-colored Berkley Power Worm caught the most fish, while crankbaits produced the big bites.

“I was fortunate to find fish in practice that I could save for Sunday,” said Estes.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st:          Keith Estes, Spring Grove, Va., 10 bass, 28-0, $4,101

2nd:         Brian LaClair, Denton, Md., 10 bass, 26-14, $1,951

3rd:          Ben Reynolds, Callands, Va., 10 bass, 26-13, $1,301

4th:          Wayne Dorman, Louisa, Va., 10 bass, 26-4, $910

5th:          Mike Morris, Dover, Del., 10 bass, 25-12, $780

6th:          Steven Wiseman, Bryans Road, Md., 10 bass, 25-6, $815

7th:          Zachary Whitt, Newport News, Va., 10 bass, 24-7, $650

8th:          Donald Estes, Richmond, Va., 10 bass, 21-7, $585

9th:          Shaun Hunter, Mount Airy, N.C., nine bass, 18-2, $520

10th:        Derek Brown, Charlottesville, Va., eight bass, 17-1, $455

Complete results can be found at

Dennis Middleton of Madison Heights, Virginia, caught a bass weighing 6 pounds even – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the Boater Big Bass award of $420.

Jonathan Sayers of Wytheville, Virginia, caught a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 19 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the Co-angler Division and $2,151.

The top 10 co-anglers were:

1st:          Jonathan Sayers, Wytheville, Va., 10 bass, 19-10, $2,151

2nd:         Ronald Fulwider, Moneta, Va., eight bass, 17-10, $975

3rd:          Chad Poteat, Mount Airy, N.C., nine bass, 15-15, $699

4th:          David Kennedy, Woodbridge, Va., nine bass, 15-14, $455

5th:          Kenny Main, Colonial Heights, Va., eight bass, 13-15, $390

6th:          Lenny Baird, Stafford, Va., seven bass, 13-9, $358

7th:          Travis Garrett, Charlottesville, Va., seven bass, 11-3, $325

8th:          William Lane, Midlothian, Va., five bass, 10-6, $293

9th:          Chris Whittaker, Waverly, Va., six bass, 10-1, $260

10th:        Nelson Bailey, Virginia Beach, Va., five bass, 9-6, $228

Dick Allen of Sumerduck, Virginia, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 4 pounds, 9 ounces – and earned the Co-angler Big Bass award of $210.

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. The 2018 All-American will be held on Cross Lake in Shreveport, Louisiana, May 31-June 2 and is hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier City Sports Commission and the Red River Waterway Commission. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.

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