Wartburg’s Kelly claims Co-angler title

NEW TAZEWELL, Tenn. (March 20, 2017) – Larry Neal of Piney Flats, Tennessee, weighed a 17-pound, 11-ounce limit of bass Saturday to win the first T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division event of 2017 on Norris Lake. Neal’s five bass were enough to earn him the top prize of $4,743.


According to tournament reports, Neal caught his fish in the mid-lake area, fishing a hair jig in 20-feet of water.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st:          Larry Neal, Piney Flats, Tenn., five bass, 17-11, $4,743

2nd:         Frankie Dople, Newcomb, Tenn., five bass, 16-10, $2,082

3rd:          Archie Wilson Jr., Corryton, Tenn., five bass, 14-13, $1,587

4th:          Bryan Leonard, Blountville, Tenn., five bass, 13-15, $1,071

5th:          Jonathan Bowling, Harriman, Tenn., five bass, 13-14, $833

6th:          Brandon Brock, Mayking, Ky., five bass, 13-6, $763

7th:          Kevin Powers, Unicoi, Tenn., five bass, 12-10, $694

8th:          Jordan Card, Knoxville, Tenn., five bass, 12-6, $625

9th:          Peter Balishin, Sharps Chapel, Tenn., three bass, 11-15, $555

10th:        James Dial, Jacksboro, Tenn., four bass, 11-7, $486

Complete results can be found at

Neal also weighed a 4-pound, 10-ounce bass – the largest of the event – which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $580.

Darren Kelly of Wartburg, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 10 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the Co-angler Division and $2,000.

The top 10 co-anglers were:

1st:          Darren Kelly, Wartburg, Tenn., five bass, 10-1, $2,000

2nd:         Talmadge Marcum, McKee, Ky., three bass, 9-12, $1,000

3rd:          Doug Austin, Bristol, Va., three bass, 9-8, $666

4th:          Matthew Speights, Mascot, Tenn., three bass, 6-8, $567

5th:          Kibbee McCoy, Morristown, Tenn., two bass, 6-6, $450

6th:          Curtis Hall II, Battle Creek, Mich., three bass, 5-11, $367

7th:          Jordan McDeerman, Caryville, Tenn., two bass, 5-9, $333

8th:          Jose Ramirez, Barbourville, Ky., three bass, 5-5, $300

9th:          Doug Adkins, Gray Hawk, Ky., three bass, 5-2, $267

10th:        Noah Newport, Knoxville, Tenn., three bass, 5-0, $233

Justin McGaha of Knoxville, Tennessee, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing 3 pounds, 15 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $135.

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. 12-14 BFL Regional Championship on the James River in Williamsburg, Virginia. 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.

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