Pitts plumbs 16-foot depths to win BFL on Russell

Butch Pitts of Watkinsville, Ga., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division tournament of 2014 on Lake Russell. For his victory, Pitts earned $4,082.

 Pitts put together his first career BFL win on Lake Russell, a lake that he’s been fishing since it was built in 1984.
       “Lake Russell has been really tough,” said Pitts. “It has been taking 15 to 16 pounds to win everything here for a while, so I knew I would be close.
     “I was throwing a spinnerbait and a ChatterBait in standing timber for prespawn bass. I was fishing humps and pockets that were about 16-feet deep.
       “I probably caught about 14 fish throughout the day,” said Pitts. “I found the fish on Thursday, and went back on Saturday and they had stayed in that area. Persistence was key – I stayed on the same pattern all day and never left it. I was only getting about two fish an hour. I just kept my head down and stayed with it.
       “It was a good weekend,” finished Pitts. “I’ve fished BFL events for years, it felt good to finally win one.”
      Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
            2nd:   Scott Browning, Franklin, N.C., five bass, 16-12, $2,041
            3rd:   Joseph Marks, Duncan, S.C., five bass, 15-15, $1,362 + $300 Evinrude Bonus
            4th:    Eddie Whiten Jr., Pickens, S.C., five bass, 15-12, $952
            5th:    Todd Goade, Suwanee, Ga., five bass, 14-14, $816 + $300 Evinrude Bonus
            6th:    Russell Clark, Abbeville, S.C., five bass, 14-1, $748
            7th:    Chris Nelson, Social Circle, Ga., five bass, 13-9, $680
            8th:    Mike Bouknight, Greenwood, S.C., five bass, 13-7, $612
            9th:    Greg Glouse, Liberty, S.C., five bass, 13-5, $544
            10th:  Greg Willimon, Pickens, S.C., four bass, 13-2, $476
      Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
      Jaris McGee of Honea Path, S.C., weighed in a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win $2,041 in the co-angler division.
      Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
            2nd:   Bobby Smith, Asheville, N.C., five bass, 11-10, $1,021
            3rd:   Colby Stephens, Demorest, Ga., five bass, 10-8, $683
            4th:    Mark Brinkman, Cumming, Ga., three bass, 10-5, $476
            5th:    Terry McClure, Cumming, Ga., five bass, 9-14, $408
            6th:    Bobby Wade, Gaffney, S.C., five bass, 9-8, $374
            7th:    Tim Jackson, Anderson, S.C., five bass, 9-7, $340
            8th:    Spencer Woodson, Jonesville, S.C., five bass, 9-2, $306
            9th:    Nolan Pulley, Simpsonville, S.C., five bass, 9-1, $255
            9th:    Shane Swann, Mars Hill, N.C., five bass, 9-1, $255
      The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 9-11 Regional Championship on Lake Cherokee in Morristown, Tenn. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
      The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 40 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy. The 2014 BFL All-American is being held June 5-7 on Wilson Lake in Florence, Ala. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Rayovac FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.