Athen’s Kimmel Wins Co-angler Division

SENECA, S.C. (Oct. 7, 2019) – Boater Jayme Rampey of Liberty, South Carolina, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 43 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the no-entry fee T-H Marine FLW BFL Regional Championship on Lake Hartwell presented by Navionics Saturday. For the win, Rampey earned $70,000, including a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Evinrude outboard and automatic entry into the 2020 BFL All-American Championship, April 30-May 2 – also at Lake Hartwell.

With the win, the Liberty angler earned his 11th career BFL victory and moved into a tie for No. 3 all-time for most BFL Boater wins – remarkable considering Rampey is just 33 years old. Five of his 11 wins have come on Lake Hartwell, including one just 2½ weeks ago.

“I caught them doing pretty much the same thing that I did just a few weeks ago,” said Rampey. “I’d start shallow every morning throwing a Zoom Horny Toad. I’d fish that until 11 (a.m.) or so, then I’d run to the lower end of the lake and fish purely topwater baits. I was throwing at isolated targets – timber, cane piles and rock piles – in 20 feet of water.”

Rampey’s first day limit Thursday consisted of five largemouth bass. On day two, his limit consisted of a mix of largemouth and spotted bass, and on the third and final day his limit was five spotted bass.

“I think it was due to the wind and the conditions – it was really blowing on day two – and it had the largemouth held real tight to the cover,” Rampey said. “I caught around 15 fish each day, and it was a good mix. I caught one or two shallow and the rest offshore on Thursday. Friday, I caught all of them offshore. Saturday I only caught one offshore and the rest were shallow.”

Rampey said his two main baits were a Ima Little Stik topwater bait, rigged with 30-pound-test Hi-Seas Grand Slam braided line, and a Zoom Horny Toad (green-pumpkin- and watermelon-colored) rigged with 65-pound Hi-Seas Grand Slam braid with a 6/0 Owner Twistlock Flipping Hook.

“The shallow fish were biting really well in practice, but it seemed to get worse and worse each day,” Rampey went on to say. “I think the difference was making the right decision to go offshore at the right time each day.”

The top six boaters that qualified for the 2020 BFL All-American were:

1st:          Jayme Rampey, Liberty, S.C., 15 bass, 43-12, $20,000 + Ranger Z518L w/200-horsepower outboard

2nd:         Ryan Deal, Marshville, N.C., 15 bass, 42-14, $10,000

3rd:         Mike Miller, Trinity, N.C., 14 bass, 37-6, $5,000

4th:         Wesley Sandifer, Chapin, S.C., 15 bass, 36-6, $3,000

5th:         Clabion Johns, Social Circle, Ga., 15 bass, 35-0, $2,200

6th:         Todd Goade, Suwanee, Ga., 15 bass, 33-6, $1,800

Rounding out the top-10 boaters were:

7th:         Conrad Bolt, Seneca, S.C., 15 bass, 33-6, $1,700

8th:         Ross Burns, Columbia, S.C., 15 bass, 33-4, $1,400

9th:         Jason Burroughs, Hodges, S.C., 15 bass, 33-2, $1,200

10th:       Joseph Marks, Duncan, S.C., 15 bass, 32-12, $1,000

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Justin Kimmel of Athens, Georgia, weighed in 15 bass over three days totaling 27 pounds, 10 ounces to win the top prize package of $50,000, including a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Evinrude outboard.

The top six co-anglers that qualified for the 2020 BFL All-American were:

1st:          Justin Kimmel, Athens, Ga., 15 bass, 27-10, Ranger Z518L w/200-horsepower outboard

2nd:         Nick Coker, Knoxville, Tenn., 15 bass, 27-2, $5,200

3rd:         Wayne Smelser, Rural Retreat, Va., 15 bass, 24-14, $2,550

4th:         Costas Melendez, Shenandoah, Va., 14 bass, 24-13, $1,500

5th:         Kibbee McCoy, Knoxville, Tenn., 13 bass, 19-10, $1,000

6th:         James Roten, West Jefferson, N.C., 14 bass, 19-9, $900

Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers were:

7th:         Matt Langley, Lebanon, Tenn., 10 bass, 18-7, $800

8th:         Sam Loveless, Somerset, Ky., nine bass, 18-6, $700

9th:         Trace Bigelow, Salisbury, N.C., 11 bass, 17-8, $600

10th:       Maverick Canipe, Kings Mountain, N.C., 10 bass, 16-11, $500

The T-H Marine FLW BFL Regional Championship on Lake Hartwell presented by Navionics was hosted by Visit Oconee SC. It featured the top pros and co-anglers from the Music City (West Tennessee), Shenandoah (Virginia-Maryland), North Carolina, and Volunteer (East Tennessee) divisions.

The 2019 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 2020 BFL All-American will be held April 30-May 2 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina, and is hosted by Visit Anderson. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League on FLW’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.