Co-Angler Title Goes to Byhalia’s Sawyer

IUKA, Miss. (April 8, 2019) – Boater Trent Suratt of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, brought five bass to the weigh-in stage Saturday totaling 20 pounds, 3 ounces, to earn the win and $4,394 at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division tournament on Pickwick Lake.

“I was on the upper end of the lake, just below Wilson Dam, targeting chunk rock in 4 to 7 feet of water where smallmouth and largemouth like to get in and bed,” said Suratt, who notched his first career win in FLW competition. “I stayed in one area all day – it was pretty much a flat on the main river that was probably 100 by 100 yards in size.

“I caught five keepers – three smallmouth and two largemouth,” continued Suratt. “I had two fish at 11 [a.m.] and three more between 11 and 1 [p.m.]. It was a midday bite – that’s how it’s been the last couple of weeks. They haven’t come up to feed to feed until 11 or noon.”

Suratt said he caught his fish on shaky-head rigs with a 5-inch, green-pumpkin-colored Yum Dinger. He used 10-pound-test Yo-Zuri braided line with an 8-pound-test Sunline Super FC Sniper fluorocarbon leader and a 7-foot, 3-inch Fitzgerald Stunner HD Medium-Heavy Spinning Rod.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st:          Trent Suratt, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., five bass, 20-3, $4,394

2nd:         Don Perkins, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 19-12, $2,397

3rd:          Taurian Parks, Yazoo City, Miss., five bass, 19-7, $1,564

4th:          Todd Rackley, Sheffield, Ala., five bass, 19-4, $1,025

5th:          Blake Daugherty, Batesville, Miss., five bass, 18-9, $879

6th:          Justin Atkins, Florence, Ala., four bass, 18-2, $1,985

7th:          Mitch Mitchell, Muscle Shoals, Ala., five bass, 18-1, $695

7th:          Jade Keeton, Florence, Ala., five bass, 18-1, $695

9th:          Jeff Suratt, Leoma, Tenn., five bass, 17-15, $736

10th:        Heath Gilmore, Meridian, Miss., five bass, 17-11, $513

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Atkins caught a 9-pound, 2-ouncer – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $630.

Thomas Sawyer of Byhalia, Mississippi, won the Co-angler Division and $2,512 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 19 pounds, 9 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers were:

1st:          Thomas Sawyer, Byhalia, Miss., five bass, 19-9, $2,512

2nd:         John Swords, Collierville, Tenn., five bass, 15-2, $1,098

3rd:          Kevin Crutcher, Collierville, Tenn., four bass, 13-11, $733

4th:          George Welch, Hernando, Miss., five bass, 12-11, $513

5th:          Richard Baker, Jackson, Tenn., five bass, 12-10, $439

6th:          Larry Stewart Jr., Clinton, Miss., four bass, 11-12, $603

7th:          Zach Smith, Ripley, Miss., three bass, 10-10, $366

8th:          Jimmy Tisdale, Ellisville, Miss., four bass, 10-2, $330

9th:          Ryan LeCompte, Picayune, Miss., four bass, 9-10, $343

10th:        Don White, Columbus, Miss., three bass, 9-6, $406

Sawyer also caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 6 pounds, 5 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $315.

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. 17-19 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama, presented by Mercury. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.

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 2019 BFL All-American will be held May 30-June 1 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland, and is hosted by the Charles County Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism and the Commissioners of Charles County. 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.