N.C. man wins regional championship on Seminole

Published 3:03 pm Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Boater Bryan New of Belmont, North Carolina, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 63 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the no-entry fee T-H Marine FLW BFL Regional Championship on Lake Seminole Saturday. For the win, New earned $71,200, 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, at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina.

“I was mainly fishing in the Flint River,” said New, who earned his first win as a boater after three career victories as a co-angler in FLW competition. “I had a terrible practice, but I saw two or three fish in the grass on my side imaging and I figured that there was probably a bunch more in there. So I decided that was my best shot and chose to concentrate on the grass.

“I had 12 to 15 stretches of grass where I thought I could catch them,” New continued. “I had one little stretch that was the juice, though. I caught three keepers each day there. It wasn’t anything that special – just some sparse, topped-out matted clumps on the edge of a shallow bar on the river channel.”

New said that he wasn’t exactly sure what the difference maker was for him in comparison to the other competitors, but suspected it may have just been good timing.

“I never stayed in one place for a long time, I just kept rotating through my areas,” New said. “I’d pull in, make 15 casts or so, then leave it for an hour. I kept rotating through and eventually I’d catch one.”

New said his key baits throughout the week were a Guntersville shad-colored 3/8-ounce Greenfish Tackle swim jig with a Keitech 4.3 swimbait trailer, a Texas-rigged green-pumpkin Zoom Ol’ Monster worm and a prototype frog that he has been working on with Fitzgerald Fishing. He also caught one – his biggest fish of the tournament – on a Greenfish Toad Toter buzzbait with a white Zoom Horny Toad.

“The weights make it look like I was really dialed in, but I wasn’t,” New went on to say. “I would get a few good bites early every day, and that kept my confidence level high. I wasn’t catching a ton of fish, though. I only had six bites the first day, seven the second day and six again on the third day. I was definitely scrambling.”

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

1st:          Bryan New, Belmont, N.C., 15 bass, 63-4, $20,000 + Ranger Z518L w/200-horsepower outboard

2nd:         Randall Allen, Owens Cross Roads, Ala., 15 bass, 48-9, $10,000

3rd:         Kip Carter, Mansfield, Ga., 15 bass, 47-10, $5,100

4th:         Stacy Adams, Hazlehurst, Ga., 15 bass, 41-9, $3,000

5th:         Clabion Johns, Social Circle, Ga., 14 bass, 40-14, $2,000

6th:         Nick Cupps, Chattanooga, Tenn., 13 bass, 40-14, $1,800

Rounding out the top-10 boaters were:

7th:         John Polly, Nauvoo, Ala., 13 bass, 40-10, $1,600

8th:         Dylan Peppers, Social Circle, Ga., 14 bass, 39-14, $1,400

9th:         Mikey Keyso Jr., North Port, Fla., 13 bass, 36-2, $1,200

10th:       Matt Baty, Bainbridge, Ga., 12 bass, 33-2, $1,000

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Bart Beasley of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, weighed in 15 bass over three days totaling 28 pounds, 6 ounces to win the top co-angler prize package of $50,000, including a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Evinrude outboard.

The T-H Marine FLW BFL Regional Championship on Lake Seminole was hosted by the Bainbridge Convention & Visitors Bureau. It featured the top pros and co-anglers from the Bulldog (Georgia), Choo Choo (Alabama), Gator (Florida), and Savannah River (Georgia-South Carolina) divisions.