GALLATIN — It was a doubleheader for bass anglers this past weekend in Gallatin with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Old Hickory Lake events.
Boater Daniel Johnson of Lebanon brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 16 pounds, 6 ounces to win Saturday’s event and earn $4,418, while John Hopkins of Hendersonville brought in a limit weighing 20 pounds, 11 ounces on Sunday to earn the win and $3,164.
The tournaments were the second and third of five events in the Music City Division presented by A.R.E. Truck Caps.
“It was pretty much the same old, same old for me,” said Johnson, who earned his fourth career victory in BFL competition. “I live about a quarter-mile from the lake, and fish it all the time, primarily shallow. I caught everything that I had flipping soft plastics in 1- to 6-feet of water.
“The hot and sunny weather really helped me,” Johnson continued. “It positioned the fish right where they needed to be for flipping.”
Johnson said that his key bait was a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver, which he estimated he threw 70% of the day.
The top five boaters on Saturday were:
1st: Daniel Johnson of Lebanon, five bass, 16-6, $4,418
2nd: Tim Messer of Hendersonville, four bass, 16-0, $1,709
3rd: Lance Oligschlaeger of Gallatin, five bass, 15-6, $1,138
4th: Dustin Hinkle of Mount Juliet, five bass, 14-8, $1,218
5th: Adam Wagner of Cookeville, five bass, 14-2, $1,184
Complete results for Saturday can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Hinkle brought a 6-pound, 2-ounce bass to the scale to add Saturday’s Boater Big Bass award of $420 to his winnings.
Sunday’s tournament was a completely different story as winner John Hopkins spent his day catching huge numbers of fish out deep on the ledges.
“I caught probably 60 fish throughout the day,” said Hopkins, who picked up his fifth career BFL win. “Old Hickory is fishing better than it ever has.”
Hopkins said that he caught two good fish on a jig, but most of his damage was done with an unnamed crankbait.
The top five boaters on Sunday were:
1st: John Hopkins of Hendersonville, five bass, 20-11, $3,164
2nd: Mickey Beck of Lebanon, five bass, 18-2, $1,582
3rd: Dylan Wright of Murfreesboro, five bass, 17-14, $1,054
4th: Clabion Johns of Social Circle, Georgia, five bass, 16-7, $738
5th: Hunter Bouldin of McMinnville, five bass, 16-5, $633
William Merrick of Mt. Juliet was Sunday’s highest-finishing FLW Phoenix Bonus member and took home an extra $500.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Double-Header on Old Hickory Lake was hosted by Sumner County Tourism.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the Music City Division presented by A.R.E. based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 22-24 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia.
Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new 18-foot Phoenix bass boat with a 200-horsepower outboard.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine 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 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American will be held Nov. 11-13 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division earn priority entry into the FLW Series, the pathway to the FLW Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour, where top pros compete with no entry fees.