Hester wins co-angler title


SENECA, S.C. (Oct. 31, 2016) – Jason Nixon of Wetumpka, Alabama, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 5 ounces, Saturday to win the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional event on Lake Hartwell presented by GoPro, with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 31 pounds, 2 ounces. Nixon earned $65,000 for his victory, including a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard, and a berth into the 2017 BFL All-American Championship.

“I found areas in the back of three different creeks during practice that had stained water, which is what I was looking for,” said Nixon, who earned his third win in FLW competition. “But, on the first day of the tournament the water in my first stop wasn’t stained any longer. It was clear, and I didn’t catch a single fish on it. I went to my second area and caught four fish, and then two more at my third.”

Nixon said he was fishing shallow, in 1 to 3 feet of water, and targeting visible brush tops.

“On Day Two, I rotated between the two areas that had produced the day before,” said Nixon. “One area was in the middle of the lake, and the other one was in the lower end. I moved depending on how the fish were biting. I’d work one area over pretty good, and then move on to the second.”

Nixon said the majority of his fish came on a Rainforest Black-colored Spro Bronzeye Poppin’ Frog. He said he boated 17 keepers over the course of the event.

“I fished the frog fast in the morning and slow in the afternoon,” said Nixon. “Some fish would just swirl at it [the frog] but not touch it. But the ones that bit, they hit it hard and just about swallowed it.”

The top six boaters that qualified for the 2017 BFL All-American were:

1st:          Jason Nixon, Wetumpka, Ala., 15 bass, 31-2, $65,000

2nd:         Jason Wilson, Lincolnton, N.C., 15 bass, 28-12, $10,200

3rd:          Conrad Bolt, Seneca, S.C., 15 bass, 28-9, $5,100

4th:          Barry Hooper, Monticello, Ga., 15 bass, 28-2, $3,000

5th:          Brad Fowler, Townville, S.C., 15 bass, 28-0, $2,000

6th:          Todd Harris, Clemmons, N.C., 14 bass, 27-7, $1,800

Rounding out the top-10 boaters were:

7th:          Joseph Marks, Duncan, S.C., 15 bass, 26-15, $2,600

8th:          Clabion Johns, Covington, Ga., eight bass, 25-9, $1,400

9th:          Randy Gillespie, Sanford, N.C., 15 bass, 25-6, $1,200

10th:        Michael Anders, Anderson, S.C., 15 bass, 24-8, $1,000

Complete results can be found at

Alex Hester of Crossville, Tennessee, won the co-angler division and a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard with a three-day cumulative catch of 14 bass weighing 19 pounds, 12 ounces.

The top six co-anglers that qualified for the 2017 BFL All-American were:

1st:          Alex Hester, Crossville, Tenn., 14 bass, 19-12, $45,000

2nd:         Clarence Raney, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 12 bass, 19-9, $5,000

3rd:          Pat Kendrick, Bumpass, Va., 15 bass, 19-4, $2,500

4th:          Richard Young, Ellenboro, N.C., 13 bass, 18-12, $1,500

5th:          Jeff Scism, Shelby, N.C., 11 bass, 17-8, $1,100

6th:          Greg Ravitsky, Ashburn, Va., 11 bass, 17-5, $950

Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers were:

7th:          Marvin Godard, Charlotte, N.C., 11 bass, 17-1, $800

8th:          Nicholas Ireland, Raleigh, N.C., 12 bass, 16-12, $700

9th:          Radney Atchison, Prattville, Ala., 11 bass, 15-11, $600

10th:        Keith Lynch, River Falls, Ala., 11 bass, 14-14, $500

The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 50 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and 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 2017 BFL All-American will be held May 31-June 3 on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Alabama. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.

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