Elrod Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament On The James River


RICHMOND, Va.  – Bryan Elrod of Mechanicsville, Va., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament on the James River. For his victory, Elrod earned $3,679.
     “The river has been fishing really tough lately,” said Elrod. “Like I told everyone else, I just got lucky. I ran to a spot about 30 minutes down-river near lower James Creek to a spot where you can usually get a quick limit, but instead of 14-inchers I was finding 4-pounders.”
     Elrod targeted grassy marsh areas and was fishing shallow with a black buzzbait. He had around 10 keepers on the day, and found the bite was much better in the morning. All of the fish that Elrod weighed in came on the buzzbait.
     “I caught most of my fish within my first 45 minutes on the spot,” Elrod continued. “It was weird, because the tide actually got better but the bite got worse. My knowledge of the river definitely helped me out there. It was a cloudy, rainy overcast day and that kind of changed everything for a lot of guys. I had about 25 spots that I knew of and hit, but really only the one mattered.”
     Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
          2nd:   Spencer Barrow, Snow Hill, N.C., five bass, 16-8, $1,840
          3rd:   Wayne Vaughan, Richmond, Va., five bass, 12-14, $1,225
          4th:    Brian Bersik, Disputanta, Va., five bass, 12-3, $859
          5th:    Francis Andrews, Matoaca, Va., five bass, 12-1, $736
          6th:    Richard Owen, Chester, Va., five bass, 11-8, $675
          7th:    Shawn Hammack, Gasburg, Va., five bass, 11-7, $613
          8th:    Mark Brannock, Chester, Va., five bass, 11-2, $521
          8th:    Chris Dillow, Waynesboro, Va., four bass, 11-2, $521
          10th:  Steve Miller, Mechanicsville, Va., five bass, 10-15, $429
     Lenny Baird of Stafford, Va., and Donald Smith of Henrico, Va. each weighed a five-bass limit totaling 11 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to split the win in the co-angler division. The anglers each won $1,380.
     Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
          3rd:   Mervin Henson, Nitro, W.Va., three bass, 6-11, $612      
          4th:    Keven Smith, Moneta, Va., three bass, 6-9, $429
          5th:    Ronnie Bache, Fredericksburg, Va., three bass, 6-4, $368
          6th:    Richard Rodriguez, Williamsburg, Va., two bass, 6-0, $337
          7th:    Lee Johnson, Charlottesville, Va., three bass, 5-13, $307
          8th:    Kermit Crowder, Matoaca, Va., three bass, 5-9, $276
          9th:    Gary Atwell, Mechanicsville, Va., four bass, 5-7, $230
          9th:    Matt Mohler, Rockbridge Baths, Va., two bass, 5-7, $230
     The final BFL Shenandoah Division tournament is scheduled for Sept. 22-23 on the Potomac River in Marbury, Md. After that fifth Shenandoah Division tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 11-13 Regional Championship on Kerr Lake in Henderson, N.C. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.

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