Patterson Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament on Fort Loudoun-Tellico Lakes
LENOIR CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 22, 2007) - Boater Johnny Patterson of Grant, Ala., earned a fully rigged Ranger 198VX and a new Chevy truck Saturday as the winner of the Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Fort Loudoun-Tellico Lakes in Lenoir City, Tenn. The top 40 boaters and the top 40 co-anglers from the Bama, LBL, Music City and North Carolina divisions competed in the three-day event.
Patterson's winning three-day catch of 13 bass weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces. In addition to the new truck and boat, Patterson earned a ticket to the 2008 $1 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League All-American on the Connecticut River in Hartford, Conn., May 29-31. The winning boater and co-angler at the All-American will also advance to the $2 million 2008 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C., Aug. 14-17.
"It was extremely tough to catch fish," Patterson said. "There was a lot of shad on the lake which made it difficult and I think the time of year. I just went searching for fish and I couldn't figure it out. I started out in sixth place so I really didn't think I had a chance."
Patterson caught his winning bass by throwing a green pumpkin finesse worm in shallow muddy water near docks. The top six boaters and the top six co-anglers at the regional championship earned a spot to compete in the All-American. Rounding out the top six boaters were Scott Hamrick of Denver, N.C. (eight bass, 22-00 $4,000); Bryant Ailor of Knoxville, Tenn. (seven bass, 21-03, $2,000); Terry Steele of Sparta, Tenn. (10 bass, 21-02, $1,600); John Dunn of Maryville, Tenn. (11 bass, 18-15, $1,200); and Pat Hatcliff of Murfreesboro, Tenn. (six bass, 17-06, $1,000).
Robert Sledzewski of Maiden, N.C. earned a new Ranger boat as the co-angler winner, thanks to a three-day total of four bass weighing 11 pounds, 9 ounces that he caught on a War Eagle spinnerbait around shallow cover.
Rounding out the top six co-anglers were Brian McCluskey of Adamsville, Ala. (three bass, 10-01, $2,000); Logan Fulks of Hendersonville, Tenn. (five bass, 9-15, $1,000); Mike Hillenbrand of Hendersonville, Tenn. (three bass, 9-08, $800); Johnnie Devine of Mount Washington, Ky. (three bass, 9-04, $600); and Chuck Rounds of Benton, Ky. (two bass, 7-14, $500).