Eckler Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament on Old Hickory Lake

Eckler Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament on Old Hickory Lake Tony Eckler won the Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake

GALLATIN, Tenn. (Oct. 1, 2018) – Boater Tony Eckler of Lebanon, Tennessee, won the Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake Sunday with a two-day cumulative catch of 10 bass weighing 28 pounds even. For his win, Eckler took home $4,749.


Eckler primarily flipped green-pumpkin-colored creature baits in 1- to 3-feet of water to catch his fish Saturday. He said he flipped wood and trash piles, fishing both the main-lake and in the creeks in the mid-section of Old Hickory Lake.


“On Sunday I caught a couple of keepers on a (Blue Chrome-colored) Heddon Super Spook at a spot with schooling fish, which was a main-river ledge near the mouth of a creek,” said Eckler. “I also lost a 2-pounder on a Keitech swimbait and a 3-pounder on the Spook – all in the first 15 minutes. I was pretty frustrated.


“After a few slow hours, I caught a 4-pounder on a Texas-rigged (Plum-colored) Zoom Ol’ Monster Worm off of a drop at the same spot they’d been schooling,” said Eckler. “My instincts told me to try dragging something and it worked.”


Eckler said he entered the final hour of the tournament with four fish totaling about 10 pounds. He said he went flipping and switched from green-pumpkin-colored baits to watermelon colors because of the clearer water.


“I caught my fifth fish and culled three times in the last hour and that’s what won me the tournament,” said Eckler. “Even though I’d lost the 2- and 3- pounders early, I didn’t give up.”


Eckler noted that his recently-purchased Nitro Z21 boat and Mercury outboard helped him stay focused on fishing.


“The Nitro and Mercury are a dependable combo. It eases my mind to know that I have good equipment after fishing out of a used boat for several years. I had some issues, but now I don’t have to worry as much and I have a good sense of security.”


The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

              1st:           Tony Eckler, Lebanon, Tenn., 10 bass, 28-0, $4,749

               2nd:         Adam Wagner, Cookeville, Tenn., nine bass, 23-4, $2,465

               3rd:          Jason Dies, Lebanon, Tenn., nine bass, 21-10, $1,350

               4th:          Joel Trevino, Mt. Juliet, Tenn., nine bass, 19-10, $875

               5th:          Rocco Simeri, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 10 bass, 18-12, $1,050

               6th:          Lance Oligschlaeger, Gallatin, Tenn., eight bass, 17-12, $687

               7th:          Hunter Bouldin, McMinnville, Tenn., seven bass, 16-7, $625

               8th:          Josh Tramel, Smithville, Tenn., seven bass, 13-0, $562

               9th:          Alex Hester, Crossville, Tenn., six bass, 12-8, $500

               10th:        Chris Holland, Winchester, Tenn., seven bass, 11-11, $437

Wagner caught a bass weighing 3 pounds, 15 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division. The catch earned him the Boater Big Bass award of $390. J.P. Sims of Cookeville, Tennessee, caught a two-day total of seven bass weighing 11 pounds, 6 ounces, to win the Co-angler Division and $1,875.

The top 10 co-anglers were:

              1st:           J.P. Sims, Cookeville, Tenn., seven bass, 11-6, $1,875

               2nd:         Robert Russell, Smyrna, Tenn., five bass, 9-13, $1,037

               3rd:          Chris O'Bryan, Harned, Ky., four bass, 7-10, $625

               4th:          Brian Reed, Cookeville, Tenn., four bass, 7-2, $437

               5th:          Brandon Davis, Canton, Ga., four bass, 6-14, $375

               6th:          James Davis, Springfield, Tenn., four bass, 5-15, $344

               7th:          Darren Kelly, Wartburg, Tenn., two bass, 5-12, $557

               8th:          Austin Mitchell, Antioch, Tenn., three bass, 4-14, $281

               9th:          Charles Olson, Byrdstown, Tenn., three bass, 4-4, $250

               10th:        Chad Hill, Marion, Ill., two bass, 3-12, $219

Kelly caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 4 pounds, 8 ounces – and earned the Co-angler Big Bass award of $195.

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