Choate Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament on Percy Priest Lake

Choate Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament on Percy Priest Lake Brian Choate won the Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament on Percy Priest Lake

SMYRNA, Tenn. (March 11, 2019) – Boater Brian Choate of Burns, Tennessee, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 3 ounces, to win the Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament on Percy Priest Lake. Choate earned $3,156 for his efforts. Choate said he fished mid-lake, wind-blown gravel rock points in 3 to 4 feet of water, specifically around the Four Corners Marina, Elm Hill Recreation Area and Long Hunter State Park. He said he caught five keepers – four largemouth and one smallmouth.


“I wasn’t catching a lot of fish, but they were the right ones. I probably hit 25 to 30 areas – just chasing the wind,” said Choate, who earned his first win in FLW competition. “I’m glad it was windy out there. When it picked up in practice, I was really catching them. I practiced all winter for almost two months and figured if I could get five bites, I’d have a good chance to win.”


Choate said he used a ¾-ounce chartreuse and white-colored Hoppy Tandem Emerald spinnerbait with a 4-inch white/shad-colored Todd Ruth Ultimate Swimbait trailer, as well as a scarlet-colored Duo Realis M62 5A crankbait for his lone smallmouth. His pulled in his fish with a 7-foot, 3-inch Duckett White Ice II Series rod and a Lew’s Team Pro reel.


“I was slow rolling [the spinnerbait], letting it bounce on the rocks or stumps – whatever I was fishing,” said Choate. “I threw the ¾-ounce was because of the wind. I was fishing shallow, but I needed to keep it down.”


Choate finished by extending a “thank you” to C&O Marine in White Bluff, Tennessee, for letting him borrow a boat to use while his new Nitro Z21 was being rigged up and readied for competition.


The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

               1st:          Brian Choate, Burns, Tenn., five bass, 18-3, $3,156

               2nd:         John Hopkins, Smyrna, Tenn., five bass, 17-1, $1,515

               2nd:         Mickey Beck, Lebanon, Tenn., five bass, 17-1, $1,315

               4th:          William Merrick, Mount Juliet, Tenn., five bass, 16-6, $736

               5th:          Billy Hinson, Mount Juliet, Tenn., five bass, 16-4, $631

               6th:          Josh Tramel, Smithville, Tenn., five bass, 15-2, $929

               7th:          Casey Taylor, Smithville, Tenn., five bass, 13-4, $526

               8th:          Brian Carper, Murfreesboro, Tenn., five bass, 12-6, $473

               9th:          Barry Whitaker, Hartsville, Tenn., five bass, 12-5, $421

               10th:        Chris Holland, Winchester, Tenn., four bass, 11-11, $349

               10th:        Daniel Johnson, Lebanon, Tenn., five bass, 11-11, $349 

Tony Eckler of Lebanon, Tennessee, caught a 6-pound, 3-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $370. Theron Hawkes of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, won the Co-angler Division and $1,578 Saturday after catching four bass weighing 13 pounds, 8 ounces.


The top 10 co-anglers were:

               1st:          Theron Hawkes, Murfreesboro, Tenn., four bass, 13-8, $1,578

               2nd:         Robert Henze, La Vergne, Tenn., four bass, 12-13, $789

               3rd:          Grayson Butler, Lebanon, Tenn., two bass, 11-11, $526

               4th:          Ben Gibbs, Murfreesboro, Tenn., two bass, 11-6, $553

               5th:          Spencer Clark, Maryland Heights, Mo., three bass, 10-15, $316

               6th:          Mike Barton, Gallatin, Tenn., two bass, 6-10, $289

               7th:          Rene Gonzalez, Smyrna, Tenn., two bass, 6-7, $263

               8th:          Clarence Raney, Murfreesboro, Tenn., three bass, 6-2, $237

               9th:          Benjiman Smith, Sparta, Tenn., two bass, 6-0, $360

               10th:        Randall Wiggins, Birmingham, Ala., two bass, 5-13, $384

Gibbs caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 6 pounds, 3 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $185.

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