Jonathan Henry of Grant, Ala., brought the largest stringer of the tournament to the scale Saturday – a five-bass limit totaling 30 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division event on Lake Guntersville presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 77 pounds, 8 ounces. For his victory, Henry earned $40,000.
Henry started the day in ninth place but jumped to the top of the leaderboard after catching the only limit weighing more than 30 pounds throughout the three-day event.
“Today I caught them off of a community hole on a bridge,” said Henry, who earned his first career victory in FLW competition. “The first two days I fished probably 30 spots a day. Some were shallow and some were medium-offshore.”
Henry explained that the bass were feeding when he arrived at the bridge in the morning, and that he didn’t leave until he had caught over 30 pounds on a Shad 1-colored Scottsboro Tackle Fringe Swimbait.
“Guntersville is the best lake in the country,” said Henry of his home waters. “I caught about 25 bass and culled three or four 5-pounders today. My co-angler thought I had it won and I thought I had a good chance. I didn’t know that I had more than 30 pounds, though. When I saw that I knew that Mark Rose would need to have a really big bag to beat me.
“About a year and a half ago, Jason Christie started helping me, I fish the FLW Tour as a co-angler and practice with him,” finished Henry. “I hang around with guys that expect to win and I think that’s rubbed off on me. I hadn’t thought about the check until they handed it to me. All I wanted was that trophy. All I wanted to do was win.”
The top 10 pros on Lake Guntersville were:
1st: Jonathan Henry, Grant, Ala., 15 bass, 77-8, $40,000
2nd: Walmart pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., 15 bass, 76-9, $15,500
3rd: Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 73-1, $12,000
4th: Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 70-12, $10,000
5th: Robert Boyd, Russellville, Ala., 15 bass, 69-9, $9,000
6th: Brad Knight, Wartburg, Tenn., 14 bass, 69-5, $8,000
7th: Ron Nelson, Berrien Springs, Mich., 15 bass, 67-15, $7,000
8th: David Hendrick, Cherryville, N.C., 15 bass, 67-0, $6,000
9th: Robert Behrle, Hoover, Ala., 15 bass, 65-14, $5,000
10th: Greg Willimon, Pickens, S.C., 14 bass, 57-15, $4,000
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Rose and Bryan Gustafson of Fort Frances, Ontario, tied for the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division on Thursday, each weighing a bass that weighed 7-pounds, 9-ounces, to split the day’s Rayovac FLW Series Big Bass award of $300.
Malcolm Acree of Clearwater, Fla., won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117C with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 50 pounds, 12 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers on Lake Guntersville were:
1st: Malcolm Acree, Clearwater, Fla., 15 bass, 50-12, Ranger Z117C with a 90-horsepower outboard
2nd: Randy Gardner, Wetumpka, Ala., 13 bass, 48-9, $5,000
3rd: Bryan New, Belmont, N.C., 13 bass, 47-3, $4,000
4th: Ronald Young, Winter Haven, Fla., 14 bass, 44-4, $3,500
5th: Dererk Savage, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 13 bass, 43-8, $3,000
6th: Timothy Watkins, Trussville, Ala., 13 bass, 41-8, $2,500
7th: Robert Russell, Smyrna, Tenn., 13 bass, 40-7, $2,000
8th: Mike Evans, Deatsville, Ala., 12 bass, 38-3, $1,750
9th: Steve Keller Jr., Bethel, Ohio, 11 bass, 37-11 $1,500
10th: Wesley Bleich, Newnan, Ga., nine bass, 30-11, $1,250
Keller Jr. caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division Friday – a 9-pound, 1-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Rayovac FLW Series Big Bass award of $200.