“The fishing was tough in this tournament,” said Leonard of his first win in FLW competition “The lake was being drawn down 8 inches a day and it affected my strategy.
“On Saturday morning I focused on an area down south near the Douglas Dam,” continued Leonard. “I threw a bone-colored Heddon Zara Spook topwater and caught my biggest fish around noon at the end of a bluff point. After that my co-angler and I did a lot of junk-fishing. I caught approximately 12 keepers.
“On day two I started out with the Zara Spook but decided to put it down after an hour,” said Leonard. “I headed up the French Broad River to the headwaters and found an area with clear water.”
Leonard said he used a spinnerbait and a green-pumpkin jig rigged with a green-pumpkin Berkley PowerBait Chigger Craw to catch 10 keepers on Sunday.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Bryan Leonard, Blountville, 10 bass, 27-9, $4,732 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Tim Smiley, White Pine, 10 bass, 23-11, $2,366
3rd: Dale Pelfrey, Rockwood, seven bass, 22-12, $1,577
4th: Michael Cantrell, Philadelphia, 10 bass, 21-11, $1,104
5th: Tim Saylor, Johnson City, 10 bass, 20-1, $946
6th: Eddie Ball, Newport, 10 bass, 19-8, $868
7th: Tee Watkins, East Point, Ky., 10 bass, 17-8, $789
8th: Bill Freeman, Knoxville, six bass, 17-4, $710
9th: Steve Redmond, Waynesville, N.C., eight bass, 16-5, $631
10th: Shane Sloan, Knoxville, six bass, 15-7, $552
Ball caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division Friday. The fish weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $555. Donnie Holder of Mooresburg, won the co-angler division and $2,238 with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 16 pounds, 13 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Donnie Holder, Mooresburg, 10 bass, 16-13, $2,238
2nd: Travis Carpenter, Rogersville, seven bass, 15-9, $1,119
3rd: Stacey Newberry, Maryville, eight bass, 14-10, $748
4th: Chris Seese, Lenoir City, seven bass, 14-4, $522
5th: Kyle Warden, Bluff City, eight bass, 12-10, $448
6th: Jimmy Crum, Afton, five bass, 11-9, $410
7th: Justin McGaha, Knoxville, eight bass, 10-14, $373
8th: Marty Estep, Piney Flats, five bass, 10-9, $336
9th: John Gillespie, Princeton, W. Va., seven bass, 9-11, $298
10th: Matt Brown, Harriman, six bass, 8-4, $261
Wes Ratcliff of Knoxville caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $262.