Chandler wins FLW tournament

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Kevin Chandler, of New London, N.C., won his second FLW Walmart Bass Fishing League tournament of the year on High Rock Lake thanks to a two-day total of 10 fish weighing 33 pounds, six ounces to earn a check for $7,197.
“This is by far the best year I’ve ever had in the Bass Fishing League, said Chandler, 50, who works for Sun Drop. “It seems like in the last two years I’ve just fished with more confidence and just done my own thing rather than trying to listen to anybody else and it has just worked out.”
One of the best aspects of Chandler’s win was the fact that he fished with his son as a co-angler for the final day of the tournament. Co-anglers are paired with boaters by a blind draw and they are not competing against each other. Bradley Chandler, 20, finished ninth in the co-angler division but had the big fish of the tournament on day one, which earned him $600. “And I expect to be taken out for a steak dinner,” said Kevin Chandler, of his son’s winnings. “It was real special because I don’t think that is ever going to happen again.”
As for the fishing, he came upon his winning pattern in practice while fishing with a friend last week. His friend was catching the fish better than he was.
“I came up here with the intention on catching them on jigs, because I like to fish a jig,” said Chandler. “He was fishing behind me and flipping a spinner bait around the poles (supporting docks) and caught a five pounder. Then he caught another one and I said, ‘maybe I need to get a spinner bait out of the box.”
Throwing the right bait was only part of the equation for Chandler. The location was key as far as getting the big bass to bite.
“The fish were way up underneath the dock or beside a pole. They were tucked in there pretty tight. You were kind of having to flip it like a jig, up close and personal.”
Thomas Jones of Kannapolis won the co-angler division of the tournament with a two-day total weight of 21 pounds, seven ounces, to earn $2,599.
The top Salisbury anglers competing in the event were Rodney Bell, who finished ninth with 24 pounds, 10 ounces; Howard Bean, who finished 19th; and Thomas Ludwick, who finished 26th. Only the top 17 anglers after the first day of competition advanced to Sunday’s final round.