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Phillips fishes his way to victory in BFL event at Lake Wateree

Posted: June 18, 2014 3:52 p.m.
Updated: June 20, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Steve Phillips of Lugoff weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2014 on Lake Wateree. For his victory, Phillips earned $4,977.
“I was kind of surprised to win,” said Phillips, who has now won three BFL tournaments on Lake Wateree. “I thought it would take more like 21 pounds to win.
 “I’ve fished that lake since the mid-(19) 70’s,” Phillips added. “I only live about 15 minutes from there so I know it pretty well.
 “I knew what I was going to do. I was going to go deep and stay deep. The key for me was sticking with the crankbait all day long. I had cramps in my hands at the end of the day.”
Phillips said he targeted ledges, points and humps with stumps and rocks on them in about 15-feet of water and that he was throwing a chartreuse-colored and shad-colored Norman DD22 crankbait.
 “Wateree isn’t a very big lake and it can be hit or miss,” Phillips said. “You are fishing behind a lot of people and you have to time when the fish are ready to feed just right. I would say I caught around 13 bass throughout the day.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros were: Matthew Nettles (Columbia, five bass, 18-6, $1,489), Glenn Altman (Marion, five bass, 17-8, $992),Greg Rikard (Leesville, five bass, 17-6, $645), Thomas Rubbo (Lexington, five bass, 17-6, $645), Jerry Freezon (Elgin, five bass, 16-11, $546), Jay Keith (Camden, five bass, 16-7, $471 + $300 Evinrude Bonus), Rob Thames (Lexington, five bass, 16-7, $471), Alan Fletcher (Hartsville, five bass, 16-6, $397) and Derek Schlotterback (Simpsonville, five bass, 16-2, $347).
Calvin Sharp of Round O weighed in a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win $1,489 in the co-angler division. Richie Dixon of Camden was second with four bass weighing 12 pounds, 14 ounces to earn, $744.
The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 2-4 Regional Championship on the James River in Richmond, Va. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.

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