Georgia angler wins Lake Hartwell tourney

Boater Brad Benfield of Cornelia, Georgia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division tournament on Lake Hartwell with a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces. For his day on the water, Benfield took home $2,977.Benfield said he sight-fished for bass on the lower end of the lake near the dam on the Georgia side. He said he targeted main-lake pockets, and had about 20 different pockets at his disposal. “The fish were kind of behind the grass that had been on the bank before the lake had come up – I think its dogfennel grass – in 2 feet or less of water,” said Benfield, who grabbed his first win in FLW competition. “I probably caught eight keepers. It was slow until midday, but when it warmed about 1:30 [p.m.] until weigh-in is when I caught most of them.”Benfield said he used two different baits – a 5-inch, Texas-rigged Pumpkin Chartreuse-colored Zoom Lizard with a ¼-ounce tungsten sinker weight and a 3/8-ounce, green-pumpkin-colored 706 Fishing Lures shaky-head rig with a Watermelon Candy-colored Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw. Tugaloo State Park hosted the event.