Bass fishing

Playing for keeps, Mooresville’s Carson Orellana parlays his limit of five bass weighing in at 15 pounds into the capturing of the winner’s trophy in the T-H Marine Forrest L. Wood Bass Fishing League North Carolina Division opener presented by Navionics held on Lake Norman late last month.

That felt familiar.

It sure should have.

Mooresville professional fisherman Carson Orellana roamed far-too-familiar territory on his way towards fashioning a first-place finish in the T-H Marine Forrest L. Wood Bass Fishing League North Carolina Division opener presented by Navionics held on Lake Norman late last month.

Orellana hauled in a keeper limit of five bass weighing in at 15 pounds even to boat the winner’s take of $4,209 from the overall purse. He topped the next-best entry in the field by a single ounce.

The Pinnacle Access Area off N.C. Highway 150 served as the tournament’s official weigh-in site.

The area angler revealed that he split his day between the upper and lower ends of Lake Norman, catching seven or eight keepers in the process.

“ I started out fishing rocks in the morning, on the upper side of the lake, in dingy water. The water levels were up and I used moving baits,” said Orellana, who notched his first career victory in FLW competition. “I caught one that I weighed from the bank around rocks. After that, the wind picked up so I chased it. It’s a wind-driven lake.

“ I headed to the lower side of the lake because it’s more wide open,” added Orellana, careful not to reveal all his well-known secrets of the site.” I fished prespawn areas in the creeks — they were pretty much wind-blown banks. I used C-Maps on my Lowrance electronics to find some of the steeper banks.There were banks that had a foot or so of water on them, and they didn’t seem to be as good as the ones that had 5- to 6-feet of water right off them.

Orellana said he ended up weighing four fish from areas around docks with rocks.

The tournament was officially hosted by the Mooresville Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The top 45 pro boaters and amateur co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 17-19 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama presented by Mercury. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.

The 2019 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American.

The 2019 BFL All-American will be held May 30-June 1 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland, and is hosted by the Charles County Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism and the Commissioners of Charles County.

Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.

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