Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 03/04/2018

Story and photo courtesy FLW Communications

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. – Local pro Matt Baty of Bainbridge, won the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event at Lake Seminole presented by T-H Marine Saturday after bringing a limit of bass weighing 20 pounds, 3 ounces to the scale. Baty’s two-day total of 45-0 gave him the win by a 2-pound, 3-ounce margin in the wind-shortened event and earned him a winner’s check worth $56,200.

“I found my spot about three weeks ago after we had gotten quite a bit of rain,” said Baty, who earned his second career win on Lake Lanier in FLW competition. “I’ve fished it a few times over the years, and it never really had any grass before. This year there was a small patch of deep grass, and there was a current over it. The fish were holding to the grass.

“During my practice I caught a 6-pounder there, but I had foul-hooked it in the eye,” Baty continued. “I left the area and was hoping that it would be productive for me come tournament time. I ended up catching that same 6-pounder during the tournament – I could tell by the messed up eye.”

Baty described his area as a creek channel bend. He said he sat his boat in 8 feet of water and cast his baits out to 18 feet, flowing with the current. He credited a gizzard shad-colored Jenko CD20 crankbait, a 1-ounce Buddha Bait Swagger Jig with a 4-inch shad-colored Big Bite Baits Cane Thumper and a Carolina-rigged Zoom Trick Worm as his key baits for the event. He estimated that he caught around 20 keepers on Friday and another 15 on Saturday.

“The first day I caught most of my fish on the Jenko crankbait. The second day the big ones came on the Swagger Jig, but I used the Carolina rig to fill out my limit. I did get one big one with the Carolina rig. I truly believe that Spike-It Aerosol Garlic Oil scent on my baits was a big difference-maker.”

The top 10 pros on Lake Seminole finished:
1st: Matt Baty, Bainbridge, Ga., 10 bass, 45-0, $56,200
2nd: Rick Tindell, Leesburg, Ga., 10 bass, 42-13, $23,650
3rd: Hensley Powell, Whitwell, Tenn., 10 bass, 40-14, $16,100
4th: Jason Smith, Dawson, Ga., 10 bass, 39-7, $14,000
5th: Kurt Mitchell, Milford, Del., 10 bass, 39-4, $13,000
6th: Troy Gibson, Mountain Home, Ark., 10 bass, 38-9, $10,000
7th: Wes Logan, Springville, Ala., 10 bass, 38-8, $8,600
8th: John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 10 bass, 33-7, $7,600
9th: Bradley Enfinger, Colquitt, Ga., 10 bass, 31-12, $6,600
10th: Koby Kreiger, Bokeelia, Fla., 10 bass, 31-10, $4,800

Full results for the entire field can be found at

Tindell and Brandon Classon of Leesburg, Georgia, both caught an 8-pound, 6-ounce bass Friday – the biggest of the tournament – and split the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $300.

Shawn York of Sarasota, Florida, won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower outboard motor with a two-day total catch of nine bass weighing 28 pounds, 11 ounces. Terry Holsapple of Greenup, Illinois, finished runner-up with 10 bass weighing 27-14, good for $7,050.