Leonard won with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 9 ounces. Sunday’s five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 10 ounces put him over the top.
“The fishing was tough in this tournament,” said Leonard of his first win in FLW competition “The lake was being drawn down 8 inches a day and it affected my strategy.
“On Saturday morning I focused on an area down south near the Douglas Dam,” continued Leonard
“I threw a bone-colored Heddon Zara Spook topwater and caught my biggest fish around noon at the end of a bluff point. After that my co-angler and I did a lot of junk-fishing. I caught approximately 12 keepers.”
On the second day Leonard started with the Spook but put that bait down after an hour. He then headed up the French Broad River and found an area in the headwaters with clear water.
He said he used a spinnerbait and a green pumpkin jig rigged with a green pumpkin Berkley PowerBait Chigger Craw to cull his way through 10 keepers.
Tim Smiley of White Pine finished second in the boaters division at 23-11. Rounding out the top five (all with 10-fish limits) were Dale Pelfrey of Rockwood (22-12), Michael Cantrell of Philadelphia, Tenn. (21-11) and Tim Saylor of Johnson City (21-11).
Eddie Ball of Newport caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division Friday. The fish weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $555.
Donnie Holder of Mooresburg, Tennessee, won the co-angler division and $2,238 with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 16 pounds, 13 ounces.