Ryan Salzman wins MLF fishing tournament on Watts Bar Lake
Jacob Wheeler from Harrison finishes 2nd
SPRING CITY, Tennessee (WDEF) – Pro Ryan Salzman from Huntsville won the MLF fishing tournament on Watts Bar this week.
He tallied 13 bass weighing 24 pounds, 3 ounces to win the General Tire Stage Five tour win.
That was good enough for a $100,000 payoff.
Local fishing pro Jacob Wheeler finished in second place with 10 bass.
“Right now, I’m just putting all my trust in God, and that’s the only way I can rise up to this moment, because it’s too big for me,” Salzman said in the final moments as the clock ticked down. “Words just can’t describe how I feel even being in contention to win this event, especially going up against some of the greatest anglers in the world. Fishing against my childhood heroes, it’s just amazing.”
Today was the first time he has qualified for the Championship Round on the MLF Bass Pro Tour.
“I knew the winning fish were in this area (above the Watts Bar Dam), but I didn’t know if they would bite today. I’ve lost several fish this week, even lost 2 or 3 today that would have given me more of a cushion at the end of the day, but I’m just speechless and so thankful for this opportunity.”
He found his spot on Monday, but didn’t have much luck until TVA starting churning through the dam on Wednesday, stirring up the bait fish.
The top 10 pros at the General Tire Stage Five on Watts Bar Lake Presented by Covercraft finished:
1st: Ryan Salzman, Huntsville, Ala., 13 bass, 24-3, $100,000
2nd: Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., 10 bass, 23-8, $45,000
3rd: Dakota Ebare, Brookeland, Texas, seven bass, 16-4, $38,000
4th: Randall Tharp, Port St. Joe, Fla., seven bass, 14-12, $32,000
5th: Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark., six bass, 13-12, $30,000
6th: Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich., seven bass, 12-9, $26,000
7th: Alton Jones, Sr., Lorena, Texas, four bass, 10-11, $23,000
8th: Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., four bass, 8-13, $21,000
9th: Fletcher Shryock, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 8-7, $19,000
10th: David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn., two bass, 4-0, $16,000
For the season, Harrison’s Wheeler is on top of the leader board and Dayton’s Andy Morgan is in third.