Mike Cleveland of Monticello, Ga., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division event on Lake Oconee. For his victory, Cleveland earned $3,879.
“It was a pretty slow start to the day,” said Cleveland. “I didn’t catch my first fish until 10:30 a.m., but then I figured them out. I had a solid limit by 11:30 a.m. Coming into this event I figured it would take 16 to 18 pounds to win, so I wasn’t really sure I had enough when I was coming to the scales. I knew I had enough for a top-5 finish, but I was very happy to get the win.
“I was flipping docks, about 3 to 4 feet deep, in the Sugar Creek area,” Cleveland continued. “I had about 30 different docks that I was flipping. I was throwing a shakey head with a Junebug-colored Zoom Taper Tail. I only had seven keeper fish on the day, but when I caught my big 6-5 kicker then I knew that I was going to be near the top (of the leaderboard).
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Ryan Horton, Palmetto, Ga., five bass, 15-6, $1,940
3rd: Kip Carter, Loganville, Ga., five bass, 14-15, $1,293
4th: Scott Chatham, Cartersville, Ga., five bass, 14-8, $905 + $1,000 Evinrude Bonus
5th: Scott Hayes, Newnan, Ga., five bass, 13-14, $776
6th: John Duvall, Madison, Ga., five bass, 13-7, $711
7th: Mike Harris, Watkinsville, Ga., five bass, 12-14, $647
8th: Karey Dickerson, Dahlonega, Ga., five bass, 12-13, $582
9th: Justin Lanier, Macon, Ga., five bass, 12-10, $517
10th: Chris Baxter, Winder, Ga., five bass, 12-6, $453
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Justin Kimmel of Athens, Ga., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 10 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win $1,940 in the co-angler division.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Patrick Watson, Newnan, Ga., four bass, 9-1, $970
3rd: George Goodman Jr., Monticello, Ga., two bass, 8-5, $646
4th: Bruce Washington, Lithia Springs, Ga., three bass, 8-3, $453
5th: Gerald Bunn, Mansfield, Ga., four bass, 7-11, $388
6th: Dylan Lowery, Milledgeville, Ga., three bass, 7-9, $356
7th: Jared Kutil, Atlanta, Ga., three bass, 7-0, $323
8th: Bret Barillari, Duluth, Ga., four bass, 6-15, $291
9th: Randy Smith, Fayetteville, Ga., three bass, 6-13, $259
10th: James Draffin, Cumming, Ga., two bass, 6-10, $226
The final BFL Bulldog Division tournament is scheduled for Sept. 29-30 on West Point Lake in Lanett, Ala. After the fifth Bulldog Division tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 18-20 Regional Championship on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 40 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
Images courtesy of FLW