Bob Blackerby of Chelsea, Ala., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Bama Division event on Lake Martin. For his victory, Blackerby earned $5,804.
“If you told me today that I had to go somewhere and catch 22 pounds to win an FLW tournament, Lake Martin would have been the last place I would have thought it could happen for me,” said Blackerby. “When I drew my co-angler on Friday night I didn’t have anything figured out. I told him not to expect much, and he probably wouldn’t be disappointed. This is Lake Martin, and it’s unusual to catch a really good sack. Fifteen to 16 pounds is usually what it takes to win here.
“I told my co-angler that we weren’t going to run very far,” Blackerby continued. “It was cold, it was windy and I knew that I didn’t want to run far. I thought I knew of a few places where we could catch a limit of spots but we ended up not getting a bite. Then I made the decision to move to the back of a cove where I knew I have caught some good fish shallow in years past.
“I immediately hooked into a 3 ½-pounder, but ended up losing the fish right before it got to the net,” Blackerby went on to say. “It made me sick. A 3 ½-pounder down here is monumental. It shook me up pretty bad. After leaving that area and checking a few other spots without a bite, we returned to the same spot where I had lost that fish earlier in the morning. It was there where I caught my biggest fish. From then on I made the decision to fish shallow the rest of the day.”
Blackerby said finding the key to his winning pattern was due to his visit to Lake Martin a few weeks prior. During his pre-fishing he was able to get into the backs of the pockets and visually see stumps and brush. He noted that the water level was about 2 ½ feet higher on the tournament day and all the wood and cover was now submerged. Blackerby could not see it, but knew it was there. His entire limit came on a red-colored Rat-L-Trap.
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
- 2nd: Yancy Windham, Reform, Ala., five bass, 19-12, $1,902
- 3rd: Michael Jones, Tallassee, Ala., five bass, 15-8, $1,267
- 4th: Tullis Lanier, Rockford, Ala., five bass, 15-0, $888
- 5th: Tim Hurst, Oxford, Ala., five bass, 14-13, $761
- 6th: Joshua Herren, Pinson, Ala., five bass, 14-12, $697
- 7th: John Pollard, Eclectic, Ala., five bass, 14-9, $634
- 8th: Marty Giddens, Alpine, Ala., five bass, 14-6, $571
- 9th: Dalton Bobo, Northport, Ala., five bass, 13-12, $507
- 10th: Felton Langley, Lafayette, Ala., five bass, 13-2, $444
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Ken Morris of Harpersville, Ala., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win $1,902 in the co-angler division.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
- 2nd: Michael Corbett, Oxford, Ala., five bass, 12-10, $951
- 3rd: Michael Roush, Mobile, Ala., five bass, 11-6, $634
- 4th: Michael Wright, Covington, Ga., five bass, 10-8, $444
- 5th: Rodney Graham, Childersburg, Ala., five bass, 10-3, $380
- 6th: Mark Cameron, Phenix City, Ala., five bass, 9-12, $349
- 7th: Alan Morgan, Alex City, Ala., five bass, 9-9, $317
- 8th: Brandon Skinner, De Armanville, Ala., five bass, 9-6, $285
- 9th: Chris Quaintance, Muscle Shoals, Ala., five bass, 8-14, $254
- 10th: David Reid, Roswell, Ga., five bass, 8-13, $222
The next BFL Bama Division tournament is scheduled for April 6 on Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Ala. After the last divisional tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 17-19 Regional Championship on Lake Hartwell in Lavonia, Ga. 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. The 2013 BFL All-American is being held June 27–29 on the Nickajack Lake in Chattanooga, Tenn. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
Logo courtesy FLW Outdoors