WHAT: The 2013 Walmart BFL season continues with five tournaments on Saturday, March 9. The Gator division holds its third tournament of the season on Lake Toho, the Music City division continues on Percy Priest Lake, the Okie division opens up on Grand Lake, the Ozark division kicks off competition on Table Rock Lake and the Savannah River division heads to Lake Hartwell. Up to 400 boaters and co-anglers will be competing in each event for top awards up to $8,000 and $3,000 respectively.

WHEN: Saturday, March 9

WHERE: Gator Division

Lake Toho

Big Toho Marina

101 Lakeshore Blvd.

Kissimmee, Fla.

NOTES: Lake Toho is known for its big bass and endless fields of shallow-water vegetation. Areas with hydrilla, eel grass, lily pads and bulrushes will be targeted by many anglers. A large array of soft plastics will be flipped, pitched and casted around this shallow grass all day long. Reaction-style baits such as spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits will also be popular. Winter weather down in Kissimmee was relatively mild this year, and water temperatures are slightly above average. Like other Florida lakes, cold fronts can really shut the bite down and make it hard to catch a limit. Weights have been all over the charts lately, but if weather cooperates we could see bags weighing more than 30 pounds brought to the scales.

WHERE: Music City Division

Percy Priest Lake

Fate Sanders Marina

3157 Weakley Lane

Smyrna, Tenn.

NOTES: Formed by the Percy Priest Dam, this Tennessee impoundment encompasses just over 14,000 acres at full summer pool. Currently the lake is 3 feet low and the temperature is slightly above 50 degrees. The bass bite on Percy Priest has been steady, and quality bass are being found both deep and shallow. A variety of techniques seem to be catching bass on the lake and the winning angler will most likely need to be versatile. Early reports indicate that jigs, soft plastics and crankbaits have been the most effective on the pre-spawn bass, with a winning weight of more than 20 pounds possible.

WHERE: Okie Division

Grand Lake

Grove City Ramp

1007 N. 16th St. W.

Grove, Okla.

NOTES: Widely known as one of the best bass fishing lakes in the country devoid of underwater vegetation, Grand Lake is notorious for its massive quantity of 3- to 5-pounders. Weather in the area has fluctuated wildly the past few weeks and the city of Grove, Okla., has been hit hard with cold fronts and snow. These unstable conditions have caused water temperatures to stay relatively low, but temperatures are projected to increase closer to tournament day. Anglers should expect to be throwing jigs and slower moving lures out deep in the morning, transitioning into jerkbaits and crankbaits later on in the day. This lake has the potential for several bags of more than 20 pounds to be caught.

WHERE: Ozark Division

Table Rock Lake

Kimberling Inn Resort

11863 State Highway 13

Kimberling City, Mo.

NOTES: Water levels at Table Rock Lake are currently around 8 feet below normal pool of 915 feet. Lake temperature is currently in the high 40s to low 50s, and has been described as the the perfect range for Alabama rigs, football jigs, jerkbaits and crankbaits. When the lake was created in 1958, engineers chose not to clear any of the trees beneath the water level. The end result is a lake littered with many cedars and hardwoods along the bottom, acting as fish magnets all year round. Areas with clear water seem to hold the best fishing in the morning, while the more stained water often produces later in the afternoon. Big fish are starting to appear on secondary points, but passing fronts have made the fishery inconsistent from day to day.

WHERE: Savannah River Division

Lake Hartwell

Tugaloo State Park

1763 Tugaloo State Park Road

Lavonia, Ga.

NOTES: Like other areas of the country, several cold fronts have moved through the area recently and fish have not yet started to make any significant move toward the banks. Due to rain and rising water levels the creeks are full of mud, but there is still a decent deep bite on the main lake where there is clear water. Lake temperatures are hovering around the 50-degree mark, and most of the bigger female bass are being caught in 15-40 feet of water around channel swings, drops, and other depth changes. Deeper water adjacent to spawning flats is always a good bet in the early spring, and drop- shots, jigs, Carolina rigs and deep-diving crankbaits are some of the best baits expected to produce with this pattern.

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 are competing 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 Nickajack Lake in Chattanooga, Tenn. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLWTour.

Image courtesy FLW Outdoors

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