Luke Campbell of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division event on Lake Toho. For his victory, Campbell earned $5,304.
“I caught them sporadically throughout the day,” said Campbell. “I started with a Gambler Big EZ swimbait and got a few small fish right away. After that I decided to fish some beds that I had marked the day before. I figured that the bigger female bass would be moving in because it was a warm day. There was an 8-pound, 12-ounce bass on the second bed I came to and I ended up catching it with a Gambler BB Cricket. I followed up the bedding fish with a few additional bass on a Snag Proof frog, fishing it in and around the Kissimmee grass. I caught around 18 keepers total.
“I ran into some motor trouble the day before the tournament,” Campbell went on to say. “Knowing that I wasn’t going to be able to run to Lake Kissimmee like I had wanted, I forced myself to practice the last day on Toho. That’s where I looked for beds and places that had a lot of bait fish. I had confidence in these areas and it ended up working out.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Chris Davis, Lagrange, Ky., five bass, 21-12, $2,652
3rd: Jim Folks, Melbourne, Fla., five bass, 19-8, $1,768
4th: Jeremy Tate, Summerfield, Fla., five bass, 19-5, $1,238
5th: William McKinstry III, Loxahatchee, Fla., five bass, 19-4, $1,061
6th: Jeffrey Worth, Longwood, Fla., five bass, 18-9, $972
7th: Jack Hand, Saint Cloud, Fla., five bass, 18-7, $884
8th: Ryan Worthington, Middleburg, Fla., five bass, 17-7, $884
9th: Santos Solis, Vero Beach, Fla., five bass, 17-4, $707
10th: Peter Hund, Jupiter, Fla., five bass, 17-1, $619
Jay Trudel of Boca Raton, Fla., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 15 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win $2,652 in the co-angler division.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Charles Alley, Stuart, Fla., four bass, 13-5, $1,326
3rd: Fernando Rosa, Plantation, Fla., three bass, 12-15, $887
4th: Richard Niles, Apopka, Fla., five bass, 12-12, $619
5th: Jacob Castleberry, Cumming, Ga., 12-11, five bass, $530
6th: Edmundo Rodas, Altamonte Springs, Fla., four bass, 11-14, $486
7th: Jason Pike, Royal Palm Beach, Fla., four bass, 11-12, $420
7th: Mark Owen Shumate, Bryceville, Fla., five bass, 11-12, $420
9th: Mike Bruton, Oakland, Fla., five bass, 11-11, $331
9th: Joe Ventrello, Orlando, Fla., five bass, 11-11, $331
The next BFL Gator Division tournament is scheduled for April 20 on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. After the final divisional tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 3–5 Regional Championship on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, 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. 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.
Image courtesy FLW Outdoors