Wasson wins co-angler title

Joe Slagle of Bristol, Tenn., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 3 ounces Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division event on Dale Hollow Lake. For his victory, Slagle earned $5,261.

“I knew I had enough to cut a check, but I had no idea that I would win,” said Slagle. “I thought I had somewhere between 16 and 17 pounds. Throughout the day I caught close to 15 keepers and my limit was all largemouth. I had caught a smallmouth that was close to being over the limit and would have helped me considerably, but I didn’t want to take the risk.” (Dale Hollow Lake imposes a protected slot limit for smallmouth bass between 16 and 21 inches.)

“I caught most of my fish on a Megabass Vision 110 jerkbait,” Slagle went on to say. “I was fishing it around a lot of the lay downs in Eagle Creek and up the Obey River. I found the pattern on Friday in practice after catching one about four pounds. After that I left it alone until tournament day. Some of the fish I caught were up shallow and others were out as deep as 15 feet. Even though the jerkbait got me most of my bites, I caught the biggest one of the day on an Umbrella rig around noon. They were pretty active fish. I ran a HydroWave all day and I honestly think that it made a difference in getting those fish up off the bottom and eating.”

Slagle currently attends Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, Tenn., and has been fishing with FLW since 2009. In 2012, Slagle and his partner won an FLW College Fishing qualifying event on Lake Guntersville, where they blew the competition away by over 9 pounds.

Rounding out the top 10 pros were:

2nd: Chris Gerrein, Villa Hills, Ky., five bass, 17-11, $2,631
3rd: Richard Cobb V., Richmond, Ky., five bass, 16-15, $1,753
4th: Brandon Wallen, Monticello, Ky., five bass, 16-13, $1,228
5th: Jonathan Green, East Bernstadt, Ky., five bass, 16-8, $1,052
6th: Dwight Fox, Gainesboro, Tenn., five bass, 16-0, $965
7th: Josh Gaffney, Crab Orchard, Ky., five bass, 15-8, $833 + Evinrude Bonus: $300
7th: Mark Neal, Livingston, Tenn., five bass, 15-8, $833
9th: Brian Wilson, Somerset, Ky., five bass, 14-15, $701
10th: Thomas Coomer, Albany, Ky., five bass, 14-14, $583
10th: Jonathan Henry, Grant, Ala., five bass, 14-14, $583

Joe Wasson of Campbellsville, Ky., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win $2,631 in the co-angler division.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:

2nd: Troy Combs, Hazard, Ky., five bass, 12-6, $1,315
3rd: Brent Clark, Bowling Green, Ky., four bass, 11-7, $877
4th: Bruce Dean, Harrodsburg, Ky., two bass, 8-13, $614
5th: Chris Hurd, Somerset, Ky., three bass, 8-11, $526
6th: Mike Beasley, Cookeville, Tenn., three bass, 8-5, $482
7th: Bob L. Coomer, Albany, Ky., four bass, 8-2, $438
8th: Clark Siler, Richmond, Ky., three bass, 8-1, $395
9th: Brian Frank, Fishers, Ind., three bass, 7-15, $351
10th: Tyler Blevins, Waco, Ky., four bass, 7-13, $291
10th: Jimmy Page, Burkesville, Ky., three bass, 7-13, $291

The next BFL Mountain Division tournament is scheduled for April 6 on Lake Cumberland in Monticello, Ky. After the last 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

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