WHAT: The 2013 Walmart BFL season continues with six tournaments on Saturday, April 6. The Arkie division holds its second tournament of the season on Millwood Lake, the Bama division heads to Lake Eufaula, the Choo Choo division continues on Lake Guntersville, the Mountain division continues on Lake Cumberland, the Ozark division continues on Lake of the Ozarks and the Savannah River division heads to Lake Russell. 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, April 6
106 Pump Station Rd.
NOTES: The bass activity level continues to improve on Millwood as the male bass continue to move up shallow and begin to prepare beds. The bigger female bass are staging in depths of 8 to 12 feet, with the occasional one spotted moving up on a bed to spawn. Submerged timber is one of the primary sources of habitat for the largemouth here on this 29,000 acre lake and reports indicate the best bite remains from mid-day through mid-afternoon, when surface temps are warmest. Lots of shallow-roaming buck male bass in the 2- to 3-pound class have been caught on reaction-style baits. Jerkbaits, jigs and soft plastics have also been some of the other most productive lures over the past couple weeks.
Lakepoint Resort State Park
104 Lakepoint Drive
NOTES: Situated on the Georgia/Alabama border, Lake Eufaula is currently slightly above full pool due to a bit of rain that has fallen in the area. This means some water will be up in the bushes, grass and the willows. Bass will be making use of this new cover and use it to feed and ambush prey. Reports indicate an increase in the threadfin shad population, which has boosted largemouth health and weight. Many fish can be found holding on grassy points and underwater brush, getting ready to spawn. Anglers should expect to target them with normal pre-spawn and spawn tactics – spinnerbaits, jigs, plastics and crankbaits. The winning bag will likely exceed the 20-pound mark.
Choo Choo Division
The Bait, Tackle & Grill at Goose Pond
471 Ed Hembree Drive
NOTES: The fishing remains smoking hot on Lake Guntersville right now. The water temperature is in the upper 50-degree range and the bass are in full pre-spawn mode. They are roaming depths from 1 foot of water all the way out to 15 feet, feeding on as many shad as they can before the spawning events occur. Grass lines have consistently been holding numbers of bass. The Alabama rig has been the biggest player in spring tournaments at Guntersville and many anglers will be choosing to tie at least one of these on their lines. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs and solitary swimbaits are also expected to be used heavily. The winning bag could easily weigh over 30 pounds in this tournament.
Conley Bottom Resort
Route 5 Box 5360
NOTES: Known for its great striper fishing, Lake Cumberland also has a healthy population of other bass as well. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass all live in numbers here. Fishing on Lake Cumberland has been good lately, and reports state that the bass are being caught on multiple patterns. Surface water temperature is holding around 50 degrees. Early spring patterns, combined with the diversity of bass species, has fish being found at a variety of depth ranges. Anglers are finding success in the many creeks and coves of Cumberland. Traditional lures like crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and jigs will all be tools of the trade used in this tournament. Don’t be surprised to see the Alabama rig become a factor as well. This tournament can be won using a variety of techniques due to the varying patterns and species, so angler versatility may be the key to victory.
Lake of the Ozarks
Lake of the Ozarks, Public Beach #2
711 Public Beach Rd.
Osage Beach, Mo.
NOTES: Lake of the Ozarks is still in its early spring patterns. Slightly colder than average temperatures combined with recent cold fronts has halted the progression of springtime patterns and fishing hasn’t changed much. Temperatures are predicted to rise in the coming week, so anglers can expect some activity in the bass bite. Most of the lake is still in the high 40’s and clear, and the backs of the creeks are stained and cold. Many of the fish are on holding on points and channel swings in the coves. Fishing slow in 15 to 20 feet of water over brush and rocky banks has been one of the most productive tactics as of late. Alabama-rigs, jerkbaits and football jigs are all expected to produce. The winning weight in this event should extend beyond the 20-pound mark.
Savannah River Division
Richard B. Russell State Park
2650 Russell State Park Rd.
NOTES: Bass fishing on Lake Russell is good right now, as the water is being reported as clear and in the lower 50-degree range. Cold fronts have hit the area recently, delaying the spawn and pushing some bass out of the shallows. If the weather cooperates, bass will be moving up again and anglers might have the opportunity to sight fish for a few bigger females. Many bass can still be found off of the points, near the creeks and coves. Soft plastics, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and jigs should be popular among the tournament anglers. Weights around 15 to 16 pounds on Russell are solid and an angler bringing that much weight to the scales will most likely receive a portion of the prize money.
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 FLW Tour.
Logo courtesy FLW Outdoors