WHAT: The 2013 Walmart BFL season continues with four tournaments on Saturday, April 13. The Hoosier division holds its second tournament of the season on Lake Monroe, the Northeast division kicks off on the Potomac River, the Piedmont division continues on Kerr Lake and the South Carolina division continues on Santee Cooper. 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 13

WHERE: Hoosier Division
Lake Monroe
Cutright Ramp
4850 South State Road
Bloomington, Ind.

NOTES: The lake level in this 10,750-acre flood-control reservoir is currently slightly above full pool and water temperatures are hanging around the 50-degree range. With an average depth of 25 feet, the bass in Lake Monroe are exhibiting standard spring patterns and will be in the pre-spawn mode until water temperatures get warmer. Common pre-spawn reaction tactics that have been producing include jerkbaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs. Bass are being found near the deeper points and break lines, with anglers also catching quality fish near the lake’s weedlines. Monroe has a good population of 4- to 5-pound bass, but they can be hard to locate in numbers. Anglers can expect the winning bag to be near 20 pounds.

WHERE: Northeast Division
Potomac River
Smallwood State Park
2750 Sweden Point Road
Marbury, Md.

NOTES: Normally this time of year on the Potomac River anglers would be beginning to fixate on the expansive grassy areas that the Maryland body of water is known for. However, this year, the cold weather has not allowed most of the shallow-water vegetation to thrive yet. Water temperatures are in the low 50s and water clarity is ranging from 1 to 2 feet in most areas. Anglers should expect to target areas closest to deeper waters, but as the sun warms the water later in the day the bass have been moving up shallower. Vegetation and rock have been crucial in holding numbers of fish. Jigs, plastics and crankbaits are all expected to produce in this event for tournament anglers. The winning weight is projected to be roughly 18 to 20 pounds.

WHERE: Piedmont Division
Kerr Lake
Nutbush Park
115 Jack Wade Farm Road
Henderson, N.C.

NOTES: Over the past few years Kerr Lake has been battling back from attacks of the dreaded largemouth bass virus, which has effectively lowered the population of Kerr Lake’s biggest bass. Currently in the lake there are a lot of 12- to 16-inch fish, but fish over 4 to 5 pounds can be elusive. The water level is currently up 3 feet and has begun to flood some of the shoreline brush. Local reports state that bass are being found on the sunny and shallow banks near deeper water, and that using spinnerbaits and squarebill crankbaits around bushes, trees, logs and laydowns have been the most productive methods. Fishing the deeper water with finesse techniques can also be productive. Anglers should expect a winning weight of around 15 to 17 pounds.

WHERE: South Carolina Division
Santee Cooper lakes
John C. Land III Landing
CR 514-260 (Log Jam Road)
Summerton, S.C.

NOTES: The Santee Cooper lakes, more specifically Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie, are known for their sheer amount of prime bass habitat. Grasses, pads, stumps and other submerged timber provide acres of first-class bass-fishing water. Reports state that some of the big fish can still be found up shallow and spawning. Swimbaits, plastics and crankbaits should be effective at enticing the shallow-water lunkers. Depending on weather and wind, the opportunity for a strong sight-fish bite may be present during the tournament. Water temperature is in the low 60-degree range, and water level is down about 1 foot. Anglers should expect big weights to come across the scales. Last year it took just shy of 28 pounds to win.

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

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