Ryan Horton of Palmetto, Ga., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division event on Lake Sinclair. For his victory, Horton earned $4,119.
It was a rainy, wind-blown day, and according to Horton not the kind of day that you want to wake up and go fishing. However, Horton admitted the wind and rain is what helped prolong the early-morning bite that led him to victory.
Horton said that he was targeting the shad spawn in grassy areas and along seawalls in the Oconee River. Horton said he used Ol’ Nelle Spinnerbaits and caught about 40 keeper fish throughout the day.
“During practice I was catching 3 ½- to 4-pounders,” said Horton. “I was pretty confident that I was going to have a good day, but I was surprised by the quality of bites that I actually got on Saturday.
“My first fish was 6-6, then I caught a 4-pounder and a 5-pounder. My co-angler and I kept doing the math and we kept coming up with 21 pounds. It was pretty unbelievable. But when it is your day, it is your day. I had a great day and everything seemed to line up for me.
“I culled until about 11 a.m. After that, I couldn’t get another one in the boat. It was a long, long day after I caught that fifth keeper.
“My co-angler was great. I had a 4-pounder that if he wouldn’t have been there with the net, I would have lost (the fish). He did a great job netting that fish, and really, that is the difference between my first-place and perhaps a third-place finish.
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Jayme Rampey, Liberty, S.C., five bass, 21-6, $2,059 plus $300 Evinrude bonus
3rd: Mark Holloway, Madison, Ga., five bass, 18-13, $1,374
4th: Kim Carver, Milledgeville, Ga., five bass, 18-4, $961 plus $300 Evinrude bonus
5th: Lamontie Walters, Warner Robins, Ga., five bass, 17-9, $824
6th: Matt Henry, Milledgeville, Ga., five bass, 17-7, $755
7th: Scott Manwaring, Atlanta, Ga., five bass, 17-0, $686
8th: Chris Lumpkin, Macon, Ga., five bass, 16-15, $618
9th: Lee Boyd, Fortson, Ga., five bass, 15-4, $549
10th: Brandon Cobb., Greenwood, S.C., five bass, 15-0, $480
Tyler Morgan of Columbus, Ga., weighed five bass totaling 14 pounds Saturday to win the co-angler division. Morgan earned $2,059 for his victory.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Guy Jordan, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 13-15, $1,030
3rd: Josh Wimberly, Hinesville, Ga., five bass, 13-11, $687
4th: Douglas Watson, Conyers, Ga., five bass, 12-11, $480
5th: Seth Kirkland, Cumming, Ga., five bass, 10-9, $412
6th: Chris Kirksey, Cartersville, Ga., five bass, 10-7, $378
7th: Michael Smith, Piedmont, S.C., five bass, 10-6, $326
7th: Bob Williams, Milledgeville, Ga., five bass, 10-6, $326
9th: Steven King, Alpharetta, Ga., five bass, 10-3, $275
10th: Troy Mims, College Park, Ga., five bass, 10-2, $240
The next BFL Bulldog Division tournament is scheduled for June 15 on Lake Oconee in Buckhead, Ga. After the last divisional tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 17-19 Regional Championship on Lake Hartwell in Lavonia, Ga. 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