WHAT: The 2013 Walmart BFL season continues with three tournaments on Saturday, May 18. The Great Lakes division opens its season on the Mississippi River at La Crosse, the Shenandoah division continues on Smith Mountain Lake and the Volunteer division will hold an event on Douglas Lake. 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, May 18, 2013
WHERE: Great Lakes Division
Mississippi River at La Crosse
W. Copeland & Clinton Ramp
La Crosse, Wis.
NOTES: The bass-fishing bite is being reported as tough right now on pools 7, 8 and 9 of the Mississippi River. Water levels are very high, and clarity is being reported as dirty. Water temperatures, however, are rising and with fairly mild weather being forecast before this event, the bite should improve. If water levels remain high, targeting shallow cover and mud lines will be key. Fishing swimbaits, spinnerbaits and swimming jigs all will be tactics used by anglers in the first event of the season in the Great Lakes division. The winning angler can expect to bring 16 to 18 pounds to the scales.
WHERE: Shenandoah Division
Smith Mountain Lake
16918 Smith Mountain Lake Parkway
NOTES: The spawning phase at Smith Mountain Lake is in full effect, as evidenced by the EverStart series event held last weekend. Anglers in this event will still find bass on the beds, and some of the early spawners headed out deep. Key areas in this event will be docks and cover, flats and secondary points. Most of the bass being caught are being reported as coming from 10 feet of water or less. Popular baits used by tournament anglers in this event will be soft plastics, crankbaits and drop-shot rigs. Fourteen to 16 pounds is expected to be the winning weight in this tournament.
WHERE: Volunteer Division
Mountain Cove Marina
1590 Dike Road
NOTES: Fishing is being reported as being good right now at Douglas Lake. Water levels are currently being reported as 3 feet above the normal summer pool, and are expected to continue rising. This event should feature bass patterned in all three phases of the spawn. Anglers will be able to fish to their strengths and angler versatility will be a key. Crankbaits, jigs and Texas- or Carolina-rigged soft plastics are all expected to produce for anglers in this event. The bass fishing on Douglas Lake has been improving over the past few years, and many anglers expect it will take 24 to 26 pounds to win this tournament.
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