Johnny Patterson of Grant, Ala., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 28 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division event on Lake Guntersville. For his victory, Patterson earned $4,082.
“It was a blast out there,” said Patterson. “I culled through four limits of fish. I boated my first keeper on my very first cast. Usually, fishermen consider that unlucky, but it was very lucky for me.”
Patterson said that he spent his entire day fishing on one mid-lake ledge.
“It was a 200-yard stretch, and I was fishing 25 feet deep,” Patterson continued. “I stayed there all day. On Guntersville, if you leave a ledge you lose it.”
Patterson said that all of his fish came on a trio of Strike King baits – a green gizzard-colored Shadalicious swimbait, a green pumpkin-colored Tour Grade Football Jig and a citrus shad-colored Pro Model 6XD crankbait, with the majority of his fish coming on the swimbait and jig.
“There were two keys for me in this event,” Patterson went on to say. “My Lowrance electronics were a huge benefit in finding those large schools of fish. The main factor for me, though, was my Hammer fishing rods. There is a lot of pressure on Guntersville right now, and the fish are not hitting the baits as hard as usual. The Hammer rods are super sensitive and allow me to really feel every single bite.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Chris Davis, Lagrange, Ky., five bass, 26-0, $2,041
3rd: Bryan Gregory, Fort Payne, Ala., five bass, 25-7, $1,362
4th: Danny Shell, Albertville, Ala., five bass, 24-4, $952
5th: Devin Campbell, Boaz, Ala., five bass, 23-10, $816
6th: Will Yelverton, Hazel Green, Ala., five bass, 22-10, $748 + $300 Evinrude Bonus
7th: Rodney Hill, Decherd, Tenn., five bass, 21-14, $680
8th: Tim Buckner, Scottsboro, Ala., five bass, 21-13, $612
9th: Kenneth Kay, Hazel Green, Ala., five bass, 20-12, $544
10th: Edward Gettys, Mosheim, Tenn., five bass, 19-11, $476
Tony Collins of Cohutta, Ga., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 24 pounds, 3 ounces Saturday to win $2,041 in the co-angler division.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Wayne Kilgore, Attalla, Ala., five bass, 21-1, $1,021
3rd: Trent Norman, Cincinnati, Ohio, four bass, 20-10, $683
4th: Nicholas Hill, Birmingham, Ala., five bass, 19-8, $476
5th: Jonathan Barksdale, Southside, Ala., five bass, 19-1, $408
6th: Jaret Henry, Kingsport, Tenn., five bass, 18-8, $374
7th: John Wilkerson, Nashville, Tenn., five bass, 17-4, $340
8th: Steve Sims, Fairhope, Ala., five bass, 17-2, $306
9th: Larry Riley, Newark, Ohio, five bass, 16-13, $272
10th: Jason Mullinax, White, Ga., five bass, 16-11, $238
The final BFL Choo Choo Division tournament of 2013 is scheduled for Sept. 28-29 on Lake Guntersville in Scottsboro, Ala. After that last divisional tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 10-12 Regional Championship on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, 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 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