Rick Butler of Kissimmee, Fla., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division event on Lake Toho. For his victory, Butler earned $4,948.
“It was cloudy and windy all morning,” said Butler. “There were 30 mile per hour gusts up until about 10:30 before it started to clear out. My Power-Poles are what made a significant difference for me, without them in that wind I wouldn’t have been able to catch anything.
“It was really a strange day,” Butler continued. “I caught all five fish in five different locations using five different lures. However, I was predominantly using Zoom worms. I think the thing that helped me the most was my flexibility. I fished with my instinct. Having fished this lake many times before I had a pretty good idea of what the bass were doing, so I just followed my gut.”
The next BFL Gator Division tournament is scheduled for March 31 on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. After the fifth Gator Division tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 4 – 6 Regional Championship on Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, 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 2012 BFL All-American is being held May 17 – 19 on the Potomac River in National Harbor, Md. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.