Chris Wilkerson of Conroe, Texas, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Cowboy Division event on Toledo Bend. For his victory, Wilkerson earned $4,071.
“I fished the first FLW Tour major of the year last week on Hartwell,” said Wilkerson. “I had a real rough tournament, so I decided to fish this event to try to regain some of my confidence. It’s nice to be able to prove to myself that can I still catch fish and win. Everyone has the same tools and equipment; it’s totally a mental confidence game.
“I was sight fishing for the entire day,” Wilkerson went on to say. “There was a tremendous amount of boat traffic due to a few other tournaments taking place that day, and there must have been close to 1,000 boats on the lake. I wanted to just blow in, drop the poles, jerk the fish and move on. This was impossible for me due to the traffic and congestion, so I had to slow down and take it easy and ease around all the boats to get my fish.
“I was fishing a Bruiser Baits Intruder in 5 to 8 feet of water for pretty much the entire day,” Wilkerson continued. “I was fishing the south end of the lake, all the way to the dam. We went out of the north end of the lake, so it was two hours of running just to get there. I expected to catch a bigger bag of fish than I did, but I’m glad I regained my confidence and I’m ready for the next FLW Tour major at Table Rock.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: John Canerday, Calvin, La., five bass, 14-8, $1,535
3rd: James Stricklin Jr., Texarkana, Texas, four bass, 13-5, $1,024
4th: Jeremy Guidry, Opelousas, La., five bass, 12-14, $716 + $1,000 Evinrude Bonus
5th: Charles Dubroc, Hessmer, La., five bass, 12-12, $614
6th: Randy Deaver, Blanchard, La., five bass, 12-3, $563
7th: Eason Dowden, Many, La., five bass, 12-1, $512
8th: John Cox, Cedar Creek, Texas, five bass, 11-6, $461
9th: Craig Frilot, Breaux Bridge, La., five bass, 11-3, $409
10th: Don Williams, Keithville, La., five bass, 11-2, $358
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Keith Rose of Harleton, Texas, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 3 ounces Saturday to win $1,535 in the co-angler division.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Daniel Brock, Anna, Texas, five bass, 11-15, $768
3rd: Kenny Moser, Alba, Texas, five bass, 11-13, $513
4th: Aaron Ponder, Lufkin, Texas, four bass, 9-11, $358
5th: James Werkmeister, Fort Worth, Texas, three bass, 7-4, $307
6th: Dennis Jones, Oakdale, La., four bass, 7-0, $281
7th: Vaughan Phillips, Tomball, Texas, three bass, 6-13, $256
8th: Warren Whitaker, Woodville, Miss., two bass, 6-1, $230
9th: Jorge Benitez, Wallis, Texas, three bass, 5-13, $192
9th: Mike Needham, Pasadena, Texas, three bass, 5-13, $192
The next BFL Cowboy Division tournament is scheduled for April 28 on the Atchafalaya Basin in Morgan City, La. After the fifth Cowboy Division tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 18-20 Regional Championship on the Red River in Natchitoches, La. 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.
photo: FLW Outdoors