Brad Fowler of Pendleton, S.C., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Lake Hartwell with a three-day total of 15 bass totaling 34 pounds, 15 ounces. For his victory, Fowler won a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard plus a Chevy 1500 Silverado and entry into the BFL All-American presented by Chevy. This regional tournament featured the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from each of the Bama, Bulldog, Piedmont and Volunteer divisions.
Brad Fowler of Pendleton, S.C., won the Oct. 17-19 BFL Regional on Lake Hartwell with a three-day total weight of 34 pounds, 15 ounces. For his efforts, Fowler was awarded a Ranger boat with a 200 horsepower outboard and a 1500 Chevy Silverado.
Fowler picked up his first BFL win and qualified for the All-American by eschewing the temptation of fishing for numbers and instead choosing to search for individual, kicker-quality fish.
“I caught some on topwater baits and swimbaits, and the rest of them I caught drop-shotting Wackem Crazy Baits soft plastics,” said Fowler.
“I had a little pattern of the depth they were in, and there had to be some baitfish in the area,” added Fowler. “It was mainly the depth. It could be on a point or a hump, it just had to have some of those ingredients.
“All the drop-shot fish I caught I singled out. I would move around in 20 to 25 feet of water until I found one on my electronics. They were usually the big fish,” continued Fowler. “A lot of people weren’t doing that. If I pulled up to a spot and saw a school of fish I would leave.
“The third day the wind blew pretty hard and it got tougher to do what I was doing. I actually caught my best fish on a swimbait that day.
“If feels pretty good. It’s a long time coming I guess,” Fowler said of his win. “I’m looking forward to the All-American. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it.”
Fowler said he caught most of his fish on a Wackem Crazy Baits Big Sissy worm in a variety of colors.
The top six boaters that qualified for the BFL All-American were:
1st: Brad Fowler, Pendleton, S.C., 15 bass, 34-15, Ranger Z518 with 200-horsepower outboard + Chevy 1500 Silverado
2nd: Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., 15 bass, 33-13, $1,500 + $300 Evinrude Bonus
3rd: Rick Steckelberg, Eastanollee, Ga., 15 bass, 33-9, $1,100
4th: Jayme Rampey, Liberty, S.C., 15 bass, 32-3, $1,000 + $300 Evinrude Bonus
5th: Conrad Bolt, Seneca, S.C., 15 bass, 32-1, $900
6th: Dan Treadway, Rocky Mount, N.C., 15 bass, 28-12, $800
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
7th: Kevin Edwards, Knoxville, Tenn., 15 bass, 28-10, $700
8th: Steve Coleman, Clayton, Ga., 15 bass, 28-5, $650
9th: Kerry Partain, Elberton, Ga., 15 bass, 27-15, $600
10th: Greg Clouse, Liberty, S.C., 15 bass, 27-0, $550
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Justin Kimmel of Watkinsville, Ga., won the co-angler division with a three-day total of 13 bass totaling 27 pounds, 7 ounces. For his efforts, Kimmel took home a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard along with a berth in the BFL All-American tournament.
The top six co-anglers that qualified for the BFL All-American were:
1st: Justin Kimmel, Watkinsville, Ga., 13 bass, 27-7, Ranger Z518 with 200-horsepower outboard
2nd: Ty Story, Prattville, Ala., 14 bass, 24-11, $750
3rd: Wayne Smelser, Rural Retreat, Va., 15 bass, 24-9, $550
4th: James Sharp, Leesburg, Ga., 14 bass, 23-15, $500
5th: Sam Overton, Heiskell, Tenn., 15 bass, 22-12, $450
6th: Kristopher Queen, Catawba, N.C., 13 bass, 22-8, $400
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
7th: George Boyce, Fuquay Varina, N.C., 13 bass, 22-5, $350
8th: Kerry Coppock, Ohatchee, Ala, 15 bass, 22-5, $325
9th: John Wilson, Six Mile, S.C., 14 bass, 20-11, $300
10th: Junior Roberts, Hendersonville, Tenn., 12 bass, 17-15, $275
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. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
Image courtesy FLW Outdoors