Jeff Emerton of Hillham, Tenn., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2014 on Dale Hollow Lake. For his victory, Emerton earned $5,782.
Emerton locked down his second career BFL win on a mild spring day with the help of the tournament Big Bass, a giant 9-pound, 4-ounce largemouth.
“It was a big tournament. 190 boats on Dale Hollow is a phenomenal amount of boats,” said Emerton. “It was beat up all week, but I knew that if I could catch 20 pounds I would have a chance. You never know until you put them on the scale.”
Emerton said that he concentrated his time in the mid-lake area on a channel swing with big stumps and some grass.
“I was fishing really slow,” explained Emerton. “I would step on the trolling motor about every 10 minutes. I was really working a spot where big fish live. They had pulled up shallow. My big fish came out of about 6 feet of water. I caught one around 10 feet deep on a jerkbait but the rest were shallow.
Emerton said that he caught all but one of his keepers on a Hog Farmer Bait company umbrella rig with blades and 4-inch sexy smelt-colored Big Hammer swimbaits.
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Densmore Goodson, Letcher, Ky., five bass, 20-15, $2,891
3rd: Mitch Lewis, Greensburg, Ky., five bass, 20-14, $1,925
4th: Paul Lewis, Richmond, Ky., five bass, 20-11, $1,349 + $300 Evinrude Bonus
5th: Barry Strunk, Science Hill, Ky., five bass, 20-3, $1,156
6th: Robby Johnson, Byrdstown, Tenn., five bass, 20-2, $1,060
7th: Michael Bean, Bowling Green, Ky., five bass, 20-0, $964
8th: Adam Wagner, Cookeville, Tenn., five bass, 19-7, $867
9th: Raymond Manis, Jamestown, Tenn., five bass, 19-4, $771
10th: Rusty Smith, Somerset, Ky., five bass, 19-2, $675
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Gary Craynon of Prestonsburg, Ky., weighed-in a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win $2,852 in the co-angler division.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Mark Major, Lancaster, Ky., five bass, 20-9, $1,426
3rd: Austin Allen, Gainesboro, Tenn., five bass, 18-13, $951
4th: Tyler Sheffield, Dry Ridge, Ky., five bass, 18-7, $665
5th: James Wathen, Lagrange, Ky., five bass, 18-6, $570
6th: Zachary Chappell, Lexington, Ky., five bass, 17-15, $523
7th: Colton Smith, Somerset, Ky., five bass, 17-9, $475
8th: Dennis Cravens, Jamestown, Tenn., five bass, 17-8, $428
9th: Doug Flynn, Lexington, Ky., five bass, 17-7, $380
10th: Jerry Delk, Allardt, Tenn., five bass, 17-1, $316
10th: Jerry Scott, Celina, Tenn., four bass, 17-1, $316
The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 9-11 Regional Championship on Lake Cherokee in Morristown, Tenn. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C 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 2014 BFL All-American is being held June 5-7 on Wilson Lake in Florence, Ala. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Rayovac FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
Image courtesy FLW Outdoors