Buzz Gallo of Moselle, Mississippi, weighed a three-day total of 14 bass totaling 40 pounds, 9 ounces, to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Sam Rayburn Reservoir Saturday. For his victory, Gallo took home a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy 1500 Silverado as well as entry into the 2015 BFL All-American presented by Chevy. This regional tournament featured the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from each of the Arkie, Mississippi, Okie and Ozark divisions.
“I’m still on cloud nine, believe me,” said Gallo, whose win was his first in FLW competition. “This is, by far, my biggest win. I’m stoked and I’m ready to go to the All-American right now.
“The weather in practice forced me to fish places I normally wouldn’t,” Gallo said. “I had three different areas that I fished, but I only fished one of them on day three.
“I stayed in the grass,” continued Gallo. “I fished in 8 to 10 feet of water, and it had to be thick grass. I used my Costa Del Mar sunglasses to see the lanes and pockets in the thick grass and I targeted them.
“I had a bad day one,” Gallo said. “I lost four keepers on a fluke, so I knew I needed to change things up. I put the fluke down on day two and when the wind picked up I really started hammering on fish.”
Gallo’s recipe for success on day two was burning a War Eagle Finesse Spinnerbait and a ½-ounce Spro Aruku Shad lipless crankbait though the lanes and pockets in the grass.
“On day three, my pattern fell apart when the wind stopped,” said Gallo. “I started throwing a pearl-colored Strike King Sexy Dawg topwater over the grass. I threw it out one time and stopped to talk to my co-angler about something and a 2-pounder blew up on it. That keyed me in on what to do. I would throw it out and work it once or twice and then let it sit, jerk it once or twice and then let it sit. If nothing hit it I would burn it back in and cast again.
“When the wind picked up again later in the day I started burning the Aruku Shad again and I caught a 7-pounder,” Gallo finished. “That was my second big fish of the day, and I pretty much knew I had the tournament won then.”
The top six boaters that qualified for the 2015 BFL All-American were:
1st: Buzz Gallo, Moselle, Miss., 14 bass, 40-9, Ranger Z518C with 200-horsepower outboard + Chevy 1500 Silverado
2nd: Jeff Johnston, Marion, Ark., 15 bass, 36-7, $1,500
3rd: Matthew Salyer, Owasso, Okla., 13 bass, 29-14, $1,100
4th: Lance Williams, Billings, Mo., 12 bass, 28-13, $1,000
5th: Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., 13 bass, 28-3, $900
6th: Leland Nixon, Bee Branch, Ark., 13 bass, 27-13, $800 + $300 Evinrude Bonus
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
7th: Spencer Grace, Russellville, Ark., 12 bass, 27-6, $700
8th: B.J. Miller, Adams, Neb., 12 bass, 25-14, $650
9th: Bradley Stringer, Huntington, Texas, 11 bass, 25-0, $600
10th: Jason Cordell, Pelahatchie, Miss., 12 bass, 24-15, $550
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Sam Bremmerkamp of Joplin, Missouri, won the co-angler division with a three-day total of 12 bass totaling 26 pounds, 5 ounces. For his efforts, Bremmerkamp took home a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard along with a berth in the 2015 BFL All-American tournament.
The top six co-angers that qualified for the 2015 BFL All-American were:
1st: Sam Bremmerkamp, Joplin, Mo., 12 bass, 26-5, Ranger Z518C with 200-horsepower outboard
2nd: Joshua Pullins, Mineral Point, Mo., 13 bass, 24-13, $750
3rd: Ronald Smith Jr., Kansas City, Kan., 13 bass, 24-8, $550
4th: Michael Gross, Gurdon, Ark., nine bass, 24-1, $500
5th: Larry Chastain, Laurel, Miss., 12 bass, 23-2, $450
6th: David Leonard, Skiatook, Okla., 10 bass, 22-4, $400
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
7th: Scott Parsons, Bentonville, Ark., 12 bass, 20-9, $350
8th: Christopher Lampe, Hillsboro, Mo., seven bass, 16-2, $325
9th: Michael Sullivan, Dupo, Ill., nine bass, 15-8, $300
10th: David Blankinship, Cushing, Okla., eight bass, 15-7, $275
The BFL Regional Championship on Sam Rayburn Reservoir was hosted by the Jasper County Development District.
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. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Rayovac FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
Image courtesy FLW Outdoors