FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Guntersville happened this past Saturday. The winner was Terry Mann of Warrior, Alabama. He weighed a five-bass limit totaling 27 pounds, 13 ounces, to win and for his victory he took home $7,337.
Mann said he targeted bass mid-river, near isolated grass clumps that were located in the mouths of spawning pockets. He said that the clumps were approximately 10 feet by 10 feet in size.
“I had three main areas where I was throwing into about 4 to 8 feet of water,” said Mann, who earned his first win in BFL competition. “I kept throwing near anything that I thought would stop bass as they came up shallow to spawn and eventually the right fish bit.”
Mann said he used a 2.5 Chili Craw- and a 1.5 Bluegill-colored Strike King Square-Billed crankbaits to catch his fish. He said he the majority of his keepers came on the Chili Craw.
“Four of my stringer fish, including my 9-pounder, were caught on the 2.5,” said Mann. “The big thing for me was that the bait just barely touched the grass. If you got down too far, the hook would get a lot of sludge on it and nothing would bite.”
Mann went on to say that he caught eight keepers over the course of the day.
“I was lucky enough to catch a couple of decent-sized fish early,” said Mann. “It was just one of those days where everything went my way.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Terry Mann, Warrior, Ala., five bass, 27-13, $7,337
2nd: Derek Remitz, Grant, Ala., five bass , 26-14, $2,528
3rd: Jacob Gibbs, Baileyton, Ala., five bass, 18-11, $1,432
3rd: Tracy Robinson, Gadsden, Ala., five bass, 18-11, $1,432
5th: Bryon Luman, Huntsville, Ala., five bass, 18-1, $1,011
6th: Kent Keys, Anniston, Ala., five bass, 17-15, $927
7th: Cameron Gautney, Muscle Shoals, Ala., five bass, 17-14, $843
8th: John Polly, Nauvoo, Ala., five bass, 17-12, $758
9th: Scott Towry, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., four bass , 17-11, $674
10th: Ben Johnson, Huntsville, Ala., five bass, 17-10, $590
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Mann also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 9 pounds, 7 ounces and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $780.
Chris Wade of Acworth, Georgia, weighed in five bass totaling 18 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to earn $2,528 and win the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Chris Wade, Acworth, Ga., five bass, 18-4, $2,528
2nd: Jefferson Cobb, Scottsboro, Ala., five bass, 17-15, $1,654
3rd: Rodney Treadaway, Decatur, Ala., five bass, 17-3, $845
4th: Steve Melton, Shelbyville, Tenn., three bass, 11-9, $590
5th: Danny Moss, Glencoe, Ala., four bass, 10-15, $506
6th: Bruce Stanley, Jasper, Ala., four bass, 10-8, $464
7th: Joey Morse, Cartersville, Ga., four bass, 10-4, $421
8th: Johnny Pittman, Albertville, Ala., three bass, 9-4, $379
9th: Randy Hobbs, Dawson, Ala., two bass, 9-3, $337
10th: Chris Nesbitt, Suwanee, Ga., three bass, 9-0, $295
Cobb caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $390.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 13-15 Regional Championship on Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, Georgia. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, 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 50 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 BFL All-American. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.