Clayton Joyce of Chapel Hill, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 29 pounds, 2 ounces, Saturday to win the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division tournament on Lake Guntersville presented by Navionics. For his victory, Joyce took home $4,359.
“I’ve never caught that kind of weight on this lake,” says Joyce, who earned his first win in BFL competition. “I’ve had several 20-pound limits out there, but nothing like this.
“I caught 6-pounder within the first 15 minutes,” continues Joyce. “I caught a 4-pounder and three smaller ones before the bite died. I really needed the wind to blow, but it was a calm day.”
Joyce targeted two stumps on the end of a creek point between Waterfront Bay and Goose Pond. He says he caught his fish throwing a Carolina-rigged, pumpkin-colored stick bait.
“After three hours, the wind picked up and I was able to catch more bass and cull,” says Joyce. “I worked the stumps from all angles to try and dial in on where they were setting up. If I could get the bait hung up under the stump, I’d yank it out, stop it and that would trigger a bite.”
Joyce finished by saying that he caught his largest fish with only minutes to spare.
“It was one of those special days of fishing that I’ll remember for a long time,” says Joyce.
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Clayton Joyce, Chapel Hill, Tenn., five bass, 29-2, $4,359
2nd: Freddy Palmer, Estill Springs, Tenn., five bass, 23-8, $2,179
3rd: Jim Leary, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 21-15, $1,452
4th: Cameron Gautney, Muscle Shoals, Ala., five bass, 20-6, $1,017
5th: Blake Hall, Hartselle, Ala., five bass, 19-3, $872
6th: Josh Butler, Athens, Ala., five bass, 18-15, $1,099
7th: Wayne Christopher, Huntsville, Ala., five bass, 18-11, $726
8th: Eric Foister, Clarksville, Tenn., five bass, 18-10, $1,242
8th: Brad Harmon, Ringgold, Ga., five bass, 18-10, $617
10th: Tim Hurst, Oxford, Ala., five bass, 17-0, $483
10th: Joe Thompson, Grant, Ala., five bass, 17-0, $483
Complete results can be found here.
Foister caught a 9-pound, 1-ounce bass – the biggest of the tournament in the pro division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $625.
Hand wins co-angler title
Nathan Hand of Madison, Alabama, weighed in five bass totaling 16 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the co-angler division and earn $2,179.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Nathan Hand, Madison, Ala., five bass, 16-1, $2,179
2nd: Michael Corbett, Oxford, Ala., five bass, 16-0, $1,090
3rd: Jacob Feltman, Birmingham, Ala., five bass, 15-2, $725
4th: Rodney Bolte, Oxford, Ala., five bass, 15-0, $509
5th: Daniel Crockett, Old Hickory, Tenn., five bass, 13-9, $436
6th: Ron Lee, Lilburn, Ga., five bass, 13-6, $400
7th: Trent Wright, Scottsboro, Ala., five bass, 12-15, $363
8th: Tom Pearson, Scottsboro, Ala., five bass, 12-7, $327
9th: Wayne Kilgore, Attalla, Ala., five bass, 12-2, $291
10th: Robert Barnett, Flintstone, Ga., four bass, 11-15, $254
Daniel Davis of Albertville, Alabama, 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 $312.
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.