David Gaston of Sylacauga, Alabama, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 16 pounds, 15 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division opener on Lake Martin presented by Navionics. Gaston took home $6,956 for his efforts.
“I fished shallow brush piles in 2 to 3 feet of water in Madwin and Sandy creeks,” says Gaston, who earned his second career victory on Lake Martin in BFL competition. “I worked areas in both creeks, and hit probably 40 different brush piles. I would pull up and flip them 5 or 6 times, and then move on.”
Gaston caught eight or nine keepers throughout the day, using a black and blue-colored D&L Baby Advantage Casting jig with a Strike King Menace Rage Tail of the same color. He also weighed one off of a Delta Red-colored Strike King 1.5 KVD HC Silent square-billed crankbait. He used P-Line 20-pound-test Tactical Fluorocarbon, which he said ended up being a crucial part of his catch.
“They were really subtle bites. They didn’t thump the bait, they kind of just picked it up and held onto it and the sensitivity of the line helped me feel them.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: David Gaston, Sylacauga, Ala., five bass, 16-15, $4,956 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Marty Giddens, Cropwell, Ala., five bass, 15-0, $1,878
3rd: Jimmy Miller, Eclectic, Ala., five bass, 13-7, $1,253
4th: Dallas Weldon, Tallassee, Ala., five bass, 13-2, $876
5th: Terry Fisher, Jacksonville, Fla., five bass, 13-1, $751
6th: Steven Ingram, Tallassee, Ala., five bass, 12-11, $689
7th: Robert Pelt II, Montgomery, Ala., five bass, 12-7, $726
8th: Terry Tucker, Gadsden, Ala., five bass, 12-1, $563
9th: Ken Walters, Wetumpka, Ala., five bass, 12-0, $501
10th: Christopher Jones, Midfield, Ala., five bass, 11-10, $416
10th: Michael Purvis, Canton, Ga., five bass, 11-10, $416
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Dusty Robinson of Eclectic, Alabama, caught a 6-pound, 10-ounce largemouth – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $490.
Hays wins co-angler title
Robert Hays of Elmore, Alabama, won the Co-angler Division and $1,959 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 12 pounds, 4 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Robert Hays, Elmore, Ala., five bass, 12-4, $1,959
2nd: Roman Robinson, Steele, Ala., five bass, 11-15, $929
3rd: Michael Ingram, Cropwell, Ala., five bass, 11-13, $619
4th: Ty Story, Prattville, Ala., five bass, 11-5, $484
5th: Gary Marlowe, Montgomery, Ala., five bass, 11-3, $614
6th: William Jackson, Sharpsburg, Ga., five bass, 10-15, $341
7th: John Bryan, Carrollton, Ga., five bass, 10-13, $310
8th: Franklin McCutcheon, Jacksonville, Ala., five bass, 10-8, $279
9th: Ray Puckett, Wetumpka, Ala., five bass, 10-5, $232
9th: Michael Smith, Piedmont, S.C., five bass, 10-5, $232
Marlowe caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 14 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $242.
The tournament was hosted by the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 17-19 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama, presented by Mercury. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.
The 2019 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they 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. The 2019 BFL All-American will be held May 30-June 1 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland, and is hosted by the Charles County Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism and the Commissioners of Charles County. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.