Dusty Herron of Alabaster, Alabama, and Chris Rutland of Wetumpka, Alabama, each caught five bass Saturday weighing 16 pounds even to tie for the win at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division tournament on Lay Lake. After contingency awards, Rutland earned $3,435, while Herron took home $2,435.
“I changed up my strategy a little bit because of how many boats were around. Everyone was fishing points, so I knew I needed to try something different if I wanted to win,” says Herron, who earned his first win FLW competition. “Basically I found them super shallow in really scattered out grass. I was on the lower end of the lake toward Mitchell Dam. I knew what they were on, so I went around looking for the same kind of stuff. They were definitely spread out – probably 15 different places.”
Herron threw a white custom swim jig with a custom worm trailer of the same color. He caught nine keepers – including two bass over 5 pounds – and culled four times.
Rutland says he fished main-lake grass points on the south end of the lake until around mid-morning, then flipped boat docks the rest of the day, catching approximately 25 keepers in the process.
“I hit a bunch of points – more than 20 – and was targeting fish in 2 to 4 feet of water,” says Rutland, who earned his third career victory in BFL competition – second on Lay Lake. “I weighed three largemouth from the points and then two spotted bass from the docks. They were also on the south end and about halfway back in the creeks.”
Rutland used a 5-inch, Alewife-colored Big Bite Baits Dean Rojas Cane Thumper on a Gamakatsu belly weight hook and a green-pumpkin ½-ounce Davis’ Baits Wood Jig with a Big Bite Baits Real Deal Craw trailer of the same color.
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Dusty Herron, Alabaster, Ala., five bass, 16-0, $2,435
1st: Chris Rutland, Wetumpka, Ala., five bass, 16-0, $3,435
3rd: Josh Stracner, Vandiver, Ala., five bass, 15-13, $1,332
4th: Jason Nixon, Wetumpka, Ala., five bass, 15-1, $908
5th: Dallas Weldon, Tallassee, Ala., five bass, 14-12, $649
6th: Jeff Cannon, Douglasville, Ga., five bass, 14-10, $595
7th: Rickie Harp, Cottondale, Ala., five bass, 14-9, $1,231
8th: Mitch Hayes, Chipley, Fla., five bass, 13-15, $687
9th: Timothy Travis, Tuscaloosa, Ala., five bass, 13-9, $433
10th: David Parsons, Dothan, Ala., five bass, 13-7, $479
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Harp caught a 6-pound, 3-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $390.
Corbett wins co-angler title
Marcus Corbett of Anniston, Alabama, won the Co-angler Division and $1,973 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 17 pounds, 11 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Marcus Corbett, Anniston, Ala., five bass, 17-11, $1,973
2nd: Michael Corbett, Oxford, Ala., five bass, 14-6, $962
3rd: Roman Robinson, Steele, Ala., five bass, 13-14, $541
4th: Jesse Craver, Centreville, Ala., five bass, 13-8, $379
5th: John Bryan, Carrollton, Ga., five bass, 13-5, $311
5th: Tanner Ellison, Jemison, Ala., five bass, 13-5, $311
7th: Robert Volinic, Peachtree City, Ga., five bass, 13-1, $466
8th: Randy Hill, Athens, Ala., five bass, 12-13, $244
9th: Daniel Buswell Jr., Fayetteville, Ga., five bass, 12-12, $216
10th: Billy Crook, Jacksonville, Ala., five bass, 12-6, $189
Volinic caught the heaviest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 6 pounds, 9 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $195.
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.