Patterson wins BFL Regional on Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes - Major League Fishing

Patterson wins BFL Regional on Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes

Sledzewski tops co-anglers
Image for Patterson wins BFL Regional on Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes
Boater Johnny Patterson of Grant, Ala., earned a fully rigged Ranger 198VX and a new Chevy truck as the winner of the BFL Regional Championship on Fort Loudoun-Tellico Lakes in Lenoir City, Tenn. Angler: Johnny Patterson.
October 20, 2007 • MLF • Archives

LENOIR CITY, Tenn. – Boater Johnny Patterson of Grant, Ala., earned a fully rigged Ranger 198VX and a new Chevy truck Saturday as the winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Fort Loudoun-Tellico Lakes in Lenoir City, Tenn. The top 40 boaters and the top 40 co-anglers from the Bama, LBL, Music City and North Carolina divisions competed in the three-day event.

Patterson’s winning three-day catch of 13 bass weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces. In addition to the new truck and boat, Patterson earned a ticket to the 2008 $1 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League All-American presented by Chevy on the Connecticut River in Hartford, Conn., May 29-31. With a top boater award of $140,000 and a top co-angler award of $70,000, the All-American is one of the most prestigious tournaments in bass fishing. The winning boater and co-angler at the All-American will also advance to the $2 million 2008 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C., Aug. 14-17, where pros will fish for a top award of $1 million – the sport’s biggest payday.

“It was extremely tough to catch fish,” Patterson said. “There was a lot of shad on the lake, which made it difficult, and I think the time of year. I just went searching for fish, and I couldn’t figure it out. I started out in sixth place, so I really didn’t think I had a chance.”

Patterson caught his winning bass by throwing a green-pumpkin finesse worm in shallow muddy water near docks.

The top six boaters and the top six co-anglers at the regional championship earned a spot to compete in the All-American. Rounding out the top six boaters were Scott Hamrick of Denver, N.C. (eight bass, 22-0, $4,000); Bryant Ailor of Knoxville, Tenn. (seven bass, 21-3, $2,000); Terry Steele of Sparta, Tenn. (10 bass, 21-2, $1,600); John Dunn of Maryville, Tenn. (11 bass, 18-15, $1,200); and Pat Hatcliff of Murfreesboro, Tenn. (six bass, 17-6, $1,000).

Robert Sledzewski of Maiden, N.C., earned a new Ranger boat as the co-angler winner, thanks to a three-day total of four bass weighing 11 pounds, 9 ounces that he caught on a War Eagle spinnerbait around shallow cover.

Rounding out the top six co-anglers were Brian McCluskey of Adamsville, Ala. (three bass, 10-1, $2,000); Logan Fulks of Hendersonville, Tenn. (five bass, 9-15, $1,000); Mike Hillenbrand of Hendersonville, Tenn. (three bass, 9-8, $800); Johnnie Devine of Mount Washington, Ky. (three bass, 9-4, $600); and Chuck Rounds of Benton, Ky. (two bass, 7-14, $500).

As the nation’s leading provider of affordable, close-to-home weekend tournaments, the BFL is widely credited with opening competitive bass fishing to the masses. It also serves as a steppingstone for anglers who wish to advance to the Stren Series and ultimately the Wal-Mart FLW Series and Wal-Mart FLW Tour – bass fishing’s most lucrative tournament circuits.

Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 241 events in 2007.

Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world’s leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Walmart.com.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.