SCOTTSBORO, Ala. – Woody Parks of Lincolnton, Ga., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League final Choo Choo Division tournament on Lake Guntersville Sunday with a two-day catch of nine bass weighing 37 pounds, 8 ounces. The victory earned Parks $6,053 and helped him qualify for the Clarks Hill Lake Regional Championship in Appling, Ga., Oct. 15-17, where he could ultimately win a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.
“I went frog fishing,” said Parks. “On the last day of practice I found a sweet spot that I was able to fish in all weekend. I lost three fish during the tournament and only weighed four fish on the first day. I was a little nervous that not weighing a limit both days was going to cost me the tournament. Usually you don’t win with nine fish, but I caught a pretty good bag the second day and it was enough to win the tournament for me.”
“I only needed to catch one fish in order to qualify for the regional championship, and so that was my goal for this event,” added Parks. “Mentally, I knew I wasn’t going to get a lot of bites this weekend and that I needed to boat every bite I got in order to stay competitive; I knew the fishing wasn’t going to be fast, and I needed a lot of patience. Once I got that first fish early on day one, I was able to slow way down and fish real relaxed, I think that was the difference.”
Rounding out the top five boaters are Wesley Helton of Calhoun, Tenn. (9 bass, 34-2, $3,026); Christopher Lane of Guntersville, Ala. (10 bass, 31-9, $2,018); Thomas Helton of Charleston, Tenn. (9 bass, 30-9, $1,412); and Tim Buckner of Scottsboro, Ala. (10 bass, 29-12, $1,211).
Parks also took home the Boater Division Folgers Big Bass award, earning $817 for a 7-pound, 5-ounce bass he caught.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Bud McKelvey of Knoxville, Tenn. (7 bass, 21-8, $1,513); James Swindle of Parrish, Ala. (7 bass, 18-7, $1,010); Waylon Hancock of Cartersville, Ga. (7 bass, 17-13, $706); and Jerry (Boats) Nydam of Arab, Ala. (6 bass, 17-8, $605).
Ray Spraker of Apison, Tenn., earned $409 as the co-angler Folgers Big Bass winner after catching a 7-pound, 1-ounce bass.
The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers in each of the BFL’s 28 divisions at the end of the season advance to a no-entry-fee Regional Championship where boaters fish for a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck and co-anglers fish for a new Ranger boat. Seven regional championships will each send six boaters and six co-anglers to the no-entry-fee Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy, which features a $1 million purse and a top award of $140,000 in the Boater Division and $70,000 in the Co-angler Division. Anglers who compete in all five regular-season events within a division but do not advance to a Regional Championship are eligible to compete in the Chevy Wild Card, which will also send six boaters and six co-anglers to the All-American for a total of 48 boaters and 48 co-anglers advancing through BFL competition.
The winning boater and winning co-angler at the All-American will advance to the no-entry-fee Forrest Wood Cup in Atlanta in 2010. This event is the most lucrative tournament in all of competitive bass fishing. In all, the BFL offers weekend anglers the opportunity to qualify for three no-entry-fee championships. Plus, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from each BFL division may move up to the Stren Series for 2010 while All-American champions have the option to advance directly to the Walmart FLW Tour.
In BFL competition, boaters supply the boat and compete from the front deck against other boaters. Co-anglers compete from the back deck against other co-anglers.
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 FLW Tour – bass fishing’s most lucrative tournament circuit.
Total awards are based on a full field of 200 boats in every tournament.
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For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.