Szczerbala outfishes BFL Regional field on Lake Chickamauga - Major League Fishing
Szczerbala outfishes BFL Regional field on Lake Chickamauga
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Szczerbala outfishes BFL Regional field on Lake Chickamauga

Curvin wins co-angler title
Image for Szczerbala outfishes BFL Regional field on Lake Chickamauga
Boater Richard Szczerbala of Apex, N.C., earned a Ranger boat with a 200-horsepower outboard along with a Chevy 1500 Silverado as the winner of the BFL Regional Championship on Lake Chickamauga.
October 22, 2011 • MLF • Phoenix Bass Fishing League

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Richard Szczerbala of Apex, N.C., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Lake Chickamauga Saturday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 43 pounds, 15 ounces. For his victory, Szczerbala won a 198VX Ranger boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor plus a Chevy 1500 Silverado and a berth in the BFL All-American Championship tournament.

This regional tournament featured the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from the Bama, Music City, Piedmont and Savannah River divisions of the BFL circuit.

“Sometimes you just get lucky,” said Szczerbala. “I fished consistently all week, which is something the other anglers weren’t able to do, and that is what made the difference.

“On the first two mornings, there was a good topwater bite going on,” continued Szczerbala “I was using the Zara Spook. In the afternoon I would switch to flipping grass mats and caught a lot of key fish with the black-and-blue NetBait Paca Craw in about 5 to 8 feet of water.

“This was my first time on Lake Chickamauga,” Szczerbala went on to say. “I grew up fishing mats in Florida, and it’s my favorite way to fish. I am used to small baits with big weights, and it really played to my advantage for this tournament. On the first day of practice, I found a grassy bank that was near an old river channel that ran about 30 feet deep. I stuck with that area all week long, and it really paid off for me.”

The remaining top six boaters and also qualifying for the BFL All-American:

2nd: Terry Steele, Sparta, Tenn., 15 bass, 41-4, $1,500

3rd: Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 14 bass, 39-13, $1,100

4th: Jayme Rampey, Liberty S.C., 12 bass, 39-3, $1,000

5th: Patrick Bone, Cleveland, Ga., 14 bass, 38-14, $900

6th: Tim Staley, Dowelltown, Tenn., 15 bass, 37-12, $800

Rounding out the top 10 boaters:

7th: Brian Tidwell, Seneca, S.C., 14 bass, 37-8, $700

8th: Andy Kilgore, Kingston, Ga., 11 bass, 36-7, $650

9th: Eric Jeter, Asheville, N.C., 12 bass, 34-6, $600

10th: Dax Bumpers, Jackson, Ala., eight bass, 26-8, $550

Curvin co-angler champion

Scott Curvin of Jacksonville, Ala., earned a Ranger boat with a 200-horsepower outboard as the co-angler winner of the BFL Regional Championship on Lake Chickamauga.

Scott Curvin of Jacksonville, Ala., won the Co-angler Division with a three-day total of eight bass weighing 28 pounds. He took home a 198VX Ranger boat including a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor along with a berth in the BFL All-American Championship tournament.

The remaining top six co-anglers and also qualifying for the BFL All-American:

2nd: Michael Smith, Piedmont S.C., nine bass, 25-3, $750

3rd: Rodney Stevens, Garner, N.C., eight bass, 24-8, $550

4th: Jake Akin, Powder Springs, Ga., nine bass, 20-15, $500

5th: Shawn Marquis, Columbus, Ga., seven bass, 18-3, $450

6th: James Bullard, Harriman, Tenn., six bass, 16-11, $400

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers:

7th: DJ Boggs, Murfreesboro, Tenn., seven bass, 16-0, $350

8th: Marcus Corbett, Heflin, Ala., six bass, 15-15, $325

9th: Rod Huff, Monterey, Tenn., six bass, 15-7, $300

10th: Frank Chappell, Sterrett, Ala., five bass, 14-14, $275

The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 40 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for one of six regional tournaments and 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 Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.

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