CLANTON, Ala. – Chris Rutland of Wetumpka, Ala., weighed in a two-day total of 10 bass for 27 pounds, 14 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Bama Division Super Tournament on Lake Mitchell. For his victory, Rutland earned $4,732.
“I practiced Thursday and Friday and I thought I had them dialed in,” said Rutland. “We had a front come through, and in my opinion it shut the fish down. I only caught six keepers the first day. But I caught two nice fish late that really keyed me in to how the fish had changed.
“Most of the fish were in the backs of the feeder creeks,” continued Rutland. “Most of the top 14 were running up below Lay Lake dam and fishing current, so I had the lower lake to myself. I like fishing fast, and I covered a lot of new water Sunday and concentrated on the backs of feeder creeks.
“I probably caught 15 keepers on Sunday,” said Rutland. “The last fish I caught was about a 4 1/2-pound spotted bass, and that pretty much sealed the deal.
“I was elated when I won,” said Rutland. “I’m really proud of the decisions that I made and that I didn’t lose any fish.”
Rutland said he caught his fish swimming a Big Bite Baits Cane Thumper around shad and on a Big Bite Baits Real Deal Craw in isolated grass mats in the backs of feeder creeks.
Rounding out the top 10 pros:
2nd: Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala., 10 bass, 25-15, $2,366
3rd: Adam Bain, Talladega, Ala., 10 bass, 24-14, $1,577
4th: Bo Hunter, Gardendale, Ala., 10 bass, 23-13, $1,104
5th: Steve Callins, Deatsville, Ala., 10 bass, 22-8, $946
6th: Paul Anthony, Dawson, Ga., 10 bass, 22-8, $888
7th: Dalton Bobo, Northport, Ala., 10 bass, 22-1, $789
8th: Brian Randall, Lake View, Ala., nine bass, 20-11, $710
9th: Tim Hurst, Oxford, Ala., nine bass, 19-12, $631
10th: Joshua Herren, Pinson, Ala., 10 bass, 19-5, $552
Complete results can be found here.
McDonough tops co-angler division
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers:
2nd: Jay Galimore, Auburn, Ala., eight bass, 17-14, $1,183
3rd: David Burnett, Birmingham, Ala., nine bass, 17-8, $790
4th: Jacob Hays, Elmore, Ala., 10 bass, 17-7, $552
5th: Scott Noles, Woodland, Ala., nine bass, 17-5, $473
6th: Terry Pennington, Auburn, Ala., nine bass, 15-0, $434
7th: Robert Volinic, Peachtree City, Ga., nine bass, 14-5, $394
8th: Gary Marlowe, Montgomery, Ala., 10 bass, 14-3, $355
9th: Alex Pruitt, Bessemer, Ala., five bass, 13-6, $315
10th: Keith Burnett, Alabaster, Ala., seven bass, 13-1, $276
Complete co-angler results can be found here.
The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 17-19 Regional Championship on Lake Hartwell in Lavonia, Ga. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
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 a regional tournament and compete 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.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2013 over the course of 220 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the “Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water.” For more information about FLW visit FLWOutdoors.com and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.