GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – Kyle Walters of Grant Valkaria Fla., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Lake Guntersville with a three-day total of 15 bass totaling 54 pounds, 4 ounces. For his victory, Walters won a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard plus a Chevy 1500 Silverado and entry into the BFL All-American presented by Chevy. This regional tournament featured the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from each of the Gator, LBL, Mountain and South Carolina divisions.
Walters notched the second BFL win of his career by applying tried-and-true Florida tactics to a lake he’d never been to before.
“I wore shorts every morning,” said Walters. “It was straight Lake Okeechobee-in-September-style fishing.
“I was flipping hydrilla with heavy weights all three days,” continued Walters. “I got there in practice and was willing to try to catch them any way (I could). But when I drove over the first bridge and saw all the hydrilla I thought it might be neat to catch them flippin’.
“I found an area that I thought was good, but I didn’t know how good it was until the first morning. Then it was on like crazy. After that, I just milked that area the rest of the tournament.
“It was an outside edge right on the river channel,” explained Walters. “I think fish were coming in and out to feed. When they came in they’d eat like crazy. There were some key times early in the morning and from about 11 a.m. to 12:30 when they bit really good.
“When I went to my area, I didn’t realize it was as big as it was. I’d make a bigger pass every time during the tournament. I ended up with three areas within an area.
“The key was using 65-pound-test braid with a 7-foot, 11-inch extra heavy Halo rod,” continued Walters. “Those Tennessee River bass aren’t like Florida bass. They go crazy. You really had to yank them out. It was a stressful situation every time you’d get a bite
“As a kid you always want to win a three-day tournament. I had so many people pulling for me, it was really neat,” said Walters. “I had a lot of fun. The money’s great, but they can never take that trophy from me.”
Walters said he flipped a variety of baits on either an ounce-and-a-half or 2-ounce tungsten weight.
The top six boaters that qualified for the BFL All-American were:
1st: Kyle Walters, Grant Valkaria, Fla., 15 bass, 54-4, Ranger Z518 with 200-horsepower outboard + Chevy 1500 Silverado
2nd: Greg Rikard, Leesville, S.C., 15 bass, 52-8, $1,500
3rd: Robert Crosnoe, Inverness, Fla., 15 bass, 51-5, $1,100
4th: Timothy Feller, Coral Springs, Fla., 15 bass, 49-1, $1,000 + Evinrude Bonus: $300
5th: George Kapiton, Inverness, Fla., 14 bass, 48-4, $900
6th: Thomas Coomer, Albany, Ky., 15 bass, 47-15, $800
Rounding out the top 10 pros:
7th: Bill Day, Frankfort, Ky., 15 bass, 46-13, $700
8th: Kelly Autrey, Clewiston, Fla., 15 bass, 46-10, $650
9th: Juan Ruiz, West Palm Beach, Fla., 14 bass, 39-12, $600
10th: Santos Solis, Vero Beach, Fla., 12 bass, 39-12, $550
For a complete list of boater results, click here.
Maynard snares co-angler title
Brandon Maynard of Cookeville, Tenn., won the Co-angler Division with a three-day total of 11 bass totaling 34 pounds, 2 ounces. For his efforts, Maynard took home a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard along with a berth in the BFL All-American Championship tournament.
The top six co-anglers that qualified for the BFL All-American were:
1st: Brandon Maynard, Cookeville, Ten., 11 bass, 34-2, Ranger Z518 with 200-horsepower outboard
2nd: Brett Anderson, Mount Vernon, Ill., 11 bass, 33-13, $750
3rd: Kenny Hardin, Columbia, Ky., 11 bass, 30-0, $550
4th: Bruce Bozeman, St. Cloud, Fla., 12 bass, 29-15, $500
5th: Shane Cantley, Lugoff, S.C., nine bass, 29-10, $450
6th: Glann Ruth, Frankfort, Ky., 10 bass, 29-0, $400
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers:
7th: Phillip Williams Jr., Jamestown, Ky., 10 bass, 26-7, $350
8th: Steve Keller Jr., Bethel, Ohio, eight bass, 24-3, $325
9th: Robert Hood, Somerset, Ky., nine bass, 23-8, $300
10th: Daniel Crockett, Old Hickory, Tenn., six bass, 23-1, $275
For a complete list of co-angler results, click here.
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 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.
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.