PALATKA, Fla. – The Walmart Bass Fishing League (BFL) is headed to the St. Johns River Oct. 2-4 for one of six regional championships. The three-day tournament will feature the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from each of the Bama, Bulldog, Choo Choo and Gator divisions.
Anglers will take to the water to compete for the top prize of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Evinrude outboard and a Chevy 1500 Silverado in the Boater Division and a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Evinrude outboard in the Co-Angler division. The top six boaters and co-anglers will also qualify for one of the longest running championships in competitive bass fishing – the 2015 Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy.
“It should be a good tournament,” said Castrol pro Mike Surman, a five-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier. “The weather should be fairly stable, and the St. Johns has a lot of fish. I think someone will definitely have to have at least one or two big days to win the tournament.
“Everybody is going to catch fish, but the key will be finding the location of the big ones,” Surman said. “The good thing about the St. Johns is that there are many miles of good fishable water. Anglers could run away and find a place all to themselves, or win right at the boat ramp. Some of the other lakes like Lake George, Rodman Reservoir and Crescent Lake have produced winning weights in the past, but the river should definitely come into play because it hasn’t been cold, and the fish are still in their summer patterns.”
Surman said that he expected a broad range of techniques to be effective, from traditional Florida patterns like flipping and pitching in the grass, casting swimjigs and soft plastics, or broader patterns like fishing docks, or throwing squarebill crankbaits or topwater baits.
“It will probably take in the neighborhood of 58 pounds to win,” said Surman. “Someone will probably catch a big bag and then have two solid days to back it up.”
Anglers will take off from Palatka Riverfront Park located at 101 Memorial Parkway in Palatka, Florida, at 7:30 a.m. each day of competition. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will be held at the launch site beginning at 3:30 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at Walmart located at 1024 S. State Road in Palatka beginning at 4:30 p.m.. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
The BFL Regional Championship event on the St. Johns River is being hosted by the Putnam County Tourist Development Council.
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 Rayovac FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Rayovac FLW Series on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.
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 2014 over the course of 229 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. For more information about FLW visit FLWOutdoors.com and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.