GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – Local angler Jim Leary of Guntersville, Alabama, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 37 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division super-tournament on Lake Guntersville presented by Cortland Line Sunday. Leary earned $5,869 for his efforts.
Leary spent most of his time on Day One fishing grass mats in the mid-section of the lake, between South Sauty Creek and Goose Pond.
“I knew I couldn’t win the tournament on Day One, but I could lose it,” said Leary who earned his first career victory. “The first day was tough, but I was able to frog and flip up 16 pounds, 9 ounces to keep myself in the game.”
“On Day Two I started out flipping deeper, submerged grass. That is where I caught my biggest fish of the tournament – a 7- or 8-pounder,” Leary continued. “Right after catching the big one, I caught another 5-pounder in the same grass patch.”
Leary said the grass mats he targeted were not as dependent on current as some of the other popular areas further up the lake.
“The TVA was only pulling 12,000 (cubic feet per second) on Day Two so I went to my spots where I knew the fish didn’t need the current to turn on,” he said.
Leary’s frog of choice over the weekend was a Castaic Boyd Duckett BD Frog. When the Guntersville guide needed to get deep in the grass, he opted for a NetBait Paca Craw with a 1¼-ounce tungsten weight.
“The Paca Craw was a little bit tougher to punch the mat with, but once I got it through, I could yo-yo the bait seven or eight times and the fish would eat,” Leary said.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Jim Leary, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 37-12, $5,869
2nd: Charles Hemm, Huntsville, Ala., 10 bass, 33-5, $2,634
3rd: Casey Martin, Brownsboro, Ala., 10 bass, 33-1, $1,623
4th: Marshall Deakins, Dunlap, Tenn., 10 bass, 32-9, $1,236
5th: Ryan Salzman, Huntsville, Ala., 10 bass, 31-2, $974
6th: Josh Butler, Hayden, Ala., 10 bass, 27-12, $893
7th: Randall Allen, Owens Cross Roads, Ala., 10 bass, 27-7, $811
8th: Justin Wallace, Scottsboro, Ala., eight bass, 27-2, $730
9th: Daniel Whitaker, Phil Campbell, Ala., 10 bass, 26-11, $649
10th: Kenny Everette, Villa Rica, Ga., 10 bass, 23-13, $568
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Fletcher Shryrock of Dennison, Ohio, caught a 6-pound, 5-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the event’s Boater Big Bass award of $585.
Anniston, Alabama's Marcus Corbett won the Co-angler Division and $2,684 Sunday after catching a two-day total of nine bass weighing 22 pounds, 10 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Marcus Corbett, Anniston, Ala., nine bass, 22-10, $2,684
2nd: Ethan Wheeler, Mayfield, Ky., nine bass, 21-11, $1,367
3rd: Cameron Gatlin, Chattanooga, Tenn., nine bass, 21-6, $1,105
4th: Richard Lucia, Buford, Ga., nine bass, 21-5, $568
5th: Mark Lyons, Marion, Ind., 10 bass, 21-0, $487
6th: Chase Owens, Athens, Ala., eight bass, 20-12, $446
7th: Matt Hardy, Guntown, Miss., nine bass, 18-15, $406
8th: Steven Jacques, Addison, Ala., seven bass, 16-15, $365
9th: Bruce Stanley, Jasper, Ala., five bass, 15-11, $325
10th: Jacob Gardner, Arab, Ala., eight bass, 14-8, $284
Cameron Gatlin caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 4 ounces. The catch earned him the event’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $292.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 10-12 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, Georgia. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.
The 2019 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they 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 BFL All-American. The 2020 BFL All-American will be held April 30-May 2 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina, and is hosted by Visit Anderson. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2019 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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