Fishing & Boating News

Barnes Wins Walmart Bass Fishing League Bama Division Opener on Lake Eufaula

Rushing wins co-angler title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Will Barnes of Headland, Ala., won the event on Lake Eufaula with a 22-lb 7-oz limit which earned him a nearly $5,000 check.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Mar 2, 2015 - EUFAULA, AL.) “I’m very thrilled,” said Barnes of his first BFL win. “There were a lot of great fishermen in this tournament and I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”
 
Citing recent success in practice, Barnes headed south intending to fish in deeper water. He ended up finding the bite shallow, at a spot near Thomas Mill Creek.
 
“If I wasn’t around wood, I didn’t get a bite,” said Barnes. “I fished docks, bluff walls – basically everything as long as it was around wood structure and within 50 yards of the deep water.”
 
Around 8:45 a.m., Barnes reeled in a 6-pound, 11-ounce behemoth near a tree. The Alabama angler boated another 6-pounder around 10 o’clock and he knew that he had put himself into serious contention for the win.
 
“I’ve never really caught a lot of fish when it’s been that cold. But for some reason they were actively feeding that morning,” said Barnes.
 
Barnes said that he managed to catch nine keepers throughout the day on a black and blue-colored Lunker Lure Rattleback Jig with a black crawfish trailer.
 
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
 
1st:          Will Barnes, Headland, Ala., five bass, 22-7, $4,938
2nd:         Ronnie Ray, Phenix City, Ala., five bass, 22-0, $2,469
3rd:          Scott Montgomery, Eufaula, Ala., five bass, 21-5, $1,646
4th:          Rodger Beaver, Dawson, Ga., five bass, 20-13, $1,152
5th:          Ryan Ingram, Phenix City, Ala., five bass, 19-0, $988
6th:          Anthony Goggins, Auburn, Ala., five bass, 17-6, $905
7th:          Samuel Fish, Calera, Ala., four bass, 16-12, $823
8th:          Jack White, Vance, Ala., four bass, 16-6, $741
9th:          Carl Hayes III, Sharpsburg, Ga., four bass, 15-8, $658
10th:        Matt Lipscomb, Springville, Ala., four bass, 14-10, $576
 
Montgomery caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $745.
 
Wesley Rushing of Abbeville, Alabama, weighed in a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 1 ounces Saturday to win $2,469 in the co-angler division.
 
The top 10 co-anglers were:
 
1st:          Wesley Rushing, Abbeville, Ala., five bass, 17-1, $2,469
2nd:         Brandon Ray, Phenix City, Ala., two bass, 12-3, $1,235
3rd:          Radney Atchison, Prattville, Ala., five bass, 9-11, $823
4th:          Todd Radney, Oxford, Ala., two bass, 9-6, $576
5th:          Slaton Jemison, Mathews, Ala., two bass, 8-8, $494
6th:          Cory Johnson, Crane Hill, Ala., two bass, 7-11, $453
7th:          Frank Shatterly, Hillsboro, Ga., three bass, 7-9, $412
8th:          Keith Lynch, River Falls, Ala., two bass, 7-3, $370
9th:          Howard Avery, Newnan, Ga., three bass, 6-14, $329
10th:        Wayne Haynes, Ohatchee, Ala., two bass, 6-6, $288
 
Ray caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $372.
 
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 8-10 Regional Championship on Lake Sinclair in Millegeville, Georgia. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C 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 50 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. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Rayovac FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
 
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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 2015 over the course of 240 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.