Fishing & Boating News

Salzman Wins Walmart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division Event on Lake Guntersville

Miller wins co-angler title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Ryan Salzman of Huntsville, Ala., won the April 18 Choo Choo Division event on Lake Guntersville with a massive 31-pound, 15-ounce limit to claim a $4,900 check.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Apr 20, 2015 - GUNTERSVILLE, AL.)  Ryan Salzman of Huntsville, Alabama, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 31 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Guntersville. For his victory, Salzman earned $4,948.
 
Ryan Salzman of Huntsville, Ala., won the April 18 Choo Choo Division event on Lake Guntersville with a massive 31-pound, 15-ounce limit to claim a $4,900 check. (FLW)
 
“I feel blessed,” said Salzman. “I never fish my two best spots during a tournament but I did on Saturday because I figured I’d need all the weight I can get.”
 
In order to catch his winning stringer, Salzman said he focused on mid-lake shell beds and stumps.
 
“Ten minutes into the day I caught a 7-pound fish,” said Salzman. “About 15 minutes later I netted another 7-pounder and from there we went to work.
 
“Around 9 a.m. I went to another spot and fired up a school and got them eating. At that point my co-angler and I were both doing well,” said Salzman.
 
The Alabama angler said he caught the majority of his fish on a R2-D2-colored True Bass Little Head 4.5 swimbait in 8 to 10 feet of water.
 
“Around 2 p.m. I stopped at a spot I found in practice and culled out a 4½-pounder with a 6-pounder,” Salzman said. “I knew then that I had a chance at a top-3 finish.”
 
Salzman said he caught around 20 fish during the tournament.  
 
“I was nervous about weigh-in because I knew someone else would be catching 30 pounds. The big ones were biting,” Salzman said. “I don’t think I would’ve won if I hadn’t culled at that final spot.”
 
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
 
1st:          Ryan Salzman, Huntsville, Ala., five bass, 31-15, $4,948
2nd:         Benjie Allen, Scottsboro, Ala., five bass, 31-6, $2,474
3rd:          Wayne Boyd, Rome, Ga., five bass, 22-3, $1,649
4th:          David Allen, Florence, Ala., five bass, 21-7, $1,155
5th:          Shane Moss, Jasper, Tenn., five bass, 21-5, $990
6th:          Freddy Palmer, Estill Springs, Tenn., five bass, 21-0, $907
7th:          Josh Butler, Huntsville, Ala., five bass, 20-12, $783
7th:          Wayne Christopher, Huntsville, Ala., five bass, 20-12, $783
9th:          Tyler Kiker, Alexandria, Ala., five bass, 20-9, $660
10th:        Brian Horton, Fort Payne, Ala., five bass, 18-13, $548
10th:        Cole Wade, Scottsboro, Ala., five bass, 18-13, $548
            
Allen caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 7 pounds, 15 ounces and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $755.
 
Randy Miller of Huntsville, Alabama, weighed in a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win $2,474 in the co-angler division.
 
The top 10 co-anglers were:
 
1st:          Randy Miller, Huntsville, Ala., five bass, 17-15, $2,474
2nd:         Marcus Corbett, Heflin, Ala., five bass, 17-3, $1,237
3rd:          Daniel McGhee, Cumming, Ga., five bass, 16-13, $824
4th:          Wesley Smith, Vinemont, Ala., five bass, 16-5, $577
5th:          Craig Pletcher, Ringgold, Ga., five bass, 15-13, $495
6th:          Devereaux Adams, Powder Springs, Ga., five bass, 15-12, $454
7th:          Allan Garner, Estill Springs, Tenn., five bass, 15-9, $391
7th:          Jerry Nydam, Arab, Ala., five bass, 15-9, $391
9th:          Jody Evans, Toney, Ala., five bass, 15-7, $330
10th:        Devin O'Dell, Trenton, Ga., five bass, 15-5, $289
 
Garner caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $377.
 
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 22-24 Regional Championship on Neely Henry Lake in Gadsden, Alabama. 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.