(May 2, 2016 - Scottsboro, AL)
Clayton Joyce of Chapel Hill, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 29 pounds, 2 ounces, Saturday to win the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division tournament on Lake Guntersville presented by Navionics. For his victory, Joyce took home $4,359.
“I’ve never caught that kind of weight on this lake,” said Joyce, who earned his first win in BFL competition. “I’ve had several 20-pound limits out there, but nothing like this.
“I caught 6-pounder within the first 15 minutes,” continued Joyce. “I caught a 4-pounder and three smaller ones before the bite died. I really needed the wind to blow, but it was a calm day.”
Joyce said he targeted two stumps on the end of a creek point between Waterfront Bay and Goose Pond. He said he caught his fish throwing a Carolina-rigged, pumpkin-colored stick bait.
“After three hours, the wind picked up and I was able to catch more bass and cull,” said Joyce. “I worked the stumps from all angles to try and dial in on where they were setting up. If I could get the bait hung up under the stump, I’d yank it out, stop it and that would trigger a bite.”
Joyce finished by saying that he caught his largest fish with only minutes to spare.
“It was one of those special days of fishing that I’ll remember for a long time,” said Joyce.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Clayton Joyce, Chapel Hill, Tenn., five bass, 29-2, $4,359
2nd: Freddy Palmer, Estill Springs, Tenn., five bass, 23-8, $2,179
3rd: Jim Leary, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 21-15, $1,452
4th: Cameron Gautney, Muscle Shoals, Ala., five bass, 20-6, $1,017
5th: Blake Hall, Hartselle, Ala., five bass, 19-3, $872
6th: Josh Butler, Athens, Ala., five bass, 18-15, $1,099
7th: Wayne Christopher, Huntsville, Ala., five bass, 18-11, $726
8th: Eric Foister, Clarksville, Tenn., five bass, 18-10, $1,242
8th: Brad Harmon, Ringgold, Ga., five bass, 18-10, $617
10th: Tim Hurst, Oxford, Ala., five bass, 17-0, $483
10th: Joe Thompson, Grant, Ala., five bass, 17-0, $483
Foister caught a 9-pound, 1-ounce bass – the biggest of the tournament in the pro division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $625.
Nathan Hand of Madison, Alabama, weighed in five bass totaling 16 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the co-angler division and earn $2,179.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Nathan Hand, Madison, Ala., five bass, 16-1, $2,179
2nd: Michael Corbett, Oxford, Ala., five bass, 16-0, $1,090
3rd: Jacob Feltman, Birmingham, Ala., five bass, 15-2, $725
4th: Rodney Bolte, Oxford, Ala., five bass, 15-0, $509
5th: Daniel Crockett, Old Hickory, Tenn., five bass, 13-9, $436
6th: Ron Lee, Lilburn, Ga., five bass, 13-6, $400
7th: Trent Wright, Scottsboro, Ala., five bass, 12-15, $363
8th: Tom Pearson, Scottsboro, Ala., five bass, 12-7, $327
9th: Wayne Kilgore, Attalla, Ala., five bass, 12-2, $291
10th: Robert Barnett, Flintstone, Ga., four bass, 11-15, $254
Daniel Davis of Albertville, Alabama, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $312.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 13-15 Regional Championship on Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, 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 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. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
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 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.