Fishing & Boating News

Missouri’s Lawyer Leads Wire-To-Wire, Wins BFL All-American Tournament on Lake Barkley

Alabama’s Smith wins co-angler title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Jeremy Lawyer of Sarcoxie, MO, brought a 5-bass limit weighing 17 lbs, 10 ozs to the scale Saturday to win the 2016 BFL All-American on Lake Barkley.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Jun 11, 2016 - CADIZ, Ky.)

 Jeremy Lawyer of Sarcoxie, Missouri, brought a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 10 ounces to the scale Saturday to win the 2016 BFL All-American on Lake Barkley. Lawyer’s three-day cumulative weight of 15 bass totaling 50-12 gave him a 6-pound, 2-ounce edge over second-place finisher Todd Walters of Kernersville, North Carolina, in the internationally-televised event which hosted the nation’s top weekend anglers.

“I’ve fished many BFL events and have never won, so I guess if you’re going to come out on top, this is the event to do it at,” said Lawyer, who qualified for the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup – the world championship of bass fishing – with his win Saturday. “I’ve had so much support from friends and family this week. I’m happy for myself, but I’m also glad I could pull through for everyone that was counting on me. I’m just tickled to death right now.”


Lawyer said he needed one bait to catch his limit today – a green-pumpkin-colored Zoom Mag Finesse Worm.


“I started out the morning on a bluff in the mouth of the Little River and caught my biggest fish – a 5-pounder – at 8 a.m.,” said Lawyer. “That catch really set the pace for the day. Within an hour or two I boated a keeper around the Highway 68 bridge off of a rocky point. I ran back to the Little River bluff at 11 a.m., and was able to nab two more keepers – a 3- and 4-pounder. At that point I started doing the math to figure out how much weight the other competitors would need to catch me.”


In addition to the Zoom Mag Finesse Worm, Lawyer said a Herring-colored Bandit Lures 200 Series Crankbait and a green-pumpkin-blue Zoom Brush Hog were also key baits this week.


“By 2 p.m., I still didn’t have a fifth keeper,” said Lawyer. “With 12 minutes left to fish, I returned to the bluff end and caught a 4-pounder. I think it was all of the boat traffic that got the area so active. The crawdads were stirred up and the fish were chasing them, and the wake from the boats were pushing the fish up onto the bank to where I could catch them. This was one of those tournaments where everything went my way. I’m going to enjoy this feeling for as long as I can.”


The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:
               1st:          Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., 15 bass, 50-12, $100,000 + $20,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
               2nd:         Todd Walters, Kernersville, N.C., 15 bass, 44-10, $20,000
               3rd:          Clabion Johns, Covington, Ga., 15 bass, 43-3, $15,000 + $8,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
               4th:          John Vanore, Mullica Hill, N.J., 15 bass, 40-7, $14,000 + $7,000 Ranger Cup Bonus             
               5th:          Kyle Weisenburger, Ottawa, Ohio, 15 bass, 40-5, $13,000
               6th:          Drew Boggs, Lebanon, Tenn., 14 bass, 39-5, $12,000
               7th:          Mike Devere, Berea, Ky., 13 bass, 38-9, $11,000 + $4,500 Ranger Cup Bonus
               8th:          Nelson Walker, Manning, S.C., 14 bass, 38-1, $10,000 + $4,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
               9th:          Thomas Helton, Charleston, Tenn., 14 bass, 36-2, $9,000 + $3,500 Ranger Cup Bonus
               10th:        Jim Eakin, Clarksville, Tenn., 11 bass, 28-10, $13,000 + $3,000 Ranger Cup Bonus

Wesley Smith of Vinemont, Alabama, won the co-angler division and $50,000 with a three-day total of 11 bass weighing 26 pounds, 4 ounces, followed by Mike Allen of Crystal Springs, Mississippi, in second place with eight bass weighing 25-4, worth $15,000.


The top 10 co-anglers are:
               1st:          Wesley Smith, Vinemont, Ala., 11 bass, 26-14, $50,000
               2nd:         Mike Allen, Crystal Springs, Miss., eight bass, 25-4, $15,000
               3rd:          Adam Wood, Guyton, Ga., nine bass, 24-3, $6,000
               4th:          Marvin Reese, Gwynn Oak, Md., 10 bass, 23-11, $5,000
               5th:          John Wilkerson, Nashville, Tenn., nine bass, 23-5, $4,500
               6th:          John Duarte, Middle River, Md., nine bass, 21-8, $4,000
               7th:          Randy Smith, Fayetteville, Ga., eight bass, 21-4, $3,500
               8th:          Bill Haunert, Blue Ash, Ohio, seven bass, 15-9, $3,000
               9th:          Jesse Parks, Avondale, Ariz., six bass, 14-8, $2,500
               10th:        Jamie Eynard, Holts Summit, Mo., five bass, 12-15, $2,000


Hosted by Cadiz-Trigg County Tourism, the BFL All-American featured the top 49 boaters and top 49 co-anglers from across the 24-division BFL circuit and the TBF National Championship casting for cash prizes of up to $120,000 in the Boater Division and $60,000 in the Co-angler Division, plus an opportunity to compete for the Forrest Wood Cup Aug. 4-7 on Wheeler Lake in Huntsville, Alabama.


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.


Coverage of the 2016 BFL All-American will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) Oct. 5 from 1 p.m.-2 p.m. EDT. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.


About Fishing League Worldwide (FLW)
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