(Mar 27, 2017 - CLANTON, Ala.)
Josh Wissinger of Hayden, Alabama, brought a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 12 ounces, to the scale Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division event on Lake Mitchell. For his win, Wissinger took home $3,586.
“I started out fishing isolated grass patches on the main lake with a Dirty Jigs No-Jack Swim Jig with a Zoom Super Ultra Vibe Speed Craw,” said Wissinger, who earned his first career-win in FLW competition. “I picked up one or two keepers, but there were a lot of boats around. Lake Mitchell is small, so I knew there would be a lot of pressure.”
As the morning continued, Wissinger said he worked his way up the Coosa River looking for spawning bass.
“I hit seawalls and caught two spotted bass, including a 4-pounder, using a Z-Man ChatterBait,” said Wissinger. “The 5- to 6-foot depths are ideal spawning areas. It’s the first shallow water they come to when they get out of the main-river current.
“I eventually got up to the dam, and fished some flats near concrete walls,” continued Wissinger. “There is a lot of food for the fish up there, as well as holes and big boulders they get around and use to spawn. They offer the bass some protection.”
Wissinger said he used a ¼-ounce Buckeye Lures Spot Remover Shaky-Head Jig with a Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm to round out his limit.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Josh Wissinger, Hayden, Ala., five bass, 18-12, $3,586
2nd: Erick Sommers, Deatsville, Ala., five bass, 17-1, $1,411
2nd: Tim Hurst, Oxford, Ala., five bass, 17-1, $1,836
4th: Brandon McGinnis, Pell City, Ala., five bass, 16-1, $790
5th: James Baber, Ozark, Ala., five bass, 15-8, $777
6th: Jimmy Bahakel, Birmingham, Ala., five bass, 14-12, $621
7th: David Milsaps, Ranger, Ga., five bass, 14-10, $564
8th: Daniel White, Clanton, Ala., five bass, 14-7, $508
9th: Mark McCaig, Oxford, Ala., five bass, 14-2, $451
10th: M.J. Vihnanek, Walnut Hill, Fla., five bass, 14-1, $395
Hurst caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 4 ounces – the largest of the event in the Pro Division – which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $425.
Taylor Parker of Lake View, Alabama, weighed in five bass totaling 12 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the Co-angler Division and the top prize of $1,693.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Taylor Parker, Lake View, Ala., five bass, 12-13, $1,693
2nd: Timmy Ward, Sylacauga, Ala., five bass, 12-10, $846
3rd: Harold Grizzle, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 12-8, $764
4th: Jeff Morgan, Kennesaw, Ga., five bass, 12-4, $445
5th: Lew Moore, Roanoke, Ala., five bass, 11-5, $339
6th: Larry Purdie, Columbus, Ga., five bass, 11-0, $310
7th: Ross Duncan, Newnan, Ga., five bass, 10-15, $282
8th: Tyler Fields, Kingsport, Tenn., five bass, 10-3, $254
9th: Daniel Douglas, Meridianville, Ala., five bass, 10-1, $226
10th: Tanner Ellison, Clanton, Ala., five bass, 10-0, $198
Mason Powell of Odenville, Alabama, caught the biggest bass among Co-angler Division anglers, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 12 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $212.
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. 12-14 BFL Regional Championship on Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Alabama. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.
The 2017 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. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the 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 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 274 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa 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.