Fishing & Boating News

Sylacauga’s Gaston Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Bama Division Tournament on Lake Martin

Birmingham’s Wiggins Takes Co-angler Title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Boater David Gaston of Sylacauga, AL, caught 5 bass weighing 15 lbs, 2 oz, to win the (BFL) Bama Division event on Lake Martin.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Feb 19, 2018 - ALEXANDER CITY, AL.)

Boater David Gaston of Sylacauga, Alabama, caught five bass weighing 15 pounds, 2 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division event on Lake Martin presented by Navionics. Gaston pocketed $5,046 for his efforts.

Gaston said he started his day on the lower end of the lake focusing on two fish that he had marked in practice.

“One was a 4-pounder and the other was just over 5 pounds. The 5-pounder ended up anchoring my limit,” said Gaston, who earned his first career win in FLW competition. “They were pulled up near some black floating docks, probably trying to warm up. They were staging and getting ready to spawn.”

Gaston said he used a Davis Bait Co. Wood Jig with a black and blue flake-colored Netbait Paca Chunk Sr. trailer on a 7-foot, 3-inch heavy action Enigma HPT Tournament Casting rod to catch the pair. After that, he said he began to make his way back to the launch ramp due to issues with his boat propeller.

“A chunk of the prop had come off earlier, and I couldn’t go faster than 30 mph,” said Gaston. “I hit secondary points on the way back using the Davis jig and was able to scrape together a limit.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
               1st:          David Gaston, Sylacauga, Ala., five bass, 15-2, $5,046
               2nd:         Marty Giddens, Eclectic, Ala., five bass, 14-8, $2,023
               3rd:          Mark McCaig, Oxford, Ala., five bass, 14-6, $1,548
               4th:          Michael Smith, Andalusia, Ala., five bass, 14-0, $1,599
               5th:          Johnathan Stuckey, Tallassee, Ala., five bass, 13-9, $809
               6th:          Jimmy Miller, Eclectic, Ala., five bass, 13-1, $742
               7th:          Tony Hogan, McDavid, Fla., five bass, 12-11, $974
               8th:          Jason Nixon, Wetumpka, Ala., five bass, 12-10, $607
               9th:          Ethan Flack, Cullman, Ala., five bass, 12-5, $539
               10th:        Josh Stracner, Vandiver, Ala., five bass, 12-3, $472

Smith caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 5 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $555.

Randall Wiggins of Birmingham, Alabama, won the Co-angler Division and $2,123 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 13 pounds, 4 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers were:
               1st:          Randall Wiggins, Birmingham, Ala., five bass, 13-4, $2,123
               2nd:         Hulan Mattox, Alexander City, Ala., five bass, 12-5, $1,011
               3rd:          Keith Reynolds, Ozark, Ala., five bass, 11-10, $951
               4th:          Larry Chastain, Laurel, Miss., five bass, 11-2, $522
               5th:          Mike Byrd, McDermott, Ohio, five bass, 10-13, $405
               6th:          Joseph Casey, Trenton, Ga., five bass, 10-11, $371
               7th:          John Bryan, Carrollton, Ga., five bass, 10-9, $337
               8th:          Scott Carpenter, Childersburg, Ala., five bass, 10-7, $303
               9th:          Jeremy Ray, Jacksons Gap, Ala., five bass, 10-5, $253
               9th:          Timothy Watkins, Trussville, Ala., five bass, 10-5, $253

Reynolds caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a 4-pound, 1-ounce fish. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $277.

The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division event on Lake Martin presented by Navionics was hosted by the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce.

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. 11-13 BFL Regional Championship on the St, Johns River in Osage Beach, Missouri. 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 2018 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. The 2018 BFL All-American will be held May 31-June 2 at Cross Lake in Shreveport, Louisiana, and is hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.

About 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 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. 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.