(Feb 27, 2018 - SCOTTSBORO, AL)
Boater Derek Remitz of Grant, Alabama, caught a massive five-bass limit weighing 30 pounds, 5 ounces, Saturday to win the 2018 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division opener on Lake Guntersville pressented by Navionics. Remitz earned $5,412 for his victory.
Remitz said that he stuck with a pattern in a two-mile stretch of the lake for the entire day, catching 25 to 30 fish.
“I didn’t get to spend very much time on the water before the tournament, and I really think that helped me,” said Remitz, the 2007 Bassmaster Elite Series Rookie of the Year who earned his first career win in FLW competition. “Rather than running around burning 40 gallons of gas, I put the trolling motor down and never left the stretch that I was fishing. I was looking for the deepest, greenest grass that was close to where I thought they were going to spawn.”
Remitz said that he caught his fish alternating between a lipless crankbait and a squarebilled crankbait.
“The main thing was just covering water,” he said. “I’d catch 3 or 4 off of each little stretch of grass. The nice thing was that you knew if you were the right spot because you’d get bit in the first five minutes of being there.
“I had pretty close to my weight around 11:30, but I caught a 9-pounder around 1 p.m. that really sealed the deal for me,” Remitz went on to say. “I got lucky and was fortunate to run across a few groups of fish that were staging and willing to bite.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Derek Remitz, Grant, Ala., five bass, 30-5, $5,412
2nd: Dennis Barnes, Boaz, Ala., five bass, 25-12, $2,706
3rd: Casey O’Donnell, Langston, Ala., five bass, 25-0, $1,999
4th: Jeremy Renfroe, Birmingham, Ala., five bass, 24-2, $1,263
5th: Seth Davis, Harrison, Tenn., five bass, 23-7, $1,182
6th: Ben Johnson, Huntsville, Ala., five bass, 22-5, $992
7th: Jason Henson, Rome, Ga., five bass, 21-6, $857
8th: Jeff Kitchens, Auburn, Ala., five bass, 21-6, $857
9th: Justin Lynch, Alabaster, Ala., five bass, 20-11, $722
10th: John Polly, Nauvoo, Ala., five bass, 20-3, $631
Jeff Ragsdale of Gardendale, Alabama, caught a largemouth weighing 10 pounds even – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $860.
Brandon Taylor of Russellville, Kentucky, won the Co-angler Division and $2,706 Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 6 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Brandon Taylor, Russellville, Ky., five bass, 20-6, $2,706
2nd: Ron Montgomery, Armuchee, Ga., five bass, 20-2, $1,453
3rd: Jason Cook, Harrison, Tenn., four bass, 19-11, $905
4th: Chris Harcrow, Dawson, Ala., five bass, 19-8, $681
5th: Johnny Pittman, Albertville, Ala., five bass, 18-11, $541
6th: Derek Miller, Grant, Ala., five bass, 18-6, $496
7th: Daniel Crockett, Old Hickory, Tenn., five bass, 17-15, $451
8th: Riley Welch, Beecher, Ill., five bass, 17-13, $406
9th: Roy Hurst Jr., Birmingham, Ala., five bass, 17-12, $361
10th: Travis Johns, Birmingham, Ala., five bass, 17-10, $316
Jason Risley of Cordova, Tennessee, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – an 11-pound, 3-ounce largemouth – that earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $430.
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. 25-27 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, Tennessee. 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.
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.