(Feb 21, 2019 - SCOTTSBORO, AL)
Boater Chad Aaron of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, caught five bass Saturday weighing 25 pounds, 14 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division season opener on Lake Guntersville presented by Navionics. For his win, Aaron earned $4,363.
“I was hitting small underwater eddies. They were specific – I had to cast within a couple of feet to get bit,” said Aaron, who earned his second career victory in FLW competition. “It’s something I’ve been doing on the Tennessee River for years – just playing the current deal. When there’s heavy rain and the water is stained and muddy in the wintertime and early spring, it sets up the way I like to fish.”
Aaron said he worked through eight eddies, mid-lake, and caught 12 keepers in the process. He used a ½- and ¾-ounce black jig with a Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed craw and custom 4- to 6-inch shad-colored swimbaits, noting that a 5-inch swimbait did especially well throughout the day.
“I just rotated through the baits as the spots reloaded,” said Aaron. “If they missed the swimbait, I’d throw the jig in there and they’d eat it – I caught three or four like that. When I’d catch one fish out of an eddy, I’d leave for 30 minutes. They were one-fish spots – they weren’t schools by any means.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Chad Aaron, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., five bass, 25-14, $4,363
2nd: Kent Keys, Anniston, Ala., five bass, 25-3, $2,082
3rd: Aaron Stephens, Hayden, Ala., five bass, 24-14, $1,787
4th: Derek Remitz, Grant, Ala., five bass, 23-5, $971
5th: Scott Towry, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., five bass, 21-10, $833
6th: Braden Marshall, Hixson, Tenn., five bass, 20-9, $763
7th: Dennis Barnes, Boaz, Ala., five bass, 20-7, $694
8th: Trey Gamble, Helena, Ala., five bass, 19-4, $625
9th: Ricky Parpolowicz, Decatur, Ala., five bass, 19-1, $555
10th: Cory Mathis, Newnan, Ga., five bass, 18-13, $486
Daniel Trevino Jr. of Langston, Alabama, caught an 8-pound, 12-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $580.
Mark Lyons of Marion, Indiana, won the Co-angler Division and $2,082 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 17 pounds, 14 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Mark Lyons, Marion, Ind., five bass, 17-14, $2,082
2nd: David Freeman, Hixson, Tenn., five bass, 15-14, $1,041
3rd: Todd Harris, Athens, Tenn., five bass, 14-3, $692
4th: Cody Davis, Hico, Texas, five bass, 14-1, $486
5th: Marcus Corbett, Anniston, Ala., five bass, 13-8, $516
6th: Ethan Wheeler, Mayfield, Ky., five bass, 12-14, $432
7th: Steven Jacques, Addison, Ala., three bass, 12-11, $347
8th: Charles Billingsley, Huntsville, Ala., four bass, 12-5, $312
9th: Justin Stringer, Hartselle, Ala., three bass, 11-15, $278
10th: Matt Hardy, Guntown, Miss., two bass, 11-10, $243
Tracey Gearlds of Tullahoma, Tennessee and Tyler Youngblood of Ooltewah, Tennessee, each caught a bass weighing 8 pounds even in the Co-angler Division – tying for the day’s largest. As a result, the duo split the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $290.
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. 10-12 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, Georgia. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.
The 2019 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 2019 BFL All-American will be held May 30-June 1 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland, and is hosted by the Charles County Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism and the Commissioners of Charles County. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com.
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 2019 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct more than 290 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 while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.