(Oct. 09, 2012 - MORRISTOWN, TN.)...
Michael Black of Toledo, Ill., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Cherokee Lake with a three-day total of 15 bass totaling 37 pounds, 10 ounces. For his victory, Black won a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard plus a Chevy 1500 Silverado and entry into the BFL All-American presented by Chevy. This regional tournament featured the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from each of the Hoosier, Illini, Music City and Piedmont divisions.
"I’m real excited to have qualified for the All-American," said Black. "I’ve never fished on Nickajack Lake, but everyone always tells me that it is perfect for my style of fishing ? with a jig. I couldn’t be happier."
Black won the Regional by fishing his confidence bait, a green-pumpkin with orange flake-colored 7/16-ounce Custom Cast jig, trailered with a Zoom Salty Chunk. It was the same bait that won him the BFL super tournament on Lake Shelbyville just one month ago.
"I was fishing for fish that no one else was fishing for," Black said. "The water level was down about 15 feet, so I knew that I was going to have to find something unique. I fished docks and pontoons in three different spots - Hamblen County Marina, Linda’s Marina and the Gilmore Dock Marina. I was throwing the jig and punching it between pontoons and just feeding it line. The fish were deep. I had to keep my jig on the bottom, and just fish slow, simulating a crawfish. I was fishing real deep, and real slow.
"Fish management was a huge key for me," Black continued. "I would catch one fish in a spot, and then I would leave. I didn’t want to spook any of them, and I wanted to conserve them so I could catch them all week long. It worked out nicely for me, as I had a very consistent weight every day. I was only catching seven fish a day. It really wasn’t about the numbers, it was about the consistency."
After his victory, Black will be making his third appearance at the BFL All-American.
"This will be my third trip to the All-American, and I truly cherish each one," Black went on to say. "I’ve got two more goals for my fishing career. I want to win the All-American, and fish in the Forrest Wood Cup. Look out everyone, I’m coming!"
The top six boaters that qualified for the BFL All-American were:
|1st: ||Michael Black ||Toledo, Ill. ||15 bass ||37-10 ||Ranger Z518 with 200-horsepower outboard + Chevy 1500 Silverado |
|2nd: ||Chris Wilkinson ||Farmersburg, Ind. ||13 bass ||33-6 ||$1,500 |
|3rd: ||Michael Allen ||Gainesboro, Tenn. ||13 bass ||32-0 ||$1,100 |
|4th: ||Todd Walters ||Kernersville, N.C. ||12 bass ||29-14 ||$1,000 |
|5th: ||David Williams ||Maiden, N.C. ||15 bass ||26-7 ||$900 |
|6th: ||Scott Spayd ||Ferdinand, Ind. ||14 bass ||25-8 ||$800 |
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
|7th: ||Ryan Deal ||Haubstadt, Ind. ||10 bass ||23-13 ||$700 |
|8th: ||Mike Helton ||Jeffersonville, Ind. ||13 bass ||23-12 ||$650 |
|9th: ||Darren Gay ||Richfield, N.C. ||11 bass ||23-5 ||$600 |
|10th: ||Kevin Tidwell ||Bon Aqua, Tenn. ||nine bass ||20-12 ||$550 |
Brandon Depew of Odin, Ill., won the Co-angler Division with a three-day total of 11 bass totaling 22 pounds, 10 ounces. For his efforts, Depew took home a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard along with a berth in the BFL All-American Championship tournament.
The top six co-anglers that qualified for the BFL All-American were:
|1st: ||Brandon Depew ||Odin, Ill. ||11 bass ||22-10 ||Ranger Z518 with 200-horsepower outboard |
|2nd: ||Matt Farrar ||Nashville, Tenn. ||10 bass ||22-7 ||$750 |
|3rd: ||Rod Huff, Monterey ||Tenn. ||nine bass ||19-8 ||$550 |
|4th: ||Tommy Swicegood ||Salisbury, N.C. ||10 bass ||15-12 ||$500 |
|5th: ||Zak Davenport ||Raleigh, N.C. ||seven bass ||14-9 ||$450 |
|6th: ||Chris Bookout ||Naperville, Ill. ||six bass ||13-3 ||$400 |
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
|7th: ||Kibbee McCoy ||Crossville, Tenn. ||seven bass ||12-13 ||$350 |
|8th: ||Eric Gates ||Connersville, Tenn. ||four bass ||12-0 ||$325 |
|9th: ||Craig Allen ||Lebanon, Tenn. ||six bass ||11-0 ||$300 |
|10th: ||Perry Crague ||Hendersonville, Tenn. ||six bass ||10-12 ||$275 |
The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 40 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing - the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the BFL on Facebook at Facebook/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter/FLWOutdoors.
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