(Jun 1, 2017 - Florence, AL)
Boater Marshall Deakins of Dunlap, Tennessee, took the early lead at the 34th annual T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American on Pickwick Lake Thursday with a five-bass limit weighing 24 pounds, 6 ounces. Deakins will begin Day Two of the three-day competition with a 2-pound, 14-ounce lead over second-place angler Mike Brueggen of La Crosse, Wisconsin, who weighed in five bass totaling 21 pounds, 8 ounces.
The BFL All-American features 98 of the best boaters and co-anglers from across the 24-division T-H Marine BFL circuit casting for cash prizes of up to $120,000 in the Boater Division and $60,000 in the Co-angler Division. In addition to the six-figure payout, the top boater will receive an invitation to compete for bass fishing’s most coveted prize – the Forrest Wood Cup – held Aug. 11-13 on Lake Murray in Columbia, South Carolina.
“I’m catching them two or three different ways,” said Deakins, who qualified for the event through the BFL Choo Choo division. “I’ve caught some fish from grass, rocks and shell beds. I’ve got two or three areas that are really good, and I just kept rotating through them. The fish are in the same places that I found them in during pre-practice.”
Deakins said he used a jig to catch his fish. He said he didn’t encounter much boat traffic, and was able to put together a limit fairly quickly.
“I made a lot of stops, but my primary areas are 4 to 5 miles apart,” said Deakins. “I caught a couple of big fish at the first location, and another decent one at the second. I probably put at least 10 keepers in the boat throughout the day and culled a few times later on.”
Deakins said he believes the color of his jig is one of the most important factors in his strategy, and that he plans on following the same pattern on Day Two.
“I’ve got some more places like the areas from today that I haven’t hit yet,” said Deakins. “I can’t wait to get back out there.”
The top 10 boaters after Day One on Pickwick Lake are:
1st: Marshall Deakins, Dunlap, Tenn., five bass, 24-6
2nd: Mike Brueggen, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 21-8
3rd: Ronald Nutter, Saint Louisville, Ohio, five bass, 20-7
4th: Jeff Knight, Cleveland, Tenn., five bass, 18-4
5th: Brent Anderson, Kingston Springs, Tenn., five bass, 17-6
6th: Brandon Gray, Bullock, N.C., five bass, 17-2
7th: Justin Atkins, Florence, Ala., five bass, 16-13
8th: Conrad Bolt, Seneca, S.C., five bass, 16-8
9th: Tyler Morgan, Columbus, Ga., five bass, 16-6
10th: Adam Ohms, Edwardsville, Ill., five bass, 16-3
Overall there were 205 bass weighing 594 pounds, 11 ounces caught by 47 boaters Thursday. The catch included 31 five-bass limits.
Dennis Taylor of Murray, Kentucky, leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces, followed by David Winters of Rock Hill, South Carolina, in second place with five bass weighing 16-5.
The top 10 co-anglers are:
1st: Dennis Taylor, Murray, Ky., five bass, 17-3
2nd: David Winters, Rock Hill, S.C., five bass, 16-5
3rd: Pat Kendrick, Bumpass, Va., five bass, 14-6
4th: Peter Balishin, Sharps Chapel, Tenn., five bass, 14-5
5th: Greg Ravitsky, Ashburn, Va., five bass, 13-11
6th: Jeremy New, Yorktown, Ind., five bass, 13-2
7th: Alex Hester, Crossville, Tenn., five bass, 12-15
8th: Mike Youngblood, Saint Louis, Mo., five bass, 12-13
9th: Jim Budde, Waterloo, Ill., five bass, 12-9
10th: Billy Watson, Murfreesboro, Tenn., five bass, 11-11
Overall there were 148 bass weighing 361 pounds, 7 ounces caught by 44 Co-anglers Thursday. The catch included 14 five-bass limits.
Competitors will take off from McFarland Park located at 200 Jim Spain Drive in Florence at 7 a.m. CDT each day. Weigh-ins each day will be held at McFarland Park, and will begin at 3:30 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
The 2017 BFL All-American on Pickwick Lake is being hosted by the Florence/Lauderdale Tourism Bureau.
Television coverage of the T-H Marine BFL All-American at Pickwick Lake will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) Oct. 11 from Noon-1 p.m. EDT. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
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.
For a full schedule of events, complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow FLW on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.
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.