The 2009 FLW Chevy Open was held on Lake Guntersville, as a lot of you know it is my home lake so it was right up my alley to attend the event. Have you ever been to a BFL or similar weigh in? Well the FLW Tour weigh-ins are not much different.
The 2009 FLW Chevy Open was held on Lake Guntersville, as a lot of you know it is my home lake so it was right up my alley to attend the event. First of all I want to thank Ultimate Bass for giving me the opportunity to do so. Now let’s get to the meat of the event. Have you ever been to a BFL or similar weigh in? Well the FLW Tour weigh-ins are not much different. The fish are kept in tubs with oxygen pumped into the water. Out of 157 boats fishing 2 days and 10 boats fishing two days only 4 fish were lost! Considering that 314 competitors fished the first two days, 20 on day three and the final 10 on day four, that is a great average. But of course those weigh-ins do not have thousands of people watching in person and untold millions on the live internet feed. The Von Braun Center was at standing room only and even those folks were 5 and 6 deep.
FLW enlisted the help of the President and Sentinel of the Alabama State FFA chapter to assist with keeping the fish healthy and active from the boat ramp to the final weigh in stage. Each fish that came out of the bags were very active and will go back into the Tennessee River the same way they came. Also attending the event was the College Fishing team from UNA- the University of North Alabama. During the show they were holding the Casting and Reel kids’ challenge. Also when ever the host was done weighing the competitor’s fish, a member of the College Team would take the bag to the release boat. The National Guard, which is one of FLW’s primary sponsors, started the weigh in presenting the colors and the National Anthem was preformed. The anticipation was obvious on the top 10 anglers while they sat in there boats waiting for there name to be called.
Out of 10 anglers there was 42 bass caught with 5 anglers catching a 5 bass limit. The total weight of all the fish weighed on the final day was 164-7, with all 42 fish alive and well! The first two days combined weights were over 40 lbs in each bag with Tom Mann, JR having 46-12 and John Tanner with the lowest weight at 40-12.
Day Three leader Scott Canterbury came into the final weigh-in leading with 20-11 but only managed to weigh in two fish at 4-3, which gave David Fritts the win with 38-1. Fritts had 14-4 on day three and was all smiles on his way to the scales. His 5 fish limit weighed in at 23-13 giving him the win at 38-1 and a check for $200,000. After the weigh in Fritts exclaimed that he was going to buy a new Chevy truck on the way home.
Sam Newby from Pocola, OK came into the final round with a weight of 18-1 and caught a 4 bass limit at 18-15 to give him a total of 37-0, a pound and one ounce out of first. He took home $55,000 for his second place finish.
David Dudley had a total of 7-15 on day three; Dudley brought a beautiful bag of Guntersville bass to the scales on day four. The Lynchburg, VA angler had a 5 bass limit weighed in at 26-12 giving him 34-11 and third place. Dudley added $45,000 to his growing winnings list with FLW for his third place finish.
Ramie Colson, JR caught 15-2 on day three and brought a 5 bass limit weighing in at 19-1. It wasn’t enough giving him 34-3 and a fourth place check for $35,000 to take home to Cadiz, KY.
Finishing 5th was Tom Mann, JR. His final day limit of 5 fish gave him 29-13 total. The Buford, GA angler caught 9-15 of fish on day three. His 5th place check was worth $30,000.
David Walker from Sevierville, TN finished 6th with 28-12. John Tanner was 7th with 27-12 this was his first top ten appearance on the Tour, Scott Canterbury landed 8th with 24-14. Mike Surman grabbed 9th spot with 22-8 and Craig Dowling from Grant, AL finished 10th with 19-8.