ROGERSVILLE, Ala. (May 4, 2009) Johnny Childers of Toney, Ala., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League® Choo Choo Division tournament on Wheeler Lake Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 19 pounds, 9 ounces.
ROGERSVILLE, Ala. (May 4, 2009) Johnny Childers of Toney, Ala., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League® Choo Choo Division tournament on Wheeler Lake Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 19 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned Childers $4,199 and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the Clarks Hill Lake Regional Championship in Appling, Ga., Oct. 15-17, where he could ultimately win a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.
Man it feels great, Childers, who notched his first victory in his 10th season of BFL competition. Its been a long time coming.
After a run upriver, Childers began fishing in 10 to 12 feet of water and managed to catch a couple of limits of fish during the course of the day. Childers made the best of the rain near Decatur Flats and said he caught the majority of his bass on a ½-ounce green pumpkin jig.
When I caught my second big fish of the day, I felt I was on the right deal and I needed to slow down and fish thoroughly, Childers said. It was a slow bite and I had to work them. Around 10:30 a.m. I thought I had a real chance of winning it.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Blaine Shelton of Moulton, Ala. (five bass, 16-2, $2,100); Will Beutjer of Athens, Ala. (five bass, 14-10, $1,398); Todd McAdams of Fayetteville, Tenn. (five bass, 13-13, $980) and Lee Pitts of Centre, Ala. (five bass, 13-12, $840).
Childers took home the Boater Division Big Bass award, earning $585 for a 5-pound, 9-ounce bass he caught on the jig.
Keith Norris of Nashville, Tenn., earned $2,100 as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to five bass weighing 13 pounds, 9 ounces. Norris said he caught his bass fishing deep ledges.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Jerry Cornwell of Ooltewah, Tenn. (five bass, 13-1, $1,050); Randy Brewington of Moulton, Ala. (five bass, 12-14, $701); Dan Clark of Cleveland, Tenn. (five bass, 12-4, $490); and Chad Caldwell of Hampton Cove, Ala. (five bass, 11-13, $420).
Norris and Jimmy Rowell of Grove Oak, Ala., each earned $146 as the co-angler Big Bass winners when they both caught 4-pound, 14-ounce bass.
The next Choo Choo Division event will be held on Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Ala., June 27.
The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers in each of the BFLs 28 divisions at the end of the season advance to a no-entry-fee Regional Championship where boaters fish for a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck and co-anglers fish for a new Ranger boat. Seven regional championships will each send six boaters and six co-anglers to the no-entry-fee Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy, which features a $1 million purse and a top award of $140,000 in the Boater Division and $70,000 in the Co-angler Division. Anglers who compete in all five regular-season events within a division but do not advance to a Regional Championship are eligible to compete in the Chevy Wild Card, which will also send six boaters and six co-anglers to the All-American for a total of 48 boaters and 48 co-anglers advancing through BFL competition.
The winning boater and winning co-angler at the All-American will advance to the no-entry-fee $2.5 million Forrest Wood Cup in Atlanta in 2010. This event, featuring a top award of $1 million, is the most lucrative tournament in all of competitive bass fishing. In all, the BFL offers weekend anglers the opportunity to qualify for three no-entry-fee championships with total cash awards exceeding $3.5 million. Plus, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from each BFL division may move up to the Stren Series for 2010 while All-American champions have the option to advance directly to the Walmart FLW Tour®.
In BFL competition, boaters supply the boat and compete from the front deck against other boaters. Co-anglers compete from the back deck against other co-anglers.
As the nations leading provider of affordable, close-to-home weekend tournaments, the BFL is widely credited with opening competitive bass fishing to the masses. It also serves as a steppingstone for anglers who wish to advance to the Stren Series and ultimately the FLW Tour bass fishings most lucrative tournament circuit.
Total awards are based on a full field of 200 boats in every tournament.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also is taking fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Players Advantage for only $10 to get your edge and win.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Players Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.