Walmart BFL tournament preview at a glance
FLW press release
The 2013 Walmart BFL season continues with four tournaments on Saturday, June 22. The Illini division holds its second event of the season on Lake Shelbyville, the Mississippi division continues on Lake Ferguson, the North Carolina division competes on Kerr Lake and the Ozark division will fish on Lake Truman. Up to 400 boaters and co-anglers will be competing in each event for top awards up to $8,000 and $3,000 respectively.
When: Saturday, June 22, 2013
Where: Illini Division
9th Street Ramp
Notes: Bass fishing on Lake Shelbyville is being reported as good right now. The water levels are 10 feet over normal summer pool, and recent reports say that the dam has been shut down due to the flooding downstream from recent heavy rainfalls. Water temperatures are in the mid-70-degree range, and because of the lack of current, water clarity is very clear. Popular baits thrown in this event by tournament anglers will be crankbaits, buzzbaits and jigs. The winning angler can expect to bring 16 to 18 pounds to the scales. Of note to tournament anglers – no smallmouth bass will be allowed to be weighed in at this event. Any smallmouth bass that is caught must be released immediately.
Where: Mississippi Division
Greenville Waterfront Park
Notes: The water levels are very high right now on Lake Ferguson, and this tournament is shaping up to be the polar opposite of last year’s event, where water levels were very low. The fishing is being reported as tough, but is expected to improve as water levels stabilize. Anglers in this tournament will be looking for current breaks. Popular tournament areas in this event will be the structure and docks on the eastern shoreline, as well as “The Chute.” Recent reports have the topwater bite as being hot in the morning. Other baits expected to produce for tournament competitors are crankbaits, soft plastics and flipping baits, and a few may still fall prey to an umbrella rig. Normal winning weights at Lake Ferguson are usually 18 to 20 pounds, however, because of the water conditions, the winning angler is expected to weigh in 14 to 16 pounds.
Where: North Carolina Division
115 Jack Wade Farm Road
Notes: Current fishing reports from local Kerr Lake anglers have the bass-fishing bite as fair. Anglers are reporting the most success targeting the feeder creeks, with most fish being found in the mid- to lower-lake area, but the bigger fish are on the north end. Water clarity is stained. Shaky-head rigs, Carolina rigs and spinnerbaits are all expected to be used by anglers in this event, but local reports say that the bait must be fished very slowly. Fifteen to 17 pounds is expected to be the weight of the winning stringer in this event.
Where: Ozark Division
Long Shoal Marina
12730 Steamboat Road
Notes: Recent local angler reports from Lake Truman have pegged the fishing as phenomenal right now on Lake Truman. Water levels are slowly falling, and fish are positioning themselves on the cuts and inside main-lake points in 5 to 12 feet of water. Water temperatures are in the lower 70s, and clarity is very stained, although clearer water can be found near the dam. Recent shad spawns have been luring the bass to the backs of coves. Most tournament anglers will look for a shallow-water pattern early in the day then move deeper as the day progresses. Popular baits used in this event will be Carolina- and Texas-rigged worms and creature baits, buzzbaits and crankbaits. The winning angler is expected to bring 15 to 17 pounds to the scales.
Walmart BFL overview
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 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 Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy. The 2013 BFL All-American is being held June 27-29 on Nickajack Lake in Chattanooga, Tenn. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.