Willie Staten of Albertville, Ala., weighed in a two-day total of nine bass totaling 35 pounds even on Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division Super Tournament on Lake Guntersville. For his victory, Mr. Staten earned $5,632.
Mr. Staten rode a massive 25-pound bag on the first day to narrowly claim his first BFL win.
“I found the fish the weekend before during practice,” said Mr. Staten. “I ran down the river and fished my way back up. I was catching fish on a topwater frog in grass five feet deep and flipping a jig in deep hydrilla in eight to 13 feet of water. It went so well on the first day I backed off them by 11, and just hoped they would bite on the second day.
"The second day I struggled,” said Mr. Staten. I think I only got seven bites all day and only four keepers. When I got back I thought I may have had a shot to win it, but I didn’t know until the end. I’ve been wanting to win for a while, and it’s great to finally seal the deal.”
Mr. Staten said he caught his fish on a black and yellow-colored Snag Proof frog and by flipping a Mean Mouth jig.
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Bryan Gregory, Fort Payne, Al., 10 bass, 34-12, $2,816
3rd: Jason Tucker, Dutton, Al., 10 bass, 32-5, $1,877
4th: Marshall Deakins, Dunlap, Tn., 10 bass, 31-13, $1,314
5th: Paul Wilcoxson, Russellville, Al., 10 bass, 31-13, $1,126
6th: Blake Hall, Hartselle, Al., eight bass, 30-7, $1,033
7th: Brandon Lester, Fayetteville, Tn., 10 bass, 30-0, $939
8th: Johnny Patterson, Grant, Al., 10 bass, 28-13, $845
9th: John Talton, Georgetown, Tn., 10 bass, 28-6, $751
10th: Billy Brindle, Calhoun, Ga., 10 bass, 28-4, $657
Cody Frazier of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., weighed in a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 28 pounds, 5 ounces Sunday to win $2,816 in the co-angler division.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Justin Sward, Birmingham, Al., six bass, 20-13, $1,408
3rd: Rodney Treadaway, Decatur, Al., seven bass, 18-12, $941
4th: Jeffery Hill, Huntsville, Al., five bass, 16-11, $657
5th: Jaret Henry, Kingsport, Tn., five bass, 16-4, $563
6th: Waylon Hancock, Cartersville, Ga., five bass, 16-2, $516
7th: Dean McDonald, Greer, S.C., six bass, 15-6, $469
8th: Jason Mullinax, White, Ga., six bass, 13-12, $422
9th: Mickey Locke, Albertville, Al., four bass, 13-1, $375
10th: Tim Gledhill, Fort Payne, Al., four bass, 11-9, $329
The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 10-12 Regional Championship on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Ga. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
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.