EUFAULA, Ala. –- Boater Clabion Johns of Social Circle, Georgia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament on Lake Eufaula Saturday after catching five bass weighing 19 pounds, 9 ounces.
Johns netted $6,237 for his win.
“On Friday, there was a tremendous mayfly hatch. I ran to my first stretch of bugs on Saturday, but couldn’t get a bite,” said Johns, who earned his first win in FLW compeittion. “I ran up the Chattahoochee River to above Hatchechubee Creek, but never found any active mayflies, so I turned around and went with my backup plan – flipping mixed grass. I ran three stretches where I’ve caught them in the past, which had a mix of primose, pond weed and hyacinth and really picked them apart.”
Johns said his stretches spanned from Cowikee Creek to Florence Marina, and that he flipped a Hematoma-colored Big Bite Baits Real Deal Craw with a 1½-ounce Picasso weight and 4/0-sized Owner Jungle Flippin’ hook. His set up was paired with a 7-foot, 9-inch Extra Heavy-action Big Bear rod with an Abu Garcia Revo SX reel and spooled with 65-pound-test SpiderWire Stealth braided line.
“In the morning I got a ton of bites, but couldn’t land them. It was frustrating,” Johns said. “I didn’t lose any big fish, though. The first one I put in the boat was a 5-pounder. I probably had 15 keepers throughout the day and only upgraded once in the afternoon.”
Jerome Hubbard Sr. of Albany, Georgia, caught a bass weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $272.
Edgar Salva of Conyers, Georgia, won the Co-angler Division and $2,169 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 20 pounds even.
The tournament was hosted by the Eufaula-Barbour County Chamber of Commerce.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 10-12 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, Georgia.
Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.
The 2019 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.
The 2020 BFL All-American will be held April 30-May 2 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina, and is hosted by Visit Anderson. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.