BAINBRIDGE, Ga. – When it comes to winning tournaments from the back of the boat, no one does it better than Alan Hults of Gautier, Miss.
Consider Hults’ co-angler winning record which includes a BFL, two FLW Series and now four EverStart Series wins thanks to his recent victory at Lake Seminole.
In all, Hults has won over $150,000 from the back deck and that does not include the one time he entered an FLW Series as a pro and won that event as well.
Hults’ Seminole win was a perfect ending to a storybook chapter in Hults’ fishing career as he and his wife Sandi will soon be relocating to Canada for a few years to work for Chevron. Perhaps a few co-anglers out there might be breathing a sigh of relief.
“This is amazing,” Hults said. “I didn’t think I was going to be able to fish any tournaments this year. We are leaving for Canada in two weeks and we had just a little time right now before we left, so we slipped off and fished one more to see everyone here on the FLW staff one last time – they are like family to us. I got the right draws this week and things went my way.”
And what a note to leave on. On day two, Hults caught 23 pounds, 6 ounces and today he backed it up with 20 pounds, 12 ounces to win with a three-day total of 54 pounds, some 14 pounds heavier than second place.
“Those are the two biggest limits I’ve ever caught from the back of the boat,” Hults said of his last two days. “I fished with Bradley Enfinger yesterday and Robert Tindell today and those are two of the finest fishermen I’ve ever been in the boat with.”
Hults started the week with a Zoom Ultra-Vibe speedworm in junebug color. On day two he went to work with an Alabama rig trimmed with Zoom Swimming Flukes to do his damage. Today he used the Alabama rig again as well as a crankbait to finish the job.
Hults said he will miss the bass fishing life but is looking forward to trying new types of fishing in the Great White North.
“We have salmon right outside our front door and there are 200-pound ‘flounder’ that live in those waters so I’m going to experience something new,” Hults said. “It’s temporary – only a few years – so I plan on returning and fishing tournaments again someday.”
Joe Ventrello of Orlando, Fla., finished second with a three-day total of 39 pounds, 12 ounces worth $4,384.
All week Ventrello used a watermelon red Bitter’s Better Value 7-inch Salty Sling – a Senko-like bait – with a tiny spinnerbait blade screwed into the tail for a little extra flash and vibration.
“I fish it just like a Texas-rigged worm,” Ventrello said. “I rig it with a 3/16-ounce weight on 16-pound line and pump it up and down just like a worm. It’s a little different look that works pretty well.”
David Hallmark of Muscle Shoals, Ala., finished third with a three-day total of 29 pounds, 5 ounces worth $3,507.
Hallmark’s primary bait during the week was a Bitter’s Better Value lizard in junebug.
“On the second day I did catch two 4-pounders at one time on a Red Eye Shad,” Hallmark said. “That’s 8 pounds in one cast, which helped the cause.”
Bleich, Jeter round out top five pros
Wesley Bleich of Newnan, Ga., finished fourth with a three-day total of 27 pounds, 8 ounces worth $3,069.
Greg Jeter of Bainbridge, Ga., rounds out the top five co-anglers with a three-day total of 27 pounds, 7 ounces worth $2,630.
Rest of the best
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers in the EverStart Series event on Lake Seminole:
6th: Nicholas Davico of Cantonment, Fla., three-day total of 25-6, $2,192
7th: Aaron Richardson of Destin, Fla., three-day total of 25-3, $1,753
8th: Byron Botdorf of Albany, Ga., three-day total of 25-1, $1315
9th: Brent Chitty of Moultrie, Ga., three-day total of 24-1, $1,033
10th: Daniel Buswell of Newnan, Ga., three-day total of 19-11, $701