Walmart Bass Fishing League - Regional
Lake Lanier (Oct. 10-12, 2013)
GAINESVILLE, Ga. – David Nichol of Gainesville, Ga., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Lake Lanier with a three-day total of 15 bass totaling 47 pounds, 2 ounces. For his victory, Nichol won a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard plus a Chevy 1500 Silverado and entry into the BFL All-American presented by Chevy. This regional tournament featured the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from each of the Choo Choo, Music City, North Carolina and Savannah River divisions.
Nichol made it two in a row (after winning the BFL Super Tournament on Clarks Hill) by targeting big spotted bass feeding on blueback herring.
“Like Clarks Hill two weeks ago, the lake is mixing and turning over and it changed daily,” said Nichol. “It looked like the majority of the field was throwing topwater baits or fishing brush with little worms. But I didn’t pick up a worm in practice because I didn’t think it’d be won on one.
“The key to catching big bags on Lanier is staying keyed in on the herring,” continued Nichol. “The big spots are nomadic and roaming with the herring and stripers.
“So I just hit a bunch of areas with the right stuff. It’s like playing roulette. It’s a gamble that you’re going to cross paths with them.
“I was fishing deep – 25 to as deep as 45 feet,” said Nichol. “Just running and gunning. I concentrated on a little bit deeper timber edges.
“I culled several times the first day. The second day it calmed down and got a little tougher,” continued Nichol. “The third day it went slick. I thought my hopes and dreams were slipping away. I didn’t have a fish at 11 o’clock. It was very stressful. But I caught a keeper at 11, and a short time later I caught one about 3 pounds and pieced it together from there. God was so present. I had a feeling, even though I didn’t want to feel it, that I might do it.
“God is great. It’s a phenomenal feeling,” said Nichol of his second win in a row. “It’s so hard to do because all these guys are such good fishermen. It doesn’t happen that often.”
Nichol said he caught most of his fish on a topwater bait, a Sworming Hornet Fish Head Spin, a worm and a jerkbait.
The top six boaters that qualified for the BFL All-American were:
1st: David Nichol, Gainesville, Ga., 15 bass, 47-2, Ranger Z518 with 200-horsepower outboard + Chevy 1500 Silverado
2nd: Rick Steckelberg, Eastanollee, Ga., 15 bass, 41-1, $1,500
3rd: Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., 15 bass, 39-11, $1,100 + $300 Evinrude Bonus
4th: Scott Hayes, Newnan, Ga., 15 bass, 36-11, $1,000
5th: Trent Gober, Pendergrass, Ga., 15 bass, 36-5, $900
6th: Brian Sayre, Charleston, W. Va., 15 bass, 34-12, $800
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
7th: Chad Wood, Resaca, Ga., 14 bass, 33-14, $700
8th: Michael Anders, Pelzer, S.C., 12 bass, 33-13, $650 + Evinrude Bonus: $300
9th: Wade Dodgens, Easley, S.C., 12 bass, 33-0, $600
10th: Jeff Knight, Cleveland, Tenn., 15 bass, 32-9, $550
For complete boater results, click here.
Cothran snares co-angler crown
Bryan Cothran of Belton, S.C., won the co-angler division with a three-day total of 14 bass totaling 26 pounds, 11 ounces. For his efforts, Cothran took home a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard along with a berth in the BFL All-American Championship tournament.
The top six co-anglers that qualified for the BFL All-American were:
1st: Bryan Cothran, Belton, S.C., 14 bass, 26-11, Ranger Z518 with 200-horsepower outboard
2nd: Justin Sward, Birmingham, Ala., 12 bass, 25-2, $750
3rd: Tim Cales, Sandstone, W. Va., 13 bass, 23-4, $550
4th: Ethan Flack, Cullman, Ala., nine bass, 20-5, $500
5th: Ken Wheeler, Martin, Ga., eight bass, 19-14, $450
6th: Josh Driver, Hiram, Ga., 12 bass, 19-8, $400
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers:
7th: Brian Helderman, Fyffe, Ala., nine bass, 19-8, $350
8th: Travis Ruff, Connelly Springs, N.C., nine bass, 18-15, $325
9th: Jaret Henry, Kingsport, Tenn., seven bass, 17-15, $300
10th: Bill Hawkins, Piedmont, S.C., 10 bass, 16-2, $275
For complete co-angler results, click here.
About the BFL
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. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2013 over the course of 220 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the “Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water.” For more information about FLW visit FLWOutdoors.com and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.