NATCHITOCHES, La. – The Walmart Bass Fishing League is headed to the Red River Oct. 18-20 for one of six regional championships. This three-day tournament features the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from each of the Arkie, Cowboy, Mississippi and Okie divisions.
Anglers will be competing for a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy 1500 Silverado in the Boater Division and a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard in the Co-angler division. Anglers in both divisions are also 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 Red River is really a fun place to fish,” said FLW pro John Cox of Debary, Fla. “However, if the weather gets bad and there is a ton of rain, it can get real tough real quick. Rain can destroy the main river bite there.
Recent weather forecasts have predicted a few isolated thunderstorms coming through the area leading up to the tournament., This, paired with the cooling temperatures from the change of season could alter angler strategies.
“This time of year, the cold fronts can actually help the bite out,” said Cox, who won the 2011 FLW Tour event on the Red River. “It can trigger a feed and really turn the bite on. I think a lot of the guys are going to be catching them near the mouths of creeks on the main river.”
Cox suggested anglers target the abundant lilypads, grass and shallow wood on the river.
“I think most of the bass are going to be coming out of 3 feet of water or less,” he said. “I’d be throwing crankbaits and spinnerbaits along the banks. If that wasn’t producing, I’d try moving up into the creeks and throwing a buzzbait or a frog. Guys are going to catch them a lot of different ways.
“As long as the weather stays stable, I think 10 pounds a day will put you pretty close to the top six,” Cox went on to say. “I think that in order to win, you’re going to have to come in with a consistent 15 pounds a day.”
Anglers will take off from the Grand Ecore Recreation Area located at 1071 Tauzin Island Rd. in Natchitoches, La., at 7 a.m. daily. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will be also be held at the Grand Ecore Recreation Area beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart located at 925 Keyser Ave., in Natchitoches beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
The BFL Regional Championship event is being hosted by the City of Natchitoches.
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 unparalleled fishing resources and entertainment to our sponsors, fans and host communities. FLW is offering anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2012 over the course of 191 tournaments across five tournament circuits, each providing an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the “Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water,” through a variety of platforms including tournaments, outdoor expos and the world’s richest fantasy sports game – FLW Fantasy Fishing. For more information about FLW and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FLWOutdoors.com or FantasyFishing.com and look for FLW on Twitter and Facebook.