Benjamin Reynolds, Callands, Va., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division event on Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Reynolds earned $4,315 plus $2,000 Ranger Cup bonus.
“It’s pretty special,” said Reynolds about his second BFL victory. “I had a pretty good practice on Friday and felt like I had found some fish that could win the tournament for me. I was feeling pretty good.
“Then Saturday came, I went to my first bed fish and I couldn’t get her to bite. I fooled with her for about an hour and finally decided to move to my next bed and the fish on that bed was gone. I then decided that it was time to chalk my game plan from Friday and try something different.”
Reynolds attributed part of his success to his knowledge of the lake. After working a couple of beds without reward and pulling up on a couple of beds that were empty he decided to fish areas where he knew good fish lived and that he had success on in the past.
“Three of my fish came on crankbaits and drop-shotting around shallow boat docks,” Reynolds continued. “I was able to get two off their beds, a 3- and 7-pounder using shaky head worms on a spinning rod. I just let the fish tell me what I needed to do.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Bobby Rakes, Max Meadows, Va., five bass, 16-0, $2,157
3rd: John Hutchins, Warrenton, Va., five bass, 15-3, $1,439
4th: Gregg Basham, Salem, Va., five bass, 14-5, $1,007
5th: Tommy Little, Chester, Va., five bass, 14-2, $863
6th: Rick McFaul, Phoenix, Md., five bass, 14-1, $791
7th: Mike Altizer, Vinton, Va., five bass, 13-15, $719
8th: Moe Bae, West Friendship, Md., five bass, 13-13, $647
9th: James Cassaday, Wirtz, Va., five bass, 13-11, $575
10th: Thomas Wooten, Huddleston, Va., five bass, 13-3, $503
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Mark Garraway of Fredericksburg, Va., weighed four bass totaling 12 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the co-angler division. Garraway earned $2,157 for his victory.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Larry McCausland, Mount Airy, N.C., five bass, 12-13, $1,079
3rd: Dennis Burdette, Lindside, W. Va., five bass, 11-5, $717
4th: Chris Cundiff, Wirtz, Va., five bass, 11-4, $503
5th: Junior Roberts, Ringgold, Va., four bass, 9-13, $431
6th: Mike Morris, Dover, Del., five bass, 9-8, $396
7th: Edward Louthen, Princeton, W. Va., five bass, 9-4, $360
8th: Robert Coyner, Stuarts Draft, Va., four bass, 8-15, $324
9th: Keith Goldberg, Eagle Rock, Va., five bass, 8-12, $288
10th: Tim Goff, Forest, Va., five bass, 8-3, $239
10th: Bill Naron, Beaverdam, Va., five bass, 8-3, $239
The next BFL Shenandoah Division tournament is scheduled for June 15 on the Potomac River in Marbury, Md. After the last divisional tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 3-5 Regional Championship on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Ala. 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. The 2013 BFL All-American is being held June 27–29 on the Nickajack Lake in Chattanooga, Tenn. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.