WILBANKS WINS WALMART BASS FISHING LEAGUE BULLDOG DIVISION ON LAKE LANIER
News Release - 2/20/12
Kirkland wins co-angler title
GAINESVILLE, Ga. (Feb. 20, 2012) – Matthew Wilbanks of Gainesville, Ga., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division event on Lake Lanier. For his victory, Wilbanks earned $4,729.
“I gambled, and it paid off,” said Wilbanks. “Lanier is more known for spotted bass, but I fished for largemouth, right out of the gate. You’re not going to get as many bites fishing largemouth as you would fishing for more consistent spotted bass because the bite isn’t nearly as predictable. I figured if I did it all day, I would get one or two good fish and hope I would end up with five. The gamble paid off, and that’s what happened.
“I fished most of the north end of the lake,” Wilbanks continued. “I fished both river systems, both the Chesapeake and the Chattahoochee rivers, so I really covered a lot of water. I threw a crankbait a little bit, but mostly I just had a pattern throwing a jig around shallow cover and docks. I was throwing a brown jig with a Zoom twin-tailed grub on it. I had several bites in practice that I shook off, and I just went back to those places. I had to cover a lot of water, but at the end of the day I had five good fish.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Derrick Bridges, Greenville, S.C., five bass, 19-7, $2,364
3rd: Anthony Brooks, Sautee Nacoochee, Ga., five bass, 19-2, $1,576
4th: Mike Reid, Perry, Ga., five bass, 18-2, $1,103
5th: David Nichol, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 17-9, $946
6th: Eric Aldrich, Cumming, Ga., five bass, 17-6, $867
7th: Steve Foster, Jasper, Ga., five bass, 17-4, $788
8th: Alex Posey, Roswell, Ga., five bass, 16-13, $709
9th: Rick Steckelberg, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 16-9, $631
10th: Jimmy Gooch, Jefferson, Ga., five bass, 15-2, $524
10th: Josh Panyard, Bethlehem, Ga., five bass, 15-2, $524
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Seth Kirkland of Cumming, Ga., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 15 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win $2,364 in the co-angler division.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Brandon Truelove, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 13-13, $1,182
3rd: Keith Howard, Perry, Ga., five bass, 13-7, $788
4th: Todd Forrester, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 12-2, $552
5th: Harold Grizzle, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 12-1, $473
6th: Benjamin Schooler, Clayton, Ga., four bass, 11-15, $433
7th: Greg Huckaby, Winder, Ga., four bass, 11-11, $394
8th: Jonathon Schooler, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 11-2, $355
9th: William James, Lawrenceville, Ga., five bass, 10-10, $315
10th: Walter James, Lilburn, Ga., five bass, 10-0, $276
The next BFL Bulldog Division tournament is scheduled for March 10 on Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, Ga. After the fifth Bulldog Division tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 18-20 Regional Championship on Pickwick Lake in Florence, 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 2012 BFL All-American is being held May 17 – 19 on the Potomac River in National Harbor, Md. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.