Clayton tops Co-angler field

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (March 20, 2017) – Andy Parkinson of Dalton, Georgia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 4 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division event on Lake Guntersville. Parkinson took home $4,385 for his victory.

Parkinson said he started his day fishing a ditch toward the back of a mid-lake creek.

“The flat I was sitting on was 4-feet-deep, and the ditch reached down to about 6½ feet,” said Parkinson, who earned his first career-win in BFL competition. “The edges of the ditch had scattered milfoil, but its bottom was fairly clean. I caught my first keeper on a Rayburn Red-colored Booyah One Knocker.”

After a while, Parkinson said he followed bass along the ditch as they made their way to spawning beds.

“I targeted some lily pads with a black and blue-colored swimjig rigged with a Strike King Rage Craw,” said Parkinson. “I caught a 7-pound, 9-ouncer – my largest of the day – and a 4-pounder soon after.”

Parkinson said he returned to the ditch and put another 4-pound bass in the boat – all by 10:30 a.m.

“Around 1:45 p.m., I picked up a shad-colored vibrating jig and caught my last keeper, which was just shy of 3 pounds,” said Parkinson. “That one sealed that deal for me. I knew I had a decent limit of fish, but I thought someone may beat me with bass from the Guntersville bridges. Luckily my five held up.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st:          Andy Parkinson, Dalton, Ga., five bass, 23-4, $4,385

2nd:         Casey Martin, New Hope, Ala., five bass, 22-8, $3,113

3rd:          Douglas Webster, Pinson, Ala., five bass, 21-14, $1,663

4th:          Triston Crowder, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., five bass, 21-1, $1,123

5th:          Bryon Luman, Scottsboro, Ala., five bass, 20-9, $877

6th:          Alex Davis, Albertville, Ala., five bass, 20-8, $804

7th:          Ricky Chappell, Warrior, Ala., five bass, 20-2, $731

8th:          Tony Harvey, Killen, Ala., five bass, 19-0, $658

9th:          Derek Remitz, Grant, Ala., five bass, 18-14, $585

10th:        Justin Wallace, Meridianville, Ala., five bass, 18-8, $512

Complete results can be found at

Martin caught a bass weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces – the largest of the event – which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $620.

Paul Clayton of Cohutta, Georgia, weighed in five bass totaling 20 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the Co-angler Division and the top prize of $2,393.

The top 10 co-anglers were:

1st:          Paul Clayton, Cohutta, Ga., five bass, 20-6, $2,393

2nd:         Zach Britton, Hazel Green, Ala., five bass, 18-1, $1,456

3rd:          Corey Williams, Lenoir City, Tenn., five bass, 16-2, $730

4th:          Stephen Barday, Acworth, Ga., five bass, 14-3, $512

5th:          Chris Walters, Dayton, Tenn., five bass, 13-2, $439

6th:          Chad Biddle, Shelbyville, Ky., three bass, 12-15, $402

7th:          Benny Medlen, Scottsboro, Ala., four bass, 12-1, $365

8th:          Daniel Davis, Albertville, Ala., four bass, 11-15, $329

9th:          Bruce Stanley, Jasper, Ala., four bass, 11-8, $292

10th:        Mike McLamb, Hartselle, Ala., four bass, 11-3, $256

Britton caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $310.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 12-14 BFL Regional Championship on Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Alabama. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.

The 2017 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they 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 BFL All-American. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.

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