Childers Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament on Wheeler Lake
ROGERSVILLE, Ala. (May 4, 2009) - Johnny Childers of Toney, Ala., won the Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division bass fishing tournament on Wheeler Lake Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 19 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned Childers $4,199 and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the Clarks Hill Lake Regional Championship in Appling, Ga., Oct. 15-17, where he could ultimately win a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.
"Man it feels great," Childers, who notched his first victory in his 10th season of BFL competition. "It's been a long time coming."
After a run upriver, Childers began fishing in 10 to 12 feet of water and managed to catch a couple of limits of fish during the course of the day. Childers made the best of the rain near Decatur Flats and said he caught the majority of his bass on a 1/2-ounce green pumpkin jig.
"When I caught my second big fish of the day, I felt I was on the right deal and I needed to slow down and fish thoroughly," Childers said. "It was a slow bite and I had to work them. Around 10:30 a.m. I thought I had a real chance of winning it."
Rounding out the top five boaters are Blaine Shelton of Moulton, Ala. (five bass, 16-2, $2,100); Will Beutjer of Athens, Ala. (five bass, 14-10, $1,398); Todd McAdams of Fayetteville, Tenn. (five bass, 13-13, $980) and Lee Pitts of Centre, Ala. (five bass, 13-12, $840).
Childers took home the Boater Division Big Bass award, earning $585 for a 5-pound, 9-ounce bass he caught on the jig.
Keith Norris of Nashville, Tenn., earned $2,100 as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to five bass weighing 13 pounds, 9 ounces. Norris said he caught his bass fishing deep ledges.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Jerry Cornwell of Ooltewah, Tenn. (five bass, 13-1, $1,050); Randy Brewington of Moulton, Ala. (five bass, 12-14, $701); Dan Clark of Cleveland, Tenn. (five bass, 12-4, $490); and Chad Caldwell of Hampton Cove, Ala. (five bass, 11-13, $420).
Norris and Jimmy Rowell of Grove Oak, Ala., each earned $146 as the co-angler Big Bass winners when they both caught 4-pound, 14-ounce bass.
The next Choo Choo Division event will be held on Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Ala., June 27.