Way Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament at Guntersville

March 27, 2023
Bass Fishing League (BFL) News

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (March 27, 2023) – Boater Joe Way of Bedford, Indiana, caught a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 12 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake Guntersville by one ounce. The tournament was the third event for the BFL Choo Choo Division. Way earned $5,165 for his victory.

“Fishing this tournament was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing,” said Way, who concentrated his efforts on the south end of Guntersville. “I did not have a good practice. I didn’t really know what I was going to do come tournament day.”

Way said he started his tournament with a couple of quick keepers, then lost three good keepers in a row.

“I felt like I had been punched in the gut,” Way said. “But I was persistent and stayed in the area and knew there were fish there. I ended up collecting five fish and managed to cull three or four of them to bring back what I had.”

Way’s fish came on a vibrating jig in 2 to 4 feet of water, in areas that held grass. Way said finding clumps of grass near a mudline where muddy water met clear water was the key to his win.

“When I caught my fifth fish and had my limit I was satisfied,” Way added. “That was my goal; I just wanted to catch a limit.

“This win is a big monkey off my back,” Way added. “This is the eighth BFL event that I’ve fished, and it really hasn’t even really sunk in yet that I have won.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

                1st:        Joe Way, Bedford, Ind., five bass, 22-12, $5,165
                2nd:       Hayden O’Barr, Scottsboro, Ala., five bass, 22-11, $2,882
                3rd:       Joshua Butts, Springville, Ala., five bass, 20-8, $1,722
                4th:        Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala., five bass, 19-6, $1,205
                5th:        Creig Kimbro, Monteagle, Tenn., five bass, 18-3, $1,033
                6th:        Charlie Craycraft, Grant, Ala., five bass, 17-9, $1,867 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
                7th:        Charles Murphy, Gaylesville, Ala., five bass, 16-1, $818
                7th:        Will Robinson, Columbia, Tenn., five bass, 16-1, $818
                9th:        Danny Hall, Ellijay, Ga., five bass, 15-11, $689
                10th:     Josh Butler, Hayden, Ala., five bass, 15-9, $603

Lamar Patterson of Fyffe, Alabama, caught a largemouth that weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces, and earned the Big Bass Boater award of $805. Craig Childers of Taft, Tennessee, won the co-angler division and $2,577 Saturday, after bringing three bass to the scale that totaled 14 pounds, 12 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers finished:

                1st:        Craig Childers, Taft, Tenn., three bass, 14-12, $2,577
                2nd:       Clint Haley, Franklin, Ky., five bass, 14-8, $1,288
                3rd:       Dennis Putthoff, Old Hickory, Tenn., five bass, 13-13, $729
                3rd:       Zach Britton, Fayetteville, Tenn., five bass, 13-13, $729
                5th:        Pop Catalin, Cookeville, Tenn., five bass, 13-10, $515
                6th:        Justin Stephenson, Jasper, Ala., five bass, 13-3, $472
                7th:        Jose Serna, Albertville, Ala., four bass, 13-2, $429
                8th:        Dalynn Teeftaller, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., three bass, 13-0, $387
                9th:        Michael Jones, Rome, Ga., three bass, 12-2, $744
                10th:     Michael Corbett, Oxford, Ala., four bass, 9-8, $286
                10th:     Neil Strickland, Sulligent, Ala., three bass, 9-8, $286

Daniel Corkern of Florence, Mississippi, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $397, catching a largemouth that weighed in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After three events, Jordan Lee of Cullman, Alabama, leads the BFL Choo Choo Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 730 points, while Justin Stephenson of Jasper, Alabama, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 715 points.