Beck Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament at Pickwick Lake

March 25, 2024
Bass Fishing League (BFL) News

FLORENCE, Ala. (March 25, 2024) – Boater Donny Beck of Killen, Alabama, caught a five-bass limit weighing 28 pounds, 7 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Pickwick Lake. The tournament was the second event of the season for the BFL Choo Choo Division. Beck earned $4,385 for his victory. Beck grew up less a mile from Wilson Dam, which holds back Wilson Lake and whose tailrace comprises the upper end of Pickwick Lake. He also grew up fishing this tailrace, which is the very area where he caught his winning fish during the Pickwick tournament.

Through the years, Beck has landed some impressive limits of smallmouth bass along the Tennessee River chain, and the 28-pound, 7-ounce limit of five smallies that he caught to win the BFL ranks right up there with his best catches.

“The way I usually fish up there (this time of year), I usually have all smallmouth,” Beck said. “Granted, I don’t usually have 28 pounds of ’em.”

He said the fish were feeding up in prespawn staging areas in the tailrace.

“My No. 1 and 2 spots I wanted to start on, somebody was already there. Both of them are kind of community (holes) now,” Beck said. “So I actually kind of got away from the pressure. Everybody was up toward the dam, and I got a little bit farther away from it and found a couple rock piles out in the current that were stacked with them.”

Beck, who owns a plumbing business with his son and who also works as a realtor, rotated back and forth between two key rock piles. When they quit biting on one pile, he moved to the other, repeating the process throughout the day.

He said both rock piles were about twice the size of his boat and came up just a couple feet off the bottom – just enough to break the current. Beck caught his winning fish with a Johnston Lures Swim Bait Head and a discontinued Zoom 5-inch Swimmer in the blue chartreuse color.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Donny Beck, Killen, Ala., five bass, 28-7, $4,385
2nd:       Fisher Anaya, Eva, Ala., five bass, 26-0, $2,693 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
3rd:       Cameron Gautney, Sheffield, Ala., five bass, 23-12, $1,463
4th:        Jared Kawalec, Waterloo, Iowa, five bass, 20-8, $1,023
5th:        Jeff Suratt, Leoma, Tenn., five bass, 18-13, $840
5th:        Jimmy Washam, Stantonville, Tenn., five bass, 18-13, $840
7th:        Dylan Nutt, Nashville, Tenn., five bass, 18-6, $731
8th:        Carter Nutt, Nashville, Tenn., five bass, 18-0, $658
9th:        Dillon Falardeau, Hixson, Tenn., five bass, 16-12, $585
10th:     Charles Watts, Corinth, Miss., five bass, 16-4, $512

Complete results can be found at

Dan Ehmen of Rockford, Illinois, and Neil Strickland of Sulligent, Alabama, each caught a bass that weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces, to tie for the Big Bass Boater award. They each earned $310 for their catch. Brandon Bell of Starkville, Mississippi, won the co-angler division and $2,122 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 21 pounds.

The top 10 co-anglers finished:

1st:        Brandon Bell, Starkville, Miss., five bass, 21-0, $2,122
2nd:       Jonathan Craig, Madison, Ala., five bass, 14-11, $1,061
3rd:       Brandon Watson, Madison, Ala., two bass, 12-0, $707
4th:        Mekiah Jack, Mount Juliet, Tenn., three bass, 11-4, $495
5th:        Chuck Thurlow, Auburn, Ala., three bass, 10-11, $424
6th:        Craig Mayo, Michie, Tenn., three bass, 10-8, $389
7th:        Dalynn Teeftaller, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., three bass, 9-12, $354
8th:        Marcus Corbett, Anniston, Ala., three bass, 9-3, $318
9th:        Brian Carroll, Glencoe, Ala., three bass, 9-2, $283
10th:     Colby Cotterill, Alpharetta, Ga., two bass, 8-3, $248

Blake Acker of Jasper, Alabama, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $300, catching a bass that weighed in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After two events, Fisher Anaya of Eva, Alabama, leads the Fishing Clash Choo Choo Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 497 points, while Todd Mowery of Madison, Alabama, leads the Fishing Clash Choo Choo Division Co-Angler of the Year race with 481 points.