Walker Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament at Ross Barnett Reservoir

March 25, 2024
Bass Fishing League (BFL) News

RIDGELAND, Miss. (March 25, 2024) – Boater John Walker of Hernando, Mississippi, caught a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 9 ounces, Saturday to win the Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Ross Barnett Reservoir. The tournament was the first event of the season for the BFL Mississippi Division. Walker earned $3,418 for his victory. Walker had no prior experience to lean on when building a game plan at Ross Barnett. The only day he’d ever spent fishing there was the day before the tournament, when he practiced with a co-angler, and the duo never scratched out a bite.

“All I knew to do was whatever was the opposite of what I did Friday,” Walker joked. “With the wind and everything and not being familiar with that upper lake and all the timber, I went right around the corner of the marina. I just kind of got on a deal where some fish were setting up.”

Walker had a limit of 10 to 12 pounds early, and it got better from there.

“Once that sun came out some bigger fish moved up, and I caught a 5-2 and a 4-pounder just flipping a black and blue (Zoom) Z Craw Jr. and a Zoom Speed Worm on a shaky head on the rocks,” he said. “I was kind of swimming it off the rocks, and they were hammering it. That’s all. I got lucky.”

Luck might have been a factor, but to Walker’s credit, he eventually got dialed in on a couple of key spots where small chunk rock was mixed with gravel or mud and the slope was slightly flatter than the nearby riprap. In the afternoon, new fish moved up to these spots from deeper water.

“Once I kind of figured out what was going on, we were scrambling the last hour and a half,” he said. “I managed to cull a couple more times during the last hour.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        John Walker, Hernando, Miss., five fish, 16-9, $3,418
2nd:       Jed Farlow, Madison, Miss., five fish, 15-1, $1,709
3rd:       John Anderson, Bay Springs, Miss., five fish, 13-15, $1,438
4th:        Jonathan Williams, Moss Point, Miss., five fish, 13-9, $798
5th:        Hayze Hutzel, Flowood, Miss., four fish, 13-5, $684
6th:        Ramey Harrell, Lena, Miss., five fish, 13-0, $627
7th:        Barrett Saunders, Hammond, La., five fish, 12-8, $1,070 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
8th:        Noel Allen Jr., Brandon, Miss., four fish, 11-15, $513
9th:        Corey Sullivan, Brandon, Miss., five fish, 11-10, $456
10th:     Dave Woodfin, Kosciusko, Miss., five fish, 11-6, $399

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Tanner Peavy of Sumrall, Mississippi, caught a bass that weighed 5 pounds, 4 ounces, and earned the Big Bass Boater award of $420. Ben McCord of Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, won the co-angler division and $1,709 Saturday, after bringing four bass to the scale that totaled 13 pounds, 8 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers finished:

1st:        Ben McCord, Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four fish, 13-8, $1,709
2nd:       Michael Marlin, Nesbit, Miss., four fish, 12-13, $855
3rd:       Randall Bellard, Walker, La., four fish, 11-5, $720
4th:        Thomas Smith, Brandon, Miss., five fish, 9-15, $399
5th:        Larry Stewart Jr., Brandon, Miss., five fish, 9-14, $342
6th:        Reggie Thornton, Columbus, Miss., four fish, 9-7, $313
7th:        Travis Culbreth, Pearl, Miss., three fish, 8-7, $285
8th:        Randy Maples, Amory, Miss., three fish, 7-11, $256
9th:        John Karisny, Dry Prong, La., three fish, 7-2, $228
10th:     John Breeden, Brandon, Miss., one fish, 6-2, $409

John Breeden of Brandon, Mississippi, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $409, catching a bass that weighed in at 6 pounds, 2 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.