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So It Begins!

On Saturday I will be competing in the season-opener of the Buckeye Division of the Walmart Bass Fishing League (BFL) on Mosquito Lake.  The BFL circuit is the equivalent of Single-A baseball, and is a sub-division of the FLW Tour.  The FLW Tour is one of the two major professional bass tournament circuits in the U.S., the other being B.A.S.S.

The Buckeye BFL consists of 5 events spread over 5 months.  Each tournament typically draws between 100 and 150 boats, and payouts for first place can be upwards of $6,000.  Anglers compete for points in each of the 5 regular season events.  At the end of the regular season, anglers who finish in the top 40 in the points standings qualify for a Regional Championship and receive priority entry into the 2012 FLW American Fishing Series.  Through the Regional Championship an angler can qualify for the All-American (which pays a top prize of $100,000), and through the All-American can qualify for the FLW Cup (which pays a top prize of $500,000).

Competition in the Buckeye BFL is stiff.  I consider it to be the highest level of competition that a tournament angler can fish in Ohio.  Many of the guys fishing the BFL circuit have been competing in the circuit for years.  Many of them are teachers who have their summers off, or retired guys who are able to spend a lot of time practicing for each event.  And a few of them are probably good enough to make it as full-time touring professionals if they could afford to quit their jobs.

The 2011 Buckeye BFL schedule sets up like this:

5-7-11 on Mosquito Lake
6-18-11 on Indian Lake
7-23-11 on the Tanners Creek pool of the Ohio River
8-20-11 on the Carrollton pool of the Ohio River
9-17-11 on the Maysville pool of the Ohio River 

Regarding this weekend’s event on Mosquito, I am both excited and nervous.  I’ve spent about 6 total days on the lake over the past 2 years without great success.  The lake has a lot of quality fish in it, and they can be caught in a number of ways.  I don’t want to expand too much on my strategy for the tournament, but will be giving a detailed report of the experience after it’s over.

Competing in a BFL event is a huge rush!  The anticipation of hearing your number called in the morning as the steam rises from the water, and the smell and rumble of a hundred two-stroke motors surrounds you is uncomparable.  But even better is the rush of setting the hook on a big fish and swinging it into the boat…I can’t wait.  Stay tuned for a full report on my tournament experience.

3 Responses

  1. Simon sisezz73

    Good luck Mike. I was their last weekend and the bite was good.

  2. The Big JG

    The BFL is more like high school, college, and the the NFL.

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