Boaters Chris Rutland of Wetumpka and Dusty Herron of Alabaster each caught five bass Saturday weighing 16 pounds even to tie for the win at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division tournament on Lay Lake. After contingency awards, Rutland earned $3,435, while Herron took home $2,435.
Rutland said he fished main-lake grass points on the south end of the lake until around mid-morning, then flipped boat docks the rest of the day, catching approximately 25 keepers in the process.
“I hit a bunch of points — more than 20 — and was targeting fish in 2 to 4 feet of water,” said Rutland, who earned his third career victory in BFL competition and his second on Lay Lake. “I weighed three largemouth from the points and then two spotted bass from the docks. They were also on the south end and about halfway back in the creeks.”
Rutland said he used a 5-inch, Alewife-colored Big Bite Baits Dean Rojas Cane Thumper on a Gamakatsu belly weight hook and a green-pumpkin ½-ounce Davis’ Baits Wood Jig with a Big Bite Baits Real Deal Craw trailer of the same color.
A pair of other locals earned top-five finishes. Wetumpka’s Jason Nixon bagged five bass weighing in at 15 pounds and 1 ounce to captured fourth place, while Tallassee’s Dallas Weldon followed closely behind with a fifth-place finish. Weldon’s five-fish bag weighed in at 14-12.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in the following order:
1. Dusty Herron, Alabaster, 16-0, $2,435
1. Chris Rutland, Wetumpka, 16-0, $3,435
3. Josh Stracner, Vandiver, 15-13, $1,332
4. Jason Nixon, Wetumpka, 15-1, $908
5. Dallas Weldon, Tallassee, 14-12, $649
6. Jeff Cannon, Douglasville, Georgia, 14-10, $595
7. Rickie Harp, Cottondale, 14-9, $1,231
8. Mitch Hayes, Chipley, Florida, 13-15, $687
9. Timothy Travis, Tuscaloosa, 13-9, $433
10. David Parsons, Dothan, 13-7, $479
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 17-19 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Guntersville presented by Mercury. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.