FLORENCE, Ala. (May 28, 2014) – One of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing, the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy, will visit Wilson Lake in Florence, Ala., June 5-7.
Hosted by Florence/Lauderdale Tourism, the tournament will feature the top 49 boaters and top 49 co-anglers from across the country casting for top awards of up to $120,000 in the Boater Division and $60,000 in the Co-angler Division plus the opportunity to compete in the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart on Lake Murray Aug. 14-17.
FLW Tour pro Kerry Milner realized a lifelong dream when he won the BFL All-American on Nickajack Lake in 2013.
“I set a goal after I fished my first BFL event that one day I wanted to be the All-American champion,” said Milner. “Winning it was something that opened the door to further my career and it really opened my wife’s eyes to the fact that I could make a living in fishing.
“I fished in two All-Americans back-to-back,” Milner continued. “Mentally, I wasn’t ready for the first one. I felt like I wasn’t supposed to be there and I made mistakes. When I fished in my second All-American and won it wasn’t even an issue.
“The main thing is to take the other competitors out of your mind,” finished Milner. “Ultimately, you’re fishing against the fish. You have to figure out how to beat them to be the last person on the stage holding up the trophy.”
In addition to competing against the best weekend anglers from across the country, competitors are also going to get a chance to fish on one of Alabama’s premier fisheries in Wilson Lake.
“Wilson is like a lot of other TVA lakes,” said Keystone Light pro Casey Martin, who lives in New Hope, Ala. “There are a bunch of good ledges and brush piles but it doesn’t have very much grass. It does have a lot more deep brush piles than other TVA lakes, though, and that could be a big factor.
“I’ve fished Wilson Lake a lot,” Martin said. “It’s definitely a good lake with a lot of big fish in it. The only problem is that it fishes fairly small and there isn’t a whole lot of room to spread out.”
Martin went on to say that while typical ledge fishing baits like crankbaits and football jigs would be good bets on the ledges, some anglers might do well fishing in the current below the Wheeler Lake dam with umbrella rigs or swimbaits.
Anglers will take off from Waterfront Marina located at 4451 Florence Boulevard in Florence at 7 a.m. each morning. Weigh-ins will also be held at the Waterfront Marina the first two days of competition beginning at 3 p.m. The final day of competition will be held at Walmart located at 2701 Cloverdale Road in Florence, Ala., beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Expo at the Walmart in Florence on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. which includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public.
Coverage of the BFL All-American will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs Aug. 17 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET. The Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2014 over the course of 229 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. For more information about FLW visit FLWOutdoors.com and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.