"I knew if I could get to my area early I would have a good chance of winning," said Smith, whose sweet spot was shallow backwater. "I pulled up to my spot before 7 a.m. and caught two nice keepers within five minutes. Then it went dead; I needed the wind to pick up and blow the shad in, but it wasn't there yet, so I made the long run and headed across the state line into Kentucky.
"I was able to fill my limit in Kentucky waters," Smith continued. "But I didn't think it was enough. The wind had picked up, so I headed back to the area where I started because I knew there were big fish there. I got there with only an hour left to fish. The wind had picked up enough to push the shad in, and I got two 5-pounders within five minutes. It was enough to push me over the top."
Smith said that he was "churning mud" most of the day fishing water that was less than a foot deep. He was flipping black and blue jigs with Strike King Rage Tail Chunks as well as Punisher spinnerbaits.
Lake Barkley BFL winner, Noel Smith, Ashland City,
Tenn. (Click here to download image)
Rounding out the top 10 boaters were:
2nd: Adam Vance, Mount Juliet, Tenn., five bass, 18-10, $1,442
3rd: Drew Boggs, Lebanon, Tenn., five bass, 17-7, $960
4th: Gary Singleton, Dickson, Tenn., five bass, 16-12, $673
5th: Brent Anderson, Kingston Springs, Tenn., five bass, 16-8, $577
6th: Phillip Haley, Auburn, Ky., five bass, 16-3, $505
Robert Reagan, Byrdstown, Tenn., five bass, 16-3, $505
8th: Greg Rollins, Monteagle, Tenn., five bass, 16-1, $408
Larry Sisk, Evansville, Ind., five bass, 16-1, $408
10th: Marty Sisk, Evansville, Ind., five bass, 15-7, $336
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Chad Johnson of Sparta, Tenn., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win $1,442 in the co-angler division.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Jeff Emerton, Hillham, Tenn., five bass, 16-5, $721
3rd: Jamie Saylor, Knoxville, Tenn., five bass, 15-3, $483
4th: Denny Strunk, Tullahoma, Tenn., five bass, 15-0, $336
5th: Lucas Medlin, Cookeville, Tenn., five bass, 13-6, $288
6th: Tim Huddleston, Paducah, Ky., five bass, 12-14, $264
7th: Billy Gardner, Livingston, Tenn., five bass, 11-7, $240
8th: Charles Bennington, Scottsville, Ky., five bass, 10-11, $216
9th: David Welcher, Burns, Tenn., four bass, 10-8, $192
10th: John Cook, Jamestown, Tenn., five bass, 10-1, $168
The next BFL Music City Division tournament is scheduled for June 30 on Old Hickory Lake in Gallatin, Tenn. After the fifth event in the Music City Division tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 4-6 Regional Championship on Cherokee Lake in Morristown, Tenn. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 40 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing - the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy. The 2012 BFL All-American is being held May 17 - 19 on the Potomac River in National Harbor, Md. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.