TBF Anglers Win BFL All-American
Richardson tops boaters, Burgess paces co-angler field
A pair of anglers representing The Bass Federation claimed top honors and $170,000 at the prestigious Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American over the weekend at Kentucky Lake.
TBF member Curtis Richardson, of Belleville, Ontario, won the boater division, while fellow Federation member Bob Burgess, of Charleston, West Virginia, topped the co-angler ranks. Held June 18-20 out of Paris Landing, the event pitted the top 49 boaters and top 49 co-anglers from across the 24-division BFL circuit.
Richardson, 31, earned his trip to the BFL All-American through the 2015 TBF National Championship in April on Grand Lake Oklahoma, where he finished fifth overall and first among boaters in the Eastern Division.
“I’m absolutely speechless,” Richardson said after holding off hard-charging rivals Jeremy Lawyer and Billy Schroeder for the victory. “This win means a lot for my family and I, and my fishing career. I’m still trying to take it all in.”
Richardson weighed 15 bass for a 66-pound, 5-ounce total. He collected $120,000 in prize money for his efforts, plus the chance to fish for $500,000 as a pro in the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita in August.
Richardson relied heavily on magnum spoons, which he fished on bars, ledges and shell beds near New Johnsonville, Tennessee, and also threw a drop-shot rig on day three to fill out his limit.
Burgess, a TBF member since 1985, qualified through the 2015 TBF National Championship from the Mid-Atlantic Division.
“Put me around fish and I can catch them,” the 66-year-old, longtime tournament competitor quipped after the weigh-in. He was also quick to credit his partners for much of his success. “I was fortunate enough to get paired with three of the best fishermen in this thing, and that made the biggest difference for me,” he said. “They were all on good fish and finished second, third and fourth.”
Throughout the event he mainly fished a homemade bucktail jig in a stop-and-go fashion, though he did score a 4-pound bass on a 10-inch swimbait on day three. In all, he sacked 13 bass weighing a total of 52 pounds, 6 ounces, including a monstrous day-three limit that tipped the scale at 24 pounds—and earned $50,000 plus a co-angler berth in the Forrest Wood Cup.
Burgess also thanked TBF for giving him the chance to fish the BFL All-American. “It’s a great organization that gives grassroots anglers the opportunity to fish events they otherwise couldn’t,” he said.
For more information about state federation memberships and all TBF tournaments and programs, visit www.BassFederation.com or call 580.765.9031.
About The Bass Federation
The Bass Federation Inc. (TBF) is the oldest and largest organized grassroots fishing, youth and conservation organization in North America. TBF is 100 percent member owned and a proud member of the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame. TBF affiliated federations and their member clubs conduct more than 20,000 fishing, youth and conservation events annually. Serving the fishing industry for more than 45 years, “TBF is owned by those we serve and dedicated to the sport of fishing” and proud “Partners In Fishing” with FLW.