Gustafson Grabs Co-angler Title

GALLATIN, Tenn. (Nov. 12, 2018) – Boater Toby Corn of Calvert City, Kentucky, caught a two-day cumulative total of seven bass weighing 21 pounds, 2 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card tournament on Old Hickory Lake. For his efforts, Corn one of the final berths into the 2019 BFL All-American Championship.

The BFL Wild Card tournament is a last-chance shot at the All-American for BFL anglers that didn’t qualify for a Regional Championship.

“This was the first time I’ve been there [to the lake], so I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Corn, who earned his fourth win in BFL competition. “I got there for practice the Sunday before the tournament and didn’t do well at all – I only caught one keeper. On Monday, I caught three keepers from three different locations.”

Corn said tornadoes and storms rolled through the Nashville area overnight Monday, pushing the water level up and turning just about everything to mud.

“I fished until noon on Tuesday and pretty much realized I was wasting my time, so I went back home and worked on Wednesday,” said Corn. “I returned Thursday and saw the water was falling, but it was still fairly muddy. Long story short, I’d had one decent day of practice.”

On Friday, Corn started the tournament near takeoff and caught one keeper on a black buzzbait, the lure that would produce most of his fish that day. He then ran up the Cumberland River to the areas that would win him the event.

“I had two different no-name sloughs,” said Corn. “I went into the first one and it was very muddy. I caught three in there – two of them were small and one was about a 3-pounder. Then I went to my second little slough and I didn’t realize what I’d found until I got in there. Between me and my co-angler, we caught 10 keepers in there in about 45 minutes.”

Corn’s two sloughs were both very shallow – no more than 2 to 3 feet deep – and well up the river, approximately a 40-mile run from takeoff. He said one was quite muddy, but the more productive one was clear.

Friday was cold and cloudy, with temperatures in the 40s all day long. Saturday dawned clear and even colder – in fact, temperatures remained below freezing for much of the day. Corn returned to his second slough Saturday morning and caught a 5-pounder in the first few minutes. After that, he struck out for the next several hours. Switching sloughs, Corn added a 3-pounder and that was it.

Corn said his 5-pounder ate a Dave’s Custom Baits Black Market Balsa square-billed crankbait in “Diet Dew splatterback”, which Corn described as a faded chartreuse with a black splatter. The crankbait also accounted for a good fish on Day One. Corn also rotated in a Riot Baits Minima Jig.

“When I caught that big one in the first 10 minutes Saturday, I felt like I’d made the All-American,” says Corn. “After I caught that second fish I still felt like I needed one more fish to win.”

The top six boaters that qualified for the 2019 BFL All-American were:

1st:           Toby Corn, Calvert City, Ky., seven bass, 21-2, $200

2nd:         Scott Towry, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., seven bass, 18-14, $3,049

3rd:          Stacey Edwards, Milton, Ky., 10 bass, 17-8, $1,475

4th:          Jason Grape, Attalla, Ala., eight bass, 17-6, $997

5th:          Keith Hays, Broken Arrow, Okla., six bass, 17-2

6th:          Sean McAllister, Checotah, Okla., five bass, 16-1

Rounding out the top-10 boaters were:

7th:          Mario Riojas, Blanchard, Okla., eight bass, 15-4, $897

8th:          Jared Kutil, Beaufort, S.C., four bass, 14-6, $962

9th:          David Wootton, Collierville, Tenn., seven bass, 14-1, $717

10th:        Donnie Rubel, Murfreesboro, Tenn., four bass, 13-0, $803

Complete results can be found at

Rubel caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Boater Division Friday, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 12 ounces, which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass Award of $165.

Gary Gustafson of Gilbertsville, Kentucky, won the Co-angler Division with a two-day cumulative of three bass weighing 11 pounds, 12 ounces.

The top six co-anglers that qualified for the 2019 BFL All-American were:

1st:           Gary Gustafson, Gilbertsville, Ky., three bass, 11-12

2nd:         Keenan Hess, Herrin, Ill., four bass, 10-7, $100

3rd:          Zach Barnes, Chickamauga, Ga., five bass, 9-6

4th:          Scott Bussey, Hayden, Ala., five bass, 9-6, $1,208

5th:          Wayne Miller, Morgantown, Ky., five bass, 9-3, $604

6th:          Dickey Reece, Lafayette, Ky., three bass, 8-7, $408

Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers were:

7th:          Rick Lovall, Sikeston, Mo., three bass, 7-3, $417

8th:          Derek Henderson, St. Louis, Mo., three bass, 6-3

9th:          Dewayne Marshall, Folkston, Ga., three bass, 6-1, $327

10th:        Vincent Jones, Robertsville, Mo., two bass, 6-0, $351

Jones caught the heaviest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Friday, a fish weighing 3 pounds, 14 ounces, which earned him the day’s Co-Angler Big Bass Award of $57.

The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Wild Card tournament on Old Hickory Lake was hosted by the Sumner County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

The 2018 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. The 2019 BFL All-American will take place May 30-June 1 on the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland, and is hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners and the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.

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