June 6, 2005 by Matt Williams
The top qualifiers from the 2004 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Regional and Wild Card events will head to Paducah, Ky., June 8-11 to compete for $345,000 in cash and prizes in the 2005 BFL All-American.
Tournament waters will include the Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee rivers. Translation: Expect water levels and current to play key roles in determining who takes home the top purses - $100,000 in the Boater Division, $50,000 on the co-angler side.
"This is going to be one of those wait-and-see tournaments, because the river flows are going to have a big impact on how and where the fish are grouped up, especially the smallmouths," said Britt Cone, a four-time All-American qualifier from Benton, Ky. "The smallmouths in the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers could be a big factor under the right conditions. So could the largemouths in the Smithland Pool on the Ohio River."
Cone anticipates smallies will be relating to underwater rock piles. Tubes, Carolina rigs, crankbaits and large spinnerbaits should be among the top producers.
Guys who like to flip are likely to gravitate to the Smithland Pool, where largemouths should be holding around bushes and other shoreline cover.
Cone's call: 14 to 15 pounds to make the top 10; 28 pounds to win it.