BFL All-American Recap with John Bedingfield

The FLW Bass Fishing League All-American was brought to Wilson Lake, AL from June 5-7. With a field of 49 of the best BFL Co Anglers in the country, John Bedingfield had a standout tournament and caught enough to place him at 4th place at the end of the event. We caught up with him to hear how he caught his fish, and made several adjustments throughout the tournament.

FTB: John, what division did you qualify through?

JB: I fished the Savannah River division, but qualified through from the Wildcard event at West Point Lake last October.

FTB: Tell us a little about your experience with the BFL series.

JB: This is my second year fishing this series as a Co Angler, and I have nothing but good things to say about these tournaments. I recommend them to any fisherman who is trying to better himself. I have been fishing since 13 years old, but I learn something new from other BFL fishermen every time I get on the water with them.

FTB: So getting on to the Wilson Lake tournament, what were the conditions like and did you prefish?

JB: Yeah I prefished, and during our practice, it was hot and there wasn’t much wind. I only caught one fish throughout practice! The tournament had similar conditions on day 1, but had a lot of wind at certain times of the day. Day 2 was overcast, which allowed me to fish some shallow water. Day 3 was foggy in the morning, but the sun came out later and it was very calm.

FTB: How were your boaters fishing in this event?

JB: In all three days of fishing, my pro’s fished different each day. On day 1, my boater brought us to the tailrace to start. He was throwing a crankbait there. We fished offshore in 70ft. the majority of the day. On day 2, like I said it was overcast, so my boater brought us shallow to start and we were flipping and frogging in 1.5 feet of water. We also jumped offshore a bit and cranked. On day 3, my boater fished roadbeds in 35ft.

As you can see, I had to adjust a lot each day!

FTB: How did you fish each day?

The Livingston Lures crankbait Bedingfield used throughout the tournament

The Livingston Lures crankbait Bedingfield used throughout the tournament

JB: On day 1 at the tailrace, everyone was throwing a crankbait, but I was throwing my Livingston Lures crankbait, and it seemed to make a big difference! On day 2 when we fished shallow, I threw a few different baits, but my Jewel football jig paired with a Wackem Crazy Baits Crazy Craw seemed to be the best for me for the majority of the day. In some of the shallowest water we fished, I had a lot of luck on a Jewel Squirrel head paired with a Wackem prototype worm. On day 3, I threw the football jig again in a 3/4oz size in the Old Skool Black/Green/Purple color again paired up with a Green Pumpkin Crazy Craw.

These are just a few of the baits I threw that helped me catch fish. The Jewel Football jig made up for almost all of the fish I weighed in, and the Livingston crankbait brought in the others, including two 6 pounders.

FTB: What equipment were you using for these?

The Jewel jig Bedingfield caught most of his fish on

The Jewel jig Bedingfield caught most of his fish on

JB: I threw all of my baits on Duckett Rods and Lew’s Reels. The two main setups I used were my crankbait rod and my jig rod. For the Livingston Lures crankbait, I was using a Duckett 6’9 MH rod, Lew’s Tournament MG with 10# Seaguar fluorocarbon. For the Jewel Football Jig, I was using a 7′ H Duckett rod, Lew’s Tournament MG with 15# Seaguar fluorocarbon.

FTB: What did you learn from this event?

JB: The importance of respecting your pro. They worked hard to make it there, and it is important that us co anglers treat them right. Never throw over them!

FTB: Any advice for other Co Anglers?

JB: When I fish as a Co, I always try to do something just a little different than my boater. Also, the ability to adjust is huge as a Co! Just as I experienced in this tournament, you might be in 70 feet of water one day and 1.5 the next, you just need to be ready to do anything!

Bio:

Circuits Fished: BFL, HND Circuit, and local events

Years Co: 2 on BFL

Favorite Technique: Counting rocks with a Jewel Football Jig, followed by flipping a flutter spoon

Hobbies aside from Fishing: Golf, and I used to do dirt track racing

Sponsors: Jewel Bait Co, Lew’s Reels, Duckett Rods, Texas Hardcore Outfitters, Seaguar, Daniel Truitt Customs, Wackem Crazy Baits, Livingston Lures, Nichols Lures, Sworming Hornet Lures, DT Free Custom Swimbaits