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Decisions, Decisions….
By:  Glenn Walker

Just a few weeks ago Adam Wagner was holding an oversized check for $120,000 over his head and now he is right back to work as a construction foreman.  This just shows that the Walmart Bass Fishing League is the true working man’s tournament series.

The World Series to the working man is the BFL All-American and Wagner who hails from Cookeville, Tennessee, bested the other 54 competitors with a three-day weight of 36 lb. 8 oz. with 14 bass.  The tournament was held out of Davenport, Iowa located on pool 16 of the Mississippi River.

Wagner began to prepare for the All-American by fishing three days before the off-limits period.  “I spent a day on 16 and didn’t find much, 14 was ok, but when I fished pool 13, it was like night and day.  The number of bites I had and the quality of fish that I caught, made the decision easy…I was going to 13.”

The area’s Adam was fishing on pool 13 were backwater bays that had an abundance of pads and vegetation in it, which he compared to lakes in Florida.  He went back to 13 on the official practice day and between him and his partner they had nine bites, which was good news.  What wasn’t was that Wagner found out that because of the guaranteed lock times, Wagner and the other boats going to fish pool 13 would only have an hour and a half to fish.  Despite this news Adam still was going to make the trek up river.

To catch his fish throughout the All-American Wagner used three lures, a ¼ oz. black and black/blue swimming jig, green pumpkin Senko and a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver.  On day one as Adam was waiting to lock up to 14, he flipped some laydowns that were just out of the current on pool 14 and caught a 3 and 3.5 pounder on the Sweet Beaver, and then he locked up to 13 and finished out his limit.  He was able to duplicate this strategy on day two.

On the final day Adam had a gut-wrenching decision to make.  He knew that a local team tournament would have boats beating him to pool 13.  This was all after he had motor problems and had to switch boats on the water.  “I caught one good fish on 14 before going up and didn’t know what to do and at the last second I went up.  As soon as the gates opened and I saw the amount of boats, I felt sick.”

After getting to his spot, there were seven boats there, so Wagner went into scramble mode and got one more keeper on 13 and then locked back down.  One more keeper on 14 ended up in his livewell and then back on the take-off pool of 16 Adam was fishing a rock bank and connected with a 4.5 lb. smallmouth, using the Sweet Beaver.  “Sometimes things are just meant to be and this was one of those things” exclaimed Adam.

The All-American win definitely puts the thought of turning pro into Adam’s head and if he is able to put together the financial security to make this jump, then he will.  Adam qualified All-American through the Music City division and taking 2nd in the Lake Wheeler regional.  He will again fish the Music City BFL’s and local team events, but for now his sights are set on the Forest Wood Cup which is held in Pittsburgh, “I just can’t wait to get out there and practice” said Wagner.

I asked Adam what was the coolest thing about the All-American was and he just was just in shock and amazement at the whole experience.  “I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world and had a great time!”

Adam would like to thank his sponsors, Punisher Lures, Power Pro Rods, Ranger Boats and Reaction Innovations.  I thank Adam again for his time and we all at wish you the best of luck at the Forest Wood Cup!