Two PBs Earns BFL Victory On Lanier

Justin Nalley wins first BFL Bulldog Division tourney of the year.

MLF Press Release | February 24, 2023

Justin Nalley won the Feb. 18 BFL bass tournament on Lake Lanier.

Justin Nalley, of Hampton, caught a five-bass limit weighing 22-lbs., 8-ozs. on Feb. 18 to win the MLF Phoenix BFL on Lake Lanier. The tournament was the first event of the 2023 season for the BFL Bulldog Division. Justin earned $5,970 for his victory.

Justin’s win came in his first BFL event fished as a boater after learning the tournament ropes in prior seasons as a co-angler.

“I can’t even really fathom this,” said Justin. “It hasn’t really set in yet. I had fished as a co-angler for four years and had some early success and just stuck with it. Then last year, for my 30th birthday, my wife surprised me with a bass boat she had bought from my father-in-law. So I took the leap and registered as a boater.”

Justin said he practiced on Lanier before the tournament but only managed to catch three fish Thursday and two Friday.

“On tournament day I knew from past experience that the tournament would be won on the south end of the lake where the big spotted bass live,” he said. “So, I started offshore fishing chunk rock and caught two fish early.

“Then I started running new stuff,” Justin said. “I caught a big spotted bass, a 5-7, which is my personal best for a spotted bass, then ran into a creek and caught my personal best largemouth on Lanier.”

Lanier Bass Map To Spawning Spotted Bass

Justin relocated, caught some short fish, then managed to catch his fifth keeper—a largemouth. Justin said his baits of choice during the day were a Berkley Powerbait The General Worm, a Rapala DT8 crankbait around chunk rock for spotted bass and an Advantage Bait Company Jawbreaker jig in the backs of creeks.

“The bites weren’t plentiful; they were really spread out. But when I caught that last keeper I thought maybe I had a shot at winning I was lowballing my weight and thought I had maybe 17 or 18 pounds.”

Justin’s biggest largemouth that weighed 5 pounds, 13 ounces, also earned him the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $805.

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