Bridgford Fishing Team kicks off 2017 season

The Bridgford Fishing Team kicked off the 2017 season!

The Bridgford Fishing Team kicked off the 2017 season!

GUNTERSVILLE, Alabama – You'll have to search way back in the annals of tournament bass-fishing history to find a time when the major Tour-level season started in early February.

As a matter of fact, it's never happened before: as Bridgford Fishing Team members Randy Blaukat, Matt Stefan, Chad Randles and Jim Moynagh headed out onto Guntersville Lake in northern Alabama last week, they and a field of 165 FLW Tour pros had the task of "relearning" Guntersville.

Blaukat did it extremely well. 

Kicking off his 32nd year as a tournament bass pro, Blaukat weighed in 41 pounds, 5 ounces of largemouth to finish 14th, earning valuable Angler of the Year points and setting the stage for a strong 2017 Tour campaign.

"It's always good to start the season strong," Blaukat said. "This was not an easy tourament: Guntersville and the entire Tennesee River is a different fishery in February than when we usually fish it later in the year. I managed to put a few things together, and I'm pretty happy with a Top 20 to start the year."

Moynagh was 68th, Stefan was 71st, Randles was 73rd.

Looking ahead
Blaukat, Stefan, Randles and Moynagh have very little time to rest after Guntersville: their next FLW Tour event is Feb. 16-19 at Lake Travis in Austin, Texas.

Check the Bridgford Fishing Team Facebook page for pre-tournament news about BFT appearances at Bridgford vendors in the Austin and nearby communities.