Curtis Samo of Rochelle, Illinois, and Mike Feldermann of Galena, Illinois, each caught five bass Saturday weighing 13 pounds, 10 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Wolf River Chain. For their efforts, Feldermann earned $5,731 after contingency bonuses, while Samo took home $3,431.
“I flipped brush, grass and rocks in Lake Winneconne,” says Samo, who logged his fifth career-win in BFL competition. “It was post-frontal conditions, and in my opinion, flipping is the best technique after a front moves through.”
Samo had five areas that he focused on and caught every fish on a green-pumpkin and purple-colored Chompers Ultra Pro Tube.
“I dipped the tail in orange as well,” says Samo. “A little bit of orange flash works great on Winneconne because when you open the livewell, it’s filled with orange crawdads that the bass regurgitate.”
“I targeted bass in a slough right off of the main river that had some good grass, coontail and laydowns in it,” says Feldermann, who earned his ninth career-win on the BFL circuit. “I used a black and blue-colored (Berkley Havoc Grass Pig) swimbait in about 3 feet of clean water. The stretch was about a mile long. I stayed in there all day and only had five bites.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Curtis Samo, Rochelle, Ill., five bass, 13-10, $3,431
1st: Mike Feldermann, Galena, Ill., five bass, 13-10, $3,731 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
3rd: Jim Jones, Big Bend, Wis., five bass, 13-6, $1,725
4th: Cade Laufenberg, Winona, Minn., five bass, 13-0, $1,168
5th: Jason Howland, Albert Lea, Minn., five bass, 12-15, $877
5th: Clayton Reitz, Morton, Ill., four bass, 12-15, $877
7th: Brad Leifermann, Andover, Minn., five bass, 12-12, $763
8th: Mike Wilmoth, Onalaska, Wis., five bass, 12-11, $686
9th: Rick Martin, Winter, Wis., five bass, 12-6, $610
10th: Kyler Chelminiak, McKenzie, Tenn., five bass, 12-3, $534
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Mike Ratz of Hudson, Wisconsin, caught a 4-pound, 5-ounce bass – the heaviest of the day in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $665.
Knox, Pliwko tie for co-angler honors
Matt Knox of Metamora, Illinois, and John Pliwko of Plover, Wisconsin, each weighed five bass totaling 10 pounds, 7 ounces, to tie for the win in the Co-angler Division. Each angler pocketed $1,716 for their limits.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Matt Knox, Metamora, Ill., five bass, 10-7, $1,716
1st: John Pliwko, Plover, Wis., five bass, 10-7, $1,716
3rd: Mongshoua Xiong, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 9-8, $762
4th: Mike Puterbaugh, Montello, Wis., three bass, 8-15, $534
5th: Tom Lyskawka, Arlington Heights, Ill., four bass, 8-11, $458
6th: Steve Ubersox, Cherry Valley, Ill., four bass, 8-3, $419
7th: Paul Vonwald, La Crosse, Wis., four bass, 7-14, $362
7th: Jaz Duncan, Eau Claire, Wis., four bass, 7-14, $362
9th: Mike Kochanski, Bolingbrook, Ill., four bass, 7-9, $305
10th: Charles Novotny, Mauston, Wis., three bass, 7-7, $267
Rex McTier of Endeavor, Wisconsin, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 3 pounds, 7 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $332.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 12-14 BFL Regional Championship on the Barren River in Scottsville, Kentucky. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.