Erick Hodgins of Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada, caught five bass weighing 23 pounds, 11 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on Lake St. Clair. Hodgins earned $4,342 for his efforts.
Hodgins spent the tournament targeting bass on the Canadian side of the border. He says his two key areas were weed beds in 18 to 20 feet of water.
“I went to my best area first, but went two hours without a bite,” says Hodgins, who was fishing in his first career BFL tournament. “I moved to my second spot and was able to put together my first limit. I had about 19 pounds there, but I still wanted to get back to the first area. I knew that’s where the bigger fish would be.”
Hodgins says once weather conditions improved, he returned to his first area and culled most of his limit.
“The sun came out and there was just a little ripple on top of the water, which was perfect,” said Hodgins. “I took advantage of my (Minn Kota) Ultrex’s spot-lock feature and picked the weed bed apart.”
Hodgins said he primarily used green pumpkin- or watermelon-colored tubes by Mike’s Rx Baits and Xtreme Bass Tackle. He also threw a Baby Bass-colored Yamamoto Shad Shape Worm on a drop-shot.
“I used a really long fluorocarbon leader which I think works well for clear water,” said Hodgins. “I think that’s what made the difference for me. It was a good day out there, that’s for sure.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Erick Hodgins, Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada, five bass, 23-11, $4,342
2nd: Michael Rhodes, Paw Paw, Mich., five bass, 22-1, $1,921
3rd: Jonathon Dewey, Port Huron, Mich., five bass, 21-12, $1,282
4th: Mark Modrak, China Township, Mich., five bass, 21-3, $996
5th: Brent Dunmyer, Weston, Ohio, five bass, 20-13, $768
6th: Kyle Greene, Ortonville, Mich., five bass, 20-12, $704
7th: Jesse Schwark, Athens, Mich., five bass, 20-8, $640
8th: John Lovin, Fayetteville, Ohio, five bass, 20-2, $576
9th: John Scalf, Goshen, Ohio, five bass, 20-0, $512
10th: Zach Maisch, Lima, Ohio, five bass, 19-13, $448
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Tim Gillies of Union City, Michigan, caught a 5-pound, 6-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $510.
Cosculluela wins co-angler award
Hugh Cosculluela of The Woodlands, Texas, won the Co-angler Division and $1,921 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 22 pounds even.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Hugh Cosculluela, The Woodlands, Texas, five bass, 22-0, $1,921
2nd: Matt Vermilyea, Perrysburg, Ohio, five bass, 21-10, $960
3rd: Michelle Jalaba, Birmingham, Mich., five bass, 21-4, $741
4th: Josh Deyonker, Livonia, Mich., five bass, 20-12, $703
5th: Robert Busby, Fenton, Mich., five bass, 19-11, $384
6th: Daniel Holland, Beverly Hills, Mich., five bass, 19-2, $352
7th: Philip Borsa, Redford, Mich., five bass, 18-14, $320
8th: Curtis Hall II, Battle Creek, Mich., five bass, 18-5, $288
9th: Tate Compton, Hoopeston, Ill., five bass, 17-15, $256
10th: Mike Williams, Blanchester, Ohio, five bass, 17-13, $224
Deyonker caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 6 pounds, 3 ounces – and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $255.
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.