Cody Kelley of Portage, Michigan, caught a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on the Detroit River presented by Navionics. Kelley pocketed $4,316 for his win.
Kelley says he spent his day in the middle of Lake Erie focusing on a 100- by 50-foot length of scattered chunk rock in 25 feet of water. He said he used one lure to catch his limit – a green-pumpkin-colored V&M Smallie Tube.
“I found the area last Sunday during practice and weighed around 23 pounds of bass on a hand scale,” says Kelley, who earned his first career-victory as a boater in BFL competition. “During the event, the school was about 30 yards from where I caught them Sunday. It was one of those magical days where everything came together.”
Kelley caught his first bass around 8:30 a.m., and the heaviest fish of the event – a 6-pound, 9-ouncer – at 11:15 a.m.
“My Denali rods were really what did it for me,” says Kelley. “I was able to feel the bites. I tried to use a custom-made rod at one point, but it didn’t help. The guides on the Denali worked the best.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Cody Kelley, Portage, Mich., five bass, 23-9, $4,316
2nd: Michael Sitko, Pinckney, Mich., five bass, 22-0, $1,920
3rd: Terry McWilliams, Greenfield, Ind., five bass, 21-12, $1,214
4th: Steve Clapper, Lima, Ohio, five bass, 21-3, $850
5th: Pat Upthagrove, Monroe, Mich., five bass, 20-7, $728
6th: Joseph Nega, Chicago, Ill., five bass, 20-1, $637
6th: Joshua Barr, Stow, Ohio, five bass, 20-1, $637
8th: John Devries, Fishers, Ind., five bass, 19-14, $546
9th: Aaron Limber, Millbury, Ohio, five bass, 19-9, $485
10th: Tom Cooley, Waterford, Mich., five bass, 19-8, $425
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Kelley’s 6-pound, 9-ounce bass also earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $475.
Raber wins co-angler title
Mike Raber of Wolcottville, Indiana, caught a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 8 ounces, to win the Co-angler Division and $1,820.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Mike Raber, Wolcottville, Ind., five bass, 22-8, $1,820
2nd: Chris Fraser, Canton, Mich., five bass, 19-12, $910
3rd: John Black, Monclova, Ohio, five bass, 18-13, $607
4th: Tony Grubb, Ann Arbor, Mich., five bass, 18-1, $425
5th: David Michaelis, Commerce, Mich., five bass, 17-14, $364
6th: Alex Newman, Wapakoneta, Ohio, five bass, 17-6, $334
7th: Jason Roberts, Bargersville, Ind., five bass, 17-3, $303
8th: Jeff Cox, Saline, Mich., five bass, 17-1, $373
9th: Christopher Majerle, Trenton, Mich., five bass, 16-15, $243
10th: Aaron Stahley, Batavia, Ohio, five bass, 16-10, $262
Brian Kich of Berea, Ohio, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 5 pounds, 7 ounces – and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $237.
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.