Tube Takes Kelley to Top - Major League Fishing

Tube Takes Kelley to Top

Image for Tube Takes Kelley to Top
Cody Kelley
Raber wins co-angler title in Michigan Division event
August 22, 2017 • MLF • Phoenix Bass Fishing League

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  


Kelley’s 6-pound, 9-ounce bass also earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $475.



Mike Raber


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.