Matt Belletini of Troy, Michigan, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on Burt and Mullet lakes Saturday with five bass weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces. Belletini took home $4,601 for his efforts.
Belletini says he spent his day sight-fishing on both Mullet and Burt lakes. He fished around 12 beds, and caught a total of eight fish throughout the tournament.
“I ended up weighing three fish from Mullet and two from Burt,” says Belletini, who earned his second career win in BFL competition. “I fished really clean. I didn’t go to my biggest fish first. I went to the obvious fish that I thought people would know about and worked my way from there, but no one was around so I didn’t have to compete with anyone.”
Belletini says his bait of choice was a white Nemesis Goby on a drop-shot.
“I go through hundreds of those Gobys bed-fishing in the spring – they are the best smallmouth bed-fishing baits made,” says Belletini. “I also used a flogger underwater viewing device. It was wrapped in black to block the light out, which is good for tougher conditions like we had Saturday.”
Belletini caught the biggest fish of the event – a 5-pound, 7-ouncer – on Mullet Lake in the morning.
“My co-angler did a great job netting the big one. He got right under it as it broke the surface,” says Belletini.
The top 10 boaters finished:
1st: Matt Belletini, Troy, Mich., five bass, 23-9, $4,601
2nd: Scott Dobson, Clarkston, Mich., five bass, 23-3, $2,523
3rd: Heath Wagner, Angola, Ind., five bass, 23-2, $1,448
4th: Nathan Nichols, Shelby, Mich., five bass, 22-13, $944
5th: Jeremy Antrup, Fremont, Ind., five bass, 22-9, $809
6th: Josh Kolodzaike, Toledo, Ohio, five bass, 22-5, $742
7th: Brett Haake, Shorewood, Ill., five bass, 22-4, $674
8th: Brian Jackson, Crete, Ill., five bass, 21-6, $607
9th: John Devries, Fishers, Ind., five bass, 21-5, $539
10th: Mike Trombly, Belleville, Mich., five bass, 21-4, $472
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Belletini’s 5-pound, 7-ounce, bass earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $555.
Wathen, Mitchell tie for co-angler title
James Wathen of Royal Oak, Michigan, and Tony Mitchell of Plainwell, Michigan, tied for the win in the Co-angler Division Saturday after each catching five bass weighing 18 pounds, 14 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: James Wathen, Royal Oak, Mich., five bass, 18-14, $1,617
1st: Tony Mitchell, Plainwell, Mich., five bass, 18-14, $1,517
3rd: Andy White, Canton, Mich., five bass, 17-13, $674
4th: Tony Grubb, Ann Arbor, Mich., five bass, 17-2, $522
5th: Dennis Blakely, Norwalk, Ohio, four bass, 15-12, $405
6th: Jim Stone, Greenwood, Ind., four bass, 15-6, $371
7th: Paul Stokes, Stockbridge, Mich., five bass, 15-5, $337
8th: Shaun Clucker, Osceola, Ind., five bass, 14-10, $303
9th: Jason Patterson, Markle, Ind., five bass, 14-8, $270
10th: Ken Ramsey, Cassopolis, Mich., five bass, 14-7, $236
Eric Polenz of Maybee, Michigan, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 5 pounds, 7 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $277.
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. 18-20 BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky and Barkley lakes in Gilbertsville, 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.