Brett Haake of Shorewood, Illinois, caught five bass Sunday weighing 23 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on the Detroit River. Haake took home $5,956 for his win.
Haake says he fished rocky humps and ridges in 12 to 20 feet of water on the north shore of Lake Erie. He said he wasn’t able to practice for the event due to inclement weather, but was able to use prior knowledge of the fishery to help piece together his day.
“I ran to some areas in the morning that I knew had fish this time of year. At the first stop, I had some suspended fish marked but they wouldn’t bite,” says Haake, who earned his first win in BFL competition. “There were a lot of wind and waves, and the water was pretty stirred up.”
Haake made his way farther east, but ended up returning to his initial area between 11:30 a.m. and noon with only two small fish in the livewell. He says the wind and waves were much calmer by that time, and that the bite picked up considerably.
“It was pretty much cast after cast when I got back,” says Haake. “I caught a lot of the bigger ones at first and then they seemed to get smaller. I didn’t mark any more fish because they were tight to the bottom. There were probably around 10 spots in there that they held on. They move around hourly – it’s like I was chasing them.”
Haake caught his fish on a drop-shot rig using an Arkansas Shiner-colored Strike King 3X ElazTech Z Too Soft Jerkbait. He also had some hits a medium-diving crankbait, but wasn’t able to keep them hooked. He says he caught around 15 fish throughout the day, with 90-percent of them being keepers.
“The Spot Lock feature on my Minnkota Ultrex trolling motor really helped me out there as well,” says Haake. “Being able to move over in 5-foot increments, especially with the waves, was important.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Brett Haake, Shorewood, Ill., five bass, 23-11, $5,956 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Michael Sitko, Pinckney, Mich., five bass, 23-6, $2,278
3rd: Mike Trombly, Belleville, Mich., five bass, 22-12, $1,253
4th: John Devries, Fishers, Ind., five bass, 22-9, $876
5th: Heath Wagner, Angola, Ind., five bass, 22-2, $751
6th: Andrew Gaul, Port Huron, Mich., five bass, 22-0, $689
7th: Jason Root, Fostoria, Ohio, five bass, 21-12, $626
8th: David Reault, Livonia, Mich., five bass, 21-11, $563
9th: Mark Peiser, Pittsboro, Ind., five bass, 20-4, $501
10th: Scott Dobson, Clarkston, Mich., five bass, 20-2, $438
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Bret Holling of Lansing, Michigan, brought a 5-pound, 15-ounce, bass to the scale – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $490.
Stahley wins co-angler title
Aaron Stahley of Batavia, Ohio, won the Co-angler Division and $1,978 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 22 pounds, 1 ounce.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Aaron Stahley, Batavia, Ohio, five bass, 22-1, $1,978
2nd: Andy White, Canton, Mich., five bass, 20-8, $939
3rd: Michael Kokoska, Findlay, Ohio, five bass, 20-2, $627
4th: Robert Hernandez, Canton, Mich., five bass, 19-13, $457
4th: Beau Bickford, Findlay, Ohio, five bass, 19-13, $457
6th: Larry Thomas, Lambertville, Mich., five bass, 19-12, $344
7th: Eric Polenz, Maybee, Mich., five bass, 19-1, $313
8th: Derwin Thomas, Little Rock, Ark., five bass, 19-0, $282
9th: Brian Kich, Berea, Ohio, five bass, 18-9, $250
10th: Rich Cialone, Dearborn, Mich., five bass, 18-3, $219
Darwin Griva of Hamilton, Indiana, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 5 pounds, 11 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $122.
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 Lake 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.