Jason Burger of Bridgeton, New Jersey, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division opener on the Chesapeake Bay presented by Gajo Baits and Navionics Saturday with five bass weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces. For his efforts, Burger pocketed $4,000.
Burger says he spent the day fishing isolated grass clumps and wood near the mouth of the Susquehanna River. He caught about 10 keepers all day, and ended up weighing all largemouth.
“I’d usually fish different areas that are more normal for this time of year, but with the weather they’ve had, I fished some old stuff,” says Burger, who earned his first win in FLW competition. “When they have a lot of rain, they open up the Conowingo Dam and it muddies up the water in the North East area. And when they close it, the water near Havre de Grace is the first to clean up, so I stayed around the mouth of the river and targeted spawning and prespawn fish.”
For prespawners, Burger used a ½-ounce, white-colored 6th Sense Divine Swim Jig with a 4-inch X Zone Muscle Back Craw trailer and a 3/8-ounce, black and blue Z-Man ChatterBait with a 4-inch Tennessee Shad-colored X Zone Swammer Swimbait. When he slowed down for bedding fish, he worked a 3/8-ounce, black and blue-colored 6th sense Divine Hybrid jig with a 3.25-inch X Zone Rebel Chunk trailer, as well as a 6-inch, Texas-rigged X Zone True Center Stick, also in black and blue.
“My Lowrance electronics and Power-Poles were also crucial,” says Burger. “When you’re working with tides and wind you have to be stealthy, and the poles help. My Lowrance side imaging is how I found a lot of the stuff I fished.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Jason Burger, Bridgeton, N.J., five bass, 23-9, $4,000
2nd: Terry Roberson, North East, Md., five bass, 22-9, $2,000
3rd: John Vanore, Mullica Hill, N.J., five bass, 21-2, $1,784
4th: Ken Golub, Pittsford, N.Y., five bass, 19-11, $1,183
5th: Brian Bylotas, Scott Township, Pa., five bass, 19-3, $1,100
6th: Jon Werner, Nazareth, Pa., five bass, 19-1, $733
7th: Travis Manson, Conshohocken, Pa., five bass, 18-11, $667
8th: Chris Caravan, Pottsville, Pa., five bass, 18-1, $1,140
9th: David Wilder, Middle River, Md., five bass, 17-7, $533
10th: Brian Trieschman, Ellicott City, Md., five bass, 17-2, $467
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Caravan caught a bass weighing 7 pounds even – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $540.
Klaips wins co-angler title
Bill Klaips of Shavertown, Pennsylvania, won the Co-angler Division and $2,000 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 22 pounds, 3 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Bill Klaips, Shavertown, Pa., five bass, 22-3, $2,000
2nd: Thanh Hoang, Baltimore, Md., four bass, 17-1, $1,000
3rd: Chris Sanno, Shermansdale, Pa., five bass, 15-15, $666
4th: Michael Duarte, Baltimore, Md., five bass, 15-4, $567
5th: Edward Barbee, Ivyland, Pa., five bass, 15-2, $550
6th: Daniel Fiori, Voorhees, N.J., five bass, 14-1, $367
7th: Roland Gittings, Perryville, Md., five bass, 13-14, $483
8th: David Soistman, Baltimore, Md., four bass, 13-10, $300
9th: James Easley, Middletown, Del., five bass, 13-9, $267
10th: William Allie, Wynantskill, N.Y., four bass, 13-6, $233
Joseph Amberg Jr. of Hawley, Pennsylvania, caught the heaviest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 14 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $270.
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. 17-19 BFL Regional Championship on the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.