Craig Mills of Hamilton, Ohio, took top honors at Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River at Tanners Creek after catching five bass weighing 10 pounds, 4 ounces. Mills took home $5,466 for his win.
After working in Tanners Creek for the first three hours of the tournament, Mills says he couldn’t get anything going. Around 9:30 a.m., he went and fished three creeks on the lower end near Meldahl Dam.
“I’ve fished those creeks over the years – just shallow, flat creeks. I knew they were in there, I found them in practice,” says Mills, who earned his second career victory in BFL competition. “I caught them here and there – I think I had my limit by 1 [p.m.]. I culled a couple fish and caught my last at about 2 [p.m.].”
Mills caught a couple of bass with a black ¼-ounce Strictly Bass Meatheads spinnerbait and a white ¼-ounce Tim Poe Thunder Blade Double Blade spinnerbait with a white Kalin’s Lunker Grub trailer. He also caught four flipping a Texas-rigged Spring Break-colored Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver, as well as his heaviest on a black and white BOOYAH Pad Crasher frog.
“I was throwing around any type of wood,” says Mills. “My biggest came at 1 [p.m.] – that was my fifth fish.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Craig Mills, Hamilton, Ohio, five bass, 10-4, $3,466 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Michael Powell Jr., Greendale, Ind., five bass, 8-10, $1,933
3rd: Dick Shaffer, Rockford, Ohio, three bass, 7-10, $1,405
4th: Chris Martinkovic, Hamilton, Ohio, five bass, 7-8, $1,059
5th: Dave Lauer, McConnelsville, Ohio, three bass, 7-4, $693
6th: Cody Seeger, Lewistown, Ohio, five bass, 7-1, $635
7th: Sean Wieda, Florence, Ky., five bass, 6-15, $578
8th: Jamie Cunnagin, New Lebanon, Ohio, four bass, 6-13, $491
8th: Brandon Hobbs, Grove City, Ohio, three bass, 6-13, $491
10th: Dan Fry, Marysville, Ohio, five bass, 6-3, $404
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Michael McCoy of Mentor-on-the-Lake, Ohio, caught a bass weighing 4 pounds, 11 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $435.
Jones wins co-angler title
Samuel Jones of Morgantown, West Virginia, won the Co-angler Division and $1,733 Saturday after catching three bass weighing 5 pounds, 2 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Samuel Jones, Morgantown, W. Va., three bass, 5-2, $1,733
2nd: William Gross, Cleveland, Ohio, two bass, 4-7, $866
3rd: Mark Redman, Pendleton, Ky., one bass, 4-6, $707
3rd: Austin Brock, West Chester, Ohio, three bass, 4-6, $840
5th: Dan Schlegel, Cincinnati, Ohio, two bass, 3-13, $397
6th: Billy Senters, New Richmond, Ohio, three bass, 3-12, $318
7th: Ryan Rich, Eaton, Ohio, one bass, 3-11, $289
8th: Tony Baber, Centerville, Ohio, two bass, 3-10, $260
9th: Brent Wilkens, Hamilton, Ohio, three bass, 3-8, $231
10th: Matthew Hostetter, East Palestine, Ohio, three bass, 3-4, $192
10th: Brandon Fraley, Tipp City, Ohio, two bass, 3-4, $192
Redman caught the heaviest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 4 pounds, 6 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $217.
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.