Zackery Seal of Findley Lake, New York, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 44 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division super-tournament at the 1000 Islands Sunday. Seal earned $6,066 for his efforts. The Northeast Division is presented by Gajo Baits.
“It was the same deal both days,” says Seal, who earned the first BFL win of his career. “The first day the wind was blowing right out of the southwest, and there were 6- to 8-footers where I was fishing, so it made it real hard to stay on them. The second day the wind laid down and it was absolutely perfect.”
Seal fished in the St. Lawrence River both days, and on day two he and co-angler Michael Duarte both caught more than 22 pounds and moved up from second place for the win.
“It was just standard stuff – I was fishing from 20 to 40 feet around rocks, and I found an area that had some big ones,” says Seal. “I only lost one fish both days, so that was good. Those smallmouths get your heart pumping when they show themselves and then turn and go right back down.”
Seal says he caught all his fish on a drop-shot rig with a green pumpkin-colored Yamamoto Shad Shape Worm, straight 8-pound-test fluorocarbon line and ½- and 3/8-ounce weights.
“This is my first win, it was awesome,” says Seal. “I hadn’t fished tournaments in quite a while, and I’m starting to get back into it a bit. I just love going up there, and I caught ‘em both days. The second day we just crushed them. As we went on through the day and started catching those big ones you start thinking about it, and then being on stage and watching the scales settle – it was awesome.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Zackery Seal, Findley Lake, N.Y., 10 bass, 44-4, $6,066
2nd: Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md., 10 bass, 44-3, $3,233
3rd: Ronald Penders Jr., Rochester, N.Y., 10 bass, 39-15, $2,424
4th: Joseph Fonzi, Gasport, N.Y., 10 bass, 39-14, $1,415
5th: Dean Meckes, Clayton, N.Y., 10 bass, 39-2, $1,213
6th: Brian Bylotas, Scott Township, Penn., 10 bass, 39-1, $1,362
7th: Kyle Hall, Rio Vista, Texas, 10 bass, 38-5, $1,011
8th: Brett Holmes, Hudson, N.Y., 10 bass, 38-2, $910
9th: Evan Luta, Bradford, N.Y., 10 bass, 38-1, $1,641
10th: Brad Elwood, Clear Spring, Md., 10 bass, 37-15, $708
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Luta caught a 6-pound, 2-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the event’s Boater Big Bass award of $832.
Duarte wins co-angler title
Baltimore, Maryland’s Michael Duarte won the Co-angler Division and $3,133 Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 45 pounds, 5 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Michael Duarte, Baltimore, Md., 10 bass, 45-5, $3,133
2nd: Jim Buehler, Montoursville, Penn., 10 bass, 39-1, $1,567
3rd: David Williams, Fredericksburg, Va., 10 bass, 38-15, $1,160
4th: Ted Kephart, Philipsburg, Penn., 10 bass, 38-2, $708
5th: Kyle Schmidt, Monticello, N.Y., 10 bass, 34-5, $607
6th: Kyle Richardt, Raleigh, N.C., 10 bass, 30-8, $556
7th: Phillip Manning, Bellefonte, Penn., 10 bass, 29-7, $506
8th: Calvin Schwenk, Schwenksville, Penn., 10 bass, 28-12, $455
9th: Scott Weaver Jr., Reading, Penn., 10 bass, 27-4, $404
10th: Michael Seamon, Tully, N.Y., 10 bass, 26-8, $454
Joseph Murphy of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 6 pounds even. The catch earned him the event’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $416.
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.