DETROIT – Jeff Miller of Midlothian, Ill., outpaced 97 competitors Saturday with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 10 ounces to win $3,700 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on Lake St. Clair.
Miller edged out David MacDonald of Clinton Township, Mich., by 3 ounces in the one-day event that set out from Metro Beach Metropark in Mt. Clemens, Mich. MacDonald finished with a five-bass catch weighing 19 pounds, 7 ounces to win $1,850. Miller caught his limit using a jerkbait over weed beds.
Allen Huhra of Joliet, Ill., took third place and collected $925 with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 5 ounces. Mark Gomez of Ferndale, Mich., placed fourth and earned $802 with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounces, while Steve Clapper of Lima, Ohio, placed fifth and earned $740 with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 6 ounces.
MacDonald won the boater Big Bass Award and collected an additional $485 with a 4-pound, 6-ounce bass that he caught while flipping a jig to rock piles and grass.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $1,850 went to Richard Dahlman of Mokena, Ill., who topped 97 competitors with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 11 ounces. Second place in the division and $925 went to Jerry Adams of Charlotte, Mich., with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 8 ounces, while Pondexter Hobdy Jr., took third place and $463 with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 15 ounces.
Dahlman won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $242 with a 5-pound bass that he caught on a green tubebait.
Boater Dan Kimmel of Lansing, Mich., won $500 as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. He finished in 28th place with three bass weighing 9 pounds.
Overall, 363 bass were caught during the tournament, including 30 five-bass limits.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Lake Erie Aug. 4 for the third of five events in the Michigan Division. The boater with the most points after the division’s season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 15-16 on Detroit River, will be declared the Divisional Points Champion and awarded $1,000. The co-angler with the most points will receive $500.
The top 30 boaters and top 30 co-anglers in the Michigan Division will advance to regional competition Oct. 9-13 on Chautauqua Lake near Jamestown, N.Y., where they will go up against top competitors from the Northeast, Buckeye and Piedmont divisions for a shot at qualifying for the $250,000 All-American.
Awards for the 2001 BFL season could reach $5.7 million based on full fields at each tournament.