TRENTON, Mich. – Boater Jared Rhode of Port Clinton, Ohio, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 49 pounds, 5 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division super-tournament on the Detroit River Sunday. Rhode earned $7,604 for his efforts.
“The first day I caught over 100 keepers – it was one of the biggest schools of fish that I have ever been on in my life,” said Rhode, who earned his fourth career victory in BFL competition. “I caught at least 10, 20-pound limits of smallmouth. It was pretty awesome.
“I fished near the Lake Erie islands, just rotating through 10 to 12 spots and targeting deeper structure – 18 to 25 feet,” Rhode continued. “The majority came on a drop-shot, but I also caught some throwing a tube and a swimbait.”
On day two, the wind picked up drastically and competitors were faced with 3- to 4-foot waves.
“It took me a long time to get to my area on day two, but I had one spot that I had saved,” Rhode continued. “My Ranger 620 boat turned out to be the key to my win, because it allowed me to get back out there on the second day when it was very rough.”
Rhode said his drop-shot rig arsenal included a Z-Man TRD worm, a 3-inch Berkley Gulp! Minnow and a 3-inch Berkley Gulp! Fish Fry. His swimbait of choice was a Keitech 3.8 with a ½-ounce head, and his 4-inch goby-colored tube was also fished on a ½-ounce jig.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Jared Rhode, Port Clinton, Ohio, 10 bass, 49-5, $5,604 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Kyle Greene, Ortonville, Mich., 10 bass, 42-13, $2,502
3rd: John Devries, Fishers, Ind., 10 bass, 42-5, $1,886
4th: Michael Sitko, Pinckney, Mich., 10 bass, 41-10, $1,524
5th: Randy Ramsey, Burlington, Mich., 10 bass, 41-6, $921
6th: Mike Trombly, Belleville, Mich., 10 bass, 40-14, $844
7th: David Reault, Livonia, Mich., 10 bass, 40-4, $767
8th: Jeremy Antrup, Fremont, Ind., 10 bass, 39-12, $691
9th: Dan Mittlestat, Woodhaven, Mich., 10 bass, 38-9, $614
10th: Todd Schmitz, Coldwater, Mich., nine bass, 35-11, $537
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Tom Beale of Saint Clair Shores, Michigan, caught a 6-pound, 3-ounce smallmouth bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the event’s Boater Big Bass award of $540.
Beverly Hills Michigan’s Jorji Itoh won the Co-angler Division and $2,502 Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 43 pounds, 3 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Jorji Itoh, Beverly Hills, Mich., 10 bass, 43-3, $2,502
2nd: Zach Laupp, Plainwell, Mich., eight bass, 36-14, $1,151
3rd: Darwin Griva, Hamilton, Ind., 10 bass, 33-8, $767
4th: Aaron Stahley, Batavia, Ohio, 10 bass, 33-1, $587
5th: Mike Eldridge, Blairsville, Penn., eight bass, 31-13, $460
6th: Matthew Kime, Holland, Ohio, nine bass, 28-3, $422
7th: Neil Heisler, Plymouth, Mich., eight bass, 26-7, $384
8th: James Wathen, Richmond, Ky., seven bass, 26-1, $345
9th: Nicholas Ireland, Grand Blanc, Mich., eight bass, 25-7, $307
10th: Arron Kowalczyk, Newport, Mich., seven bass, 24-5, $269
Jeremy Pinkowski of Oak Forest, Illinois, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 6 pounds, 9 ounces. The catch earned him the event’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 Kentucky Lake presented by Evinrude in Buchanan, Tennessee. 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.
The 2019 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. The 2020 BFL All-American will be held April 30-May 2 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina, and is hosted by Visit Anderson. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2019 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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