Fishing & Boating News

Wagner Wins Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division Event on Detroit River

Jacques wins co-angler title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Heath Wagner of Angola, Indiana, weighed a 5-bass limit totaling 21 lbs, 11 oz Saturday to win the Michigan Division tournament on the Detroit River presented by Navionics. For his win, Wagner took home a $3,592 paycheck.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Jul 13, 2015 - TRENTON, MI.) Heath Wagner of Angola, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament on the Detroit River presented by Navionics. For his victory, Wagner earned $3,592.
 
“We ran to a mid-lake area on Lake St. Clair that was holding a lot of fish in 19 feet of water,” said Wagner. “We pulled up to a spot and quickly caught a 4½-pounder. That’s the location I ended up focusing on the entire tournament.
 
“The bass were roaming along the grass edge in the sand,” Wagner continued. “The water was so clear you could see them relating to the cabbage weeds. I used a Smallmouth Magic-colored 4.8-inch Keitech Swing Impact FAT swimbait and caught two more good ones within the hour.
 
Wagner said he ended up catching his two heaviest fish using a DUO Realis Spinbait.  
 
“Earlier in the day I used a drop-shot rig, but was able to cull those fish using the swimbait,” Wagner said. “When paired with the DUO Spinbait, I had a great combination of lures.
 
“What’s interesting is that I have around 2,400 waypoints on Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair, but I decided to ditch them and go with my instincts,” concluded Wagner. “I didn’t have a waypoint for the area that produced my winning stringer within three miles.”
 
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
 
1st:          Heath Wagner, Angola, Ind., five bass, 21-11, $3,592
2nd:         Pat Upthagrove, Monroe, Mich., five bass, 20-11, $1,796
3rd:          Cliff Blackford, Grass Lake, Mich., five bass, 20-5, $1,201
4th:          Jared Rhode, Port Clinton, Ohio, five bass, 19-9, $838
5th:          Wayne Macklin, Fenton, Mich., five bass, 18-11, $718
6th:          John Devries, Fishers, Ind., five bass, 18-9, $629
6th:          Scott Dobson, Clarkston, Mich., five bass, 18-9, $629
8th:          Derrick Soulliere, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, five bass, 17-15, $539
9th:          Joshua Kolodzaike, Toledo, Ohio, five bass, 17-11, $479
10th:        Todd Schmitz, Goshen, Ind., five bass, 17-6, $419
             
Brett Haake of Shorewood, Illinois, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 3 ounces and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $460.
 
Erik Jacques of Harrison Township, Michigan, weighed in five bass totaling 19 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win $1,796 in the co-angler division.
 
The top 10 co-anglers were:
 
1st:          Erik Jacques, Harrison Township, Mich., five bass, 19-11, $1,796
2nd:         Jon Witt, Kalamazoo, Mich., five bass, 18-9, $898
3rd:          Justin Sawyer, Dearborn Heights, Mich., five bass, 17-4, $598
4th:          Garry Collins, Russell Springs, Ky., five bass, 17-3, $419
5th:          Mark Brooks, Dayton, Ohio, five bass, 16-4, $359
6th:          Bret Holling, Lansing, Mich., five bass, 16-2, $329
7th:          Kevin Webb, Ladson, S.C., five bass, 15-13, $299
8th:          Austin Klotz, Westland, Mich., five bass, 15-2, $269
9th:          Tom Cooley, Novi, Mich., five bass, 15-0, $239
10th:        Brian Clark, Findlay, Ohio, five bass, 14-7, $210
 
Witt caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $230.
 
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 8-10 Regional Championship on the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
 
The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 50 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Walmart BFL All-American. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Rayovac FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
 
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FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2015 over the course of 240 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.