Fishing & Boating News

Casey Wins Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division Event on Lake Champlain

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Ed Casey of Whiteford, Maryland, weighed a 5-bass limit totaling 19 lbs, 3 oz Saturday to win the Northeast Division tournament on Lake Champlain and a check for $5,917.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Aug 10, 2015 - PLATTSBURG, N.Y.)  Ed Casey of Whiteford, Maryland, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 3 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament on Lake Champlain. For his victory, Casey earned $5,917.
 
“I had three key spots that were holding fish,” said Casey, who earned his first career win in FLW competition. “They were humps right along the weed lines that had chunk rock, mussels and scattered weeds.”
 
Casey said he used a wacky-rigged Yamamoto Senko worm as bait first thing in the morning, but switched to a white Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper swimbait to attract schools of bass.
 
“After some fan-casting they started attacking,” said Casey. “After that I didn’t put down the Skinny Dipper the rest of the day.
 
“At first I worked it fast,” continued Casey. “The fish were aggressive. Later in the afternoon I had to slow down my retrieve. When the bait came out of the weeds I’d let it fall and they would fight for it.”
 
Casey said he ended up catching approximately 15 keepers over the course of the tournament.
 
“I caught my kicker around noon – a 5-pounder,” Casey said. “That really sealed the deal for me.”  
 
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
 
1st:          Ed Casey, Whiteford, Md., five bass, 19-3, $3,917 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd:         Joe Zombek II, Scranton, Pa., five bass, 17-13, $1,958
3rd:          Bill Duckardt, Pittsgrove, N.J., five bass, 17-10, $1,307
4th:          Bryan Labelle, Hinesburg, Vt., five bass, 17-1, $914
5th:          Brian Bylotas, Scott Township, Pa., five bass, 17-0, $783
6th:          Mike Czaplinski, Hopatcong, N.J., five bass, 16-13, $718
7th:          Jesse Uppstrom, Madrid, N.Y., five bass, 16-12, $653
8th:          Frank Ippoliti, Mercersburg, Pa., five bass, 16-10, $588
9th:          Brandon Hawthorne, Ashford, Conn., five bass, 16-7, $522
10th:        Jenoah McLeod, Williston, Vt., five bass, 16-5, $457
             
 
Casey also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 8 ounces and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $520.
 
Marc Gagne of Manchester, New Hampshire, weighed in five bass totaling 18 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win $1,958 in the co-angler division.
 
The top 10 co-anglers were:
 
1st:          Marc Gagne, Manchester, N.H., five bass, 18-9, $1,958
2nd:         Jim Buehler, Montoursville, Pa., five bass, 18-1, $979
3rd:          Joshua Boucher, Fairfax, Vt., five bass, 17-11, $653
4th:          Jodi Werner, Tatamy, Pa., five bass, 15-13, $457
5th:          Steven Gambardella, Lewistown, Pa., five bass, 15-11, $392
6th:          Joseph Murphy, Philadelphia, Pa., five bass, 15-1, $359
7th:          Steve Uppstrom, Madrid, N.Y., five bass, 14-15, $326
8th:          Shawn Gokey, Burlington, Vt., five bass, 14-10, $294
9th:          Mark Bilodeau, Burlington, Vt., five bass, 14-7, $244
9th:          Richard Jordan Jr., five bass, Muncy Valley, Pa., five bass, 14-7, $244
 
Gagne also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $260.
 
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.