(Sep 13, 2016 - HARRISON TOWNSHIP, MI)
Matthew Malmquist of White Lake, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds even Sunday to win the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division Super Tournament on Lake St. Clair. For his victory, Malmquist took home $7,106.
The tournament, originally schedule for two days, became a one-day event when unsafe weather conditions forced FLW organizers to cancel the first day of competition.
“In the morning I stopped on a flat in the Middle Channel, which is a creek arm off of the St. Clair River,” said Malmquist, who earned his first win in BFL competition. “I threw a blue and yellow-colored Heddon Super Spook and caught a 4-pounder within minutes. After that, I ran to Lake Huron and hit some deep drifts in 30 to 35 feet of water. I boated one keeper in the 4-pound range on a drop-shot rig with a Baby Bass-colored Yamamoto Baits Shad Shape Worm.”
After his pair of 4-pounders’s, Malmquist said he stopped in Anchor Bay on Lake St. Clair to fish isolated grass patches. He said he connected with another 4-pounder on the drop-shot rig.
“Toward the end of the day I made one final run to an area known as Metro Beach, and caught two more keepers on a Magic Goby-colored Strike King Coffee Tube,” said Malmquist. “Those final catches sealed the deal for me. With how dirty the water was, the dark-colored tube did well. I think a lot of people left St. Clair because of the stained water, but it worked for me.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Matthew Malmquist, White Lake, Mich., five bass, 21-0, $5,106 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Brian Cox, Convoy, Ohio, five bass, 20-7, $2,403
3rd: Terry Bucciarelli, Ypsilanti, Mich., five bass, 19-15, $1,603
4th: Mark Flick, Delton, Mich., five bass, 19-7, $1,321
5th: Pat Upthagrove, Monroe, Mich., five bass, 19-4, $961
6th: Wayne Macklin, Fenton, Mich., five bass, 19-3, $981
7th: Steve Clapper, Lima, Ohio, five bass, 19-0, $801
8th: Freddy Hurley, Somerset, Ky., five bass, 18-14, $721
9th: Kyle Greene, Ortonville, Mich., five bass, 18-13, $641
10th: Angel Rosario, Kalamazoo, Mich., five bass, 18-10, $561
Tony Yancey of Harrison Township, Michigan, caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 5 ounces – the biggest of the tournament in the pro division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $577.
Alex Newman of Wapakoneta, Ohio, won the co-angler division and earned $2,403 with a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 5 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Alex Newman, Wapakoneta, Ohio, five bass, 22-5, $2,403
2nd: Bill Dodge, Laingsburg, Mich., five bass, 19-2, $1,202
3rd: Darren New, New Castle, Ind., five bass, 18-11, $801
4th: Brian Ruetz, Toledo, Ohio, five bass, 17-11, $761
5th: Gary Polenz, Milan, Mich., five bass, 17-8, $481
6th: Scott Davis, Coloma, Mich., five bass, 17-6, $441
7th: Mike Raber, Wolcottville, Ind., five bass, 17-3, $401
8th: Mark Miller, Baltic, Ohio, five bass, 16-10, $360
9th: Jason Luna, New Boston, Mich., five bass, 16-2, $320
10th: Joey Zakrajsek, Saline, Mich., five bass, 16-2, $280
Joe Minor of Three Rivers, Michigan, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 1 ounce, and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $289.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 13-15 Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky. 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 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. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
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 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.