(Sep 19, 2017 - SANDUSKY, Ohio)
Hunter Colwell of Zanesfield, Ohio, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament on Lake Erie Sunday with a two-day cumulative catch of 10 bass weighing 35 pounds, 10 ounces. For his win, Colwell earned $5,126.
“It was awesome to get the win,” said Colwell, who earned his first career victory in BFL competition. “Both days I was just dragging a drop-shot rig around Middle Bass Island. I was fishing in 8 to 14 feet of water, rotating through four different rock piles.”
Colwell estimated that he caught 8 bass on Saturday and 12 to 13 bass on Sunday – all smallmouth. He said that he rigged his drop-shot with a Smoke-colored Strike King KVD Dream Shot.
“I could see the fish on my Lowrance graphs,” Colwell said. “The key was being able to follow the fish and adjust, because they were moving from one rock pile to the next. I had only found one rock pile in practice coming into the tournament, but I was able to find the other three on the first day by just fishing around the area with my electronics on.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Hunter Colwell, Zanesfield, Ohio, 10 bass, 35-10, $5,126
2nd: Steve Hatfield, Ashland, Ohio, 10 bass, 34-13, $2,563
3rd: Scott Manson, Covington, Ohio, 10 bass, 33-10, $1,709
4th: Dick Shaffer, Rockford, Ohio, 10 bass, 33-7, $1,196
5th: Ronald Nutter, Saint Louisville, Ohio, 10 bass, 33-3, $1,225
6th: Cody Seeger, Lewistown, Ohio, 10 bass, 32-1, $1,040
7th: Chris Martinkovic, Hamilton, Ohio, nine bass, 29-14, $1,484
8th: Sean Wieda, Florence, Ky., 10 bass, 29-12, $769
9th: Kyle Lackey, Tipp City, Ohio, 10 bass, 29-6, $683
10th: Josh Smith, Hamilton, Ohio, eight bass, 29-4, $598
Martinkovic caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 10 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division. The catch earned him the Boater Big Bass award of $630.
Trevor Howard of Union, Kentucky, caught a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 28 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the Co-angler Division and $2,563.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Trevor Howard, Union, Ky., 10 bass, 28-11, $2,563
2nd: Billy Crider Jr., Kettering, Ohio, 10 bass, 28-2, $1,281
3rd: Alfie Bricker, West Portsmouth, Ohio, nine bass, 27-9, $1,053
4th: Brian Kich, Berea, Ohio, nine bass, 26-12, $648
5th: Mark Miller, Baltic, Ohio, 10 bass, 25-7, $513
6th: Eric Thompson, Otway, Ohio, eight bass, 24-3, $470
7th: Dan Minor, Norwalk, Ohio, eight bass, 23-3, $427
8th: Daniel Hurst, Troy, Ohio, eight bass, 22-1, $384
9th: Ron Weisenburger, Continental, Ohio, eight bass, 19-3, $342
10th: Ethan Reese, Clayton, Ohio, nine bass, 19-1, $299
Jeremiah Sall of Wintersville, Ohio, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 5 pounds, 4 ounces – and earned the Co-angler Big Bass award of $315.
The T-H Marine FLW BFL Buckeye Division tournament on Lake Erie was hosted by the City of Sandusky.
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. 12-14 BFL Regional Championship on the Barren River in Scottsville, Kentucky. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.
The 2017 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. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the 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 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 258 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa 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.