Fishing & Boating News

Kentucky’s Hock Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division Tournament on Ohio River

Ohio’s Wilkens Takes Co-angler Title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Adam Hock of Independence, Ky, brought 5 bass to the scale weighing 9 lbds even to win the (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River at Tanner’s Creek.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Jun 26, 2018 - LAWRENCEBURG, IN)

 Boater Adam Hock of Independence, Kentucky, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 9 pounds even to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River at Tanner’s Creek. For his win, Hock earned $4,000.

“We got a lot of rain leading up to the tournament, which muddied the water and brought the water levels up,” said Hock, who earned his first career win in BFL competition. “I ended up finding clearer water, and that was the ticket.”

Hock said most of the field ran to the lower end in search of clear water, but equipment limitations forced him to stay upriver.

“It’s shallower upriver and it muddies up a lot more than the steadier water down at the lower end, which is pretty typical for most impoundments,” said Hock. “I was fishing in an aluminum boat with a 60-horsepower motor and didn’t have the fuel capacity or the speed to make the 30-minute run down there. I knew there were a couple good creeks just up from Tanner’s Creek, so I went to what I could get to.”

Around 7:30 a.m. Hock caught a 3-pounder on a white buzzbait. As the morning progressed, Hock left his area to look for cleaner water upriver, but ended up returning.

“My co-angler caught a 4-pounder and we talked to another boat who lost another 4 (pounder) in the area. Those size fish aren’t that common on the Ohio River,” said Hock. “Knowing how clean the water was and realizing that those fish were there, we decided to stay and grind it out.”

Hock said he started out with the buzzbait, but ended up switching to a Texas-rigged green-pumpkin-colored Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw on 20-pound-test line. He ended up weighing four fish on the craw.

“I had more bites with the buzzbait, but they weren’t committing to it. I knew fish were there, but I just had to slow down and flip,” said Hock. “I fished wood, flooded grass and rocky banks. They weren’t on anything specific. I just knew they were in the area and I picked everything apart.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
               1st:          Adam Hock, Independence, Ky., five bass, 9-0, $4,000
               2nd:         Brian Campbell, Oxford, Ohio, four bass, 8-0, $2,000
               3rd:          Ronald Nutter, Saint Louisville, Ohio, five bass, 7-4, $1,534
               4th:          Tilford Head, Hamilton, Ohio, four bass, 7-3, $933
               5th:          Gary Ginter, Maplewood, Ohio, three bass, 7-1, $800
               6th:          Mark Dove, North Vernon, Ind., five bass, 6-7, $733
               7th:          Cody Hall, Xenia, Ohio, two bass, 6-6, $767
               8th:          Trevor Windgassen, Alexandria, Ky., four bass, 6-5, $566
               8th:          Chris Joyce, Hebron, Ky., four bass, 6-5, $566
               10th:        John Viox, Hebron, Ky., two bass, 6-3, $1,307

Viox brought a bass to the scale weighing 5 pounds even – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $540.

Brent Wilkens of Hamilton, Ohio, won the Co-angler Division and $2,470 Saturday after catching two bass weighing 7 pounds, 10 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers were:
               1st:          Brent Wilkens, Hamilton, Ohio, two bass, 7-10, $2,470
               2nd:         Chris McCusker, Beaver Falls, Pa., five bass, 7-9, $1,050
               3rd:          Alfie Bricker, West Portsmouth, Ohio, three bass, 6-15, $666
               4th:          Dan Schlegel, Cincinnati, Ohio, two bass, 4-11, $467
               5th:          Frank Aldridge, Wheelersburg, Ohio, four bass, 4-8, $400
               6th:          Brent Jones, Okeana, Ohio, four bass, 4-7, $367
               7th:          Mark Miller, Baltic, Ohio, three bass, 3-12, $333
               8th:          Robert Todd, Cincinnati, Ohio, two bass, 3-6, $300
               9th:          Aaron Stahley, Batavia, Ohio, two bass, 3-4, $236
               9th:          Nick Leonard, Cincinnati, Ohio, two bass, 3-4, $236
               9th:          Dakota Ball, New Castle, Ind., two bass, 3-4, $236

Wilkens also caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 4 pounds, 11 ounces. The catch earned him the day’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. 11-13 BFL Regional Championship on Chesapeake Bay in North East, Maryland. 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 2018 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.

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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 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. 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.