Fishing & Boating News

Hartman Wins Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division Opener on Chesapeake Bay

Bechtel wins co-angler title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Jamie Hartman of Newport, New York, weighed a 5-bass limit totaling 22 lbs, 12 oz to win a check for $4,652.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(May 4, 2015 - NORTH EAST, MD.)  Jamie Hartman of Newport, New York, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament of 2015 on the Chesapeake Bay. For his victory, Hartman earned $4,652.
Hartman said he split his day fishing small grass patches in the northeast arm and deeper rocks in the main bay.
“Three of the fish on my stringer came on a Tidal Blue-colored Riot Baits Instigator Jig rigged with a green pumpkin-colored “R” Craw,” said Hartman. “The other two came off of a chartreuse and black-colored Strike King KVD HC 1.5 crankbait.”
Hartman said he found the most success in the rocks towards the end of the day.
“Three of my largest fish came from the rocks,” said Hartman. “The thing about fishing deeper in the rocks is you have to wait for the tide to go down. Once the tide drops the fish move to the outside edges and that’s when you can make your move.”
Hartman said he caught eight keepers over the course of the tournament.
“What really kept me in the hunt was my mindset. I had to stay patient and grind out those bites in the grass before moving to the rocks,” said Hartman.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st:          Jamie Hartman, Newport, N.Y., five bass, 22-12, $4,652
2nd:         Josh Hoshour, Ephrata, Pa., five bass, 20-15, $2,326
3rd:          Travis Manson, Conshohocken, Pa., five bass, 20-2, $1,551
4th:          John Schoener, Womelsdorf, Pa., five bass, 18-6, $1,086
5th:          Ron Lutz, North East, Md., five bass, 17-10, $930
6th:          Jack Rinkers, Swarthmore, Pa., five bass, 17-9, $853
7th:          Jeff Choi, Bridport, Vt., five bass, 16-9, $775
8th:          David Wilder, Middle River, Md., four bass, 16-5, $698
9th:          Gregory DiPalma, Millville, N.J., five bass, 15-15, $620
10th:        Joseph Thompson, Coatesville, Pa., five bass, 13-4, $543
Chris Savidge of Shamong, New Jersey, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 1 ounce and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $685.
Corey Bechtel of Macungie, Pennsylvania, weighed in a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds even Saturday to win $2,326 in the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st:          Corey Bechtel, Macungie, Pa., five bass, 16-0, $2,326
2nd:         Rich Harris, Monroe Township, Pa., three bass, 11-11, $1,163
3rd:          Joseph Murphy, Philadelphia, Pa., three bass, 11-10, $777
4th:          Cherif Zaher, Orangeville, Pa., two bass, 10-12, $543
5th:          Kevin Mothersell, Henrietta, N.Y., two bass, 9-14, $445
5th:          Jacob Weisman, Nanjemoy, Md., four bass, 9-14, $445
7th:          Jason McDonald, Lawrenceville, N.J., three bass, 9-12, $388
8th:          Terry Beck, Lock Haven, Pa., three bass, 8-15, $349
9th:          Carl Hansen, Nottingham, Pa., two bass, 8-6, $310
10th:        Brandon Esterly, Fleetwood, Pa., two bass, 8-4, $271
Zaher caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $342.
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.
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.