(Jul 31, 2017 - BIRDSEYE, IN.)
Eighteen-year-old Blake Albertson of Bloomington, Indiana, caught five bass weighing 20 pounds, 11 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Hoosier Division tournament on Patoka Lake. For his efforts, Albertson took home $6,126.
“This is only my fourth time fishing as a boater in the BFL, so to win is pretty crazy,” said Albertson, a former TBF/FLW High School Fishing angler that competed for Bloomington North/South High School. “It was just one of those days where everything went right.”
Albertson said he fished two areas to catch his limit – a main-lake point and the back of a cut in Lick Fork creek.
“I sat in 18 feet of water and threw into 12 feet on the point,” said Albertson. “There was one spot with a bunch of rock that was especially productive.”
Albertson said he caught four bass at the point – three on a Secret Lures J-Bend Tail Shaker Jig with a Motor Oil-colored Zoom Trick Worm, and one on a ½-ounce Secret Lures MVP Football Jig.
“The fourth was my largest of the day – a 5-pound, 7-ouncer,” said Albertson. “At 10 (a.m.) I caught my fifth in the cut out of some bushes and that’s what I brought in to the scale.”
Albertson’s fifth bass was caught using a Texas-rigged Green Pumpkin Magic-colored Yamamoto Senko.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Blake Albertson, Bloomington, Ind., five bass, 20-11, $4,126 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Brian Funkhouser, Bloomington, Ind., five bass, 17-0, $1,963
3rd: Ray Philhower, Milford, Ohio, four bass, 15-12, $1,309
4th: Phil Hunt, Connersville, Ind., five bass, 13-11, $916
5th: Lee Mills, Columbus, Ind., five bass, 13-8, $785
6th: George Brown, Camby, Ind., four bass, 12-11, $720
7th: Sean Gillenwater, Bloomington, Ind., four bass, 12-6, $754
8th: John Schroering, Dubois, Ind., four bass, 11-11, $589
9th: Bryce Kalen, Indianapolis, Ind., four bass, 11-7, $523
10th: John Melton, Corydon, Ind., four bass, 10-14, $458
Andrew Cibak of Chesterton, Indiana, caught a bass weighing 6 pounds, 7 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division. The catch earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $530.
Albert Burns of Greendale, Indiana, caught three bass weighing 12 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the Co-angler Division and $2,051.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Albert Burns, Greendale, Ind., three bass, 12-11, $2,051
2nd: Jonathan Norris, Muncie, Ind., two bass, 9-15, $1,069
3rd: Andy Eaton, Washington, Ind., two bass, 9-13, $743
4th: Travis Edgar, North Webster, Ind., two bass, 7-10, $458
5th: Adrian Stafford, Bloomington, Ind., two bass, 7-7, $393
6th: Jeff Hale, New Castle, Ind., two bass, 6-1, $360
7th: Brad Ingram, Mesa, Ariz., two bass, 5-8, $327
8th: Michael Pelston, Seymour, Ind., two bass, 5-3, $478
8th: Dan Schlegel, Cincinnati, Ohio, two bass, 5-3, $278
10th: Cory Cook, Carrollton, Ky., two bass, 5-1, $267
10th: James McWhorter, Hamilton, Ohio, two bass, 5-1, $217
Norris caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 5 pounds, 4 ounces – and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $88.
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. 5-7 BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, 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.