(Aug 8, 2017 - TICONDEROGA, N.Y.)
Dale Gorrell of Hatfield, Pennsylvania, caught a five-bass limit weighing 21 pounds, 4 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division tournament on Lake Champlain. Gorrell pocketed $6,852 for his catch.
Gorrell said he spent his day fishing a region of Lake Champlain known as The Narrows.
“I ran some patterns early in the day that I had found in practice, but couldn’t really get anything going,” said Gorrell, who earned his second-career victory in BFL competition. “I switched to a smaller lure in black and blue and really started catching them. The water was a bit muddier than it was in practice, so I think that was the key adjustment.”
Gorrell said he caught everything he brought to the weigh-in scale using a Black and Blue Flake-colored Z-Man Finesse T.R.D. on a Ned rig.
“I worked through a 200-yard stretch of backwater that had a cliff and a 10 to 12 foot hole,” said Gorrell. “There was also a grass flat between where I was fishing and the main-river channel. The bigger fish related to a couple trees that had fallen from the cliff into the water, while the smaller fish were up next to the cliff in chunk rock.”
Around 11 a.m., Gorrell said he caught the largest bass of the event – a 6-pound, 10-ouncer – as well as two 5-pounders on a single pass through the stretch.
“When the water is changing color, it was best to hit the brakes and slow down,” said Gorrell. “It’s hard to do sometimes, but it paid off for me.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Dale Gorrell, Hatfield, Pa., five bass, 21-4, $4,852 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: John Paul Pelletier, Nassau, N.Y., five bass, 19-8, $1,921
3rd: Michael Grabo, Burnt Hills, N.Y., five bass, 19-2, $1,282
4th: Bryan Labelle, Hinesburg, Vt., five bass, 18-13, $896
5th: Michael Marini, Slingerlands, N.Y., five bass, 17-13, $736
5th: Joe Labarbera, Montrose, Pa., five bass, 17-13, $736
7th: Tom Callahan, Moriah Center, N.Y., five bass, 17-9, $640
8th: Shaun Kucharski, Pittston, Pa., five bass, 17-7, $676
9th: Andrew Kartesz, Ludlow, Pa., five bass, 17-5, $480
9th: Anthony Lorefice, Johnson City, N.Y., five bass, 17-5, $480
Gorrell’s 6-pound, 10-ounce bass also earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $510.
Ronald Tracy of Marlton, New Jersey, caught a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the Co-angler Division and $2,083.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Ronald Tracy, Marlton, N.J., five bass, 17-4, $2,083
2nd: Nelson Hares, Millville, N.J., five bass, 16-13, $942
3rd: David Sokolowski, Brewerton, N.Y., five bass, 15-14, $627
4th: Sal Messina, Wolcott, Conn., five bass, 15-8, $439
5th: Steve Cram, Williamstown, N.J., five bass, 15-3, $377
6th: Travis Gilberti, La Grange, N.Y., five bass, 15-0, $345
7th: Mark Gebbia, Fair Lawn, N.J., five bass, 14-15, $314
8th: Jason Pierson, Gaithersburg, Md., five bass, 14-14, $282
9th: Neil Thomas, Scarborough, Maine, five bass, 14-8, $251
10th: Kenneth Martin Dixon, Newcastle, Del., five bass, 13-13, $459
10th: William Allie, Wynantskill, N.Y., five bass, 13-13, $209
Dixon caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 5 pounds, 1 ounce – and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $250.
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 James River in Williamsburg, Virginia. 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.