(Sep 18, 2017 - TRENTON, MI.)
Joshua Barr of Stow, Ohio, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on the Detroit River presented by Navionics Sunday with a two-day cumulative catch of 10 bass weighing 49 pounds, 1 ounce. Barr pocketed $7,397 for his win.
“It was really satisfying to come out on top of such a competitive field,” said Barr, who earned his first career win after three prior top-10 finishes on the Detroit River in FLW competition. “I knew that I was on a couple of good schools in practice, but I didn’t realize how big they were. It was a pleasant surprise come tournament time.”
Barr committed each day to making a run south to Lake Erie.
“I live in the Cleveland area, so I was spending a lot of time around the Ohio and Pelee Islands,” said Barr. “I was fishing the typical off-shore Lake Erie isolated rock piles. I caught most of my fish on Day One with a drop-shot rig. On Day Two, all of my quality fish came on a tube.”
Barr said that he fished a perch-colored fluke-style bait on his drop-shot rig Saturday, but opted for a standard 3½-inch green pumpkin tube on Sunday.
“I don’t think the color really mattered,” Barr said. “My co-angler and I both caught 6-pounders on a tube and he had a different color.”
Barr estimated that he caught 10 to 15 smallmouth on Day One and around 20 on Day Two.
“Finding the right schools meant everything,” Barr went on to say. “When I would idle over the rocks, I couldn’t see them very well on my electronics. I’m not sure if my motor was spooking them, but when I would turn it off and drift over them my graphs would light up.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Joshua Barr, Stow, Ohio, 10 bass, 49-1, $5,397 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Jared Rhode, Port Clinton, Ohio, 10 bass, 47-3, $2,598
3rd: Michael Sitko, Pinckney, Mich., 10 bass, 46-4, $1,833
4th: Scott Dobson, Clarkston, Mich., 10 bass, 45-12, $1,513
5th: Jamie Jacobus, Johnstown, Ohio, 10 bass, 44-2, $1,039
6th: Kyle Greene, Ortonville, Mich., 10 bass, 43-15, $953
7th: Pat Upthagrove, Monroe, Mich., 10 bass, 41-5, $866
8th: Aaron Stumpf, Johnstown, Ohio, 10 bass, 40-7, $780
9th: Mike Cunningham, Fenton, Mich., 10 bass, 40-4, $693
10th: Eric Cook, Marblehead, Ohio, 10 bass, 40-1, $606
Charles Mackintosh of Brighton, Michigan, caught a bass weighing 6 pounds, 1 ounce – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division. The catch earned him the Boater Big Bass award of $652.
Gary Polenz of Milan, Michigan, caught a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 43 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the Co-angler Division and $2,669.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Gary Polenz, Milan, Mich., 10 bass, 43-7, $2,669
2nd: Tony Mitchell, Plainwell, Mich., 10 bass, 42-2, $1,284
3rd: Cody Bertrand, Dyer, Ind., 10 bass, 41-12, $858
4th: Aaron Stahley, Batavia, Ohio, 10 bass, 39-3, $649
5th: Christopher Slone, Shelby Township, Mich., 10 bass, 39-1, $514
6th: Steve Pinkerton, Anderson, Ind., 10 bass, 38-9, $471
7th: Justin Sawyer, Dearborn Heights, Mich., 10 bass, 38-3, $750
8th: Erik Jacques. Harrison Township, Mich., 10 bass, 38-0, $385
9th: Mike Eldridge, Blacklick, Pa., 10 bass, 36-7, $342
10th: Kenneth Johnson, Canton, Mich., 10 bass, 35-2, $300
Sawyer caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 5 pounds, 15 ounces – and earned the Co-angler Big Bass award of $322.
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.