(Apr 23, 2018 - MARBURY, Md.)
Boater Joe Zombek II of Scranton, Pennsylvania, caught a five-bass limit weighing 24 pounds, 10 ounces, Sunday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division tournament on the Potomac River. For his efforts, Zombek took home $5,229.
Zombek fished two areas in Mattawoman Creek – one a secondary channel with pilings and the other a 50-yard main-channel creek bend with rocks and wood. He said the areas were about 200 yards apart from one another.
“I targeted prespawn females waiting for the water temperature to rise so they could head up to spawn,” said Zombek, who logged his first career win FLW competition. “We had strong wind and rain Thursday and Friday and it stained the water. As of Sunday, it cleared up and the water temperature rose four degrees to the upper 50s. I know the fish had been there for a while, but with the warmer water they fed more.”
Zombek fished two baits – a homemade green-pumpkin-colored jig with a Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw trailer in the same color and a Texas-rigged green-pumpkin Zoom tube with a 3/8-ounce weight – and was able to put 11 keepers in his boat.
“I alternated between the baits depending on the conditions of the tide,” said Zombek. “When the tide moved I used the jig because the fish were more aggressive and when it slowed down I finessed them with the tube.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Joe Zombek II, Scranton, Pa., five bass, 24-10, $5,229
2nd: Andrew Heivly, Malvern, Pa., five bass, 19-5, $3,629
3rd: Zachary Page, Middletown, Del., five bass, 18-14, $1,745
4th: Ryan Ingalls, Fairfax, Va., five bass, 18-13, $1,320
5th: Aaron Dixon, Bel Alton, Md., five bass, 18-10, $1,046
6th: John Vanore, Mullica Hill, N.J., five bass, 18-9, $959
7th: Kyle Hoffman, Harpers Ferry, W. Va., five bass, 18-0, $871
8th: Cody Cutter, Harveys Lake, Pa., five bass, 17-15, $784
9th: Tony Dorman, Taylor, Pa., five bass, 17-8, $653
9th: Todd Neale, Warrenton, Va., five bass, 17-8, $653
Heivly brought a 6-pound, 9-ounce bass to the scale – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $815.
Robert Hockley of Annville, Pennsylvania, won the Co-angler Division and $2,614 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 18 pounds, 6 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Robert Hockley, Annville, Pa., five bass, 18-6, $2,614
2nd: Matthew Gaeng, Greeley, Pa., five bass, 18-5, $1,307
3rd: Doug Cameron, Belchertown, Mass., five bass, 17-14, $872
4th: Jack Wolf, Chesapeake City, Md., four bass, 16-10, $1,017
5th: Derek Heyne, New Freedom, Pa., five bass, 15-11, $623
6th: Richard Harris III., Dallas, Pa., five bass, 15-9, $479
7th: Curtis Glover, Wynnewood, Pa., five bass, 15-8, $486
8th: Bill Easter, Clinton, Md., four bass, 14-13, $392
9th: Robert Reid Jr., Clinton, Md., four bass, 14-9, $349
10th: Alexander James, Evans, Ga., four bass, 14-8, $305
Wolf caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 7 pounds, 11 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $407.
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. The 2018 BFL All-American will be held May 31-June 2 at Cross Lake in Shreveport, Louisiana, and is hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com.
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.