(Aug 6, 2018 - CANNELTON, IN.)
Local angler Chris LeClere of Cannelton caught five bass Saturday weighing 10 pounds, 3 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Hoosier Division tournament on the Ohio River at Rocky Point. LeClere took home $5,632 for his win.
“The day started off slow. After practicing on both the main river and in creeks, my strategy was to make a couple of stops on the river as I made my way to my main creek,” said LeClere, who logged his first win in FLW competition. “The water level was up on the river Saturday and it was dirtier and had more current. I made one stop but couldn’t get anything going.
“I moved on to my main creek, which was north of takeoff, and had four places I’d caught fish in practice,” continued LeClere. “I stopped at my first spot and fished for about 45 minutes and never got a bite. I went to my second, which I felt would be my best, and fished for 45 minutes, but couldn’t get anything there, either. Finally, I went to my third and caught my first keeper about 10 (a.m.).”
LeClere’s third spot ended up producing every fish he weighed, specifically between 10 and 11:30 a.m. He described it as a 100-yard stretch of shallow wood cover that included stumps and laydowns.
“I had caught five fish at this spot in practice Thursday, but they were just keepers. I had six bites there Saturday, including one that I lost,” said LeClere. “I flipped soft-plastics – they didn’t want any moving baits. Two came from a green-pumpkin-colored bait, and three came from another bait.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Chris LeClere, Cannelton, Ind., five bass, 10-3, $3,632 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Jeremy Knepp, Montgomery, Ind., four bass, 7-7, $1,513
2nd: Larry Sisk, Evansville, Ind., five bass, 7-7, $1,713
4th: Jimmy Shepherd, Indianapolis, Ind., three bass, 6-9, $1,312
5th: Scott Bateman, Jasper, Ind., three bass, 6-3, $726
6th: Todd Hensley, New Albany, Ind., five bass, 5-14, $766
7th: Danny Abrams, Greensfork, Ind., five bass, 5-10, $605
8th: George Brown, Camby, Ind., five bass, 5-8, $545
9th: Brody Campbell, Oxford, Ohio, two bass, 5-2, $484
10th: Chris Myers, Madison, Ind., four bass, 4-14, $424
Shepherd brought a 4-pound, 8-ounce, bass to the scale – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $465.
Brandon Bennett of Fort Wayne, Indiana, won the Co-angler Division and $1,816 Saturday after catching four bass weighing 6 pounds, 11 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Brandon Bennett, Fort Wayne, Ind., four bass, 6-11, $1,816
2nd: Michael Pruitt, Martinsville, Ind., five bass, 5-4, $908
3rd: Gary Owens, Columbus, Ind., three bass, 4-14, $606
4th: Ronnie Gill, Indianapolis, Ind., two bass, 4-6, $424
5th: Brian Liming, Dilsboro, Ind., two bass, 4-1, $363
6th: Mark Wedan, Freetown, Ind., two bass, 3-12, $333
7th: Dakota Ball, Connersville, Ind., one bass, 3-7, $519
7th: Trenton Wilson, Martinsville, Ind., three bass, 3-7, $287
9th: Holly Blandford, Cannelton, Ind., two bass, 3-0, $242
10th: Derek Buchanan, Madison, Ind., two bass, 2-15, $301
10th: Nick Horton, Trafalgar, Ind., three bass, 2-15, $201
Tom Lindsay of Glenview, Illinois, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 4 pounds even. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $365.
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. 18-20 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 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. 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.