(Aug 6, 2018 - MUSKEGON, MI.)
Boater Eric Culler of Hudson, Indiana, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 1 ounce, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on Muskegon Lake. For his efforts, Culler pocketed $3,641.
Culler said he headed north to White Lake to catch his fish Saturday. He said his primary lure was a Texas-rigged 7-inch Watermelon Red-colored Zoom Trick Worm on a split-shot rig. He also used a wacky-rigged Watermelon Red Yamamoto Senko.
“I caught most of my fish in 13 to 15 feet of water,” said Culler, who earned his first win in FLW competition. “The area had a slight inside turn and then it came back out to a small little point. There was wood and grass on the point and it seemed like the bigger ones were keying in on the wood more than anything. You could catch smaller fish around it, but that’s where the bigger ones were.”
Culler said he used a 7-foot, 1-inch medium-heavy G. Loomis rod with a Daiwa reel and 10-pound-test Seaguar InvizX fluorocarbon line. He credited the side scanning feature on his Humminbird Helix electronics unit with helping him get dialed in to his area as well.
“I caught around 10 keepers. It was a slow presentation – they didn’t want the bait moving that much,” said Culler. “I’d just let it lay there and then they’d pick it up and swim off. It was a late bite, too. They started biting around 10 or 10:30 (a.m.) and then I caught them regularly until 1 p.m.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Eric Culler, Hudson, Ind., five bass, 17-1, $3,641
2nd: Clayton Reitz, Morton, Ill., five bass, 15-15, $1,820
3rd: Jeff Napier, Martinsville, Ind., five bass, 15-8, $1,414
4th: Joshua Barr, Stow, Ohio, five bass, 15-3, $950
5th: Brett Haake, Shorewood, Ill., five bass, 15-1, $728
6th: Trevor Bethke, Spring Lake, Mich., five bass, 15-0, $668
7th: Ronald Nutter, Saint Louisville, Ohio, five bass, 14-12, $607
8th: Jeremy Antrup, Fremont, Ind., five bass, 14-0, $546
9th: Kenny Dials, Creston, Ohio, five bass, 13-15, $960
10th: Jerry Smith, Sparta, Mich., five bass, 13-14, $425
Dials brought a 5-pound, 4-ounce bass to the scale – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $475.
Clint Joyner of Metamora, Michigan, won the Co-angler Division and $2,057 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 18 pounds, 13 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Clint Joyner, Metamora, Mich., five bass, 18-13, $2,057
2nd: Brian Somrek, Calvert City, Ky., five bass, 14-2, $1,110
3rd: Darwin Griva, Hamilton, Ind., five bass, 12-9, $607
4th: Ross Parsons, Haslett, Mich., five bass, 12-1, $475
5th: Tony Mitchell, Plainwell, Mich., five bass, 11-5, $364
6th: Eric Polenz, Maybee, Mich., five bass, 11-4, $334
7th: Stefan Marginean, Glenview, Ill., four bass, 11-2, $303
8th: Jack Cahn, Davisburg, Mich., five bass, 10-10, $273
9th: Tony Grubb, Ann Arbor, Mich., five bass, 10-4, $227
9th: Jeremy Pinkowski, Oak Forest, Ill., four bass, 10-4, $227
Joyner also caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 4 pounds, 13 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $237.
The T-H Marine BFL Michigan Division event on Muskegon Lake was hosted by Visit Muskegon.
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.