Maryland Pro Wins FLW Tour Tourney on Lake Champlain
PLATTSBURGH – FLW Tour pro Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Maryland, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake Champlain presented by Navionics after catching five bass weighing 19 pounds, 10 ounces. For his win, Schmitt earned $7,209 and 250 points in the Northeast Division presented by Gajo Baits standings. The winner of the division’s Angler of the Year title after five tournaments will win $3,000.
Schmitt spent the tournament fishing the north end of the lake in Malletts Bay. He said he ended up weighing a mixed limit – three largemouth and two smallmouth.
“I just ran and checked a lot of stuff that I fished in the Tour event, and a lot of it had gotten better,” said Schmitt, who notched his fifth win in BFL competition. “During the tournament I hit eight spots – I would catch a few on each place and kept it moving.
“I ran some topwater early on some points for smallmouth and got one really good one – a heavy 3-pounder, and then I was just running. They’re heavy on bluegills right now. I was fishing real shallow, inside grass, docks, that kind of thing. There was mixed species up shallow and I would just kind of fancast a Neko rig all around those areas.”
Schmitt’s topwater fish came in on a Bone-colored Heddon Zara Spook. On his Neko rig, he used a green-pumpkin-colored Missile Baits 48 stickbait worm with a 1/0-sized Hayabusa Spin Muscle Guard hook.
“I caught another smallmouth on the Neko rig, just kind of aimlessly fishing some sparse weeds in like 5 to 6 feet of water – I consider it a pretty lucky bite. My game was bluegill largies, though,” said Schmitt. “The key was super light 8-pound-test P-Line Ultimate Fluorocarbon line – the water is clean up there, so long casts and light line was important.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md., five bass, 19-10, $5,209 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Brent Heyn, South Hero, Vt., five bass, 18-12, $2,105
3rd: Cameron Chase, Conway, Mass., five bass, 18-6, $1,886
4th: Joe Zombek II, Scranton, Pa., five bass, 18-3, $935
5th: Andrew Bechard, Champlain, N.Y., five bass, 17-15, $768
5th: Troy Morrow, Eastanollee, Ga., five bass, 17-15, $768
7th: Tom Balachvili, Scarsdale, N.Y., five bass, 17-8, $934
7th: Adam Poplaski, Adams, Mass., five bass, 17-8, $634
9th: Andrew Heivly, Malvern, Pa., five bass, 17-4, $785
10th: David Wilder, Middle River, Md., five bass, 17-2, $468
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Chase caught a 5-pound, 9-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $550.
Thomas Dellinger of Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania, won the Co-angler Division and $2,005 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 16 pounds, 5 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Thomas Dellinger, Womelsdorf, Pa., five bass, 16-5, $2,005
2nd: Chad Dorney, Macungie, Pa., five bass, 16-0, $1,002
3rd: Bradley Petrie, Johnstown, N.Y., five bass, 15-12, $868
4th: Tony Bellissimo, Chelmsford, Mass., five bass, 15-11, $468
5th: Casey Gut, Chichester, N.H., five bass, 14-14, $451
6th: Henry McKee, Haddon Heights, N.J., five bass, 14-6, $518
7th: Alexandre Jelev, Petawawa, Ontario, Canada, five bass, 14-5, $334
8th: Chris Sanno, Shermans Dale, Pa., five bass, 14-3, $267
8th: Mark Bilodeau, Burlington, Vt., five bass, 14-3, $267
8th: John Henning, Lansdale, Pa., five bass, 14-3, $267
Robert Wedding of Welcome, Maryland, caught the heaviest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 2 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $275.
The tournament was hosted by the City of Plattsburgh and the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau.
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. 17-19 BFL Regional Championship on the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.
The 2019 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 2020 BFL All-American will be held April 30-May 2 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina, and is hosted by Visit Anderson. 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. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League on FLW’s social media outletsat Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
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 2019 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.