Area anglers compete in Walmart Bass Fishing league tournaments


By Al Smith - Guest Columnist



Limaland bass anglers were slinging limits into their boats in two different Walmart Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournaments last weekend and the results had some climbing in the season points standings while others remained in good position to qualify for regional competition this fall.

The biggest climb in the standings went to Cody Seeger, of Lewistown, who now leads the pro anglers in the Buckeye Division. With 944 points, he is one point in front of Ronald Nutter of Saint Louisville. Seeger boated a limit of five bass last Saturday on the Ohio River out of Maysville, Ky., and finished fourth in the tourney. His 5 fish weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces.

Lima’s Vickie Maisch-Rumer and Wapakoneta’s Alex Newman made heavy 5-bass limits push them into the top 10 of the points standings among co-anglers in the Michigan Division. Maisch-Rumor is 8th in the standings while Newman is 9th. The pair jumped several places with Maisch-Rumer moving up from 21st and Newman climbing from 24th. During last Saturday’s tourney on Lake St. Clair, the two missed by ounces of winning the event. Newman was runner-up with a limit that weighed 20 pounds, 7 ounces, while Maisch-Rumer, who was third, had a limit that weighed 19 pounds, 15 ounces. Justin Sawyer, of Dearborn Heights, Mich., won the event with a limit that weighed 20 pounds, 11 ounces.

Veteran pro Dick Shaffer, of Rockford, moved into the top 10 in the Buckeye Division and sits in 8th place. He placed 20th in last Saturday’s Buckeye event on the Ohio River. Kyle Weisenburger, of Ottawa, finished 8th in last Saturday’s tourney and climbed from 21st to 11th in the Buckeye points standings. Craig Burwell, of North Baltimore, moved up in the points standings from 23rd to 19th after placing 18th on the Ohio River. Jay Ellis, of Celina, is 47th in the points standings and within striking distance of qualifying for the regional.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the Buckeye and Michigan Divisions 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. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the Hoosier Division will qualify for regional competition on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky on Oct. 5-7. 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.

Back to the Michigan Division, anglers there fish much more productive waters than the Buckeye Division. In the event on Lake St. Clair, 49 of the top 50 anglers had a 5-bass limit.

Lima’s Zach Maisch was one of those. His limit weighed 16 pounds, 5 ounces which was good for 38th place. He dropped in the points standings from 5th in the pro points standings to 12th. Tom Cramer, of Van Wert, also caught a limit, but placed 55th with a weight of 13-12. He fell to 31st in the points standings from 28th. Matt Elkins, of Spencerville is 63rd in the points standings.

On the co-angler side in the Buckeye Division, Ron Weisenburger, of Continental, John Lane, of Findlay, and Jon Angstmann, of St. Marys, remained in the top 45 of the points standings. They are 17th, 23rd and 43rd. Angstmann finished 29th on the Ohio River while Weisenburger and Lane did not weigh any fish. Sidney Hoover, of Findlay, and John Long, of New Bremen, remain in contention for the top 45 at 50th and 56th.

There is one tourney remaining in the Buckeye Division this year and it is slated for Sept. 16 on Lake Erie. Two tourneys remain on the Michigan Division schedule. They are both on the Detroit River on Aug. 19 and Sept. 16.

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A lottery drawing for 72 waterfowl blinds at Mercer Wildlife Area, located off Ohio 703 in Celina, will be held at 8 .m. next Saturday at the area. The area will open for applications at 7:15 a.m.

Interested applicants must provide proof of a 2017 Ohio hunting license, Ohio wetlands stamp endorsement in the applicant’s name, a signed 2016 or 2017 federal duck stamp and a current Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification prior to the drawing. HIP certification is free and can be accomplished by calling 1-877-HIP-OHIO. For more information on HIP visit http://www.fws.gov/hip/.

Applicants under the age of 18 are required to have a parent or legal guardian present to sign the permit contract, and they must provide the required license and stamps.

Hunters with questions or seeking more information may contact the Wildlife District Five office for information on this controlled hunts, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday at 937-372-9261.

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Youth will be given special priority on 2 of the 4 days (Sept. 2 and 3) for controlled dove hunts at the St. Marys State Fish Hatchery, located at 01735 Feeder Road in St. Marys. Drawings for the hunts will begin at 12 p.m. The first drawing will be held Aug. 26 at the hatchery for the opening day (Sept. 1) and the remainder of the drawings will be held Sept. 2, 3 and 9. An adult must be present with the youth(s) and sign the permit.

In order to participate in the drawings hunters will be required to present a 2016-2017 hunting license and current Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification prior to the drawing. HIP certification is free and can be accomplished by calling 1-877-HIP-OHIO. For more information on HIP please go to http://www.fws.gov/hip/ . Shotguns cannot capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler which limits the capacity of the gun to three shells. The filler must be such that it cannot be removed without disassembling the gun. Doves may be hunted with lead shot.

Hunting hours are 12 p.m. to sunset for the controlled dove hunts. Persons may contact the hatchery office at 419-236-8838.

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By Al Smith

Guest Columnist

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at flyfishman7@hotmail.com and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at flyfishman7@hotmail.com and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

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