For the past few years, Limaland bass anglers have been a force on the Walmart Bass Fishing League (BFL) circuit. This year is no exception as bassers from the nine-county area may be having their best season yet in the three divisions they fish.
Limaland pros have finished in the top 10 in 5 of the 7 tourneys fished in the Buckeye, Hoosier and Michigan divisions. In the 3 Buckeye events, at least 2 Limaland bassers have finished in the top 10.
Three Lima area anglers are in the top 10 in the points standings while several are in contention to place among the top 45 by season’s end and qualify for regional competition. One, Rockford’s Dick Shaffer, is among the points leaders in 2 divisions - Buckeye and Hoosier.
Shaffer, who has been a force on the circuit for nearly two decades, has finished the two divisions for several years and has qualified to fish in 2 different regionals in the same season in the past. He is 9th in the point standings in the Buckeye Division and 17th in the points standings in the Hoosier. He long has been noted for his consistency in fishing tournaments. His best finish was an 8th place at Patoka Lake in a Hoosier tourney on April 8. He has been consistent with finishes in 3 Buckeye events (25th, 27th and 34th), which is why he is in the top10 in the points standings.
Consistency in their divisions has 2 other Limaland anglers sitting in the top 10 in the divisions they fish.
Lima’s Zach Maisch finished 10th a week ago in the Michigan Division event on Lake St. Clair. The Lima attorney combined that with a 14th place finish on the Detroit River on June 24 to sit in 5th place in the division’s points standings.
Cody Seeger, of Lewistown, sits in sixth place in the Buckeye Division standings. He was 6th in the division’s recent tourney on the Ohio River out of Tanner’s Creek. He was 14th at the Indian Lake event on June 24 and was 36th at the Grand Lake St. Marys tourney on May 6.
Other Limaland anglers with top 10 finishes this year - all in the Buckeye Division - are Jay Jeffries of Celina, Jeremy Tenwalde, of Fort Jennings, Kyle Weisenburger, of Ottawa, Brandon Good, of Fort Jennings and Craig Burwell of North Baltimore. Jeffries was 2nd at Grand Lake St. Marys on May 6; Tenwalde was 6th at St. Marys; Weisenburger and Good tied for 8th at Indian Lake on June 24 while Burwell was 10th at Tanner’s Creek on July 15.
In the points standings, Weisenburger is 21st, Burwell 23rd, Good 45th, Tenwalde is 58th, Jeffries is 78th. Jay Ellis, of Fort Jennings is 56th in the points standings.
A number of Limaland bassers fish the Michigan Division along with Maisch.
Matt Elkins, of Spencerville, who often begins slowly and finishes the year on a hot pace, fishnished 16th on Lake St. Clair after getting no fish in the Detroit River tourney. He is in 72nd place in the points standings. Dan Cramer, of Van Wert, who is 28th in the points standings, was 37th on the Detroit River and 41st on Lake St. Clair. Brian Cox, of Convoy, is 55th in the points standings while Wilson Burton, of Findlay, is 97th.
On the co-angler side, a pair of familiar names are among the leaders in the Buckeye and Michigan Divisions. They keep things in the family, too.
Ron Weisenburger, of Continental and Kyle’s father, sits in 8th place in the Buckeye Division points standings. He finished 2nd on Grand Lake St. Marys on May 6 and was 11th at Indian Lake on July 15. He has fished in regional competition. Vickie Maisch Rumar, Zach’s mother, is 21st in the point standings in the Michigan Division. She placed 24th on the Detroit River and 52nd on Lake St. Clair. She has qualified for regional competition, but has not fished a regional.
John Angstmann, of St. Marys, John Long, of New Bremen, and Eric Kramer, of Celina, all have top 10 finishes in Buckeye events. Angstmann was 5th at St. Marys while Long and Kramer tied for 7th at Indian Lake. Long is 25th, Angstmann 56th and Kramer 71st in the points standings.
Findlay’s John Lane and Sidney Hoover along with Delphos’ Ron Kriegel have used consistency to rank among the points leaders. Lane is 11th, Hoover 29th and Kriegel 35th in the standings. Lee Houck, of Arlington, is 54th while Bryan Hofstetter, of Fort Jennings, is 62nd in the standings.
In the Michigan Division co-angler category, Wapakoneta’s Alex Newman ranks 24th in the points standings, while Chad Rader is 58th and Celina’s Vickie Jeffries is 104.
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.
Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL