Veteran Lima area anglers advance to regional

By Al Smith - Guest Columnist

Six veteran bass anglers from the Lima area have qualified to fish in T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing (BFL) regional competition in October.

They qualified during the final tourney in the Buckeye Division last weekend on Indian Lake. They are among the top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the division based on point standings who earned spots in the regional championship on the Chesapeake Bay in northeast, Maryland, from Oct. 11-13. The five winners in each qualifying event also will qualify for the regional.

Each of the six has participated in regional competition before.

Among them are Dick Shaffer, of Rockford, and Kyle Weisenburger, of Ottawa, who both have qualified through regional competition to fish the national All-American tourney. According to FLW records, this will be the 31st regional that Shaffer has fished. He fished on the tour when it was know as the Red Man Trail. Weisenburger has qualified for regional competition for 10 consecutive years.

Shaffer finished sixth in the points standings with 1,260 points while Weisenburger, a former points champion, was ninth with 1,237 points. Shaffer finished 21st at Indian Lake with a weight of 5 pounds, 7 ounces while Weisenburger wound up third with a two-day total of 15 pounds, 5 ounces.

Cody Seeger, of Bellefountaine, continued a streak by finishing runner-up in the points standings for the third consecutive year. He has now been runner-up four times. He finished second at Indian Lake with a two-day total of 15 pounds, 7 ounces.

The weather was a factor at the event following a cold front and rain both days. However, the weather actually may have helped the anglers.

“The weather was a factor, but I think if anything it may have helped a little bit. It has been a tough bite there for the last couple months,” Weisenburger said.

Seeger, who cited battling weather conditions on the Ohio River, Mosquito Lake and last week, said he used advice from his football coach, “Adapt, adjust and overcome.”

Both he and Weisenburger hope their strong finishes last week continue.

“I’m hoping finishing strong in points and getting second in the last event will carry over to regional,” Seeger said.

“It was a good momentum booster to finish with another top 10 and qualify for another regional, Weisenburger said.

Jay Ellis, of Celina, and Craig Burwell, of North Baltimore have qualified for regional competition again among the boater class while Ron Weisenburger, of Continental, Kyle’s dad, has qualified again as a co-angler.

Ellis wound up 27th in the points standings with 1,033 points while Burwell was 29th with 1,015 points. Ellis was ninth at Indian Lake with a two-day weight of 10 pounds, 7 ounces while Burwell’s weight of 9 pounds, 1 ounce was good for 11th place.

Ron Weisenburger wound up 11th in the co-angler points standings with 1,067 points. He finished 25th at Indian Lake with a weight of 1 pounds, 6 ounces.

Jerry Tenwalde, of Fort Jennings, was fourth at Indian Lake with a weight of 14 pounds, 12 ounces. He was well out of the points race at 85th.

On the co-angler side, John Lane, of Findlay, came up short of qualifying for the regionals when he finished 49th. He failed to catch a fish at Indian Lake.

Several Limaland bassers can qualify for the will qualify for the Oct. 18-20 BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky, Oct. 18-20 during the Michigan Division’s final event on the Detroit River on the last weekend of the month while Ellis can still qualify via the Hoosier Division if he finishes well in the final event on Ohio River out of Tanners Creek on the last weekend of the month. Hoosier Division anglers qualify for the Kentucky Lake regional.

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Limaland bow hunters have an opportunity to try and participate in three controlled archery hunts at the Mercer Wildlife Area, located just east of Celina.

A drawing for the three hunt dates will be held at 1 p.m. at the area headquarters next Sunday (Sept. 23).Participants should arrive about 12:45 pm as they must register before 1 p.m. They must show a valid 2018-19 hunting license and deer permit.

Hunt dates on the area, located at 6115 State Route 703 Celina, Sept. 29-Oct. 14, Nov. 5-16 and Jan. 5- Feb. 3, 2019.

Only adults age 18 and over may participate in this drawing. The chosen hunter may designate a partner for the hunt. Permits will be mailed to the drawing winners. The permit is transferable. Participants should be aware it is unlawful for any person to buy, sell, trade, or barter any Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW) issued controlled hunting, fishing, or trapping permit.

Antlerless permits are valid for the controlled hunts. If drawn, each hunter may harvest a total of 2 deer during each archery hunt segment, only one of which can be an antlered deer.

For more information contact Wildlife Management at (937) 372-9261 or Mercer Wildlife Area, at (419) 236-8838.

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As part of its continuing effort to provide more opportunities for recreational shooters, the DOW is holding a ladies night at the range on Sept. 25 at the Spring Valley Wildlife Area shooting range. The range is located at 3450 Houston Road in Waynesville.

“We are encouraging women to try a new skill, spend an evening with ladies who have similar interests and learn from certified trainers. This is a great opportunity for ladies of all ages who have an interest in outdoor pursuits but may not know where to start,” said Kathy Garza-Behr, Wildlife District Five Communications Specialist.

The event is free. Equipment, ammunition, and hearing and eye protection will be provided to new female shooters. Certified instructors will offer hands-on experience with firearms. A lite meal will also be served.

Pre-registration is required and is limited to 24 attendees. To register call Brittany at the Wildlife District Five office, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at (937) 372-9261. Registration deadline is Sept. 21. No walk-ins will be accepted.

A complete list of range facilities can be found online at<> to learn more Ohio’s hunting and shooting opportunities.

By Al Smith

Guest Columnist

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

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

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