Lima area bass anglers made a name for themselves again this year on the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament trail.
As the season came to a close last weekend in the Buckeye and Michigan Divisions during super tournaments on Mosquito Lake and the Detroit River, Lakeview’s Gary Ginter won the event on Mosquito Lake and was among 15 local bassers who qualified regional competition Oct. 17-19.
Ginter, who was 31st in the Buckeye Division standings, won the two-day event on Mosquito, which was his fourth career BFL win. He along with 10 other Lima area bassers qualified for the regional to be held on the Potomac River.
Four Lima area bassers in the Michigan Division qualified for regional competition on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes in Buchanan, Tennessee, on Oct. 17-19.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, qualify for regional competition.
Ginter, who was the only area basser to qualify for the second day of the tourney, used a buzzbait on day 1 and tried different baits on day 2 for a 10-bass limit that weighed 26 pounds, 2 ounces. He had five bass that weighed 15 pounds, 5 ounces on day 1 and five bass that weighed 10 pounds, 10 ounces on day 2.
“I started out day one throwing a buzzbait shallow up in the grass. I caught a limit, but there were a bunch of boats crowded around me so I worked my way outside into the deeper grass and that seemed to be where the bigger ones were,” Ginter said of his day 1 on the water.
As for day 2, “I started with a buzzbait on the same spot as the first day and caught two keepers, then the bite shut off. I went back out deep and threw the worm, but it was much slower. I missed two, then the wind really picked up. I found my way into the back of a pocket on the north end – out of the wind – and ended up filling out my limit flipping an Okeechobee Craw-colored Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver.”
A familiar trio of veterans led the Buckeye Division boater regional qualifiers.
Kyle Weisenburger, of Columbus Grove, Cody Seeger, of Lakeview, and Dick Shaffer, of Rockford, finished 4-5-6 in the standings. Bob Logan, of Waynesfield, gave the area another angler in the top 20 as he finished 19th. Rounding out the boaters who qualified were Craig Burwell, of North Baltimore, 24th, Ginter, 31st, and Jay Ellis, of Celina, 37th.
A foursome of local bassers qualified in the co-angler division for the Potomac River regional. They included Ron Weisenburger, of Continental, who was 9th in the standings, John Long, of New Bremen, 25th, Jon Angstmann, of St. Marys, 29th and Carter Mox, of Minster, 32nd.
During the Mosquito tourney, Weisenburger was 31st, Ellis was 33rd, Seeger was 40th, Shaffer was 44th and Burwell was 54th.
Weisenburger had five bass that weighed 9 pounds 9 ounces; Ellis had five bass that weighed 9 pounds, 4 ounces; Seeger had five bass that weighed 8 pounds, 12 ounces; Shaffer had 5 bass that weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces and Burwell had 3 bass that weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces.
On the co-angler side at Mosquito, Angstmann finished ninth and fished both days. He had a total weight of 16 pounds, which included five bass that weighed 12 pounds, 1 ounces on day 1 and 3 bass that weighed 3 pounds, 15 ounces on day 2. Mox was 33rd with 4 fish that weighed 5 pounds, 4 ounces; Long was 43rd with three bass that weighed 3 pounds, 11 ounces and Weisenburger was 47th with two bass that weighed 3 pounds, 9 ounces.
Matt Elkins, of Spencerville, Zach Maisch, of Lima, and Wilson Burton, of Findlay, qualified for the regional at Kentucky and Barkley Lakes by placing 9th, 18th and 21st, respectively in the Michigan Division boater points standings.
On the Detroit River last weekend, Maisch was the only Lima area basser to qualify for both days of the tourney. Despite boating two limits that weighed 34 pounds, 15 ounces, he finished 12th. Elkins was 17th which a five-bass limit that weighed 20 pounds, 8 ounces. Burton was 34th with a five-bass limit that weighed 14 pounds, 9 ounces.
On the co-angler side, Alex Newman, of Celina, finished 40th in the points standings Vickie maisch Rumer finished 46th, but could move into a regional qualifying spot in an angler decides not to fish the regional. Newman was 28th in the tourney with a five-bass limit that weighed 13 pounds, 3 ounces.
While the Michigan Division consistently fishes lakes and systems that produce much larger catches than the Ohio Division, Kyle Weisenburger thinks fishing lakes that produce tough bites and have less quality and quantity fish actually helps him.
“Overall, it was a grind every event. As you can see in the weights, every single bite counts. That’s part of being a Buckeye angler,” he said.
“In most events, you grind for eight hours trying to get five bites. Some days you get your limit and sometimes you don’t, but I truly enjoy fishing these tough events,” he added. “I feel it truly tests your patience, builds mental toughness, and forces you to believe in your decisions and your skills even when you haven’t had a bite. I feel this type of fishing has helped me in bigger events when you get off to a slow start and may only have a fish or two in the live well. You just try and stay focused and make the best decisions you can think of and believe you will catch them before time runs out.”
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The Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW) is offering a free informational deer professing workshop on Oct. 29 in Xenia. Outdoor enthusiasts will learn to field dress and butcher a white-tailed deer during the free workshop.
The workshop will be held from 6:30-10 p.m. at the DOW’s Wildlife District Five office, located at 1076 Old Springfield Pike. Although the workshop is free, pre-registration is required by Oct. 28. No walk-ins are permitted. Interested individuals can register at https://apps.ohiodnr.gov/wildlife/educationregistration.
Trained professionals from the DOW will cover topics including field dressing, skinning, and butchering. This workshop is hands-on and will be held outdoors. Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately for the workshop and for the weather.
Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL