MIKE CUNNINGHAM WINS T-H MARINE FLW BFL MICHIGAN DIVISION OPENER ON DETROIT RIVER
Redford’s Borsa Claims Co-angler Title
TRENTON, Mich. (June 26, 2017) – Mike Cunningham of Fenton, Michigan, caught five bass weighing 23 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division opener on the Detroit River. Cunningham took home $3,718 for his victory.
“I’ve been fishing BFL tournaments for a long time and this is my first win – it’s pretty special,” said Cunningham, whose previous top finish in BFL competition was a 19th-place showing on Lake St. Clair in 2015. “I targeted a ridge in Lake Erie that had a nice flat. It stayed active until noon and then it shut down.”
Cunningham said he began his day using a green pumpkin-colored Smack Daddy Baby Elite Tube. He said he put a couple of good fish in the boat, but decided to switch techniques after losing two 4- and 5-pounders.
“After I lost the bigger fish I picked up my drop-shot rod and went to work,” said Cunningham. “I used a Poor Boy’s Erie Darter in 12 feet of water and stuck them hard. I probably caught 40 fish, and was releasing 4-pounders at one point. It ended up being a great day out there.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Mike Cunningham, Fenton, Mich., five bass, 23-1, $3,718
2nd: Arthur Teper, Lake Orion, Mich., five bass, 22-1, $2,544
3rd: Kyle Greene, Ortonville, Mich., five bass, 21-12, $1,338
4th: Dan Mittlestat, Woodhaven, Mich., five bass, 20-9, $867
5th: David Reault, Livonia, Mich., five bass, 19-11, $744
6th: Mark Modrak, China Township, Mich., five bass, 19-5, $982
7th: Randy Ramsey, Burlington, Mich., five bass, 19-0, $620
8th: Michael Sitko, Pinckney, Mich., five bass, 18-12, $558
9th: Freddy Hurley, Somerset, Ky., five bass, 18-10, $496
10th: Jerry Arnett, Mexico, Ind., five bass, 18-9, $434
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Teper caught a 5-pound, 11-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $485.
Philip Borsa of Redford, Michigan, caught five bass weighing 19 pounds, 5 ounces, Saturday to win the Co-angler Division and $1,859.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Philip Borsa, Redford, Mich., five bass, 19-5, $1,859
2nd: Aaron Stahley, Batavia, Ohio, five bass, 18-4, $974
2nd: Jeffrey Thomson, Birmingham, Mich., five bass, 18-4, $774
4th: John Lovin, Fayetteville, Ohio, five bass, 17-14, $555
5th: Jerry Propst, Jasper, Texas, five bass, 17-11, $422
6th: Cyril Haxton, Peru, Ind., five bass, 17-10, $325
6th: Robert Hernandez, Canton, Mich., five bass, 17-10, $325
8th: Jamie Elliott, Warsaw, Ind., five bass, 17-9, $279
9th: Erik Jacques, Harrison Township, Mich., five bass, 17-5, $248
10th: Matt Vermilyea, Perrysburg, Ohio, five bass, 16-12, $206
10th: Dan O’Neil, Canton, Mich., five bass, 16-12, $206
John Murphy of Mooresville, Indiana, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 4 pounds, 12 ounces – and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $121.
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. 12-14 BFL Regional Championship on the Barren River in Scottsville, Kentucky. 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.
The 2017 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. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.