FLW Outdoors: Miller wins Walmart Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division on Mississippi River

Joe Opager, Communications Specialist
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Barnard, Brenic tie for co-angler title

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. – Rick Miller of Eastman, Wis., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division event on the Mississippi River at Prairie Du Chien. For his victory, Miller earned $3,963.

“My experience on the river was a huge part of my victory,” said Miller. “I’ve been retired for three years now, and I fish Pool No. 9 every day. I locked there for this event and was running and gunning, hitting a bunch of different isolated spots for one or two fish off of each. I mainly concentrated on the weed-lines in the main-river channel and fished very slowly.”

Miller said that he caught around 10 keepers on the day, with six coming via a black-and-blue- or brown-colored Marv Miller Flippin’ Jig and four coming on a white Hutch Swimming Jig with a white 5-inch Luck “E” Strike grub.

“The key for me was finding the current – either with weeds or rocks,” Miller went on to say. “All of my fish came from 10 feet of water or less. My St. Croix rods were crucial as well. The bite was very subtle, and the sensitivity of those rods were a huge benefit to me.”

Rounding out the top 10 pros were:

2nd: Brian Fitzpatrick, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 16-0, $1,981
3rd: John Berrens, Weyauwega, Wis., five bass, 13-12, $1,322
4th: Mark Myers, Cedar Falls, Iowa, five bass, 13-11, $925
5th: Rich Lindgren, Lakeville, Minn., five bass, 13-10, $793
6th: Clayton Reitz, Morton, Ill., five bass, 13-5, $727
7th: Terry Fitzpatrick, Waukon, Iowa, five bass, 12-10, $660
8th: Caleb Kuphall, Mukwonago, Wis., five bass, 12-8, $594
9th: Brad Liefermann, Andover, Minn., five bass, 12-7, $528
10th: Steve Johnson, Lake Villa, Ill., five bass, 12-5, $462

Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.

Adam Barnard of Burlington, Wis., and Jason Brenic of Sussex, Wis., both weighed five-bass limits totaling 12 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to each win $1,486 in the co-angler division.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:

3rd: Stefan Marginean, Glenview, Ill., five bass, 10-8, $662
4th: Matt Houman, Chisago City, Minn., five bass, 9-6, $462
5th: Ron Check, Prairie Du Chien, Wis., four bass, 9-3, $396
6th: Dennis Marcinek, Chicago, Ill., four bass, 8-14, $363
7th: Matt Knox, Washington, Ill., four bass, 8-2, $330
8th: Matthew Frisk, Sparta, Wis., four bass, 7-12, $297
9th: Jason Howland, Albert Lea, Minn., four bass, 7-11, $264
10th: Lawrence Ecklor, Coon Valley, Wis., four bass, 7-10, $231

The final BFL Great Lakes Division tournament of 2013 is scheduled for Sept. 21-22 on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wis. After that last divisional tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 10-12 Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Ky. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.

The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 40 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.

FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2013 over the course of 220 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the “Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water.” For more information about FLW visit FLWOutdoors.com and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.