Reporting Ron Dewey
TRENTON (WWJ) – The best fishermen in the country are speeding up the Detroit River to their favorite spot as part of a professional bass fishing tournament going on this weekend at Elizabeth Park in Trenton.
Nearly 150 professional bass anglers will be battling for up to $125,000 in the FLW Tour Open, which kicked off Thursday.
In the competition, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing.
Pro angler Greg Bohannan said the key to winning is thinking smart.
“Here, it’s always a different strategy because the weights are so tight. Everybody catches them, everybody is going to have at least 14 pounds so you really have to put in a strategy. You can’t just fish for three pounders here, you have to mix in some four pounders. Most tournaments, three pounders win tournaments but here, it may get you 50th or 60th place,” he said.
Bohannan said the competition is so stiff due to the abundance of smallmouth and largemouth bass in the Detroit River.
“A lot of people don’t think of Detroit as a great fishery but any time I’ve been somewhere giving a seminar or whatever, people ask me ‘Where should I take a vacation to go fishing?’ And I tell them to go to the Detroit River, St. Clair, Lake Erie. It’s the best small mouth fishery in the country, bar none,” he said.
And it’s not just fishermen who are out in the park, it’s their fans, too — like Carol and John Lang of Taylor.
“My husband and the children fish and I used to tournament fish with the women’s club. We just enjoy the fishing and watching the different pros come out,” said Carol.
Anglers will take off from Elizabeth Park Marina at 6:30 a.m. daily. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Marina beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s final weigh-ins will be held at the Walmart on Allen Road in Woodhaven, beginning at 4 p.m.
The last time the FLW Tour held an event on the Detroit River, it quickly became a one-man show. Steve Clapper of Lima, Ohio, led wire-to-wire and won the 2007 championship title with a four-day weight of 88 pounds, 7 ounces, more than 6 pounds over the second-place finisher.
For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, visit www.flwoutdoors.com.