Mandes Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament on Oneida Lake

Mandes Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament on Oneida Lake Jeff Mandes won the Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake

BREWERTON, N.Y. (July 16, 2018) – Boater Jeff Mandes of Smyrna, Delaware, won the Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 2 ounces. Mandes pocketed $6,996 for his win. Mandes caught his fish from a large section of grass in Maple Bay, a location he ended up committing to due to motor trim issues.


“I couldn’t trim my motor up when I got to the ramp. I’m not sure how it happened, but it started working by the time we launched and I made it through boat check,” said Mandes, who notched his first win in FLW competition. “Normally I’d move around more, but I was afraid the trim would quit working."


Mandes made the most of his predicament, figuring out that the fish were in a certain, smaller area about half the size of the general location he fished. He said he kept going around and through it to pick them off.


“When I went beyond it, I couldn’t get a bite. It all looked the same, but they were in a certain section,” said Mandes.


Mandes said he started out with a topwater bait, but didn’t have any luck. After 20 minutes or so, he picked up a green-pumpkin-colored Big Mouth Lures swimjig with a custom-colored skirt and an Okeechobee Craw-colored Netbait Paca Craw trailer and went to work.


“I caught a good one on my third cast with the swimjig, so that’s what I stuck with. I also caught some on a black Texas-rigged (Yamamoto) Senko with a belly-weighted hook,” said Mandes. “When the wind died down and it got slick-calm, the Senko worked well, but when there was a ripple in the water, the swimjig did better.”


By noon, Mandes said he had approximately 18 pounds of bass.


“I culled one more time and around 12:30 (p.m.) I ran closer to the ramp to fish and finish out my day,” said Mandes. “Overall, I caught between 15 and 18 keepers throughout the day.”


The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

               1st:          Jeff Mandes, Smyrna, Del., five bass, 19-2, $4,996 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus

               2nd:         Mike Shumanis, Bethlehem, Pa., five bass, 18-0, $3,113

               3rd:          Grae Buck, Harleysville, Pa., five bass, 17-7, $1,695

               4th:          Joe Wolter, Rochester, N.Y., five bass, 16-15, $1,119

               5th:          Shawn Flynn, Dexter, N.Y., five bass, 16-7, $959

               6th:          Chris Caravan, Pottsville, Pa., five bass, 16-5, $879

               7th:          Ed Casey, Whiteford, Md., five bass, 16-0, $799

               8th:          Robert Polishan, Wilkes Barre, Pa., five bass, 15-14, $719

               9th:          Cody Cutter, Harveys Lake, Pa., five bass, 15-11, $639

               10th:        Rick Anderson, Dover, Pa., five bass, 15-10, $560


Shumanis brought a 5-pound, 8-ounce, bass to the scale – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $715. Michael Bahnweg of Union Dale, Pennsylvania, won the Co-angler Division and $2,398 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 15 pounds, 13 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers were:

               1st:          Michael Bahnweg, Union Dale, Pa., five bass, 15-13, $2,398

               2nd:         Christian Snyder, Oswego, N.Y., five bass, 15-5, $1,199

               3rd:          Thomas Bartholomew, Palmerton, Pa., five bass, 14-12, $995

               4th:          Jonathan Ruch, Jersey City, N.J., five bass, 14-10, $560

               5th:          Steve Houseknecht, Freeville, N.Y., five bass, 14-8, $480

               6th:          Terry Beck, Lock Haven, Pa., five bass, 14-6, $440

               7th:          Brian Wisniewski, Sayerville, N.J., five bass, 14-1, $400

               8th:          David Compton Jr., Mount Bethel, Pa., four bass, 13-12, $360

               9th:          Mike Stahl, Mifflinburg, Pa., five bass, 13-11, $300

               9th:          Ron Dopko, Plymouth, Pa., five bass, 13-11, $300

Michael Saganich Sr. of Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 4 pounds, 9 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $357.

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