Mittlestat Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake St. Clair

Mittlestat Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake St. Clair Dan Mittlestat won the Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on Lake St. Clair

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (July 15, 2019) – Boater Dan Mittlestat of Woodhaven, Michigan, won the Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on Lake St. Clair Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 7 ounces. Mittlestat netted $6,552 for his win.


“I fished mid-lake in 21 feet of water on Lake St. Clair all day,” said Mittlestat, who earned his first win in FLW competition. “I got one big one early on an umbrella rig – it was about 4½ pounds. I also lost a really big one.”


Mittlestat said he used a Shane’s Baits umbrella rig with 4-inch, Ayu-colored Strike King Rage Swimmers to catch his first one. The rest of his limit came on a Melon or Erie Green-colored Mizmo Baby Tube on a ¼-ounce custom jighead.


“The sun wasn’t high enough to penetrate through the water and there were 2-foot waves – I don’t think they could see the boat,” said Mittlestat. “The waves pulled the mayflies down into the water column and I think they were feeding on them.”


Mittlestat said the bite slowed down by 10:30 a.m. At that time, he said, the sun was high enough to reposition the fish into scattered grass beds. When it was lower, he figured the fish were feeding on the cleaner spots between them.


“I made long casts into the beds because they likely could see the boat and ended up plucking them out one after another,” said Mittlestat. “I’d keep tension on the line, and when I didn’t feel the tube hit the ground, that’s when I knew they had it – they didn’t hit it aggressively.”


Mittlestat said he caught around 25 keepers during the tournament. His biggest fish bit the tube around 11:15 a.m., and ended up being the heaviest of the event. He used a 7-foot, 11-inch iRod Bama Rig Special Heavy rod and 20-pound-test Sunline Super FC Sniper fluorocarbon line.


The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

               1st:          Dan Mittlestat, Woodhaven, Mich., five bass, 22-7, $4,552 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus

               2nd:         Cameron Moore, Howe, Ind., five bass, 21-5, $2,021

               3rd:          Scott Dobson, Clarkston, Mich., five bass, 20-13, $1,582

               4th:          Dominic Ortiz, Midland, Mich., five bass, 20-11, $896

               5th:          Ross Rhodes, Paw Paw, Mich., five bass, 20-8, $768

               6th:          Kyle Greene, Ortonville, Mich., five bass, 20-6, $704

               7th:          John Devries, Fishers, Ind., five bass, 20-4, $890

               8th:          Ron Scharphorn, Grand Haven, Mich., five bass, 20-2, $576

               9th:          Jamie Elliott, Warsaw, Ind., five bass, 19-13, $662

               10th:        Matt Elkins, Spencerville, Ohio, five bass, 19-6, $448 

Mittlestat’s largest fish weighed 5-pounds, 3-ounces and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $510. Michael Kokoska of Findlay, Ohio, won the Co-angler Division and $2,021 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 23 pounds, 5 ounces.


The top 10 co-anglers were:

               1st:          Michael Kokoska, Findlay, Ohio, five bass, 23-5, $2,021

               2nd:         Aaron Stahley, Batavia, Ohio, five bass, 21-1, $1,010

               3rd:          Mike Eldridge, Blairsville, Pa., five bass, 20-11, $641

               4th:          Dan O’Neil, Canton, Mich., five bass, 20-7, $448

               5th:          Tony Grubb, Ann Arbor, Mich., five bass, 20-4, $384

               6th:          Ryan Hochstetler, Shipshewana, Ind., five bass, 19-3, $352

               7th:          Craig Fanning, Elwood, Ill., five bass, 19-2, $320

               8th:          Jim Betts, Fort Wayne, Ind., five bass, 18-8, $543

               9th:          Riley Welch, Beecher, Ill., five bass, 17-15, $256

               10th:        Matthew Snyder, Pinckney, Mich., four bass, 17-1, $224

Betts caught the heaviest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 5 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $255.

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