Copley Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake St. Clair

July 18, 2022
BFL News Archive

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (July 18, 2022) – Boater Jeff Copley of Marengo, Ohio, caught five bass Saturday weighing 26 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the MLF Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake St. Clair. Copley earned $8,407, including a $2,500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus, for his victory.

“We pulled up on some areas where I thought I had them pretty planned out, but I struggled for a while,” Copley said. “I ended up locating a school I had found Friday and spent the rest of the day making drifts and alternating between a swimbait and a drop-shot.”

Copley said he was fishing 13 to 16 feet deep and targeting isolated grass clumps in the Anchor Bay area. Copley said he caught an estimated 20 fish during the course of the day, all of which were keepers.

“I don’t typically weigh fish,” Copley said. “If they’re over four pounds, they go in the livewell, and if they’re under four pounds they get a cull tag. At one point I had culled everything that had a cull tag, and then I caught a 6-pounder. At that point I knew I had significantly more than 21 pounds.

“I’ve learned from some of the best out there by fishing as a co-angler,” Copley said. “To be able to go out there and put it together myself was pretty amazing.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

                1st:        Jeff Copley, Marengo, Ohio, five bass, 26-4, $8,407 (includes $2,500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
                2nd:       Kyle Greene, Ortonville, Mich., five bass, 23-8, $2,436
                3rd:       Brayden Federer, Deerfield, Mich., five bass, 22-9, $1,623
                4th:        Todd Schmitz, Coldwater, Mich., five bass, 22-4, $1,137
                5th:        Kevin Langlands, Macomb, Mich., five bass, 21-13, $974
                6th:        Jeremy Reese, Powell, Ohio, five bass, 21-11, $893
                7th:        Scott Dobson, Clarkston, Mich., five bass, 21-6, $1,012
                8th:        Aaron Jagdfeld, Rochester, Mich., five bass, 21-3, $731
                9th:        Austin Freed, LaGrange, Ind., five bass, 21-0, $650
                10th:     John Lovin, Fayetteville, Ohio, five bass, 20-15, $568

Complete results can be found at

Copley also caught the heaviest bass of the tournament - 6 pounds, 3 ounces, to earn the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $735. Benjamin Mott of North Royalton, Ohio, won the Co-angler Division and $2,736 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 22 pounds even.

The top 10 co-anglers were:

                1st:        Benjamin Mott, North Royalton, Ohio, five bass, 22-0, $2,736
                2nd:       Tom Stark, Angola, Ind., five bass, 20-7, $1,218
                3rd:       Zach Wolfe, Mokena, Ill., five bass, 20-1, $814
                4th:        Greg Elswick, Goshen, Ind., five bass, 20-0, $568
                5th:        Todd Layne, Poca, W.V., five bass, 19-6, $837
                6th:        Gregory Jantovsky, Westland, Mich., five bass, 19-3, $447
                7th:        Ashten Lynch, Lebanon, Ohio, five bass, 18-14, $406
                8th:        Jason Hayward, Otsego, Mich., five bass, 18-7, $365
                9th:        Greg Surratt, Canal Winchester, Ohio, five bass, 18-4, $325
                10th:     Todd Taylor, Bargersville, Ind., five bass, 17-12, $284

Matt Knox of Metamora, Illinois, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 14 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $367.

After two events, Kyle Greene of Ortonville, Michigan, leads the Bass Fishing League Michigan Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 498 points, while Greg Elswick of Goshen, Indiana, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 490 points.