Lortz gets the drop on Lake Erie smallmouth
ATHENS, Ala. – Bill Lortz hit the schools hard to win the season finale in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, New York West Division 22 tournament, held Aug. 20, 2011, on Lake Erie.
Running out of Barcelona Harbor near Westfield, N.Y., the Rochester, N.Y., angler brought in five smallmouth bass to win the Boater Division with 22.48 pounds for about a 4.5-pound average. Lortz caught more than 20 fish and anchored his bag with a 5.54-pound brownie as a kicker.
“We fished about 45 to 50 feet of water with a drop shot,” Lortz explained. “The key was finding the schools of fish and targeting the bigger fish that were outside of the schools. Inside the schools, only the small ones bit. It was all about using the electronics properly. I culled about five times.”
In second Charles J. Love of Franklinville, N.Y., caught a five-bass tournament limit to finish with 20.25 pounds. His biggest bass dropped the scales down to 4.49 pounds.
Chuck Main of Ellwood City, Pa., took third with five bass and 19.94 pounds, followed by Eric Grant of Elmira, N.Y., with five bass at 19.77 pounds. Brian R. Campbell of Greensburg, Pa., rounded out the top five boaters with five bass weighing 19.74 pounds, but took division big bass honors with a 5.64-pounder.
In the Co-Angler Division, Dan J. Drake of Greene, N.Y., went deep to land three big smallmouth, enough to win with 13.35 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 4.95-pound brownie.
“We went west and fished in 40 feet of water,” Drake said. “We caught our fish on a 1/2-ounce drop shot with a 4-inch Berkley Gulp! finesse worm. Then, we worked our way back toward the landing, but continued with the drop shot all day long. We caught about 20 bass and culled three times.”
Keith DiLuzio of North East, Pa., took second among the co-anglers with a three-bass division limit for 12.95 pounds. Michael R. Woelfle of Batavia, N.Y., followed in third with three bass and 11.46 pounds, including one 5.12-pounder.
In fourth for the co-anglers, Roy E. Campbell Jr. of Buffalo, N.Y., brought in three keepers weighing 11.40 pounds with a 4.16-pound kicker. Brian E. Klerks of Horseheads, N.Y., completed the list of top co-anglers with three bass and 11.39 pounds. Brian E. Depto of Kane, Pa., only landed two keepers, but one weighed 5.80 pounds and set the tournament lunker standard.
For more information on this tournament, call Angelone at (256) 777-6152 or ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.
About American Bass Anglers: The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series provides weekend anglers a professionally operated competitive tour with a path the world championship of bass fishing the Bassmaster Classic. American Bass Anglers commitment is to provide low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler and at the same time offer each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers and the American Fishing Tour, The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series or the American Couples Series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.