UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Detroit River

Trombly shows his hand, brings in lone 20-pound stringer

Trombly shows his hand, brings in lone 20-pound stringer
Mike Trombly brought in the day's heaviest weight to emerge as the front-runner heading into the final day.

TRENTON, Mich. - After generously producing 20-pound bag after 20-pound bag for Stren Series Midwest anglers all week, Lake Erie largely became a thing of the past for many semifinal-round anglers Friday, several of whom reported staying close and fishing the river after the wind kicked up today and made navigation tough. The choppy water wasn't the only thing that kept them out of Erie today - the current most of them were looking for was rendered useless by the gusty winds, making their Erie fish difficult if not impossible to catch.

One angler affected by today's weather conditions was Mike Trombly, but he didn't let a little wrinkle in the plans hurt his performance. Trombly was the sole competitor to bring in more than 20 pounds today, and his five-bass, 21-pound, 7-ounce stringer put him ahead of No. 2 Vic Vatalaro by 1 pound, 10 ounces heading into the final day.

The key to Trombly's day-three success was a spot he'd been saving for this very occasion, though he admitted it might now be depleted after his Friday haul.

"I went to a place I've been holding off of," Trombly said. "On the first day, I caught two there and backed off of it. The water is getting really dirty, so I'm not sure what might happen tomorrow."

Trombly reported sticking close by in the Detroit River for most of the day, but he was forced to make the long and difficult run to Erie, which resulted in the fish he brought to the scales.

"We fished several places, but the fish did come from the lake," he said. "We fished close, but we did have to make a run."

Ironically, Trombly felt the brunt of the wind's force when he was on the river.

"The wind affected me in the closer places," he said. "It ruined the current and shut the bite down. That forced me to go to the lake."

Trombly said he caught his bass today on a tube.

Vatalaro sticks close for second

Judging from his facial expression, No. 2 Vic Vatalaro seems pretty pleased with his 19-pound, 13-ounce catch.Just a little over a month ago, No. 2 Vatalaro won his third Lake Erie title at a Stren Series Northeast Division tournament out of Cleveland. In that event, he was making a 55-mile run to catch his bass, and he was trying to fish that same exact spot this week on Erie at the Midwest Division tournament. Today, though, he decided not to fish the area that has given him such good fortune recently because it was simply getting too much pressure.

"Today I was fishing the river probably only five miles from the ramp - under 10 miles," Vatalaro said. "The spot where I won it a month ago was getting hit pretty hard, so I decided to look for something else."

Describing today's fishing day as difficult, Vatalaro nonetheless brought in 19 pounds, 13 ounces to sit in second place and within striking distance to score yet another Stren Series title.

"Today was tough because the current was coming down the river, but the wind was coming up the river," Vatalaro said. "It makes your boat sit funny and your bait drag differently."

Vatalaro reported catching his bass today on Mizmo baits.

Balog threatening at third
Joe Balog made a crucial decision that allowed him to bring in 19-7 today and thus wind up third.
Joe Balog of Harrison Township, Mich., finished second to Vatalaro at that Stren Northeast tournament, and he put himself in position to win this week's event by ending day three in third place with 19 pounds, 7 ounces, which tied him with No. 4 Stacey King.

Balog reported tough conditions yesterday and bemoaned them again today, though it was a critical decision on his part that allowed him to advance to fish another day.

"The wind made traveling very difficult, and that ate up a lot of the day," Balog said. "The current was very bad, and that made it difficult to catch the fish. I saved an hour to try a spot on the river, and that was a genius move. It saved my day."

Balog caught his bass today on a drop-shot.

King, Coates round out top five

Bryan Coates shows the crowd a pair of bass from his 18-pound, 3-ounce catch that put him in fifth.Bringing in 19 pounds, 7 ounces today was Reeds Spring, Mo., pro Stacey King, certainly no stranger to final-round competition. King moved up from 11th place to advance to tomorrow's finals.

Behind him in fifth is Bryan Coates of Amherst, Ohio, with a limit of bass weighing 18 pounds, 3 ounces. Coates had four fish in the boat and his co-angler partner, Charles Hasty, suggested they try one more spot he had in mind before the day was finished. Coates ultimately caught his fifth fish on the last cast and wound up in the finals.

Rest of the best
Kevin Spears jumped from 14th to sixth with a day-three catch of 17 pounds, 13 ounces.
Rounding out the top 10 pros who will compete tomorrow on the Detroit River:

6th: Kevin Spears, New Boston, Ohio, five bass, 17-13
7th: Dick Shaffer, Rockford, Ohio, five bass, 17-9
8th: Todd Koehler, Metamora, Mich., five bass, 16-10
9th: Terry Boyd, Cincinnati, five bass, 16-1
10th: David Hayward, Sylvania, Ohio, five bass, 15-7

Parker again leads co-anglers

With a day-three catch of 19-8, Dick Parker led the co-anglers for a second straight day and has a 2-pound-plus lead heading into the final day.Co-angler Dick Parker of Amherst, Ohio, continues his mean streak, bringing in a limit of five that weighed 19 pounds, 8 ounces to lead by 2 pounds, 5 ounces heading into the final day.

Parker fished with Shaffer today, who was also his partner on day one, and that level of familiarity coupled with Parker's already in-depth knowledge of the fishery contributed to his day-three success.

"We did a little more running around today," Parker said. "It was sloppy out there, and the weather didn't help."

Shaffer and Parker fished Lake Erie today, and Parker said he caught his bass on an ISG tube. Though he has a comfortable lead, Parker didn't seem totally confident he would take the crown tomorrow.

"I'd be lucky," he said. "I've got to get five in to have a shot."

Hasty sitting pretty in second

Charles Hasty caught 17-3 today to sit in the No. 2 spot on the co-angler side and is definitely a threat for the final day.Last July's Stren Series Detroit River co-angler winner Charles Hasty of Toledo, Ohio, brought in five bass weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces today and was one of the few anglers who put an optimistic spin on his time out on the water.

"I had a wonderful day - couldn't ask for anything better," Hasty said. "And my bait was working."

That bait, he said, was a drop-shot goby, and indeed, Hasty did seem to have one of the more prolific fish-catching days out there today, as he reported culling three fish. That is particularly significant since only eight of 20 co-anglers brought in a five-bass limit today.

Probable Co-angler of the Year Fabiszak in third

Though the official numbers won't be released until tomorrow afternoon, Ron Fabiszak is pretty much a lock for this year's Midwest Division Co-angler of the Year title, and his hot year continues with a day-three third-place finish thanks to a limit of bass weighing 16 pounds, 14 ounces.

Fabiszak leapt from 10th place to third to ensure his final-round slot. He will fish with Balog tomorrow. Fabiszak already has one Midwest victory to his credit this season, as he took the title earlier this year on Kentucky Lake.

Rest of the best

In fourth place on the co-angler side is Mike Lawrence of Toledo, Ohio, with a limit of bass weighing 16 pounds, 6 ounces. In fifth is Kenneth Taylor of Shelby Township, Mich., with five that weighed 16 pounds, 4 ounces.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers who will compete tomorrow on the Detroit River:

6th: Barry Baldwin, Dayton, Ohio, five bass, 15-3
7th: Todd Kuipers, Lafayette, Ind., five bass, 13-13
8th: Timothy Vieth, Marthasville, Mo., five bass, 12-13
9th: James Richardson Sr., Harrison, Ohio, three bass, 11-0
10th: Dale Fisher, Watsontown, Pa., four bass, 10-5

Final round Saturday

Day four of Midwest Division competition at the Detroit River begins as the final-round field of 10 boats takes off from Lake Erie Metropark near Brownstown at 6:45 a.m. Eastern time Saturday. Friday's weights carry over to Saturday, and each division's winner will be determined by two-day combined weight.

Tags: jennifer-simmons  headline-story  2006-09-06-detroit-river 

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