UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Lake Erie

High winds hamper day three of Stren Series tournament

High winds hamper day three of Stren Series tournament
Chad Pipkens has had a good tw-week run of fishing. Last week he placed ninth at the Stren Series Northern DIvision tournament at 1,000 Islands, N.Y. and today he heads out in 10th place at the Stren Series Central Division tournamnent on the Detroit River.

TRENTON, Mich. -- The winds of fate have forced the hand to be played by anglers who launched this morning for the final round of the Stren Series Central Division tournament on the Detroit River.

Okay, so they're only the winds of southern Michigan. Yet they will be a factor in how this tournament plays out. With southwest gusts over 20 mph in the forecast, Lake Erie is inaccessible to the 10 pros and as many co-anglers who are fishing today. Nobody has a boat that can handle 6-footers, not even Mike Trombly, whose deep-V Ranger 620 might qualify. But even Trombly shook his head no when asked if he was heading for Erie.

That leaves one choice: run the gauntlet to Lake St. Clair, which won't be a walk in the park due to heavy weekend boat traffic around Detroit. But that's the only location other than Erie where anglers can hope to catch the smallmouth bass needed to win this tournament. Unless somebody has a hidden hotspot he hasn't revealed so far, the Detroit River isn't producing the size of bass needed to win this tournament.

Leader Brian Hensley of Edwardsburg, Mich. has averaged 21 pounds, 8 ounces over the first two days and has a total weight of 42-8 starting today. Trombly is six ounces back in second (42-2) and Chip Harrison is 1 pound, 7 ounces back in third (41-1). Even the 10th place pro, Chad Pipkens of Holt, Mich., is within striking distance as day three begins.

"I thought I would need 18 to 19 pounds per day," said Pipkens, whose weights on day one and day two were 17-10 and 16-9, respectively. "I caught 22 pounds on Monday just poking around."

But bites have become fewer as the week has progressed. On day one Pipkens got seven bites and on day two he got six. Like others, he hasn't found good-sized schools of fish and has resorted to picking off fish one-by-one with a finesse drop-shot rig featuring Mike's RX tubes or a Poor Boy's darter. He's hovered over individual fish in 24-27 feet and coaxed them to bite, but with today's winds hovering won't be possible.

Pipkens loves what he's doing and would like to be a full-time pro one day. He's fished tournaments since he was 16 and is in his second year on the Stren Series. He fishes the Northern Division but for this event on the Detroit River, which is an hour-and-45 minutes from home. He made two top 10 cuts last year and finished seventh overall in the Northern Division points race. This year he's already made two top-10s. He's also fished the FLW Tour as a co-angler and last year qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup.

"I want to be careful about it," Pipkens said of making the transition to full-time pro. "I'm ready to go and hopefully it'll happen in the next year or the year or two."

Pipkens runs a 20-foot Stratus with a 225-hp Yamaha V-Max. To earn a living he referees hockey games, substitute teaches and paints. Today's first-place prize of $25,000 and a Ranger 198 VX would be very welcome right now.

Today's weigh-in begins at 4 p.m. at the Walmart on Allen Road in Woodhaven.

Pro top 10

1. Brian Hensley, Edwardsburg, Mich., 42-8
2. Michael Trombly, Perrysburg, Ohio, 42-2
3. Chip Harrison,Bremen, Ind., 41-1
4. Jon Bondy, Windsor, Ont., 39-3
5. Ryan Chandler, Hobart, Ind., 36-1
6. Shawn Murphy, Nicholasvsille, Kent., 35-5
7. Terry Baksay, Easton, Conn., 35-2
8. David McCrone, Minnetonka, Minn., 35-1
9. Jared Rhode, Port Clinton, Ohio, 34 pounds, 12 ounces
10. Chad Pipkens, Holt, Mich., 34-3

Co-angler top 10

1. John Leader, Granger, Ind., 35-0
2. Erik Jacques, Harrison Township, Mich., 32-15
3. David Matual, Chicago, Ill., 31-12
4. Ron Norris, Portage, Mich., 29-15
5. Cade Laufenberg, Stoddard, Wis., 29-15
6. Craig Brown, Powell, Ohio, 29-13
7. Mike Simpson, Dayton, Ohio, 29-11
8. Larry Creech, Columbia City, Ind., 29-2
9. Kenny Woods, Hazard, Ky., 29-1
10. Bill Valberg, London, Ont., 28-12

Today's weather

Temperature at takeoff: 72 degrees
Sky: Partly cloudy
Wind: South at 15 mph
Barometer: 29.74 inches and falling
Forecast: Thunderstorms likely with a high of 77 degrees. Wind southwest at 10-20 mph. Chance of rain 80 percent.

Tags: vince-meyer  morning-story  2009-07-23-detroit-river 

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