Robby Fleshman was the only angler to weigh in two limits of bass during TBF Mid-Atlantic Division Championship three day event in Morgantown, West Virginia. On today’s final day he was only able to manage 1 keeper and the disappointment was obvious on his face when he came to the scales.
He thought he had let his biggest opportunity of his fishing career slip through his fingers. Little did he know at that particular time that his one fish would be enough to secure the Division Champions title and earn him his spot in the 2010 TBF Federation National Championship, Presented by the National Guard…it did exactly that.
Fleshman squeaked through based on his first two days limits of bass to become the 2009 Mid-Atlantic Division Champion and the Castrol Maximum Performer award bonus winner. His total catch of 13 pounds even was caught primarily on crankbaits over the three day event, he simply covered a lot of ground and made as many casts as possible until he got bit. Fleshman anchored the West Virginia team to back to back division titles as the West Virginia 12 man team finished on top with 76-15.We will see if they can make it three in a row at next year’s Mid-Atlantic Division Championship hosted by Maryland.
Some would say West Virginia had a “home lake” advantage ….that was simply not true, especially this week. Any time you fish a event on your “home lake” it can be very tough to win but this week the Monongahela river was anything but normal. There were several things working against the anglers here on the “Mon.” For one the river is normally “dingy” but it is very clear right now. 2. Fall is coming fast and the fish are in transition between their seasonal patterns. 3.There is normally current and this week there was none.
These three things combined to push the bait fish out away from the banks into the middle of the river, where the suspended bass would simply lay in wait and feed at will, then suspend again. Fishing was brutally tough on the championship anglers.
Finishing up in second place overall with 10.09 and leading the Pennsylvania team, who also finished in second place in the team standings with 67-03, was Jeff Miller. Miller led the entire event on day one based on his limit of bass, on day 2 he managed four fish and day 3 only one fish. But he did it all as a non-boater out of someone else’s boat and of course a new partner every day. Another West Virginia angler, Willie Adkins, Jr. finished in third place overall and will advance as the West Virginia Co-angler for finishing second on their team, to the 2010 TBF Federation National Championship Presented by the National Guard. He was only two ounces back of Miller with 10-07.
Here is the full list of the 14 anglers who will advance to the 2010 Championship in Knoxville Tennessee April 22-25.
Nations Capitol Federation
Ed Loughran 8/8 8-14 Angler
Tim Cameron 7/7 8-04 Co-Angler
Amos Dixon 6/6 8-06 Angler
Marlon Algier 5/5 6-05 Co-Angler
Donald Muir 4/4 5-10 Angler
John Uhler 4/4 5-03 Co-Angler
Ron Schneider 8/8 8-09 Angler
Chris Oeser 6/6 8-09 Co-Angler
Jeff Miller 10/9 10-09 Angler
Matt Hartman 7/7 7-10 Co-Angler
Damien McMahon 10/10 10-03 Angler….(NOT PICTURED)
Kenneth Owens 7/7 8-06 Co-Angler
Robby Fleshman 11/11 13-00 Angler
Willie Adkins Jr. 10/10 10-07 Co-Angler