August 5, 2019 by FLW Communications
BREWERTON, N.Y. – FLW Tour pro Grae Buck of Harleysville, Pennsylvania, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake Saturday after catching five bass weighing 16 pounds, 13 ounces. For his win, Buck earned $5,471 and 250 points in the Northeast Division presented by Gajo Baits standings. The winner of the division’s Angler of the Year title after five tournaments will win $3,000.
“I was working in 8 to 12 feet of water and targeting areas that had a mix of rock and grass,” said Buck, who earned his fourth career win in BFL competition – second on Oneida Lake. “I ran around and probably hit 20 different spots. I never found a school – I was plucking them off here and there. There are a bunch of small perch fry in those areas right now, so I was looking for the bait and matching the hatch.”
Buck said he used a Tennessee Shad-colored and Purple-colored Cornerstone Baits Shimmy Shot on a drop-shot rig with a No. 2 Hayabusa DSR 132 hook and a ¼-ounce Eco Pro Tungsten Full Contact Drop Shot weight. His line was 18-pound-test Gliss Supersmooth Monotex Yellow Line, with a 12-inch, 8-pound-test Seaguar InvisX fluorocarbon leader. Buck’s setup was rigged on Dobyns DX 703SF Champion Extreme rods and Ardent C-Force 3000 reels.
“I caught all of my fish on the Shimmy Shot – probably 15 or so total. It’s got a piece of foil on the belly which gives it a little extra glimmer,” said Buck. “When I casted out there I’d let it sit on the bottom, and then let the slack out without moving the rig. It was a subtle bite, but I could see the line start moving away. They’re finicky when they are eating perch fry.”
Buck also credited his Lowrance HDS electronics and Navionics chip with helping him identify productive areas around the lake with ease, and said all of the fish he weighed were smallmouth.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Grae Buck, Harleysville, Pa., five bass, 16-13, $5,471
2nd: Andrew Heivly, Malvern, Pa., five bass, 16-8, $2,486
3rd: Mandel Pettus, Rocky Point, N.Y., five bass, 16-5, $1,424
4th: Ed Casey, Whiteford, Md., five bass, 15-12, $997
5th: Michael Cooper, Sellersville, Pa., five bass, 15-10, $854
6th: Robert Parmer, Linden, Pa., five bass, 15-1, $783
7th: Trevor Topken, Warwick, N.Y., five bass, 15-0, $712
8th: Joe LaBarbera, Montrose, Pa., five bass, 14-11, $641
9th: Chris Caravan, Pottsville, Pa., five bass, 14-6, $569
10th: Nick Diamandas Jr., Oak Ridge, N.J., five bass, 14-5, $498