James Ciferni of Hammond, N.Y., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament of 2014 on Lake Champlain. For his victory, Ciferni earned $3,926.

“I knew where I was going to go, and it all depended on my draw in the morning,” said Ciferni, who picked up the first BFL win of his career. “I got a great draw and went to a high-pressure area immediately. There were two boats there already, and I spent about ten minutes there and caught three largemouth. Then, I went to two spots I had that see zero fishing pressure.

“I had about a four mile area all to myself,” Ciferni explained. “I culled out the three largemouth I had caught and weighed in all smallmouth. I probably culled through my entire limit three times.”

Ciferni said his two key areas were slight ledges with mud on one side and rock on the other, with most of his fish coming in 12 to15 feet of water. He caught all his fish on three homemade baits – a craw, a shad and a swimbait – that he fished on jig heads.

“I always feel that if I’m catching them, someone else is too,” said Ciferni. “I’m still trying to grasp it. This is my first full season fishing the BFL circuit and I’ve had a third place finish and now a first. I’m still glowing. Some of the top local guys came up and congratulated me after the win, and that means a lot to me.”

Rounding out the top 10 pros were:

2nd: Darrin Schwenkbeck, Keeseville, N.Y., five bass, 20-0, $1,963
3rd: Bryan Labelle, Hinesburg, Vt., five bass, 19-10, $1,309
4th: Bud Schosger, Painted Post, N.Y., five bass, 19-3, $916
5th: Chris Panetta, Red Hook, N.Y., five bass, 18-6, $785 + $300 Evinrude Bonus
6th: Michael Durbak, Woodbourne, N.Y., five bass, 17-9, $720
7th: Michael Ertel, Manahawkin, N.J., five bass, 17-7, $588
7th: Chris Novack, Mansfield Center, Con., five bass, 17-7, $588
7th: Joe Zombek II, Scranton, Pa., five bass, 17-7, $588
10th: Garry Woodruff, Candia, N.H., five bass, 17-5, $458

Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.

Eric Ashley of Little Falls, N.Y., weighed a five-bass limit bass totaling 17 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win $1,963 in the co-angler division.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:

2nd: Richard Jordan, Muncy Valley, Pa., five bass, 16-12, $981
3rd: Tom Cole, Mechanicsville, Md., five bass, 16-6, $655
4th: Jim Buehler, Montoursville, Pa., five bass, 16-5, $458
5th: Terry Beck, Lock Haven, Pa., five bass, 15-11, $393
6th: Randy Gordner, Millville, Pa., five bass, 15-10, $360
7th: Randy Depto, Kane, Pa., five bass, 15-9, $327
8th: John Scipione, Brewerton, N.Y., five bass, 15-8, $294
9th: Eric Correll, Birdsboro, Pa., five bass, 14-13, $262
10th: Billy Grotton, Oakland, Maine, five bass, 14-11, $229

The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 2-4 Regional Championship on the James River in Richmond, Va. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.

The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 40 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Rayovac FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.

Image courtesy FLW Outdoors

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