A pair of Lima-area anglers who fish the Michigan Chapter of the Bass Fishing League (BFL) joined five other bass anglers in October in qualifying for regionals.

Findlay’s Wilson Burton and Lima’s Zach Maisch finished among the top 45 boaters in the Michigan division and qualified for regionals Oct. 13-15 on the Mississippi River from Lacrosse, Wis. Rockford’s Dick Shafer qualified for the same regional by finishing in the top 45 in the Hoosier division. Shaffer, along with Columbus Grove’s Kyle Weisenburger and Waynesfield’s Bob Lane, and Jacob Altop and Brian Hofstetter, both of Lewistown, are out of the Buckeye division. The Buckeyes have qualified for the James River Regional Championships, which will be held Oct. 20-22 in Richmond, Virginia. Although Maisch has qualified, he will not be able to catch regional fish.

“What an amazing four days. In just two days of training, I was able to get into the top five,” Burton said. “Now he’s gone to regionals in lacrosse. I have unfinished business.’

Burton finished fifth on the Detroit River last weekend with two good days of five limits. After day one he was sixth with 22lb 3oz before moving up to fifth on day two with 22lb 14oz. His total weight was 25 pounds 1 ounce. He would move up to 23rd in the points standings in the boater category.

Maish failed to qualify for the second day after catching four bass weighing 11lb 4oz, leaving him in 78th place. He did finish 36th in the overall points standings in the boater division.

Spencerville’s Matt Elkins likely would have qualified for the regional as well, but he had a prior commitment last weekend and was unable to make the tournament.

Two years ago in Mississippi, Burton had a five-bass limit each day in a regional out of La Crosse, Wis., and finished second in the pro standings. Burton led the standings after day two but was knocked out on the final day with only 12 anglers fishing. He landed 15 bass that weighed 49 pounds, 4 ounces. Cade Laufenberg of Yanalaska, Wis., finished first with 15 fish weighing 50 pounds, 1 ounce.

Shaffer also caught every day of the regional fishing and finished 10th.

* * *

Major League Fishing has announced the schedule, rules, payouts and dates for the 2023 Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL), presented by TH Marine.

The complete 2023 Phoenix Bass Fishing League schedule, rules and payouts are available at MajorLeagueFishing.com. Anglers can register for the 2023 BFL season at MajorLeagueFishing.com or by calling 270-252-1000 beginning at 9 a.m. Dec. 8 for those fishing the Hoosier Divisions and Dec. 9 for those fishing the Buckeye and Michigan Divisions .

Bass anglers in the Lima area fish in three BFL divisions – Buckeye, Hooser and Michigan.

Buckeyes Divisional Schedule: May 13 – Ohio River-Tanners Creek, Lawrenceburg, IN; June 24 – Lake Erie, Sandusky; July 15 – Indian Lake, Lakeview; August 5 – Ohio River, Maysville, Kentucky; September 9-10 – Lake Erie, Sandusky.

Hoosier Division Schedule: April 22 – Lake Monroe, Bloomington, IN; May 20 – Potoka Lake, Birdseye, Indiana; June 17 – Ohio River-Tanners Creek, Lawrenceburg, IN; July 8 – Ohio River-Rocky Point, Cannelton, IN; August 26-27 – Ohio River Tanners Creek, Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

The Michigan Division schedule is on the Detroit River from Trenton, Michigan on July 8, July 22, August 12, August 26 and September 23-24.

* * *

Due to some members having a conflicting meeting on the second Tuesday of the month, the Allen County Fly Casters have decided to move their monthly meetings to the second Thursday of the month.

The club will meet at 7:00 pm on October 13 at the Allen County Sportsmen and Farmers Association clubhouse located at 1001 S. Kemp Road in Elida. Participants will work on the basics of fly tying. Participants are reminded to bring tying tools and any materials.

For more information, contact Brad Sherrick at [email protected] or by calling 419-233-6448.

* * *

Beginning Sunday (Oct. 1), boat owners can apply for Indian Lake State Park’s online boat rental lottery. The application period for the online lottery will end at 23:59 on October 31. Indian Lake is one of 17 parks that has a lottery.

Interested lottery participants are asked to submit a copy of a document confirming ownership (title) and current registration. Applicants may apply for more than one park, but only one application per family per park.

Those selected for the 2023 season will be eligible to renew their dock rental privileges for up to five years (with an option to renew each spring).

To learn more about dock options at Indian Lake State Park, contact your local park office at 937-843-2717.

Read Al Smith’s previous outdoor columns

Al Smith is a freelance writer. You can contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL