By DAVID GREEN
Fishing may be just a hobby for Morenci native Scott Davis, but he certainly made it pay off two weeks ago near Detroit.
Davis, now a Coloma resident, earned top billing in the amateur (co-angler) division of the Bass Fishing League (BFL) Detroit River event Sept. 18-19.
His success led to the first-place prize of $2,270 for his two days on the river. Davis came through with a 10-bass total weight of 30 lbs., 11 oz.
His five-fish limit the first day weighed in at 13 lbs., 4 oz., and at that point Davis was just hoping for a top-10 finish. There were seven other co-anglers who weighed in with more than him, including two with five pounds more.
But day two proved to be good. Davis was assigned to work with pro Brent Dunmyer of Weston, Ohio, and they moved out of the Elizabeth Park Marina in Trenton to an area at the mouth of the Detroit River.
Co-anglers are randomly assigned to a pro angler the night before an event and the two meet to discuss the next day’s fishing.
“It’s like two separate tournaments,” Davis said, with anglers and co-anglers listed in their own standings.
The angler chooses where the fishing will be done.
“You could go anywhere from Lake Huron to Lake Erie,” Davis said. “I was with a guy once who drove an hour before launching. The guys will fish where they think they’ll find the most big ones.”
Davis said he’s had good times with the pros with whom he’s been assigned—they’re especially friendly if you contribute a little gas money.
Davis sees the BFL events as an excellent way for co-anglers to get involved in the sport, although they might be in for a rough ride with a pro.
“Their main goal is to get from point A to point B as fast as they can,” he said. “You’re going to start off wearing a rain suit no matter what the weather.”
The co-angler has the fun of fishing with a pro, but there’s no guarantee the pro is going to be “on-fish,” Davis said, and you might not end up with much. He and his pro, Dunmyer, did get a lot of fish.
Dunmyer’s catch weighed in at 16 lbs., 8 oz., but Davis did even better. His five bass totaled 17 lbs., 7 oz. to boost him to the top of the co-angler standings for the event.
In bass tournaments, the fish are weighed and released back into the water.
“They do a great job keeping them alive,” Davis said, noting there’s a penalty of a few ounces for a dead fish.
Davis competed about 10 years ago, but scaled it way back when his children were small. He joined in just one event a year for three years and then cut it out completely for a couple more years.
He gave it a try again this summer, including a season-long weekday series that he fished with his son. He participated in five BFL events this summer.
“Mostly I’m just doing it for fun,” he said. “I don’t expect to make a living off it.”
And that $2,270 prize?
A good share of that covered the cost of this summer’s participation.
“It will all be gone before the end of the year,” he said.