Jason Burger, of New Jersey celebrates after winning the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Opener on Chesapeake Bay in North East on Saturday.

NORTH EAST — Boater Jason Burger of Bridgeton, N.J., won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division opener on the Chesapeake Bay presented by Navionics Saturday with five bass weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces. For his efforts, Burger pocketed $4,000.

Burger said he spent the day fishing isolated grass clumps and wood near the mouth of the Susquehanna River. He said he caught about 10 keepers all day, and ended up weighing all largemouth.

“I’d usually fish different areas that are more normal for this time of year, but with the weather they’ve had, I fished some old stuff,” said Burger, who earned his first win in FLW competition. “When they have a lot of rain, they open up the Conowingo Dam and it muddies up the water in the North East area. And when they close it, the water near Havre de Grace is the first to clean up, so I stayed around the mouth of the river and targeted spawning and prespawn fish.”

For prespawners, Burger used a ½-ounce, white-colored 6th Sense Divine Swim-Jig with a 4-inch X Zone Muscle Back Craw trailer and a 3/8-ounce, black and blue Z-Man ChatterBait with a 4-inch Tennessee Shad-colored X Zone Swammer Swimbait. When he slowed down for bedding fish, he worked a 3/8-ounce, black and blue-colored 6th sense Divine Hybrid jig with a 3.25-inch X Zone Rebel Chunk trailer, as well as a 6-inch, Texas-rigged X Zone True Center Stick, also in black and blue.

“My Lowrance electronics and Power-Poles were also crucial,” said Burger. “When you’re working with tides and wind you have to be stealthy, and the poles help. My Lowrance side imaging is how I found a lot of the stuff I fished.”

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Caravan caught a bass weighing 7 pounds even – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $540.

Bill Klaips of Shavertown, Pa., won the Co-angler Division and $2,000 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 22 pounds, 3 ounces.

Joseph Amberg Jr. of Hawley, Pa., caught the heaviest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 14 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $270.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 17-19 BFL Regional Championship on the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.

The 2019 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. The 2019 BFL All-American will be held May 30-June 1 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland, and is hosted by the Charles County Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism and the Commissioners of Charles County. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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