Milford’s Mitchell settles for fourth at bass-fishing tourney

Milford’s Kurt Mitchell took fourth place as the Tackle Warehouse TITLE bass-fishing event concluded on Saturday.

Kurt Mitchell

The inaugural tournament was considered the FLW Pro Circuit championship.

Mitchell, who won Group A earlier in the week, caught six fish totaling 22 pounds, eight ounces on the final day on Lake Michigan at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

Rusty Salewske of Alpine, Calif. won the event to claim the $200,000 first-place prize money.

In dramatic fashion, Salewske boated a four-pound, 14-ounce kicker with just 12 minutes left to fish to overtake Bradford Beavers, who held the lead all of period three.

Salewske could not have been calmer as he played the winning fish, landed it, weighed it and released it back over the gunwale. Even knowing it might be a fish worth $200,000, he went through the motions as if it were any other smallmouth.

Beavers took second place by catching 16 fish weighing 48 pounds, three ounces with John Cox placing third with 11 fish for 36 pounds, 14 ounces.

Mitchell was one of 10 finalists competing on Saturday.

Late in the afternoon, Mitchell brought in a four-pound, 10-ounce bass to move up from sixth to fourth in the standings. The catch still left him 25-11 out of the lead but did increase his prize money.

The six-day competition started with 50 pro anglers on Monday contending for $820,000 in prize money.

It was a big couple weeks for Mitchell. After winning a tournament in Sandusky, Ohio last week, he started the Tackle Warehouse event by pulling in 33 smallmouths for a total weight of 119 pounds, 10 ounces.

“It was one of those days where everything just works out for you,” Mitchell said after that round. “These are the days you just don’t ever have, really.”

Unique to the TITLE championship, the event is being fished using the MLF catch-weigh-immediate release format.