Dan Shoraga of West Frankfort, Illinois, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division tournament on the Ohio River. For his victory, Shoraga earned $6,505.
Shoraga said he ran to the Cumberland River to target bass congregating in 20-yard stretches of riprap.
“I stayed on three spots throughout the day,” said Shoraga, who picked up his first win after two previous top-10 finishes in BFL competition. “I only caught seven keepers during the tournament, but it seemed like fish were biting about every 30 minutes.
“I caught the biggest fish of the tournament – a 5-pound, 4-ouncer – around 8:30 a.m. using a green-pumpkin and chartreuse-colored tube,” continued Shoraga. “For the remaining six I used a Zoom Trick Worm in the same color.”
Shoraga said it was his familiarity with the Cumberland River that helped him edge out the competition.
“There were several boats around me, but a lot of anglers tend to leave if they don’t get a quick bite,” said Shoraga. “In my experience on the Cumberland, you can go without a bite for an hour and then bring in three bass quick. You just have to keep your confidence.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Dan Shoraga, West Frankfort, Ill., five bass, 12-11, $3,505 +$2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus + $1,000 Mercury Bonus
2nd: Jeff Fulkerson, Elizabethtown, Ill., five bass, 12-3, $1,753
3rd: Chad Diedrich, Nashville, Ill., five bass, 10-7, $1,169
4th: Delmar Burlison, Goreville, Ill., five bass, 10-6, $818
5th: Leroy McDuffie, McLeansboro, Ill., five bass, 10-0, $701
6th: Andre Dickneite, Freeburg, Mo., five bass, 9-12, $643
7th: James Powell, Murphysboro, Ill., four bass, 9-2, $584
8th: William Walker, Mulkeytown, Ill., five bass, 8-15, $526
9th: Matt Jackson, Moweaqua, Ill., five bass, 8-0, $467
10th: Jake Hurst, New Athens, Ill., five bass, 7-15, $409
Complete results can be found here.
Shoraga also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 4 ounces and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $440.
Lingle wins co-angler division
Carl Lingle of Dongola, Illinois, weighed in five bass totaling 13 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win $1,753 in the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Carl Lingle, Dongola, Ill., five bass, 13-8, $1,753
2nd: Jeffrey Lee, Olney, Ill., five bass, 9-7, $876
3rd: Mario Rossi, Granite City, Ill., four bass, 7-14, $585
4th: Scott Payne, Ingraham, Ill., five bass, 6-10, $409
5th: Lance Dasenbrock, Effingham, Ill., three bass, 5-13, $351
6th: Thomas Helton, Charleston, Tenn., two bass, 5-10, $321
7th: Chris Butler, Winchester, Ill., one bass, 5-7, $277
7th: Brian Miller, Johnston City, Ill., two bass, 5-7, $277
9th: Bob Rask, Dahinda, Ill., two bass, 5-4, $234
10th: Sheldon Ayers, Anna, Ill., three bass, 4-12, $204
Butler caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $220.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 22-24 Regional Championship on Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.