Neil McCord of West Frankfort, Illinois, brought a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 10 ounces, to the scale Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament of 2016 on Rend Lake presented by Navionics. McCord earned $5,917 for his win.
“I caught my fish on the upper end of the lake using a chartreuse-colored Lucky Craft BDS Crankbait,” says McCord, who earned his first win in FLW competition. “I probably hit three or four areas, and just kept going through them until I caught fish.”
McCord says he primarily focused on rocks and ridges, but also targeted laydowns.
“It was slow in the morning, I didn’t catch my first keeper until noon,” says McCord. “I made multiple casts to the same areas and ended up with seven keepers by the end of the day.”
McCord says his two heaviest fish came late in the day, just before weigh-in.
The top 10 boaters
1st: Neil McCord, West Frankfort, Ill., five bass, 17-10, $3,917 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Matt Jackson, Moweaqua, Ill., five bass, 15-8, $2,158
3rd: Larry Sisk, Evansville, Ind., five bass, 14-7, $1,307
4th: Brad Porter, Bluford, Ill., five bass, 14-1, $914
5th: Jeremy Mull, Chatham, Ill., five bass, 13-10, $883
6th: Larry Page, Mount Vernon, Ill., four bass, 13-1, $718
7th: Brian Gass, O’ Fallon, Ill., five bass, 12-6, $620
7th: Dan Morehead, Paducah, Ky., five bass, 12-6, $920
9th: Dan Shoraga, West Frankfort, Ill., five bass, 12-2, $522
10th: Jerry Walker, Zeigler, Ill., five bass, 11-4, $457
Patrick Odell of Windsor, Illinois, caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 7 ounces – the biggest of the tournament in the pro division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $520.
Hill bests co-anglers
Chad Hill of Marion, Illinois, weighed in four bass totaling 10 pounds, 3 ounces, Saturday to win the co-angler division and earn $1,921.
Top 10 co-anglers
1st: Chad Hill, Marion, Ill., four bass, 10-3, $1,921
2nd: Anthony Macon, Greenville, Ill., three bass, 6-7, $960
3rd: Kirk Jansen, Teutopolis, Ill., three bass, 6-5, $641
4th: Brian Lingle, Anna, Ill., three bass, 5-15, $448
5th: Tim Renth, Hoyleton, Ill., two bass, 5-8, $384
6th: Jordan Borgmann, Ashley, Ill., two bass, 5-5, $352
7th: Eugene Kim, Lindenhurst, Ill., three bass, 5-3, $520
8th: Aaron Arning, Walnut Hill, Ill., two bass, 5-2, $288
9th: Jim Budde, Waterloo, Ill., three bass, 5-1, $306
10th: Kenny Hemmen, St. Louis, Mo., one bass, 4-7, $479
Hemmen caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 4 pounds, 7 ounces, and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $255.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 13-15 Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky. 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.
The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 50 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and 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. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.