Shallow Cranks Deliver for McGill - Major League Fishing

Shallow Cranks Deliver for McGill

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Mike McGill
McCleery wins co-angler title on Lake Shelbyville
April 24, 2017 • MLF • Phoenix Bass Fishing League

Mike McGill of Findlay, Illinois, caught five bass Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the first T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament of 2017 on Lake Shelbyville. For his win, McGill took home $3,632.


“It was a wonderful way to start the BFL season,” says McGill, who earned his first career-win in FLW competition. “The bass were prespawn and relating to rock that was close to deep water and spawning flats. Basically, I was hitting channel swings that came up onto the flat.


“The fish were shallower than I’d thought they’d be,” McGill continues. “The wind had them up farther, and the cold front made them relate to rock more than anything else. Of the six keepers I caught, two of my biggest fish came out of less than 3 feet of water.”


McGill rotated between two lures – a ½-ounce Strike King Red Eye Shad lipless crankbait, and a Luck-E-Strike Rick Clunn Squarebill Crankbait. He said his Lew’s Custom Speed Stick Lite rod was also a major factor in his success.


“I probably hit 15 to 20 of those transition areas,” sais McGill. “The squarebill did a little better on the north end of the lake where the water was a stained, while the heavier Red Eye Shad made it possible to fish in the wind.”


The top 10 boaters:


1st:          Mike McGill, Findlay, Ill., five bass, 17-12, $3,632

2nd:         Anthony Balding Jr., Millstadt, Ill., five bass, 16-7, $1,816

3rd:          Mike Barnes, Mackinaw, Ill., five bass, 16-5, $1,210

4th:          Derek Jenkel, Pinckneyville, Ill., five bass, 16-3, $847

5th:          Edward Gettys, Paris, Tenn., five bass, 14-8, $1,026

6th:          Garrett McDowell, Mattoon, Ill., five bass, 14-4, $666

7th:          Tim Davis, East Alton, Ill., five bass, 14-0, $605

8th:          Rick Beck, Hopkinsville, Ky., five bass, 13-9, $545

9th:          Chad Diedrich, Nashville, Ill., five bass, 13-5, $454

9th:          Toby Corn, Calvert City, Ky., five bass, 13-5, $654


Complete results can be found at  


Michael Black of Toledo, Illinois, caught a bass weighing 6 pounds, 4 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $465.



Co-angler Scott McCleery


McCleery wins co-angler title


Scott McCleery of Winchester, Illinois, weighed in five bass totaling 14 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the Co-angler Division and the top prize of $1,816.


The top 10 co-anglers:


1st:          Scott McCleery, Winchester, Ill., five bass, 14-12, $1,816

2nd:         Gage Elder, Lovington, Ill., four bass, 11-11, $908

3rd:          Anthony Tatroe, Essex, Ill., three bass, 10-15, $606

4th:          Ovidiu Marginean, Des Plaines, Ill., five bass, 10-6, $424

5th:          Roger Massey, Bloomington, Ill., four bass, 9-15, $363

6th:          Phil Santefort, Roberts, Ill., three bass, 9-10, $333

7th:          Doug Miller, Peoria, Ill., four bass, 9-6, $303

8th:          Aaron Arning, Walnut Hill, Ill., five bass, 9-2, $272

9th:          Ross Davis, St. Elmo, Ill., three bass, 8-8, $242

10th:        Marvin Cooke, Towanda, Ill., four bass, 8-3, $212


Michael Kinkade of Benton, Illinois, caught the biggest bass among Co-angler Division anglers, a fish weighing 7 pounds, 8 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $232.


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. 5-7 BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.