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 FLWFishing.com.
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.
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.