Greg Mullins of Mount Vernon, Illinois, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake Sunday with a two-day cumulative catch of 10 bass weighing 28 pounds, 10 ounces. Mullins was awarded $4,869 for his win.
Mullins says he spent the event fishing four stretches – each 200 to 300 yards long – on the north end of the lake. He targeted bass on banks that had a combination of riprap and wood, and was able to catch 13 keepers.
“There weren’t as many bites up there compared to the main lake, but they were good-sized fish,” says Mullins, who logged his first career win as a boater in BFL competition. “I think the fish were up against those hard banks to feed because there were a lot of shad. They weren’t schooling up yet, though.”
Mullins used a 3/8-ounce chartreuse and white-colored Z-Man ChatterBait with a green-pumpkin-colored Zoom Super Chunk to catch the majority of his fish. He added that his largest bass Saturday came on a green-pumpkin Zoom Ultravibe Speed Worm.
“I threw the ChatterBait any time I came to a good piece of wood, then flipped the worm to it,” says Mullins. “Most of the fish were in 6 inches of water, while I sat in anywhere from 6 inches to 2½ feet of water. My Crestliner was really key in helping me navigate the shallows.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Greg Mullins, Mount Vernon, Ill., 10 bass, 28-10, $4,869
2nd: Neil McCord, West Frankfort, Ill., 10 bass, 25-9, $3,219
3rd: Dan Morehead, Paducah, Ky., 10 bass, 24-0, $1,623
4th: Timothy Rivest, Champaign, Ill., eight bass, 21-7, $1,136
5th: Brian Futch, Vienna, Ill., 10 bass, 21-1, $1,074
6th: Marty Sisk, Evansville, Ind., nine bass, 19-15, $893
7th: Mike Barnes, Mackinaw, Ill., 10 bass, 19-9, $1,111
8th: Mike McGill, Findlay, Ill., nine bass, 19-5, $730
9th: Toby Corn, Calvert City, Ky., 10 bass, 19-4, $649
10th: Jerry Walker, Zeigler, Ill., seven bass, 19-3, $568
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
McCord caught a bass weighing 6 pounds, 3 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division. The catch earned him the Boater Big Bass award of $585.
Eslinger wins co-angler title
Archie Eslinger of Paris, Illinois, caught a two-day total of nine bass weighing 19 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the Co-angler Division and $2,372.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Archie Eslinger, Paris, Illinois, nine bass, 19-11, $2,372
2nd: Jim Brown, Coulterville, Ill., six bass, 11-10, $1,186
3rd: Jacob Bovara, Wadsworth, Ill., five bass, 10-14, $1,077
4th: Jeffrey Lee, Olney, Ill., five bass, 10-10, $553
5th: Aaron Arning, Walnut Hill, Ill., four bass, 9-12, $674
6th: Scott Strausbaugh, Hillsboro, Ill., five bass, 9-8, $435
7th: Steve Kehrer, Woodlawn, Ill., five bass, 9-4, $395
8th: Ryan Fancher, Olney, Ill., four bass, 9-3, $406
9th: Phil Santefort, Roberts, Ill., four bass, 8-8, $316
10th: Adam Brookman, Bonnie, Ill., four bass, 8-5, $277
Bovara caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 3 pounds, 14 ounces – and earned the Co-angler Big Bass award of $285.
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.