Travis Wilson of La Harpe, Illinois, weighed a 16-pound, 5-ounce limit of bass Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake. For his efforts, Wilson netted $5,705.
Wilson says he caught his fish along a 150-yard stretch of riprap on the south side of Illinois Route 154. He fished there the entire day, catching six keepers in the process.
“I found the fish in practice Friday late in the day. I hadn’t caught a keeper all day, but around 4 o’clock I caught three good ones along that stretch,” says Wilson, who logged his first win in FLW competition. “I started there Saturday morning, but it was slow. My co-angler and I only caught one or two per hour, but every time I considered leaving, I’d catch another one. I had three around 10 (a.m.) and I decided I was going to stay there the rest of the day.”
Wilson used a 7-inch Junebug-colored Zoom Finesse Worm with a 1/8-ounce head.
“If you used anything heavier it was really hard to keep your bait out of the rocks,” says Wilson. “Some of the fish were in 3 feet of water – close to the bank – but some of my better bites came from 6 or 7 feet down. With the light bait you had to be super patient because it’s hard to keep it down in that depth range. Basically, it was light enough to stay out of the rocks, but heavy enough to keep it down.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Travis Wilson, La Harpe, Ill., five bass, 16-5, $3,705 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Colby Schrumpf, Highland, Ill., five bass, 13-10, $1,853
3rd: Dan Morehead, Paducah, Ky., five bass, 12-15, $1,469
4th: Brennon McCord, West Frankfort, Ill., five bass, 12-11, $818
5th: Brett Chesnek, Woodlawn, Ill., five bass, 12-0, $701
6th: Levi Shaw, Opdyke, Ill., four bass, 11-14, $1,083
7th: Dan Shoraga, West Frankfort, Ill., five bass, 11-3, $584
8th: Chad Diedrich, Nashville, Ill., five bass, 10-7, $526
9th: Jeremy Mull, Chatham, Ill., four bass, 10-6, $467
10th: Lonnie Bowlin, Benton, Ill., four bass, 10-4, $409
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Shaw brought a bass weighing 6 pounds even to the scale – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $440.
Arning wins co-angler title
Aaron Arning of Walnut Hill, Illinois, won the Co-angler Division and $1,853 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 13 pounds, 14 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Aaron Arning, Walnut Hill, Ill., five bass, 13-14, $1,853
2nd: Greg McCandless, Normal, Ill., three bass, 11-4, $876
3rd: Spencer Clark, Maryland Heights, Mo., three bass, 8-6, $585
4th: Greg James, Carterville, Ill., four bass, 8-1, $459
5th: Roger Massey, Bloomington, Ill., three bass, 7-6, $321
5th: Timothy Rivest, Champaign, Ill., two bass, 7-6, $321
5th: Wesley Lashmett, Winchester, Ill., three bass, 7-6, $321
8th: Mark Carlock, Hillsboro, Ill., two bass, 6-10, $263
9th: Brandon Depew, Odin, Ill., three bass, 6-8, $234
10th: Jay Champley, Benton, Ill., two bass, 6-4, $204
Drew Coleman of Jackson, Missouri, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 5 pounds, 8 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $220.
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. 25-27 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, Tennessee. 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.