Derek Jenkel of Pinckneyville, Illinois, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces. Jenkel earned $4,384 for his victory.
“I was flipping bushes in the mid-lake region,” says Jenkel, who earned his third career win in BFL competition. “I didn’t have a specific bay or creek or anything like that, but I figured out a pattern flipping buck brush and I was able to replicate it in multiple areas.
“Traditionally, the bass on Rend Lake love to be shallow – like fins sticking out of the water ridiculously shallow,” Jenkel continues. “However, they just weren’t there. I figured out that the fish were holding on deeper bushes, which really was odd to me. They were not supposed to be there. But they were, and once I figured that out I was able to apply that in multiple different areas.”
Jenkel says that the fishing was a little slow, as he and his co-angler only had about 13 keeper bites throughout the day. He fished six different areas, mainly flipping a watermelon-red-colored Zoom Brush Hog, but also adding one keeper on a Strike King Rage Bug.
“The key, honestly, was figuring out the depth,” Jenkel goes on to say. “It had to be bushes in three feet of water.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Derek Jenkel, Pinckneyville, Ill., five bass, 15-8, $4,384
2nd: Jerry Walker, Zeigler, Ill., five bass, 14-1, $1,767
3rd: Terry Holsapple, Greenup, Ill., five bass, 13-8, $1,077
4th: James Powell, Murphysboro, Ill., five bass, 13-6, $684
5th: Mike Barnes, Mackinaw, Ill., five bass, 12-7, $587
6th: Brad Porter, Bluford, Ill., five bass, 11-15, $538
7th: Ray Cortivo, Troy, Ill., four bass, 11-13, $824
8th: Toby Corn, Calvert City, Ky., five bass, 11-3, $590
9th: James Williams, Neoga, Ill., five bass, 11-1, $366
9th: Brennon McCord, West Frankfort, Ill., five bass, 11-1, $366
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Cortivo caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 10 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $335.
Campbell wins co-angler title
Gabe Campbell of West Frankfort, Illinois, won the Co-angler Division and $1,602 Saturday after catching four bass weighing 11 pounds, 3 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Gabe Campbell, West Frankfort, Ill., four bass, 11-3, $1,602
2nd: Dave Dobill, Royalton, Ill., four bass, 10-12, $721
3rd: Amanda Black, Greenup, Ill., four bass, 9-2, $633
4th: Jacob Greco, Edwardsville, Ill., five bass, 8-12, $336
5th: Aaron Arning, Walnut Hill, Ill., three bass, 8-8, $488
6th: Tad Cain, La Place, Ill., three bass, 7-4, $264
7th: James Lang, Benton, Ill., three bass, 6-14, $240
8th: Drew Cress, Highland, Ill., two bass, 5-13, $216
9th: Eugene Kim, Lindenhurst, Ill., three bass, 5-9, $230
9th: Jamie Ebbert, Canton, Ill., two bass, 5-9, $230
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. 24-26 BFL Regional Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.