July 25, 1999 • MLF • Archives

GOLCONDA, Ill., (July 26,1999) Russ Rensing of Summerfield, Illinois, took first place, $3385, plus 50 CITGO Challenge Points for winning the Red Man Illini Division qualifier held Sunday on Smithland Pool. Rensing brought in a five bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 14 ounces to top a field of 225 anglers competing for $12,707.50.

Rensing fished the back of Lusk Creek, cranking a channel in 5 feet of water. He used a Big O, 1/3 ounce crankbait. Second place and $1693 went to Ron Fletcher of Thompsonville, IL, for five bass weighing 11-1.

Fletcher flipped a blue/chartreuse jig and a crankbait in 10 feet of water.

Rounding out the top positions were: (3) Keith Glore, Percy, IL, five bass, 9-13, $993; (4) Steve Craig, McLean, IL, five bass, 9-5, $637 (5) Dean Bass, Decatur, IL, five bass, 8-14, $603. Jerry Weseloh of Decatur, IL, won the Abu Garcia Big Bass Award of $1,000 for a 7 pound, 2 ounce bass.

Jay Peterson of Clinton, IL, is leading the Illini Division’s Ranger Millennium big bass race for the year with a bass weighing 6 pounds, 9 ounces. The Ranger boat owner who catches the largest bass in each Red Man division over the course of the season, will qualify to enter the Ranger M1 Millennium tournament.

Steve Craig of McLean, IL, Gene Bledsoe of Grady, AR, won the Berkley Powerbait award a package of baits valued at $325 for the highest weight caught on Powerbait or Frenzy lures with 9 pounds, 8 ounces.

At the completion of the six Red Man qualifying events, the top 30 anglers, determined on a basis of pounds and points, will move onto Regional Championship competition. There they will compete against the top 30 fishermen from three other divisions for a Dream Rig consisting of a Chevy truck and a full-rigged Ranger bass boat powered by an Evinrude or Johnson outboard (only two divisions compete in the Western Regional for a fully-rigged Ranger bass boat) and a spot in the Red Man All-American in Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 8-13, 2000, where the winner will receive $100,000.

The rookie advancing farthest along the Red Man Trail will win the Old Milwaukee NA Rookie-of-the-Year Award.

All Red Man tournaments are catch and release events. Operation Bass historically maintains a 98 percent live release rate throughout the tournament season.

Sponsors of the 1999 Red Man Tournament Trail include: Evinrude Outboards, Evinrude Electrics, CITGO Petroleum, Ranger Boats, Humminbird Fishfinders, Stren Fishing Lines, Abu Garcia Rods and Reels, Chevy Trucks, ENERGIZER Marine Batteries, Old Milwaukee NA, Black & Decker, David Seeds, Coleman Products, Land O Lakes, BC Powder, Eveready, Wheaties, Chex Mix, Hamburger Helper, Wrangler, US Bank-VISA, Powerbait, and Frenzy.