GOLCONDA, Ill. – Mike Keller of Metropolis, Ill., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 15 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division event on the Ohio River at Golconda. For his victory, Keller earned $3,113.
“I had to pinch myself after the tournament to make sure it was real,” said Keller. “It feels so good to finally get my first win. My only regret is that my father who very recently passed away is not here to see it. I want to dedicate this win to him.
“I actually caught a fish on my very first cast of the day,” Keller went on to say. “I thought this spot was loaded. Then we didn’t catch another fish for three hours. Around 10 a.m. we moved and found a little community hub that a few boats were sitting on. Within 45 minutes both my co-angler and I had caught our limit. It was a rocky point that was around 6-feet deep. I threw a shaky head all day long and green pumpkin was my go-to color.
“It’s funny, but I think the key to my win was having a flat tail on my worm,” Keller continued. “If the tail was not entirely flat, the fish wouldn’t bite it. I literally took a needle-nose pliers and squeezed the tail of the worm just to flatten it out. It really seemed to make a huge difference out there.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros:
2nd: Bobby McMullin, Pevely, Mo., five bass, 14-10, $1,297
2nd: Nathan Murphy, Harrisburg, Ill., five bass, 14-10, $1,297
4th: Frank Clark, Benton, Ill., five bass, 14-4, $674
4th: Colby Schrumpf, Highland, Ill., five bass, 14-4, $674
6th: Scott Dunn, Harrisburg, Ill., five bass, 14-2, $571
7th: Wayne O’Dell, Neoga, Ill., five bass, 12-14, $519
8th: Jimmy Null, Bethalto, Ill., five bass, 12-6, $467
9th: Leroy McDuffie, McLeansboro, Ill., five bass, 12-4, $415 + $1,000 Evinrude Bonus
10th: Timothy Rivest, Rantoul, Ill., five bass, 12-3, $363
Complete results can be found here.
Delaney takes co-angler title
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers:
2nd: Aaron Wehmeyer, Odell, Ill., five bass, 13-7, $778
3rd: Aaron Schuster, Highland, Ill., five bass, 10-12, $521
4th: Patrick O’Dell, Windsor, Ill., five bass, 9-15, $363
5th: Matt Chumbler, Carbondale, Ill., five bass, 9-9, $311
6th: Aaron Arning, Walnut Hill, Ill., five bass, 9-8, $285
7th: Anthony Balding, Lebanon, Ill., four bass, 9-3, $259
8th: Charles Dammerman, Mount Auburn, Ill., five bass, 9-2, $233
9th: Obadiah Holsapple, Greenup, Ill., five bass, 8-12, $195
9th: John Kuzera, Matteson, Ill., five bass, 8-12, $195
Complete co-angler results can be found here.
The next BFL Illini Division tournament is scheduled for Aug. 4 on Rend Lake in Whittington, Ill. After the fifth Illini Division tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 4-6 Regional Championship on Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, Ga. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 40 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing unparalleled fishing resources and entertainment to our sponsors, fans and host communities. FLW is offering anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2012 over the course of 191 tournaments across five tournament circuits, each providing an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the “Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water,” through a variety of platforms including tournaments, outdoor expos and the world’s richest fantasy sports game – FLW Fantasy Fishing. For more information about FLW and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FLWOutdoors.com or FantasyFishing.com and look for FLW on Twitter and Facebook.