WHITTINGTON, Ill. – Boater 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 said he caught his fish along a 150-yard stretch of riprap on the south side of Illinois Route 154. He said 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,” said 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 said he 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,” said 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 finished the tournament in:
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.
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 were:
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.
The 2018 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.
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