Walmart Bass Fishing League - Illini
GOLCONDA (June 2, 2001)
GOLCONDA, Ill. - John Morvich of Calvert City, Ky., outpaced 133 competitors Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce to win $4,546 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on the Ohio River.
Morvich edged out Jerry Penrod of Eldorado, Ill., by 9 ounces in the one-day event that set out from Lusk Creek Ramp. Penrod finished with a five-bass catch weighing 12 pounds, 8 ounces to win $2,273. He also earned $665 for landing the biggest bass in the Boater Division at 6 pounds, 4 ounces. He caught the bass on a shallow running crankbait.
Morvich, who also received a $1,000 bonus from Ranger for his participation in the Ranger Cup incentive program, caught his limit using shallow running crankbaits near wood cover.
Steve Sanders of Vienna, Ill., took third place and collected $1,136 with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 8 ounces. Jim Young of Roodhouse, Ill., placed fourth and earned $985 with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 6 ounces, while Roger Howell of Watseka, Ill., placed fifth and earned $909 with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 5 ounces.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $2,122 went to Craig Wigness of Bethany, Ill., who topped 118 competitors with three bass weighing 8 pounds. Second place in the division and $1,061 went to Jack Clapp of Oakland, Ill., with five bass weighing 7 pounds, 5 ounces, while James Dietel II of Loami, Ill., took third place and $531 with five bass weighing 7 pounds, 4 ounces.
Mark Ferrier of Galesburg, Ill., won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $295 with a 4-pound, 12-ounce bass that he caught on a spinnerbait while fishing the edge of a creek.
Overall, 508 bass were caught during the tournament, including 31 five-bass limits.
The BFL will visit Lake Shelbyville June 30 for the third of five events in the Illini Division. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 15-16 on Rend Lake, will be declared the Divisional Points Champion and awarded $1,000. The co-angler amassing the most points by the end of the season will receive $500.
The top 30 boaters and top 30 co-anglers in the Illini Division will advance to regional competition Oct. 9-13 on Weiss Lake near Cedar Bluff, Ala., where they will go up against top competitors from the Carolina, Ozark and Choo Choo divisions for a shot at qualifying for the $250,000 All-American.
Awards for the 2001 BFL season could reach $5.7 million based on full fields at each tournament.