Walmart Bass Fishing League - Illini
GOLCONDA (July 21, 2001)
GOLCONDA, Ill. — Jerry Walker of Zeigler, Ill., outpaced 116 competitors Saturday with five bass weighing 8 pounds, 10 ounces to win $4,172 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on the Ohio River.
Walker edged out Steve Sanders of Vienna, Ill., by 1 pound, 10 ounces in the one-day event that set out from Lusk Creek Ramp. Sander finished with a five-bass catch weighing 7 pounds to win $2,086. Walker caught his limit on a black and blue jig while fishing the main river. He also won a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Larry Diveley of Highland, Ill., took third place and collected $1,043 with four bass weighing 6 pounds, 8 ounces. Greg Berner of Elkville, Ill., placed fourth and earned $904 with four bass weighing 6 pounds, while Bruce Qualls of Chaffee, Mo., placed fifth and earned $835 with one bass weighing 5 pounds, 11 ounces. Qualls also won the boater Big Bass Award and collected an additional $580 with the bass he caught on a blue-flake colored worm.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $2,068 went to Dave Dobill of Royalton, Ill., who topped 115 competitors with three bass weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces. Second place in the division and $1,034 went to Troy Lowery of Breese, Ill., with three bass weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces, while Brian Cunningham of Green Valley, Ill., took third place and $517 with two bass weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces.
Lowery won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $287 with a 4-pound bass that he caught on a green-pumpkin colored jig.
Overall, 218 bass were caught during the tournament, including two five-bass limits.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Rend Lake for the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament that will determine the Divisional Points Champion who will be awarded $1,000. The co-angler with the most points by the end of the tournament 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.