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Walmart Bass Fishing League - Illini
OHIO RIVER (May 4, 2002)
Black wins Wal-Mart BFL Illini Division tourney
GOLCONDA, Ill. — Michael Black of Toledo, Ill., topped 159 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on the Ohio River with five bass weighing 10 pounds, 3 ounces. The catch earned him $4,236 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Black, who also earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, caught his limit on a black and blue jig while flipping brush in Bayou Creek. The catch topped second-place boater Aaron Mays of Woodlawn, Ill., by 2 pounds. Mays finished the one-day tournament with a four-bass catch weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces worth $2,118.
Steve Sanders of Vienna, Ill. (five bass, 6 pounds, 13 ounces, $1,271); Ivan Maxwell of Vienna, Ill. (three bass, 6 pounds, 7 ounces, $1,017); and Larry Bailey of Beecher, Ill., (three bass, 6 pounds, 3 ounces, $932) rounded out the top five boaters.
Kim Lawrence of LeRoy, Ill., earned boater big bass honors and $795 with a 3-pound, 9-ounce bass. Lawrence finished in 27th place overall thanks to the fish.
Brian Cunningham of Green Valley, Ill., and Lenn Jamerson of Bridgeport, Ill., tied for first place in the 157-competitor Co-angler Division. Cunningham had two bass weighing 6 pounds, 8 ounces, and Lenn had four bass weighing 6 pounds, 8 ounces. Both men received $1,558 for their catch.
Chris Rentfro of Mattoon, Ill. (three bass, 6 pounds, 3 ounces, $623); Jeff McMahon of Chicago, Ill. (four bass, 6 pounds, 2 ounces, $499); and Rodney White of Carmi, Ill., (three bass, 5 pounds, 6 ounces, $457) rounded out the top five co-anglers.
Co-angler Jeremiah Bagwell of Rock Island, Ill., earned big bass honors and $390 in his division with a 4-pound, 6-ounce bass. He finished ninth thanks to the fish.
Overall, five five-bass limits were caught during the tournament.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Lake Shelbyville June 22 for the third of five Illini Division events. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 14-15 on the Ohio River, will be declared the Yamaha “Be the Best” Points Leader and awarded $1,000. The co-angler amassing the most points by the end of the season will receive $500.
The top 30 Illini Division boaters and co-anglers will advance to regional competition presented by Yamaha Oct. 15-19 on Kentucky Lake near Gilbertsville, Ky., where they will go up against top competitors from the Great Lakes, Hoosier and Michigan divisions for a shot at qualifying for the Wal-Mart BFL All-American — one of the most lucrative post-season tournaments in competitive angling.
2002 BFL awards could reach $7 million based on full fields.