Walmart Bass Fishing League - Illini
Shelbyville (May 22, 2004)
FINDLAY, Ill. — Boater Mark Fuller of Bloomington earned $4,096 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Illini Division event on Lake Shelbyville. The tournament was the second of five regular-season Illini Division events and featured 152 boaters vying for the win, which earned Fuller 200 points in the Boater Division.
Fuller’s winning catch of five bass weighed 18 pounds, 11 ounces, and he caught them on a chrome/black Bandit crankbait on a river ledge in the upper lake. As the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, Fuller earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats, and he also earned a $1,000 bonus from Garmin for using only Garmin electronics during the event.
Finishing second was Matt Carroll of Hillsboro with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 4 ounces that earned him $2,048. Danny Owens of Assumption claimed $1,393 as the third-place finisher thanks to three bass weighing 10 pounds, 7 ounces. In fourth was Tim McMahon of Evergreen Park with three bass weighing 8 pounds, 4 ounces worth $1,065, and finishing fifth and earning $901 was Bobby McMullin of Pevely, Mo., with five bass weighing 7 pounds, 14 ounces.
Keith Curless of Plymouth took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $760 for a 7-pound, 2-ounce bass. He caught his big bass on a firetiger crankbait.
Sheldon Ayers of Jonesboro bested 147 Co-angler Division competitors to earn $1,981 as the co-angler winner, thanks to three bass weighing 6 pounds, 3 ounces that he caught on a Brush Hog.
Rounding out the top four co-anglers are Dave Knutstrom of Stronghurst (two bass, 5 pounds, 5 ounces, $990); Bruce O’Brien of Normal (two bass, 5 pounds, 1 ounce, $673); and Colby Schrumpf of Highland (two bass, 4 pounds, 15 ounces, $515). Tied for fifth were Kyle Radake of Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Jim Brown of Addieville. Both anglers caught two bass that weighed 4 pounds, 11 ounces to earn $396 each.
Wade Hobaugh of Gillespie earned $368 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 4-pound, 6-ounce bass he caught on a centipede.
The Illini Division’s next event will be held June 26 on the Ohio River near Golconda, followed by another event on Lake Shelbyville in Findlay July 24. The Illini Division will wrap up its regular season Oct. 2-3 with a two-day Super Tournament on the Ohio River near Golconda.
Following the regular season, the Illini Division boater with the most points will earn $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader. The co-angler amassing the most points will earn $500 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader in the Co-angler Division.
Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 200 points going to the winner, 199 for second, 198 for third, and so on except for Super Tournaments, which award 300 points to the winner, 299 for second, 298 for third, and so on. The top 30 Illini Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Columbus Pool regional near Columbus, Miss., Oct. 19-23, where they will compete against Cowboy, Music City and Seminole division anglers for one of six slots in the 2005 All-American. With a $100,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and $50,000 going to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in bass fishing.
The $6.3 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League features 24 divisions nationwide. In BFL competition, boaters and co-anglers are randomly paired, with boaters supplying the boat and fishing against other boaters and co-anglers fishing from the back deck against other co-anglers. For more information or to enter a tournament, call (270) 252-1000 or browse this Web site.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its six tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997. For a complete list of FLW Outdoors sponsors and for more information about the premier products and services they offer, please visit FLWOutdoors.com’s sponsor page.