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    Walmart Bass Fishing League - Illini

    Ohio River/Golconda (June 26, 2004)


    Hodge wins Illini Division event on Ohio River

    Boater Jason Hodge of Marion, Ill., was the winner of the third regular-season BFL Illini Division event, held June 26 on the Ohio River near Golconda, Ill.

    GOLCONDA, Ill. — Jason Hodge of Marion earned $3,961 Saturday as winner of the third regular-season Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Illini Division event, held on the Ohio River near Golconda. He caught five bass weighing 13 pounds, 5 ounces to claim the win and 200 points in the Boater Division.

    Hodge caught his tournament-winning bass fishing a tube in shallow water. The win came in Hodge’s first career BFL event.

    Rounding out the top five boaters are Aaron Mays of Mount Vernon (five bass, 10 pounds, 2 ounces, $1,980); Stephen Klein of Sorento (five bass, 10 pounds, 1 ounce, $1,347); Todd Leatherman of Kuttawa, Ky. (three bass, 10 pounds, $1,030); and Mark Jordan of Kevil, Ky. (four bass, 9 pounds, 5 ounces, $871).

    Leatherman earned a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, and he earned another $250 from Yamaha because his boat is powered by a Yamaha outboard. Keith Bailey of Simpson earned $725 as the Boater Division big-bass award winner with a 4-pound, 11-ounce bass he caught on a crankbait.

    Danny Johnston of Windsor, Mo., claimed $1,899 as winner of the Co-angler Division with a five-bass catch weighing 8 pounds, 7 ounces that he caught pitching a tube in the bushes.

    Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Dennis Carder of Robinson (three bass, 6 pounds, 4 ounces, $949); Chris James of Newton (five bass, 6 pounds, $646); Greg Cooper of Chatham (four bass, 5 pounds, 4 ounces, $494); and Bruce Magnuson of Carbondale (three bass, 4 pounds, 13 ounces, $418).

    Carder caught a 4-pound, 1-ounce bass on a red shad worm to claim $343 as the co-angler big-bass winner.

    The Illini Division’s next stop will be July 24 on Lake Shelbyville in Findlay, and the regular season will come to a close Oct. 2-3 with a two-day Super Tournament on the Ohio River in Golconda.

    Following the regular season, the top 30 boaters and 30 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 anglers from the Cowboy, Music City and Seminole divisions for one of six slots in the 2005 All-American. With a $100,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and $50,000 to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in competitive bass fishing.

    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. These points determine angler standings. The Illini Division boater who amasses the most points at the end of the regular season will earn $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader, and the co-angler earning the most points will earn $500 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader in the Co-angler Division.

    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’s sponsor page.