Walmart Bass Fishing League - Illini
Shelbyville (July 24, 2004)
FINDLAY, Ill. – Boater Division competitor John Wright of Shelbyville earned $3,718 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Illini Division event on Lake Shelbyville in Findlay. The tournament was the fourth of five regular-season Illini Division events. The regular season will wrap up Oct. 2-3 with a two-day Super Tournament on the Ohio River in Golconda.
Wright bested 132 Boater Division competitors with a five-bass catch weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces that he caught on a 1/2-ounce black and blue jig around drops and ledges. Wright also received a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, and Yamaha awarded him another $500 because his boat is powered by a Yamaha outboard. He also earned a $1,000 bonus from Garmin for using only Garmin electronics during the event.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Leroy McDuffie of McLeansboro (five bass, 13 pounds, 2 ounces, $1,859); John Farmer of Crete (four bass, 11 pounds, 5 ounces, $1,264); Jack Peplow Jr. of Danville (four bass, 9 pounds, 8 ounces, $967); and Danny Owens of Assumption (five bass, 7 pounds, 14 ounces, $818).
Michael Hibler of Bloomington earned $660 as the Boater Division big-bass award winner with a 5-pound, 2-ounce bass that he caught on a 1/2-ounce jig.
Colby Schrumpf of Highland won the 129-competitor Co-angler Division with a four-bass catch weighing 11 pounds, 6 ounces. He earned $1,817 for the win.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Timothy Mott of Bloomington (three bass, 7 pounds, 11 ounces, $908); Ben Kurth of Mendota Heights, Minn. (three bass, 6 pounds, 11 ounces, $618); Brent Werries of Milan (two bass, 6 pounds, 9 ounces, $472); and Timothy Ernst of Westchester (two bass, 5 pounds, 9 ounces, $400).
Anton Silvester of Carbondale caught a 5-pound, 1-ounce bass to win Co-angler Division big-bass honors and $323. He caught his big bass on a drop-shot worm.
Following the regular season, 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. They will compete against qualifying anglers from the Cowboy, Music City and Seminole divisions for one of six slots in the 2005 All-American, one of competitive bass fishing’s most prestigious events. The winning boater at the All-American will take home $100,000 cash, and the winning co-angler will earn $50,000 cash.
Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 200 points awarded 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.
Anglers who compete in all five regular-season events within a division but do not advance to regional competition are eligible to fish the Chevy Trucks Wild Card for an All-American berth. Six nationwide regionals plus the Wild Card will each send six boaters and six co-anglers to the All-American for a total field of 84 competitors.
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.