Walmart Bass Fishing League - Illini
Ohio River/Golconda (Oct. 2-3, 2004)
GOLCONDA, Ill. — Boater John Wright of Shelbyville earned $5,998 Sunday as winner of the two-day, season-ending Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Illini Division Super Tournament on the Ohio River. His two-day total of 17 pounds, 5 ounces topped 96 fellow competitors in the Boater Division.
Wright caught 9 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to advance to Sunday’s competition, where he caught 8 pounds to post the heaviest two-day weight and claim the win. He caught his tournament-winning bass on a tube and spinnerbait. Wright also earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, and he earned another $1,000 from Garmin for using Garmin electronics exclusively during the event.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Bill Walker of Mulkeytown (15 pounds, 12 ounces, $2,999); Tim McMahon of Evergreen Park (15 pounds, 12 ounces, $1,625); Jeff Fulkerson of Elizabethtown (15 pounds, 7 ounces, $1,375); and Charles Ditto of Shelbyville (14 pounds, 8 ounces, $1,125).Ties are resolved by day-one standings.
Derek Jenkel of Pinckneyville earned $960 as the Boater Division big-bass winner, thanks to a 4-pound, 4-ounce bass he caught on a spinnerbait.
Mike Rushing of Paducah, Ky., earned $2,999 as winner of the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of 12 pounds, 10 ounces. He caught his bass on a Bandit 300 crankbait. Rushing also earned $480 as the co-angler big-bass winner with a 4-pound, 6-ounce bass.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Chuck Spradley of Carbondale (10 pounds, 15 ounces, $1,500); David Tropf of Advance, Mo. (9 pounds, 13 ounces, $812); Roger Massey of Clinton (9 pounds, 7 ounces, $687); and Colby Schrumpf of Highland (9 pounds, 5 ounces, $562).
Each of the BFL’s 24 nationwide divisions features four one-day tournaments and one two-day Super Tournament within the regular season. In Super Tournament competition, the entire field competes on day one and the top 20 percent advances to day two, with the winners determined by the heaviest two-day catch weights. More money is awarded at Super Tournaments as well as more points that count toward year-end angler standings. In a Super Tournament, 300 points are awarded for first place, 299 for second, 298 for third, and so on.
Charles Ditto of Shelbyville earned $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” boater points champion in the Illini Division with 985 points for the season. Randy McDowell of Mattoon earned Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion honors and $500 in the Co-angler Division. He earned 984 points this season.
The top 30 boaters and co-anglers in the Illini Division will advance to the Columbus Pool regional, which will be held Oct. 19-23 in Columbus, Miss. There they will compete against qualifying anglers from the Cowboy, Music City and Seminole divisions for one of six slots in the 2005 All-American. The All-American awards a $100,000 cash prize to the winning boater and $50,000 to the winning co-angler, making it one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in competitive bass fishing.
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.