Walmart Bass Fishing League - Illini
Rend Lake (May 14, 2005)
BENTON, Ill. — Boater Michael Black of Toledo earned $3,698 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Illini Division event on Rend Lake. The tournament was the second of five regular-season Illini Division events and featured 115 boaters vying for the win, which earned Black 200 points in the Boater Division.
Black’s winning catch of five bass weighed 14 pounds, 6 ounces. He was fishing a jig with a green-pumpkin trailer around laydowns and rocks when he caught his bass. Black earned an additional $1,000 as winner of the Garmin Grand award and another $1,000 as winner of the Ranger Cup award.
Finishing second was Brent Ausbrook of Olney with five bass weighing 12 pounds, 12 ounces that earned him $1,849. John Wright of Shelbyville claimed $1,211 as the third-place finisher thanks to five bass weighing 12 pounds, 9 ounces. In fourth was Robert Atchison of Sesser with five bass weighing 12 pounds, 5 ounces worth $941, and finishing fifth and earning $773 was Ivan Maxwell of Tunnel Hill with three bass weighing 12 pounds, 3 ounces.
Tim McMahon of Evergreen Park took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $575 for a 6-pound bass. He caught his big bass on a spinnerbait.
Dennis Carder of Robinson earned $1,807 as the co-angler winner, thanks to four bass weighing 12 pounds, 2 ounces that he caught on a Zoom lizard.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Greg Harkins of Lake Villa (three bass, 11 pounds, 6 ounces, $903); Christopher Cunningham of Green Valley (four bass, 10 pounds, 10 ounces, $590); Jack Morse of Decatur (four bass, 9 pounds, 12 ounces, $460); and Jeff Motter of Springfield (three bass, 9 pounds, 3 ounces, $378).
Roger List of Gridley earned $278 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 5-pound, 13-ounce bass he caught on a brush hog.
The Illini Division’s next event will be held June 4 on Kentucky/Barkley Lakes near Gilbertsville, Ky., followed by an event on the Ohio River near Paducah, Ky., July 9. The Illini Division will wrap up its regular season Sept. 10-11 with a two-day Super Tournament on Shelbyville Lake near Findlay.
Following the regular season, the Illini Division boater with the most points will earn $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion. The co-angler amassing the most points will earn $500 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion 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 40 Illini Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Lake Cherokee Regional near Morristown, Tenn., Oct. 4-8 where they will compete against LBL, Buckeye, and Piedmont division anglers for one of six slots in the 2006 All-American. With a total purse of $1 million and a potential $140,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and $70,000 going to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in bass fishing.
The $8.4 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League features 28 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.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League and seven other national tournament circuits offering a combined $30 million in awards through 214 events in 2005. The 27-year-old organization is the purveyor of America’s largest and most prestigious fishing tournaments, including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, EverStart Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as title sponsor of the FLW Tour in 1997 and today is the title sponsor of all FLW Outdoors events. For more information on Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.