• Tournaments :: news

    Walmart Bass Fishing League - Illini

    Ohio River/Paducah (July 9, 2005)


    Whiston outfishes field at Ohio River event

    Boater Bryon Whiston of Robinson, Ill., was the winner of the July 9 BFL Illini Division event on the Ohio River.

    PADUCAH, Ky. — Boater Bryon Whiston of Robinson, Ill., earned $3,366 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Illini Division event on the Ohio River. The tournament was the fourth of five regular-season Illini Division events and earned Whiston 200 points in the Boater Division.

    Whiston’s winning catch of four bass weighed 14 pounds, 10 ounces. Whiston was fishing a crankbait around riprap in the Tennessee River when he caught his bass. He earned an additional $1,000 as winner of the Ranger Cup award.

    Finishing second was Bob Milanec of Champaign, Ill., with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 3 ounces that earned him $1,683. Charles Rutherford of Moro, Ill., claimed $1,102 as the third-place finisher, thanks to four bass weighing 9 pounds 11 ounces. In fourth was Bryan Thrasher of Mansfield, Ill., with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 5 ounces worth $857, and finishing fifth and earning $704 was Mike Deushane of East Peoria, Ill., with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 3 ounces.

    Jerry Waters of Ledbetter took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $495 for a 5-pound, 10-ounce bass. He caught his big bass on a soft-plastic tube bait.

    Adam Lock of Altamont, Ill., earned $1,683 as the co-angler winner, thanks to three bass weighing 9 pounds, 11 ounces that he caught on a finesse worm.

    Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Bill Higgins of Albers, Ill. (three bass, 9 pounds, 5 ounces, $842); Robert McWhorter of Belleville, Ill. (three bass, 8 pounds, 4 ounces, $550); Aaron McManaway of Altamont, Ill. (three bass, 6 pounds, 11 ounces, $428); and Jeff Motter of Springfield, Ill. (four bass, 6 pounds, 6 ounces, $352).

    McWhorter earned $248 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 5-pound, 10-ounce bass.

    The Illini Division will wrap up its regular season Sept. 10-11 with a two-day Super Tournament on Shelbyville Lake near Findlay, Ill.

    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 Buckeye, LBL 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

    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