Walmart Bass Fishing League - Illini
Rend Lake (April 22, 2006)
BENTON, Ill. — Boater Robert Atchison of Sesser, Ill., earned $4,830 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Illini Division event on Rend Lake. The tournament was the first of five regular-season Illini Division events and featured 144 boaters vying for the win, which earned Atchison 200 points in the Boater Division.
Atchison’s winning catch of four bass weighed 10 pounds, 11 ounces. Atchison also took home an additional $1,000 dollars for being the highest placing Ranger Cup participant.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Brad Peters of Taylorville, Ill. (four bass, 10 pounds, 10 ounces, $2,415); Jeff Henson of Bloomington, Ill. (two bass, 7 pounds, 12 ounces, $1,609); John Wright of Shelbyville, Ill. (three bass, 6 pounds, 9 ounces, $1,127) and Bobby McMullin of Pevely, Mo., and Larry Sisk of Evansville, Ind. tied for fifth (three bass, 6 pounds, 8 ounces, $925).
Michael Frisch of Scheller, Ill., took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $720 for a 5-pound, 6-ounce bass.
Sam Hall of Collinsville, Ill., won the Co-angler Division to earn $2,270, thanks to four bass weighing 9 pounds, 10 ounces that he caught while fishing submerged bushes and backs of coves in 3 feet of water with a jig and craw combination.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Jeff Reiher of Oak Forest, Ill. (two bass, 7 pounds, 1 ounce, $1,135); Jack Morse of Decatur, Ill. (three bass, 6 pounds, 6 ounces, $757) Dan Kahrhoff Jr. of Breese, Ill., (one bass, 5 pounds, 6 ounces, $530) and Thomas Garbacz of Schaumburg, Ill. (one bass, 4 pounds, 15ounces, $454).
Dan Kahrhoff Jr.of Breese, Ill., earned $330 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 5-pound, 6-ounce bass.
The Illini Division’s next event will be held May 13 on Shelbyville Lake near Finday, Ill., followed by an event on the Ohio River near Golconda, Ill., June 10. The fourth event will be held July 22 on Shelbyville Lake and the Illini Division will wrap up its regular season Sept. 9-10 with a two-day Super Tournament on the Ohio River near Golconda.
Following the regular season, the Illini Division boater with the most points who advances farthest in the Wal-Mart BFL All-American will earn $10,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion. The co-angler points champion who advances farthest will earn $5,000 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 Fort Madison Regional Championship near Fort Madison, Iowa, Oct. 5-7 where they will compete against Great Lakes, Michigan and Ozark division anglers for one of six slots in the 2007 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 $8.8 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 FLWOutdoors.com.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, as well as the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Stratos Owners’ Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $36.9 million through 241 events in 2006.
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.