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    Walmart Bass Fishing League - Illini

    Shelbyville (May 13, 2006)


    Farmer wins Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League event on Lake Shelbyville

    Boater John Farmer of Crete, Ill., earned $4,046 May 13 as winner of the BFL Illini Division event on Lake Shelbyville.

    FINDLAY, Ill. — Boater John Farmer of Crete, Ill., earned $4,046 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Illini Division event on Lake Shelbyville. The tournament was the second of five regular-season Illini Division events and earned Farmer 200 points in the Boater Division.

    Farmer’s winning catch of five bass weighed 18 pounds, 11-ounces. He threw a tube and Sweet Beaver in 6 to 8 feet of water on secondary points to catch his bass.

    Rounding out the top five boaters are Michael Black of Toledo, Ill. (five bass, 16 pounds, 9 ounces, $2,023); Steven Miller of Taylorville, Ill. (five bass, 14 pounds, 14 ounces, $1,348); Mike Barnes of Mackinaw, Ill. (five bass, 14 pounds, 13 ounces, $944); and Anton Silvester of Staunton, Ill. (five bass, 14 pounds, 7 ounces, $809).

    Bill Leasher of Neoga, Ill. took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning him $555 for a 5-pound, 8-ounce bass.

    Bill Higgins of Albers, Ill., won the Co-angler Division to earn $1,981 thanks to four bass weighing 10 pounds, 3 ounces that he caught while throwing aYum creature bait around submerged stumps and points.

    Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Rory J. Ohse of Crestwood, Ill. (four bass, 10 pounds, 2 ounces, $991); Terry Marucco of Decatur, Ill., (five bass, 9 pounds, 8 ounce, $662) Bradley Smith of Troy, Ill. (five bass, 9 pounds, 7 ounces, $462); and Marc Lowry of Chicago, Ill. (three bass, 9 pounds, $396).

    George Osha of Steger, Ill. also earned $267 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 6-pound, 6-ounce bass.

    The Illini Division’s next event will be held June 10 on the Ohio River near Golconda, Ill., for the division’s third event followed by an event at Lake Shelbyville near Findlay, Ill. July 22. The divisions two-day Super Tournament, their fifth and final regular-season event, will be held again on the Ohio River near Golconda, Ill. Sept. 9-10.

    Following the regular season, the 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

    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