SHELBYVILLE, Ill. – Michael Black of Toledo, Ill., weighed a two-day total of seven bass totaling 17 pounds even to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division super tournament on Lake Shelbyville in Shelbyville on Sunday. For his victory, Black earned $5,821.
“This is actually the fifth event that I have won in my career,” said Black. “And the wins just keep feeling better the older that I get. The conditions were terrible out there. It was 90 degrees on Friday, our practice day. Then on Saturday, it dropped down into the 70s and the water temperature dropped dramatically. It really made for a tough tournament.”
Black keyed on just four stumps in the main lake area throughout the entire tournament. He threw a Custom Cast Lures green pumpkin-colored jig, a Reaction Innovations California 420-colored Sweet Beaver and a white War Eagle spinnerbait to catch his fish.
“In tournaments, I always go after the big fish, not the numbers,” said Black. “I fish for five good bites every day. It’s risky; I’ve lost a lot of tournaments, as well. The key for me was my persistency, though. I fished so slow. That’s one of my main strengths is my patience. I would concentrate on a stump and throw at it 15 to 20 times, but I knew the fish were there and I just had to get in their heads. Sure, the money is nice to win, but for me, tournament fishing is all about the respect.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros:
2nd: Dan McDowell, Mattoon, Ill., seven bass, 14-7, $1,911
3rd: Derek Jenkel, Pinckneyville, Ill., eight bass, 13-10, $1,273
4th: James Williams, Windsor, Ill., six bass, 13-2, $892
5th: John Wright, Shelbyville, Ill., six bass, 13-1, $764
6th: Travis Gillett, Salem, Ill., five bass, 10-7, $701
7th: Tyson Kiselewski, Mount Vernon, Ill., four bass, 9-4, $637
8th: Aaron McManaway, Altamont, Ill., four bass, 8-3, $573 + $1,000 Evinrude Bonus
9th: Douglas Williams, Windsor, Ill., three bass, 5-15, $510
10th: Paul Leonard, Chatham, Ill., three bass, 5-5, $446
Complete results can be found here.
Rush claims co-angler top spot
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers:
2nd: Kim Sapetti, Chatham, Ill., four bass, 8-6, $955
3rd: Ross Davis, St. Elmo, Ill., four bass, 8-2, $637
4th: Garrett McDowell, Mattoon, Ill., four bass, 6-14, $446
5th: Aaron Arning, Walnut Hill, Ill., three bass, 6-0, $382
6th: Lenn Jamerson, Lawrenceville, Ill., three bass, 5-14, $350
7th: Christopher Cunningham, Green Valley, Ill., one bass, 4-15, $318
8th: Matt Parish, Hanna City, Ill., two bass, 3-10, $287
9th: Nathan Heinrich, Olney, Ill., one bass, 3-1, $255
10th: Brandon Reeder, Collinsville, Ill., two bass, 3-0, $223
Complete co-angler results can be found here.
The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 4-6 Regional Championship on Cherokee Lake in Morristown, Tenn. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 40 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing unparalleled fishing resources and entertainment to our sponsors, fans and host communities. FLW is offering anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2012 over the course of 191 tournaments across five tournament circuits, each providing an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the “Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water,” through a variety of platforms including tournaments, outdoor expos and the world’s richest fantasy sports game – FLW Fantasy Fishing. For more information about FLW and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FLWOutdoors.com or FantasyFishing.com and look for FLW on Twitter and Facebook.