SHELBYVILLE, Ill. (June 24, 2013) James Wright of Paducah, Ky., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division event on Lake Shelbyville. For his victory, Wright earned $6,127.
"I was fortunate and blessed," said Wright, who earned his first career victory in FLW competition. I caught my limit by 7 a.m., and I'm glad I did, because I didn't have another bite for the rest of the day."
Wright said that he had found two nice schools of fish during his practice and decided to target them during the tournament. He wasn't sure why they quit biting after 7 a.m.
"I think it may have been the local traffic," Wright said. "The water really muddied up, and the bite shut down."
Wright said that he fished his two schools throughout the entire day. They were located on main lake points, in 16 to 20 feet of water.
"Four of my fish came on a Sexy Shad-colored Strike King 6XD crankbait," Wright continued. "I also caught one throwing a purple and green pumpkin jig trailered with a Bama Bug-colored Rocket Craw. The key for me out there was my Lowrance electronics with the side scan."
Wright went on to say. "I never would have found those schools of fish without it. It has definitely made me a much better fisherman."
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: John Wright, Shelbyville, Ill., five bass, 16-9, $2,064
3rd: Marion Cordes, Sullivan, Ill., five bass, 15-9, $1,170
4th: Clay Reeves, Clinton, Ill., five bass, 15-9, $1,170
5th: Douglas Williams, Windsor, Ill., five bass, 14-9, $825
6th: Colby Schrumpf, Highland, Ill., five bass, 14-8, $757
7th: David Young, Mayfield, Ky., three bass, 11-0, $688
8th: Clifford Pass, Lenzburg, Ill., four bass, 10-15, $619
9th: Toby Corn, West Frankfort, Ill., five bass, 10-14, $550
10th: Kyle Lane, Bloomington, Ill., five bass, 10-13, $482
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Carl Hemken of Walshville, Ill., weighed in four bass totaling 14 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win $2,019 in the co-angler division.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Charles Dammerman, Owaneco, Ill., three bass, 11-12, $1,009
3rd: Garrett Duff, Weldon, Ill., five bass, 11-2, $675
4th: John Templeton, Coulterville, Ill., three bass, 8-12, $471
5th: Mike Swetland, Tamaroa, Ill., five bass, 8-6, $404
6th: Steve Kehrer, Woodlawn, Ill., three bass, 7-15, $370
7th: Neil Bohac, Braidwood, Ill., four bass, 7-4, $336
8th: Kyle Dasenbrook, Effingham, Ill., two bass, 6-9, $303
9th: Chris Bookout, Naperville, Ill., two bass, 6-5, $269
10th: Matt Parish, Hanna City, Ill., three bass, 6-2, $235
The next BFL Illini Division tournament is scheduled for July 20 on Rend Lake in Whittington, Ill. After the last divisional tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 10-12 Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Ky. 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. The 2013 BFL All-American is being held June 27-29 on Nickajack Lake in Chattanooga, Tenn. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.