Fishing & Boating News

Hemken Wins Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division Finale on Lake Shelbyville

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Shawn Hemken of Walshville, Illinois, brought a 5-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 11 lbs, 6 ozs to win the Illini Division Super Tournament with a 2-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 lbs, 1 ozce. For his victory, Hemken took home $6,882.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Aug 31, 2015 - Shelbyville, IL)  Shawn Hemken of Walshville, Illinois, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 11 pounds, 6 ounces to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division Super Tournament on Lake Shelbyville with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 1 ounce. For his victory, Hemken earned $6,882.
“The bass have been scattered lately due to changes in the lake’s depth, but as soon as it settled I knew they’d be right where I needed them,” said Hemken of his second win in FLW competition.
“Each day I had five keepers by 10 a.m.,” continued Hemken. “I targeted rocks early using a shaky-head rig. I would get a couple of good-sized fish before the bite dwindled. After that I’d head up and down the lake hitting deep points and submerged wood – all in about 20 feet of water. I preferred a watermelon-colored Zoom Brush Hog and a green-pumpkin-colored Missile Baits D Bomb, Texas-rigged.
“I was constantly in search of a kicker,” added Hemken. “I probably caught around 16 keepers over the course of the tournament.”
Hemken said it was his familiarity with the lake that helped him make difficult decisions.
“I’ve been on that lake all summer,” said Hemken. “I knew that in order to find the bigger fish I’d need to get out to those deep points and it worked out.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st:          Shawn Hemken, Walshville, Ill., 10 bass, 26-1, $4,882 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd:         Derek Jenkel, Pinckneyville, Ill., 10 bass, 24-13, $2,441
3rd:          John Wright, Windsor, Ill., nine bass, 23-10, $1,625
4th:          Dennis Berhorst, Holts Summit, Mo., 10 bass, 22-8, $1,139
5th:          Terry Holsapple, Greenup, Ill., 10 bass, 20-1, $976
6th:          Delmar Burlison, Goreville, Ill., 10 bass, 19-9, $895
7th:          Mike Barnes, Mackinaw, Ill., 10 bass, 19-6, $814
8th:          Michael  McGill, Findlay, Ill., five bass, 18-6, $732
9th:          Dan Kehrer, Woodlawn, Ill., six bass, 17-7, $651
10th:        Dale Greene, Mount Vernon, Ill., nine bass, 16-9, $570
Keith Nemcek of Saint Charles, Illinois, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 4 pounds, 15 ounces and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $600.
David Duzan of Oakland, Illinois, won the co-angler division and $2,441 with a two-day total of seven bass weighing 17 pounds, 1 ounce.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st:          David Duzan, Oakland, Ill., seven bass, 17-1, $2,441
2nd:         Jeremy Douin, Fairview Heights, Ill., nine bass, 16-7, $1,220
3rd:          Jacob Collins, Hillsboro, Ill., five bass, 13-14, $814
4th:          Jeffrey Lee, Olney, Ill., five bass, 11-8, $570
5th:          Cody Salzmann, Charleston, Ill., six bass, 11-5, $488
6th:          Steve Bowcock, Bridgeport, Ill., five bass, 10-1, $447
7th:          Gary Ervin Jr., Sparta, Ill., four bass, 9-15, $407
8th:          Mike Jackson, Moweaqua, Ill., five bass, 8-14, $366
9th:          Chad Hess, Scheller, Ill., four bass, 8-1, $325
10th:        Dan Sutton, Cadiz, Ky., three bass, 7-8, $285
Ryan Spencer of Tolono, Illinois, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $300.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will now qualify for the Oct. 22-24 Regional Championship on Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C 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 50 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. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Rayovac FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2015 over the course of 240 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.