(Jun 20, 2016 - SHELBYVILLE, Il.)
Donnie Dill of Dieterich, Illinois, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 15 pounds, 3 ounces, Saturday to win the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Lake Shelbyville presented by Power-Pole. For his victory, Dill took home $6,385.
“My first productive area was a mid-lake point in 12 to 16 feet of water,” said Dill, who notched his third win in FLW competition. “I ran to several other points, but ended up only needing three to catch the majority of my fish. I had a decent limit of bass in the boat by 11 a.m.”
Dill said he rotated between three baits throughout the event – a Redbug-colored Zoom Ol’ Monster Worm, a green-pumpkin and brown-colored Custom Craft jig and a Yo-Zuri crankbait.
“I didn’t want the fish to get accustomed to seeing one particular bait, so I rotated between them fairly evenly,” said Dill. “The fish were there, I just had to work for them. I ended up catching nine keepers. It was a great event.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Donnie Dill, Dieterich, Ill., five bass, 15-3, $4,385 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: John Wright, Windsor, Ill., five bass, 14-7, $2,193
3rd: Paul LeSaulnier, Waterloo, Ill., four bass, 14-0, $2,083
4th: Marty Sisk, Evansville, Ind., five bass, 13-10, $1,023
5th: Garrett McDowell, Mattoon, Ill., four bass, 13-9, $877
6th: Arby Tevault, Elberfeld, Ind., five bass, 12-12, $804
7th: Edward Gettys, Paris, Tenn., five bass, 12-10, $1,031
8th: Brian Futch, Vienna, Ill., five bass, 12-3, $621
8th: Matt Jackson, Moweaqua, Ill., four bass, 12-3, $621
10th: Patrick Odell, Windsor, Ill., five bass, 11-13, $512
LeSaulnier caught a 6-pound, 11-ounce bass – the biggest of the tournament in the pro division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $620.
Benton Peoples of Bardstown, Kentucky, weighed in four bass totaling 11 pounds, 3 ounces, Saturday to win the co-angler division and earn $2,193.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Benton Peoples, Bardstown, Ky., four bass, 11-3, $2,193
2nd: Matt Chumbler, Carbondale, Ill., four bass, 11-1, $1,096
3rd: Jacob Bovara, Wadsworth, Ill., five bass, 10-13, $730
4th: Carl Lingle, Dongola, Ill., five bass, 10-9, $512
5th: Kirk Jansen, Teutopolis, Ill., five bass, 10-6, $439
6th: Mike Swetland, Tamaroa, Ill., five bass, 9-15, $402
7th: Michael Kirkland, Ava, Ill., four bass, 9-6, $365
8th: Ryan Spencer, Tolono, Ill., five bass, 9-4, $329
9th: Jeffrey Lee, Olney, Ill., five bass, 9-2, $292
10th: Jarred Metje, Woodlawn, Ill., four bass, 8-11, $256
Tom Dorothy of Bloomington, Illinois, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 15 ounces and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $310.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 13-15 Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky. 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 are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.