(Jul 25, 2017 - GOLCONDA, IL.)
Chad Diedrich of Nashville, Illinois, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on the Ohio River Saturday after catching five bass weighing 15 pounds, 9 ounces. Diedrich earned $6,116 for his efforts.
“I decided to lock to the Cumberland River because I was having a hard time getting a bite on the Ohio River,” said Diedrich, who notched his first career-win in FLW competition. “I stopped at a bank about a mile from the Barkley Lake tailwaters and caught the first fish I weighed on a (Watermelon Red Flake-colored) Wave Worm Tiki Stick.”
As he worked his way closer to the Barkley Lake dam, Diedrich said he fished near the bank, where slackwater met the current.
“Other anglers seemed to be focused on the current breaks created by rocks out deep, but I couldn’t get that to work for me,” said Diedrich. “I put the bait in the slackwater. I popped it two or three times, let it sit and then popped it again so it could enter the current. I let it flow for a bit and then reeled in. I’d get as close as 100 yards to the dam before drifting back and starting all over again.”
Diedrich said he fished the Cumberland River until 12:45 p.m. before making his way back to the takeoff ramp. With 40 minutes left in his day, Diedrich said he used a spinnerbait to catch a 3-pounder near a laydown.
“The final 3-pounder likely put me over the top,” said Diedrich. “I don’t think I would’ve edged second place without that fish. “
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Chad Diedrich, Nashville, Ill., five bass, 15-9, $4,116 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Marty Sisk, Evansville, Ind., five bass, 13-6, $2,020
3rd: Leroy McDuffie, McLeansboro, Ill., five bass, 10-9, $1,614
4th: Mike Barnes, Mackinaw, Ill., five bass, 10-4, $850
5th: Shane Haslett, Beecher City, Ill., four bass, 10-0, $728
6th: Travis Boley, Weldon, Ill., four bass, 9-12, $668
7th: William Walker, Mulkeytown, Ill., five bass, 9-11, $607
8th: Brandon Broadway, Golconda, Ill., four bass, 9-4, $546
9th: Shawn Panick, New Lenox, Ill., four bass, 9-3, $485
10th: Justin Berger, Murray, Ky., four bass, 9-2, $425
Diedrich also caught a fish weighing 4 pounds, 14 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division. The catch earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $475.
Adam Brookman of Bonnie, Illinois, won the Co-angler Division and $1,977 Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 9 pounds, 5 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Adam Brookman, Bonnie, Ill., five bass, 9-5, $1,977
2nd: William Richno, Raymond, Ill., five bass, 8-13, $888
3rd: Matt Chumbler, Carbondale, Ill., five bass, 8-3, $642
4th: Aaron Arning, Walnut Hill, Ill., five bass, 8-2, $415
5th: Eric Thrasher, Decatur, Ill., five bass, 8-1, $355
6th: Ernie Richards, Dixon, Ill., three bass, 7-3, $326
7th: Edward Helf, Alto Pass, Ill., three bass, 6-7, $296
8th: Dale Renth, Mascoutah, Ill., three bass, 6-5, $267
9th: Jeff Kirby, Philo, Ill., two bass, 6-0, $237
10th: Obadiah Holsapple, Greenup, Ill., five bass, 5-11, $207
Carl Lingle of Dongola, Illinois, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 4 pounds even – and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $227.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 5-7 BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.
The 2017 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they 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 performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the 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 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 258 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa 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.