(Aug 21, 2017 - SHELBYVILLE, IL.)
Jeremy Mull of Chatham, Illinois, caught a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Lake Shelbyville presented by Navionics. Mull took home $5,745 for his victory.
Mull said he began his day flipping isolated trees and stumps on the main lake and in coves using a green-pumpkin-colored Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver with a 3/8-ounce weight.
“I caught a 5-pounder first thing in the morning from an isolated tree,” said Mull, who logged his second career-win – both on Lake Shelbyville – in BFL competition. “After that I kept moving and came across a stump that produced six to eight keepers. I flipped to it, headed down the bank and then would return. I did that several times and ended up weighing two bass off of it.”
At 10 a.m. Mull said he moved out deep to a brush pile, in 16 to 18 feet of water, on a small main-lake point. He said he switched to a Red Bug-colored Zoom Trick Worm with a 5/16-ounce Spot Remover jig head.
“I caught the last two that I weighed within a few minutes of each other and then the bite died off,” said Mull. “I didn’t really do anything special out there – I got the bites needed and I was able to get them in the boat. It was one of those days you dream about having.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Jeremy Mull, Chatham, Ill., five bass, 22-1, $3,745 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Brad Porter, Bluford, Ill., five bass, 16-10, $1,873
3rd: Marion Cordes, Sullivan, Ill., five bass, 16-4, $1,181
4th: Robert Neff, Roodhouse, Ill., five bass, 14-4, $827
5th: Patrick O’Dell, Windsor, Ill., five bass, 14-0, $709
6th: Paul Leonard, Chatham, Ill., five bass, 13-6, $1,095
7th: Haldon Burgener, Moweaqua, Ill., five bass, 13-2, $591
8th: Mike Barnes, Mackinaw, Ill., five bass, 12-15, $832
9th: Chris Johnson, Griggsville, Ill., three bass, 12-12, $443
9th: Greg Mullins, Mount Vernon, Ill., five bass, 12-12, $443
Leonard caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 3 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division. The catch earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $445.
Aaron Arning of Walnut Hill, Illinois, caught five bass weighing 13 pounds, 2 ounces, to win the Co-angler Division and $1,793.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Aaron Arning, Walnut Hill, Ill., five bass, 13-2, $1,793
2nd: Archie Eslinger, Paris, Ill., four bass, 10-11, $846
3rd: Brandon Depew, Odin, Ill., five bass, 9-5, $564
4th: Anthony Macon, Greenville, Ill., four bass, 8-4, $367
4th: Jimmy Null, Bethalto, Ill., three bass, 8-4, $367
6th: Edward Helf, Alto Pass, Ill., four bass, 8-0, $310
7th: Ryan Fancher, Olney, Ill., four bass, 7-7, $332
8th: Steven Yeun, Elgin, Ill., four bass, 6-13, $254
9th: Dillon Saffle, Ballwin, Mo., three bass, 6-10, $226
10th: Richard Snodgrass, Bluffs, Ill., two bass, 6-6, $198
Lyle Lehman of Blue Mound, Illinois, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 5 pounds, 6 ounces – and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $212.
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.