SHELBYVILLE, Ill. (June 8, 2009) Bill Leasher of Neoga, Ill., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League® Illini Division tournament on Lake Shelbyville Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 15 pounds, 5 ounces.
SHELBYVILLE, Ill. (June 8, 2009) Bill Leasher of Neoga, Ill., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League® Illini Division tournament on Lake Shelbyville Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 15 pounds, 5 ounces. The victory earned Leasher $3,592 and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the Fort Madison Regional Championship in Fort Madison, Iowa, Oct. 1-3, where he could ultimately win a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.
Leasher said he fished on the south end of the lake and used a soft-plastic lizard on a Carolina rig to target secondary points 10 to15 feet deep.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Anton Silvester of Staunton, Ill. (five bass, 14-6, $1,796); John Wright of Shelbyville, Ill. (five bass, 13-15, $1,201); Wes Cummins of Shattuc,Ill. (five bass, 13-10, $838) and Greg Coleman of Butler, Ill. (five bass, 13-1, $718).
Leasher took home the Boater Division Big Bass award, earning $460 for a 4-pound, 13-ounce bass he caught.
Jimmy Null of Bethalto, Ill., earned $1,796 as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to five bass weighing 14 pounds, 1 ounce.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Derick Holmes of Effingham, Ill. (five bass, 11-12, $898); Adam Johnson of Danforth, Ill. (five bass, 10-9, $598); Tony Westjohn of Montrose, Ill. (two bass, 8-9, $419); and Dave Dobill of Royalton, Ill. (3 bass, 7-15, $359).
Westjohn earned $230 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 5-pound, 6-ounce bass.
The next Illini Division event will be held on the Mississippi River in Fort Madison July 11.
The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers in each of the BFLs 28 divisions at the end of the season advance to a no-entry-fee Regional Championship where boaters fish for a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck and co-anglers fish for a new Ranger boat. Seven regional championships will each send six boaters and six co-anglers to the no-entry-fee Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy, which features a $1 million purse and a top award of $140,000 in the Boater Division and $70,000 in the Co-angler Division. Anglers who compete in all five regular-season events within a division but do not advance to a Regional Championship are eligible to compete in the Chevy Wild Card, which will also send six boaters and six co-anglers to the All-American for a total of 48 boaters and 48 co-anglers advancing through BFL competition.
The winning boater and winning co-angler at the All-American will advance to the no-entry-fee $2.5 million Forrest Wood Cup in Atlanta in 2010. This event, featuring a top award of $1 million, is the most lucrative tournament in all of competitive bass fishing. In all, the BFL offers weekend anglers the opportunity to qualify for three no-entry-fee championships with total cash awards exceeding $3.5 million. Plus, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from each BFL division may move up to the Stren Series for 2010 while All-American champions have the option to advance directly to the Walmart FLW Tour®.
In BFL competition, boaters supply the boat and compete from the front deck against other boaters. Co-anglers compete from the back deck against other co-anglers.
As the nations leading provider of affordable, close-to-home weekend tournaments, the BFL is widely credited with opening competitive bass fishing to the masses. It also serves as a steppingstone for anglers who wish to advance to the Stren Series and ultimately the FLW Tour bass fishings most lucrative tournament circuit.
Total awards are based on a full field of 200 boats in every tournament.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also is taking fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Players Advantage for only $10 to get your edge and win.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Players Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com