Cole Jezek of Salem, Ill., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 15 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division tournament of 2014 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Jezek earned $4,009.
“It happened pretty quick,” said Jezek, who earned his first BFL victory. “I locked through to the Tennessee River and ran to where I had found some smallmouth in practice, on a chunk-rock flat in about 16 feet of water. I had my limit within an hour. They were all good ones. Everything I caught was between 2 to 3 pounds and I caught one that was around 4 pounds. I hung around until about 11 a.m. and then made sure I got back in time.
“The current wasn’t as strong as it was during the week,” added Jezek. “Every time a barge went by it would put enough current in the water to get them to bite.
“My grandfather passed away on Wednesday night,” Jezek said. “I told my co-angler I was going to win it for him. It made for a really good day.”
Jezek said that he caught all of his fish on a ¾-ounce shaky head with a black Yamamoto Senko.
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Toby Corn, West Frankfort, Ill., five bass, 13-3, $2,005
3rd: James Wright, Paducah, Ky., five bass, 12-14, $1,336
4th: Scott Dunn, Harrisburg, Ill., five bass, 12-3, $935
5th: Mike Barnes, Mackinaw, Ill., five bass, 11-14, $768
5th: Mike Keller, Metropolis, Ill., five bass, 11-14, $768
7th: Colby Schrumpf, Highland, Ill., five bass, 11-12, $668
8th: Hilton Jones, Westfield, Ill., five bass, 11-5, $601
9th: David Young, Mayfield, Ky., five bass, 11-3, $535
10th: Alex Moore, Chester, Ill., five bass, 11-2, $468
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Chad Hess of Scheller, Ill., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win $1,883 in the co-angler division.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Brett Anderson, Woodlawn, Ill., five bass, 10-10, $942
3rd: Charles Hardin, Evansville, Ind., four bass, 10-6, $627
4th: Jordan Borgmann, Ashley, Ill., five bass, 10-1, $439
5th: Jim Budde, Waterloo, Ill., three bass, 8-15, $377
6th: J.D. Walker, Noble, Ill., five bass, 8-10, $345
7th: Jay Backer, Henderson, Ky., five bass, 8-9, $314
8th: Michael Watson, Morton Grove, Ill., five bass, 8-5, $282
9th: Obadiah Holsapple, Greenup, Ill., five bass, 8-4, $251
10th: Brandon Broadway, Golconda, Ill., five bass, 7-15, $209
10th: Michael Russell, Belleville, Ill., four bass, 7-15, $209
The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 16-18 Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Ky. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, 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 40 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 presented by Chevy. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Rayovac FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
Image courtesy FLW Outdoors