WHITTINGTON, Ill. (July 13, 2020) – Boaters Dan Shoraga of West Frankfort, Illinois, and Mike Brueggen of La Crosse, Wisconsin, each brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 11 pounds, 3 ounces, to tie for the win at the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Rend Lake. For their wins Shoraga earned a total of $4,321, including the $1,000 Mercury Marine contingency bonus, while Brueggen brought home $3,321.
“I had seven bites all day, and managed to put them all in the boat,” said Shoraga, who earned his fourth career BFL win. “I knew it was going to fish tough, but I put my head down and just flipped the creeks all day.”
Shoraga said that he flipped black neon- and hematoma-colored beaver-style baits on the north end of the lake.
Brueggen, meanwhile, started in the mid-lake area and worked his way north, catching five fish throughout the day.
“I started early with a buzzbait, mid-lake, then worked my way north as the day progressed,” Brueggen said. “I caught two on the buzzbait and one out deep on a worm. As I worked up north, I caught one flipping and got my fifth keeper on a crankbait in the afternoon.”
Brueggen is now the early favorite for the October Regional Championship tournament, scheduled for his home waters of the Mississippi River in La Crosse.
“I don’t think there has ever been a regional championship in La Crosse before, so I’m really looking forward to that one,” Brueggen went on to say. “The river in October should be really good.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament as follows:
1st: Dan Shoraga of West Frankfort, Ill., five bass, 11-3, $4,321
1st: Mike Brueggen of La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 11-3, $3,321
3rd: Addison Eggertsen of West Frankfort, Ill., five bass, 10-5, $1,478
4th: Toby Corn of Paducah, Ky., five bass, 10-2, $1,033
5th: Terry Holsapple of Greenup, Ill., five bass, 9-7, $886
6th: Darren Frazier of Anna, Ill., three bass, 9-6, $812
7th: Colby Schrumpf of Highland, Ill., five bass, 9-3, $738
8th: Mark O’Brien of Carterville, Ill., five bass, 8-14, $664
9th: Brad Porter of Bluford, Ill., four bass, 8-10, $553
9th: Martin Conaughty of Fairview Heights, Ill., four bass, 8-10, $553
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Terry Fitzpatrick of Waukon, Iowa, claimed the day’s Boater Big Bass Award of $635 after bringing a 5-pound, 3-ounce bass to the scale.
Jodie Lanter of Carlyle, Illinois, took home an extra $500 as the highest finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
Ryan Fancher of Olney, Illinois, won the Co-angler Division and $2,214 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 11 pounds, 5 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers finished as follows:
1st: Ryan Fancher of Olney, Ill., five bass, 11-5, $2,214
2nd: Ryan Murphy of Paris, Ill., three bass, 6-15, $1,107
3rd: James Jarvis of West Frankfort, Ill., three bass, 6-8, $738
4th: Mike Swetland of Tamaroa, Ill., two bass, 6-5, $717
5th: Charles Dammerman of Owaneco, Ill., two bass, 5-12, $443
6th: Anthony Balding of Lebanon, Ill., two bass, 5-6, $406
7th: Yong Yeun of Elgin, Ill., two bass, 5-2, $369
8th: Ashton Nielsen of Mount Zion, Ill., one bass, 5-0, $471
8th: Rod Mandrell of Benton, Ill., one bass, 5-0, $471
10th: Alan Bernicky of Joliet, Ill., three bass, 4-13, $258
Mandrell caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, weighing in at 5 pounds even. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $158.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Rend Lake was the second of five qualifying tournaments in the Illini division.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the Illini Division based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 15-17 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin, hosted by Explore La Crosse. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new 18-foot Phoenix bass boat with a 200-horsepower outboard.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine 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 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American will be held Nov. 11-13 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina and is hosted by Visit Anderson. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division earn priority entry into the FLW Series, the pathway to the FLW Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour, where top pros compete with no entry fees.