WHITTINGTON, Ill. (July 1, 2019) – Boater Derek Jenkel of Pinckneyville, Illinois, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces. Jenkel earned $4,384 for his victory.
“I was flipping bushes in the mid-lake region,” said Jenkel, who earned his third career win in BFL competition. “I didn’t have a specific bay or creek or anything like that, but I figured out a pattern flipping buck brush and I was able to replicate it in multiple areas.
“Traditionally, the bass on Rend Lake love to be shallow – like fins sticking out of the water ridiculously shallow,” Jenkel continued. “However, they just weren’t there. I figured out that the fish were holding on deeper bushes, which really was odd to me. They were not supposed to be there. But they were, and once I figured that out I was able to apply that in multiple different areas.”
Jenkel said that the fishing was a little slow, as he and his co-angler only had about 13 keeper bites throughout the day. He said he fished six different areas, mainly flipping a watermelon-red-colored Zoom Brush Hog, but also adding one keeper on a Strike King Rage Bug.
“The key, honestly, was figuring out the depth,” Jenkel went on to say. “It had to be bushes in three feet of water.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Derek Jenkel, Pinckneyville, Ill., five bass, 15-8, $4,384
2nd: Jerry Walker, Zeigler, Ill., five bass, 14-1, $1,767
3rd: Terry Holsapple, Greenup, Ill., five bass, 13-8, $1,077
4th: James Powell, Murphysboro, Ill., five bass, 13-6, $684
5th: Mike Barnes, Mackinaw, Ill., five bass, 12-7, $587
6th: Brad Porter, Bluford, Ill., five bass, 11-15, $538
7th: Ray Cortivo, Troy, Ill., four bass, 11-13, $824
8th: Toby Corn, Calvert City, Ky., five bass, 11-3, $590
9th: James Williams, Neoga, Ill., five bass, 11-1, $366
9th: Brennon McCord, West Frankfort, Ill., five bass, 11-1, $366
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Cortivo caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 10 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $335.
Gabe Campbell of West Frankfort, Illinois, won the Co-angler Division and $1,602 Saturday after catching four bass weighing 11 pounds, 3 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Gabe Campbell, West Frankfort, Ill., four bass, 11-3, $1,602
2nd: Dave Dobill, Royalton, Ill., four bass, 10-12, $721
3rd: Amanda Black, Greenup, Ill., four bass, 9-2, $633
4th: Jacob Greco, Edwardsville, Ill., five bass, 8-12, $336
5th: Aaron Arning, Walnut Hill, Ill., three bass, 8-8, $488
6th: Tad Cain, La Place, Ill., three bass, 7-4, $264
7th: James Lang, Benton, Ill., three bass, 6-14, $240
8th: Drew Cress, Highland, Ill., two bass, 5-13, $216
9th: Eugene Kim, Lindenhurst, Ill., three bass, 5-9, $230
9th: Jamie Ebbert, Canton, Ill., two bass, 5-9, $230
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. 24-26 BFL Regional Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.
The 2019 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. The 2020 BFL All-American will be held April 30-May 2 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina, and is hosted by Visit Anderson. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.