North American Fishing Guides

Dill Wins Wal-Mart Bass Fishing Illini Division Tournament


FINDLAY, Ill. (May 19, 2003) – Donnie Dill of Effingham claimed $4,343 as the winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Illini Division’s second regular-season stop, held Saturday on Lake Shelbyville near Findlay. Dill led the field of 165 boaters with a five-bass catch weighing 15 pounds, 2 ounces. Dill caught his bass Saturday on a gold and black stick bait. As the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, Dill also claimed a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats.

Rounding out the top five boaters are Bobby McMullin of Pevely, Mo. (four bass, 12 pounds, 10 ounces, $2,172); Paul Estel of Chester (five bass, 10 pounds, 1 ounce, $1,477); David Trigg of Lerna (five bass, 9 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,129); and Bill Leasher of Neoga (five bass, 9 pounds, 3 ounces, $956).

Randy McDowell of Mattoon topped 165 Co-angler Division competitors with a four-bass catch weighing 10 pounds, 11 ounces that he caught flipping a jig. McDowell earned $2,172 for the win.

Finishing second was Keith Kropp of Sidney with three bass weighing 17 pounds, 7 ounces worth $1,086. Tied for third place were Steve Tatum of Pontiac (three bass, 8 pounds, 3 ounces) and Rodney Egelston of Oreana (four bass, 8 pounds, 3 ounces). Each received $651 for their catch. Robert McWhorter of Warrenton, Mo., finished fifth with a three-bass catch weighing 8 pounds, 2 ounces that earned him $478.

McMullin earned boater big-bass honors and $825 with a 6-pound bass. McWhorter and Kropp tied for co-angler big-bass honors by weighing in a 4-pound, 14-ounce bass. Each earned $206 for their big bass.

The Illini Division will make its third regular-season stop June 14 on the Ohio River in Golconda followed by an event on Lake Shelbyville in Shelbyville July 19. The final regular-season event, a two-day Super Tournament, will be held Sept. 13-14 on the Ohio River in Paducah, Ky. Following the regular season, the boater with the most points will be declared the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader and awarded $1,000. The co-angler with the most points following the regular season will earn $500.

The top 30 Illini Division boaters and co-anglers will advance to regional competition Oct. 14-18 on Old Hickory Lake near Gallatin, Tenn., where they will go up against top competitors from the Bulldog, Carolina and Hoosier divisions for a shot at qualifying for the Wal-Mart BFL All-American — one of the most lucrative postseason tournaments in competitive angling.

As much as $6 million will be awarded in the 2003 Wal-Mart BFL.

For more information or to enter a tournament, call (270) 252-1000 or visit FLWOutdoors.com.

Wal-Mart and many of America’s most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its six tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997. For a complete list of FLW Outdoors sponsors and for more information about the premier products and services they offer, please visit FLWOutdoors.com.

Editor’s Note: Ranger Cup award winners are pending verification by Ranger Boats and thus are unofficial at this time.

FLW Outdoors


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