UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Old Hickory Lake

BFL Super Tournament on Ohio River won by Leatherman

BFL Super Tournament on Ohio River won by Leatherman
Todd Leatherman of Kuttawa, Ky., caught 10 bass weighing 24 pounds, 6 ounces to win the BFL Illini Division Super Tournament, held Sept. 13-14 on the Ohio River near Paducah.

PADUCAH, Ky. - Todd Leatherman of Kuttawa caught 10 bass weighing 24 pounds, 6 ounces to win $5,870 at the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Illini Division Super Tournament, held this weekend on the Ohio River near Paducah. Leatherman bested 92 Boater Division competitors and earned 300 points at the tournament, which was the fifth and final Illini Division event of the regular season.

Leatherman caught five bass Saturday weighing 11 pounds, 2 ounces to finish second on day one and followed that up Sunday with another five bass weighing 13 pounds, 4 ounces to earn the win. Leatherman caught his tournament-winning bass on a green pumpkin jig in the Tennessee River. As the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, Leatherman also claimed a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats, and he earned another $1,000 from Garmin for using a fixed-mount Garmin Fishfinder or combination GPS/sounder.

Rounding out the top five boaters are Michael Goessman of Sesser, Ill. (10 bass, 23 pounds, 11 ounces); Mark Watson of Springfield, Ill. (10 bass, 21 pounds, 8 ounces); Bobby McMullin of Pevely, Mo. (10 bass, 17 pounds, 12 ounces); and Tim Travis of Benton (10 bass, 16 pounds, 11 ounces).

Brent Ausbrook of Olney, Ill., claimed $920 as the Boater Division big-bass award winner with a 5-pound, 4-ounce bass.

Ray Arning Jr. of Walnut Hill, Ill., led 92 Co-angler Division competitors on day two to claim $2,935 as the Super Tournament co-angler winner. He caught four bass Saturday weighing 8 pounds, 12 ounces to finish fourth and followed that up Sunday with another five bass weighing 7 pounds, 12 ounces to earn the win. He caught his tournament-winning bass on a chartreuse Senko jerkbait.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Bruce O'Brien of Normal, Ill. (seven bass, 15 pounds, 11 ounces); Casey Martin of Wildwood, Mo. (nine bass, 15 pounds, 11 ounces); Michael Sanders of Windsor, Ill. (10 bass, 14 pounds, 4 ounces); and Mark Heimburger of Sidney, Ill. (nine bass, 13 pounds, 3 ounces).

Heimburger took co-angler big-bass honors and $460 with a 5-pound, 5-ounce bass.

McMullin is the Illini Division's Yamaha "Be the Best" points leader, winning $1,000 for the 1,081 points he earned during five regular-season tournaments. Matt Wolfe of Collinsville, Ill., is the Yamaha "Be the Best" points leader in the Co-angler Division. He earned $500 for his division-leading 956 points.

The top 30 boaters and top 30 co-anglers in the Illini Division will advance to regional competition presented by Yamaha 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 BFL All-American, one of the most lucrative postseason tournaments in competitive angling.

The BFL comprises 24 divisions nationwide, each featuring five regular-season events that lead to one of six regionals. Four of the regular-season tournaments are one-day events, while the final event, a Super Tournament, is a two-day tournament that will award as much as $70,950 to participating anglers. Anglers who enter all five regular-season events in a division but do not advance to a regional may enter the Chevy Trucks Wild Card for a shot at qualifying for the All-American. The All-American field comprises 84 competitors - six boaters and six co-anglers from six regionals plus six boaters and six co-anglers from the Wild Card.

As the nation's 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 EverStart Series and ultimately the Wal-Mart FLW Tour - bass fishing's most lucrative tournament series. Each year the top 30 boaters and co-anglers from each BFL division are eligible to advance to the EverStart Series, and the All-American champions are eligible for Wal-Mart FLW Tour competition. The top 15 pros and co-anglers from the Central, Eastern and Northern divisions of the EverStart Series (top 10 from the Western Division) are eligible to advance to the Wal-Mart FLW Tour. Former BFL anglers who have become fishing superstars on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour include Kellogg's pro Clark Wendlandt, Chevy pro Tommy Biffle and four-time FLW Tour champion David Fritts.

Tags: press-release  2003-09-13-ohio-river 

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