Illinois’ Hill Nabs Co-angler Title

SCOTTSVILLE, Ky. (Sept. 25, 2017) – Casey O’Donnell of Langston, Alabama, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division tournament on the Barren River Sunday with a two-day cumulative catch of 10 bass weighing 23 pounds, 15 ounces. O’Donnell pocketed $5,082 for his efforts.

O’Donnell said he spent the majority of the tournament working through one area on the south end of the river.

“I fished the ends of channel swing banks, anywhere from 2½ to 5 feet of water, and caught them from laydowns and stumps,” said O’Donnell, a former Tour co-angler who notched his first career win as a boater in BFL competition. “I run an aluminum Ranger boat, so it’s not as fast as some of the others out there but it’s more efficient up shallow.”

O’Donnell said nine of his 10 fish came flipping a ½-ounce Gambler Jigzilla with a green-pumpkin-colored Strike King Twin Tail Menace Grub trailer. He said he caught his heaviest bass Saturday using an albino-colored Spro Dean Rojas Poppin’ Frog.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st:          Casey O’Donnell, Langston, Ala., 10 bass, 23-15, $5,082

2nd:         Ryan Davidson, Branchland, W. Va., nine bass, 23-12, $2,541

3rd:          Daniel Johnson, Lebanon, Tenn., eight bass, 21-7, $1,625

4th:          Taylor Stumbo, Prestonsburg, Ky., seven bass, 18-15, $1,139

5th:          Jerry Reagan, Byrdstown, Tenn., nine bass, 18-13, $976

6th:          Charles Morrison, Georgetown, Ky., eight bass, 17-0, $895

7th:          Joe Haunert, West Chester, Ohio, eight bass, 16-6, $814

8th:          Brent Anderson, Kingston Springs, Tenn., seven bass, 15-5, $732

9th:          Jason Bean, Scottsville, Ky., six bass, 15-3, $651

10th:        Barry Smith, Catlettsburg, Ky., seven bass, 13-15, $570

Complete results can be found at

J.J. Dean of Huntington, West Virginia, caught a 4-pound, 8-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the Boater Big Bass award of $600.

Chad Hill of Marion, Illinois, caught a two-day total of nine bass weighing 19 pounds, 15 ounces, to win the Co-angler Division and $2,441.

The top 10 co-anglers were:

1st:          Chad Hill, Marion, Ill., nine bass, 19-15, $2,441

2nd:         Alex Straubing, Cincinnati, Ohio, eight bass, 15-5, $1,320

3rd:          Ralph Feldman, Lancaster, Ky., six bass, 12-3, $814

4th:          Colton Smith, Somerset, Ky., six bass, 11-3, $620

5th:          Bob Wiles, Huntington, W. Va., five bass, 10-14, $488

6th:          Danell McKinney, West Liberty, Ky., five bass, 9-9, $447

7th:          Jared Rudd, Salyersville, Ky., five bass, 9-9, $407

8th:          Lucas Devere, Berea, Ky., four bass, 8-11, $366

9th:          Raymond Manis, Jamestown, Tenn., four bass, 8-10, $325

10th:        Chris O’Bryan, Harned, Ky., four bass, 8-9, $285

Cole McCourt of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 3 pounds, 7 ounces – and earned the Co-angler Big Bass award of $300.

The T-H Marine FLW BFL Mountain Division tournament on the Barren River was hosted by the Glasgow-Barren County Tourist & Convention Commission.

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. 5-7 BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.

The 2017 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 2018 All-American will be held on Cross Lake in Shreveport, Louisiana, May 31-June 2 and is hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier City Sports Commission and the Red River Waterway Commission. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.

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