Boater Bradley Smith of St. Jacob took home the win at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Illini Division tournament on Lake Shelbyville Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 23 pounds, 7 ounces. For his win, Smith pocketed $7,310.
“I took off each morning with one rod on the deck,” said Smith, who notched his first win as a boater in BFL competition. “I was pitching to shallow wood, mid-lake. I fished a 3-mile section, anywhere from 2-10 feet of water. The first day was sunny, with no wind. The second day we had clouds and rain. I was pretty worried the wood pattern wouldn’t hold up but it ended up working out.”
Smith said he flipped a Texas-rigged, green pumpkin-colored Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver with a 3/8-ounce Strike King Tour Grade tungsten weight.
“The fish were in transition from summer to fall patterns — the bites were hard to come by,” said Smith. “It was sporadic each day. I was able to get a lot in practice that I ended up shaking off. Fortunately, a lot of those fish bit during the tournament.”
Smith said he caught five keepers Saturday and seven on Sunday.
“The best anglers in Illinois compete in this division, so to get a win — especially at a two-day event — was pretty special for me,” he said.
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.