Kircher Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament at Lake Shelbyville

July 17, 2023
BFL News Archive

SHELBYVILLE, Ill. (July 17, 2023) – Boater Matthias Kircher of Sorento, Illinois, caught four bass weighing 16 pounds, 9 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake Shelbyville. The tournament was the third event of the season for the BFL Illini Division. Kircher earned $6,641, including a $2,500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus, for his victory.

Kircher said he had fished Lake Shelbyville only 10 times before the BFL event, and this tournament was his second effort as a boater in competition.

“I had all my fish by 9:15,” said Kircher, who focused his efforts on the 9th Street area of Lake Shelbyville. “I only had five bites all day. The other fish was a 13-incher.”

Kircher said he caught his first fish in the treetop of a laydown in about 20 feet of water on a shaky-head rig. His other three keepers came on a watermelon candy red-colored Zoom Ol’ Monster Worm. Kircher said he caught all four of his fish on two laydowns 100 yards apart from each other.

“I pre-fished last Wednesday and caught a 15-inch fish in that treetop,” said Kircher. “I had another bite, and I left it alone. So, during the tournament, I went with my gut instinct and went where I caught that keeper because I wasn’t on anything during practice this week.

“The Lord blessed me with four good bites,” Kircher added. “I told my co-angler I needed one more fish. I thought I needed that fifth fish. But my co-angler said, ‘I think you’ve got this.’ And he was right. This feels great.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:          Matthias Kircher, Sorento, Ill., four bass, 16-9, $6,641 (includes $2,500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
2nd:        Levi Kohl, Edinburg, Ill., three bass, 16-3, $1,835
3rd:        Garrett McDowell, Windsor, Ill., five bass, 15-4, $1,444
4th:         Joshua Tyner, Spencer, Ind., five bass, 14-1, $856
5th:         Joe Bardill, Highland, Ill., five bass, 13-8, $734
6th:         Jeffrey Lee, Olney, Ill., five bass, 13-2, $673
7th:         Ethan Fields, Breese, Ill., five bass, 12-15, $612
8th:         Jeremy Dhom, Teutopolis, Ill., five bass, 12-6, $551
9th:         Jeremy Mull, Pawnee, Ill., five bass, 11-4, $489
10th:      Mike McGill, Findlay, Ill., five bass, 10-15, $428

Kircher also caught a bass that weighed 6 pounds, 2 ounces, and earned the  Big Bass Boater award of $470. Jimmy Null of Bethalto, Illinois, won the co-angler division and a total of $1,835 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 11 pounds, 13 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers finished:

1st:          Jimmy Null, Bethalto, Ill., five bass, 11-13, $1,835
2nd:        Mike Swetland, Tamaroa, Ill., five bass, 8-7, $1,268
3rd:        Aaron Arning, Walnut Hill, Ill., five bass, 8-0, $612
4th:         Nathan Riley, La Place, Ill., four bass, 7-10, $428
5th:         William Hadraba, Willow Springs, Ill., four bass, 7-4, $367
6th:         Dale Renth, Mascoutah, Ill., four bass, 6-15, $336
7th:         Jim Budde, Waterloo, Ill., four bass, 6-13, $306
8th:         Andrew Boring, El Paso, Ill., three bass, 6-6, $275
9th:         Amanda Black, Toledo, Ill., three bass, 6-3, $245
10th:      Rowdy King, Shelbyville, Ill., two bass, 5-15, $214

Jason Korando of Chester, Illinois, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $235, catching a bass that weighed in at 4 pounds, 1 ounce – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After three events, Garrett McDowell of Windsor, Illinois, leads the BFL Illini Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 737 points, while Aaron Arning of Walnut Hill, Illinois, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 729 points.