Carbondale’s McKinney wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League event on Lake Shelbyville

Bloomington’s Wehmeyer Best in Strike King Co-Angler DivisionSHELBYVILLE, Ill. (June 20, 2022) – Boater Trey McKinney from Carbondale, Illinoiscaught five bass on Saturday weighing 14 pounds and 4 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by TH Marine on Lake Shelbyville . The tournament was the second event for the Bass Fishing League Illini division. McKinney earned $4,889 for her victory.

“The first 30 minutes of a rock shot, you can always grab a goalie or two as a safety net during the tournament,” McKinney said. “So we fished that way, and I ended up catching one of my big ones – a 4-pounder. It was a surprise.

“I had a problem the last few times I fished to get a big bite,” McKinney added. “When I finally got it straight away, I was like, ‘I have to start taking more risks.’ I felt pretty confident that I could catch a limit just by junk fishing.

McKinney said he moved to a more offshore tactic that focused on the edges and sides of points and different targets that many anglers might overlook.

“Everyone out there has their milk run, and everyone runs their same runs,” McKinney said. “Sometimes something a little different doesn’t hurt much.”

McKinney said he used a Freedom Baits Jig in natural colors with a dyed tail as well as a shaking head rig with plum-colored baits instead of more conventional natural colors.

“I fished out my trust colors,” McKinney said. “If you don’t trust your bait, it just won’t happen.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st: Trey McKinney, Carbondale, Ill., five bass, 14-4, $4,889
2nd: Jeremy Mull, Pawnee, IL, five bass, 14-2, $2,144
3rd: John Wright, Windsor, IL, five bass, 12-3, $1,297
4th: Todd Blakeman, Chatham, IL, five bass, 11-12, $1,557
5th: Larry Diveley, Saint Jacob, IL, five bass, 11-9, $778
6th: Micah Mulvany, Salem, IL, five bass, 10-9, $713
7th: Travis Boley, Weldon, Ill., five bass, 10-3, $615
7th: Matt Weber, Glen Carbon, Illinois, five bass, 10-3, $615
9th: Terry Holsapple, Greenup, Ill., five bass, 10-0, $486
9th: Kyle Dowdy, El Paso, Illinois, five bass, 10-0, $486

Full results are available at Black of Toledo, Ill., caught a big mouth weighing 5 pounds, 6 ounces, the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division, to win the Berkley Big Bass Boater prize of $525.

Aaron Wehmeyer of Bloomington, Ill., won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $1,944 on Saturday after catching five bass weighing 14 pounds, 1 ounce.

Strike King’s top 10 co-anglers were:

1st: Aaron Wehmeyer, Bloomington, Ill., five bass, 14-1, $1,944
2nd: Joe Andres, Effingham, IL, four bass, 12-15, $972
3rd: Shaun Avery, Plainfield, Ill., five bass, 12-2, $949
4th: Aaron Arning, Walnut Hill, IL, five bass, 11-14, $454
5th: Drew Williams, Homer, Illinois, five bass, 11-3, $539
6th: Jojo Johnson, Benton, Ill., four bass, 10-15, $356
7th: Matt Chumbler, Carbondale, IL, five bass, 9-14, $324
8th: Eugene Kim, Lindenhurst, IL, four bass, 9-7, $292
9th: Tom Lyskawka, Arlington Heights, IL, five bass, 8-13, $259
10th: Tad Cain, La Place, Illinois, two basses, 7-14, $427

Mike Swetland of Tamaroa, Illinois, caught the largest bass in the co-anglers division, a fish weighing 5 pounds and 10 ounces. The catch earned him the Berkley Big Bass Co-angler of the Day award of $262. After two events, Trey McKinney of Carbondale, Illinois leads the Bass Fishing League Illini Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 495 points, while of Bloomington, Illinois leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 496 points .

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on points standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will be entered into the Bass Fishing League Regional Championship Oct. 13-15 on the Mississippi River at La Crosse, Wis. . Boaters will compete for a prize of $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200 horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while fellow anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a Mercury outboard of 200 horsepower.

The 2022 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by TH Marine is a 24-division circuit dedicated to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 Strike King boaters and co-fishermen in each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Regional Championships where they compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the oldest championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.

The top 45 Strike King boaters and co-fishermen as well as tournament winners from each division of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League will also gain priority entry into the MLF Toyota Series, the path to the MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.

Proud sponsors of the 2022 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by TH Marine include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, AFTCO, ARE Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Gary Yamamoto Baits, General Tire, Lew’s, Lowrance, Lucas Oil, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Revital Outdoors, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, TH Marine, Toyota, Wiley X, YETI and Yo-Zuri .

For more details and up-to-date tournament information, visit For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media at Facebook, instagram and Youtube.

Robert A. Glidden