Categories
MLF BIG-5

Florida’s Smith Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League on Harris Chain of Lakes

California’s Sharp Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

Leesburg, Fla. (Feb. 22, 2021) – Boater Corey Smith of Clermont, Florida, won the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Googan Baits in Leesburg, Florida. Smith earned $6,000 for his victory at the event, hosted by Visit Lake County, Florida.

TOP 10 RESULTS

RANK
 
BOATER NAME/HOMETOWN
 
BASS
 
WEIGHT
 
AWARD
 
1st
 
Corey Smith of Clermont, Fla.
 
5
 
29-9
 
$6,000
 
2nd
 
Neil Nix of Okeechobee, Fla.
 
5
 
27-3
 
$3,000
 
3rd
 
Tyler Sheppard of Jacksonville, Fla.
 
5
 
23-4
 
$2,000
 
4th
 
Eric Panzironi of Longwood, Fla.
 
5
 
23-2
 
$1,400
 
5th
 
Robert Crosnoe of Inverness, Fla.
 
5
 
22-8
 
$1,200
 
6th
 
Michael King of Riverview, Fla.
 
4
 
22-7
 
$1,100
 
7th
 
Tim Frederick of Leesburg, Fla.
 
5
 
22-1
 
$1,000
 
8th
 
Casey Marsh of Dunnellon, Fla.
 
5
 
21-15
 
$900
 
9th
 
Jonathan Hoobler of Alachua, Fla.
 
5
 
19-7
 
$800
 
10th
 
Joel Willert of Prior Lake, Minn.
 
5
 
19-1
 
$900
 
RANK
 
STRIKE KING CO-ANGLER NAME/HOMETOWN
 
BASS
 
WEIGHT
 
AWARD
 
1st
 
Brennon Sharp of Folsom, Calif.
 
5
 
21-6
 
$3,500
 
2nd
 
Joshua Dunn of Mulberry, Fla.
 
5
 
20-3
 
$1,500
 
3rd
 
Justin Brown of Frostproof, Fla.
 
5
 
18-4
 
$1,050
 
3rd
 
Luis Lindstedt of Melbourne, Fla.
 
5
 
18-4
 
$850
 
5th
 
Dawson Wiles of Fruit Cove, Fla.
 
4
 
16-2
 
$600
 
6th
 
John Brown of Deltona, Fla.
 
5
 
15-15
 
$550
 
7th
 
Kenneth Hunnicutt of Jacksonville, Fla.
 
5
 
14-11
 
$500
 
8th
 
Adam Giran of Wesley Chapel, Fla.
 
5
 
14-3
 
$450
 
9th
 
Sean Ripley of Lakeland, Fla.
 
5
 
13-13
 
$400
 
10th
 
Bill Richards of Davenport, Fla.
 
3
 
12-13
 
$350
 

CONTINGENCY AWARDS

AWARD
 
NAME
 
CONTINGENCY
 
PAYOUT
 
Boater Berkley Big Bass
 
T.W. Garten of East Palatka, Fla.
 
10-pound, 7-ounce bass
 
$1,000
 
Strike King Co-Angler Berkley Big Bass
 
Brennon Sharp of Folsom, Calif.
 
8-pound, 10-ounce bass
 
$500
 
Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus
 
Matt Gee of Grand Island, Fla.
 
Eligible Phoenix Boat*
 
$500
 

* Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

WINNING BAITS

ANGLER
 
BAIT
 
COLOR
 
Boater
 
Jigs
 
N/A
 
Strike King Co-Angler
 
Jigs
 
N/A
 

2021 QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES

EVENT
 
DATE
 
LOCATION
 
HOST
 
Gator Division – Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship
 
Oct. 21-23
 
St. Johns River, Palatka, Fla.
 
Visit Lake County, Florida
 
Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American
 
June 3-5
 
Douglas Lake, Dandridge, Tenn.
 
Jefferson County Department of Tourism
 

The 2021 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine 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 Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championships. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while Strike King co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The top six finishers in each regional will then qualify for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.

The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.

Categories
MLF BIG-5

South Carolina’s Parker Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League on Lake Norman

Hickory’s Benfield Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Feb. 23, 2021) – Boater John Parker of Gaffney, South Carolina, won the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Lake Norman in Mooresville, North Carolina. Parker won by a 1-ounce margin, earning $5,843 for his victory at the event, hosted by the Mooresville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

TOP 10 RESULTS

RANK
 
BOATER NAME/HOMETOWN
 
BASS
 
WEIGHT
 
AWARD
 
1st
 
John Parker of Gaffney, S.C.
 
5
 
14-5
 
$5,843
 
2nd
 
Craig Chambers of Charlotte, N.C.
 
5
 
14-4
 
$2,921
 
3rd
 
Eric Moser of Concord, N.C.
 
5
 
13-8
 
$1,948
 
4th
 
Christopher Brown of Lexington, N.C.
 
5
 
12-15
 
$1,363
 
5th
 
Shane Lehew of Catawba, N.C.
 
5
 
12-0
 
$1,169
 
6th
 
John Wiese of Charlotte, N.C.
 
4
 
11-11
 
$2,031
 
7th
 
Curtis Dillon of Advance, N.C.
 
5
 
11-0
 
$974
 
8th
 
Ben Hudson of Lynchburg, Va.
 
4
 
10-15
 
$876
 
9th
 
Ron Farrow of Rock Hill, S.C.
 
5
 
10-13
 
$779
 
10th
 
Aaron Digh of Denver, N.C.
 
5
 
10-12
 
$682
 
RANK
 
STRIKE KING CO-ANGLER NAME/HOMETOWN
 
BASS
 
WEIGHT
 
AWARD
 
1st
 
Michael Benfield of Hickory, N.C.
 
4
 
6-15
 
$2,921
 
2nd
 
Ernest McIntyre of Fayetteville, N.C.
 
4
 
6-14
 
$1,461
 
3rd
 
Charles Wood of Thomasville, N.C.
 
3
 
6-11
 
$973
 
4th
 
David L. Deciucis of Chester, Va.
 
3
 
6-10
 
$682
 
5th
 
Drew Lumpkin of Cameron, N.C.
 
3
 
6-2
 
$584
 
6th
 
Mike Shatley of North Wilkesboro, N.C.
 
4
 
6-1
 
$536
 
7th
 
Artie Phillips of Monroe, N.C.
 
2
 
5-14
 
$727
 
8th
 
Grant McPeters of Marion, N.C.
 
3
 
5-11
 
$438
 
9th
 
William Britt of Clarkton, N.C.
 
2
 
5-5
 
$390
 
10th
 
Scottie Elswick of Gordon, W.V.
 
2
 
4-15
 
$341
 

CONTINGENCY AWARDS

AWARD
 
NAME
 
CONTINGENCY
 
PAYOUT
 
Boater Berkley Big Bass
 
John Wiese of Charlotte, N.C.
 
5-pound, 15-ounce bass
 
$910
 
Strike King Co-Angler Berkley Big Bass
 
Patrick Brondos of Wilkesboro, N.C.
 
4-pound bass
 
$455
 
Strike King Co-Angler Berkley Big Bass
 
Artie Phillips of Monroe, N.C.
 
4-pound bass
 
$240
 
Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus
 
Matt Stark of Mooresville, N.C.
 
Eligible Phoenix Boat*
 
$500
 

* Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

WINNING BAITS

ANGLER
 
BAIT
 
COLOR
 
Boater
 
Jerkbait
 
Did Not Disclose
 
Strike King Co-Angler
 
Shaky Head & Rapala Shad Rap Crankbait
 
Did Not Disclose
 

2021 QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES

EVENT
 
DATE
 
LOCATION
 
HOST
 
North Carolina Division – Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship
 
Oct. 14-16
 
Lake Murray, Columbia, S.C.
 
Capital City Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board
 
Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American
 
June 3-5
 
Douglas Lake, Dandridge, Tenn.
 
Jefferson County Department of Tourism
 

The 2021 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine 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 Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championships. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while Strike King co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The top six finishers in each regional will then qualify for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.

The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.

Categories
MLF BIG-5

Skeet Reese Brings Home the Win at Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on Lake Okeechobee

CLEWISTON, Fla. (Feb. 14, 2021) – General Tire pro Skeet Reese of Auburn, California, already had a stacked resume when he crossed the stage on Sunday at the Major League Fishing Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers, 13 Fishing Stop 1 – Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Florida. With 10 career victories, a 2007 Elite Series Angler of the Year title and a 2009 Bassmaster Classic championship, Reese is one of the top 5 tournament money-winners of all-time with more than $3.4 million in earnings. Reese added another monumental victory to the Major League Fishing (MLF) record books and is bringing a $100,000 check and a big trophy back home to California.

The win brought the 2019 merger of FLW (now known as the MLF BIG5) and MLF full circle and was a moment that marked the significance of the unity that now exists between the blended MLF family.

Reese weighed a five-bass limit on Sunday totaling a whopping 27 pounds, 9 ounces, to win by a 7-pound, 9-ounce margin over fellow Bass Pro Tour angler Chris Lane of Guntersville, Alabama. Lane weighed in five bass for 20 pounds, 1 ounce, including an 8-pound, 13-ounce giant, which carried him to a second place finish on the final day of competition.

“This feels really good,” said an emotional Reese. “I’ve had some tough fishing the last few years and to be able to come back and win; it is recognition that my new mindset and hard work paid off. Everybody who fishes tournaments does it to win and to be able to do it against this level of competition, with this big of a field – it’s priceless.”

Reese said he mixed up his approach each day and alternated between two key lures for the win, a 6″ Berkley PowerBait The General and an unnamed green-pumpkin-colored vibrating jig with a  Berkley PowerBait The Deal in the Skeet’s green money-color serving as the trailer.

“The first day, I focused on the isolated clumps of reeds that were a little deeper,” said Reese. “I targeted water that was four feet deep because all of the shallower stuff was getting so much pressure. I stayed out a little further from the bank on the isolated pencil reeds and caught a few good ones the second day by pitching The General on a 5/O hook with a ¼-ounce weight on 25-pound-test Berkley Trilene 100% fluorocarbon.”

On the second day, Reese said he opted to stay solely off the bank and was able to catch a 21-pound bag that included the day’s biggest bass, an 8-pound, 8-ounce giant.
The final two days offered vastly different weather conditions, with wind speeds picking up throughout the lake. Reese said this caused him to make a change to the vibrating jig and helped him seal the win.

“It got too windy and made it hard to flip and pitch The General,” Reese said. “I also think it moved some of those fish out a little deeper. On the final day, it seemed like every big female was set up out in the open.”

Reese said the area had cleaner water and he felt it offered him the best chance to get multiple bites.

“I maximized what little I had and fished it all four days,” he continued. “I was trying to be in an area and get as many bites as I could. I never thought I was on the winning fish this week. I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason.”

The top 10 pros on Lake Okeechobee finished:1st:       Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif., 20 bass, 82-14, $100,000
2nd:      Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala., 20 bass, 75-5, $30,000
3rd:       Jim Neece, Jr., Bristol, Tenn., 20 bass, 74-2, $25,000
4th:       Dicky Newberry, Houston, Texas, 20 bass, 72-12, $20,000
5th:       Bill McDonald, Greenwood, Ind., 20 bass, 71-0, $19,000
6th:       Miles Burghoff, Soddy-Daisy, Tenn., 20 bass, 70-11, $18,200
7th:       Pete Ponds, Madison, Miss., 20 bass, 66-7, $17,000
8th:       Ryan Salzman, Huntsville, Ala., 20 bass, 64-3, $16,000
9th:       Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, 20 bass, 63-14, $15,000
10th:     Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 20 bass, 63-2, $14,000
For a full list of results visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The four top performers from Sunday’s Pro Circuit event who will receive invitations to compete at the Bass Pro Tour Toro Stage One presented by Power-Pole at Sam Rayburn, March 21-26, in Jasper Texas, are Jim Neece, Jr. of Bristol, Tennessee, Dicky Newberry of Houston, Texas, Bill McDonald of Greenwood, Indiana, and Miles Burghoff of Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee.

Overall, there were 50 bass weighing 173 pounds, 5 ounces caught by the final 10 pros on Sunday. All 10 weighed in a five-bass limit.      

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers, 13 Fishing Stop 1 – Lake Okeechobee’s two-hour action-packed television show will premiere on the Outdoor Channel on Sunday, July 11 from 7 to 9 a.m. ET and re-air on the Sportsman Channel this fall.

The Major League Fishing Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers, 13 Fishing Stop 1 – Lake Okeechobee was hosted by the Hendry County Tourism Development Council and Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina & Resort. The next event for Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit anglers will be the Major League Fishing Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers, Covercraft Stop 2 – Smith Lake , Mar. 11-14, in Cullman, Alabama. The tournament will be hosted by the Cullman Area Local Organizing Committee.

In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit competition, the full field of 163 anglers competed in the two-day opening round on Thursday and Friday. The top 50 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight advanced to fish on Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continued competition on Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE presented by Mercury, the Pro Circuit Championship, where they will compete for up to $235,000. The 2021 TITLE will be on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin on Aug. 17-22, and is hosted by Explore La Crosse.

For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the MLF BIG5’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram and YouTube.

About MLF BIG5
MLF BIG5 is part of MLF, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization. It provides anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across five tournament circuits featuring a five-biggest-fish format. Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with offices in Benton, Kentucky, MLF and its partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Zimbabwe.

MLF tournaments are broadcast on Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, World Fishing Network, MyOutdoorTV, Discovery and CBS Sports while MLF Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros to the world’s most avid bass anglers.

Categories
MLF BIG-5

Georgia’s Morrow Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League on Lake Keowee

SENECA, S.C. (Feb. 8, 2021) – Boater Troy Morrow of Eastanollee, Georgia, won the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Lake Keowee presented by Googan Baits in Seneca, South Carolina. Morrow earned $7,011 for his victory at the event, which was hosted by Visit Oconee.

TOP 10 RESULTS

RANK
 
BOATER NAME/HOMETOWN
 
BASS
 
WEIGHT
 
AWARD
 
1st
 
Troy Morrow of Eastanollee, Ga.
 
5
 
15-2
 
$7,011
 
2nd
 
Bo Price of Seneca, S.C.
 
5
 
13-14
 
$3,006
 
3rd
 
Todd Goade of White Pine, Tenn.
 
5
 
13-7
 
$2,001
 
4th
 
Randy Dover of Buford, Ga.
 
5
 
13-6
 
$1,403
 
5th
 
Jared Pelfrey of Westminster, S.C.
 
5
 
12-12
 
$1,202
 
6th
 
Chris Nelson of Social Circle, Ga.
 
5
 
12-3
 
$1,102
 
7th
 
Andy Burgess of Greenville, S.C.
 
5
 
11-15
 
$1,502
 
8th
 
Hunter Eubanks of Inman, S.C.
 
5
 
11-14
 
$852
 
8th
 
Jody Holland of Clermont, Ga.
 
5
 
11-14
 
$852
 
10th
 
Jayme Rampey of Liberty, S.C.
 
5
 
11-13
 
$701
 
RANK
 
STRIKE KING CO-ANGLER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS
 
WEIGHT
 
AWARD
 
1st
 
James South of Gainesville, Ga.
 
5
 
11-9
 
$3,006
 
2nd
 
Johnny Hancox of West Union, S.C.
 
4
 
9-6
 
$2,000
 
3rd
 
Chris Coleman of Ware Shoals, S.C.
 
5
 
9-4
 
$1,008
 
4th
 
Kyle Rogers of Cleveland, Ga.
 
5
 
7-13
 
$701
 
5th
 
Corey Veal of Royston, Ga.
 
5
 
7-11
 
$576
 
5th
 
Stewart Uldrick of Anderson, S.C.
 
5
 
7-11
 
$576
 
7th
 
Shane Swann of Mars Hill, N.C.
 
5
 
7-5
 
$476
 
7th
 
Kyle Davis of Liberty, S.C.
 
5
 
7-5
 
$476
 
9th
 
Lee Montgomery of Duncan, S.C.
 
4
 
6-7
 
$401
 
10th
 
Trey Paul of Anderson, S.C.
 
4
 
6-6
 
$319
 
10th
 
Jimmy Plakas of Greenville, S.C.
 
3
 
6-6
 
$319
 
10th
 
Caleb Roberson of Travelers Rest, S.C.
 
5
 
6-6
 
$319
 

Full results from the event can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

CONTINGENCY AWARDS

AWARD
 
NAME
 
CONTINGENCY
 
PAYOUT
 
Boater Berkley Big Bass
 
Shane Peck of Gainesville, Ga.
 
4-pound, 9-ounce bass
 
$995
 
Strike King Co-Angler Berkley Big Bass
 
Johnny Hancox of West Union, S.C.
 
4-pound, 12-ounce bass
 
$497
 
Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus
 
Andy Burgess of Greenville, S.C.
 
Eligible Phoenix Boat*
 
$500
 

* Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
WINNING BAITS

ANGLER
 
BAITS
 
COLOR
 
Boater
 
– 3/8-ounce Outkast Tackle Swimbait Jig Head with a Zoom Boot Tail Fluke Swimbait
 
Not Disclosed
 
Strike King Co-Angler
 
– ½-ounce Unnamed Swimbait Jig Head with a Keitech Swing Impact FAT Swimbait
– Shaky-Head Rig 
Not Disclosed
 

2021 QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES

EVENT
 
DATE
 
LOCATION
 
HOST
 
Savannah River Division – Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship
 
Oct. 14-16
 
Lake Murray, Columbia, S.C.
 
Capital City Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board
 
Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American
 
June 3-5
 
Douglas Lake, Dandridge, Tenn.
 
Jefferson County Department of Tourism 

The 2021 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine 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 Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championships. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while Strike King co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The top six finishers in each regional will then qualify for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.

The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.

Categories
MLF BIG-5

Maryland Pro Earns Sixth Career Toyota Series Victory – Breaks Record for Most All-Time // Wins Toyota Series Event on Lake Toho Presented by Googan Baits

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (Feb. 6, 2021) – Maryland pro Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Maryland, brought four bass to the scale Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 2 ounces – including a 9-pound, 2-ounce kicker – to win the Toyota Series presented by A.R.E. at Lake Toho Presented by Googan Baits . Schmitt weighed in 15 bass over three days of competition totaling 66 pounds, 10 ounces, besting second-place angler Mikey Keyso of North Port, Florida, by more than 8 pounds. For his victory, Schmitt earned the top payout of $51,500 in the first tournament of the 2021 Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. Southern Division.

The victory was the sixth career Toyota Series win of Schmitt’s career and moved him to No. 1 for the most Toyota Series wins all-time. Schmitt had been in a three-way tie with Randy Haynes (5) and Koby Kreiger (5), now tied for second-most.

“I am so blessed,” Schmitt said. “I am blessed to have grown up fishing the Potomac River where I had no choice but to learn all the intricacies of grass fishing if I wanted to compete. Those lessons have served me well over the years.”

This week the puzzle started with a long, narrow vein of grass that ran out across a vast flat of bare sand and shell in about 6 feet of water. The thin strip of hydrilla was about ¼ of a mile long and terminated into a huge and shallower grass bed in about 3 or 4 feet of water.

“The band of grass grew up about 2 or 3 feet off the bottom and it was clumpy the whole way.” Schmitt said. “When I first found it in practice, I knew fish had to relate to it in some way.”

On the first day of the tournament, Schmitt figured out exactly how they related to it.

“I graphed the entire length of that narrow strip several times and finally found the mother lode where the strip ran into the shallow grass flat,” he said. “There was like an intersection right there.”

His suspicions were confirmed when he began using his LiveScope to scan along the clumpy grass strip and saw big dots swimming everywhere. With that, he picked up SPRO Aruku Shad 75, in a color aptly named wild shiner, tied to 15-pound test P-Line Tactical Fluorocarbon and the rest is history.

Schmitt guesses that he saw about 70 percent of the fish he caught on LiveScope before casting to them. On several occasions when he saw fish meander up close to the boat, he pitched the Aruku Shad to the fish, let sink, ripped it up and watch the fish annihilate it on his screen.

He also watched fish take a swipe at the rattle bait on the screen, but never touch it. When that happened, he would resort to a couple of back up lures, including a Missile Baits Quiver Worm (junebug) Neko-rigged on a Hayabusa Weedless Spin Muscle Wacky Hook. He also caught a few on his namesake ½-ounce swim jig called the Lil’ Schmitty (river special) trailed with a Missile Baits Shockwave (shrapnel).

“I caught a lot of big fish on that Aruku Shad this week,” Schmitt went on to say. “I put fresh Hayabusa trebles on it: a #4 on the back and #5 on the front. The very first fish I hooked this morning was that 9-pounder and she stayed pinned the whole way.”

The top 10 pros on Lake Toho finished:
            1st:       Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Md., 14 bass, 66-10, $51,500
            2nd:      Mikey Keyso of North Port, Fla., 15 bass, 58-8, $20,000
            3rd:       Bobby Bakewell of Orlando, Fla., 15 bass, 50-15, $14,250
            4th:       Steven Hatala of Harrison Township, Mich., 15 bass, 43-4, $12,250
            5th:       Eric Conant of Lakeland, Fla., 13 bass, 42-2, $11,250
            6th:       Trevor Fitzgerald of Belleview, Fla., 15 bass, 42-2, $9,125
            7th:       Eric Panzironi of Longwood, Fla., 15 bass, 38-11, $7,900
            8th:       Jared McMillan of Clewiston, Fla., 15 bass, 37-14, $7,900
            9th:       Samuel Whitmire of Babson Park, Fla., 11 bass, 35-6, $5,900
            10th:     Cole Hewett of Orange Park, Fla., 14 bass, 34-3, $4,500

A complete list of results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

A complete list of results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Whitmire won Thursday’s Berkley Big Bass Award after bringing a 11-pound, 11-ounce lunker to the scale. Friday’s Berkley Big Bass Award went to pro McMillan with a 9-pound, 13-ounce largemouth. Each angler won a bonus of $150.

McMillan took home and extra $1,000 as the highest finishing Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $35,000 per event in each Toyota Series tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

Jeffrey Baffa of Frankfort, Illinois, won the Strike King Co-angler Division Saturday with a three-day total of nine bass weighing 35 pounds, 15 ounces. Baffa took home the top prize package of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard motor.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers on Lake Toho finished:
            1st:       Jeffrey Baffa of Frankfort, Ill., nine bass, 35-15, Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat w/115-hp outboard
            2nd:      Benton Peoples of Bardstown, Ky, 11 bass, 34-2, $6,125
            3rd:       Ricky Grant of Inverness, Fla., 11 bass, 32-3, $4,900
            4th:       Theron Asbery of Longwood, Fla., 10 bass, 30-9, $3,950
            5th:       Frank Kitchens Jr. of Blairsville, Ga., 12 bass, 28-11, $3,450
            6th:       Todd Classon of Camilla, Ga., nine bass, 27-15, $2,950
            7th:       Clinton Lacinak of Homosassa, Fla., 10 bass, 24-2, $2,450
            8th:       James Littich of Davidson, N.C., eight bass, 20-3, $1,975
            9th:       Troy Johnson Jr. of Carrabelle, Fla., five bass, 18-2, $1,590
            10th:     Joe Cifuentes of Clinton, Ark., six bass, 16-5, $1,350

The Toyota Series at Lake Toho was presented by Googan Baits and was hosted by Experience Kissimmee – Kissimmee Sports Commission. It was the first of three regular-season tournaments in 2021 for Southern Division anglers. The next event for Toyota Series anglers will take place on Feb. 16-18 – the Toyota Series at Lake Guntersville presented by Googan Baits in Guntersville, Alabama. For a complete schedule, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The 2021 Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. consists of six divisions – Central, Northern, Plains, Southern, Southwestern and Western – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International division. Anglers who fish all three qualifiers in any of the eight divisions and finish in the top 25 will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. Championship for a shot at winning $235,000 cash, including a $35,000 Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus for qualified anglers. The winning Strike King co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard.
The 2021 Toyota Series Championship Presented by A.R.E. will be held Oct. 28-30 on Pickwick Lake in Counce, Tennessee, and is hosted by the Hardin County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

LET'S ALL CONGRATULATE BRYAN ON HIS WIN!

Categories
MLF BIG-5

MISSOURI’S MACY WINS PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE PRESENTED BY T-H MARINE ALL-AMERICAN ON LAKE HARTWELL PRESENTED BY TINCUP

ANDERSON, S.C. (Nov. 13, 2020) – Boater Chris Macy of Diamond, Missouri, won the 37th annual Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American on Lake Hartwell presented by TINCUP Friday, bringing a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce. Macy’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 34-10 was enough to overtake second-place angler Todd Goade of White Pine, Tennessee – who led the event after the second day of competition – by a 2-pound, 4-ounce margin. For the win, Macy earned the top payout of $100,000.

“This is unbelievable – going in to today, I really didn’t think I had a shot at it,” said Macy, who qualified for this tournament through the Bass Fishing League Ozark Division. “I went out this morning and thought that if I could catch 10 pounds, I’d be happy. When you make it to the last day, you kind of look at the payscale and you know that every spot you can hold or move up is another thousand bucks in your pocket. My goal was just to hang in there.

“I stumbled on to something around 1 o’clock this afternoon, and it absolutely went crazy from there,” Macy continued. “On the LiveScope, I would watch my swimbait come across the brush piles and if I could get the fish to follow it, I would kill it and let that swimbait go straight to the bottom. Every one of those fish would nose down on it, and as soon as I popped that swimbait up off the bottom, they would eat it every time.”

Macy said that of the 15 keepers he brought to the weigh-in stage this week, 14 of them came on a Keitech 2.8-inch swimbait in Tennessee Shad and Sexy Shad colors. He credited his electronics as being crucial to his win.

“Every fish that I caught came off of a brush pile,” Macy said. “My Garmin LiveScope was crucial. Every fish that I caught this week, I watched it bite. Most of the water I fished was 20- to 30-feet-deep, and if I could get the fish sitting up on top of the brush piles, it was game on.

“Overall, it has just been a super three days,” Macy went on to say. “I was just so happy to be fishing on the third day of the All-American, and I knew that if I could put a big one in the bag today that anything could happen. When it’s your time, it’s your time and today was just my day.”

The top 10 boaters on Lake Hartwell finished:

            1st:       Chris Macy, Diamond, Mo., 15 bass, 34-10, $100,000
            2nd:      Todd Goade, White Pine, Tenn., 15 bass, 32-6, $20,000
            3rd:       Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, 15 bass, 31-11, $15,000
            4th:       Jayme Rampey, Liberty, S.C., 15 bass, 31-7, $21,000
            5th:       Bryan Dowdy, Florence, Ala., 15 bass, 30-7, $18,000
            6th:       Roger Fitzpatrick, Eldon, Mo., 15 bass, 28-1, $12,000
            7th:       Randall Allen, Owens Cross Roads, Ala., 15 bass, 27-11, $12,000
            8th:       Kip Carter, Mansfield, Ga., 15 bass, 27-11, $10,000
            9th:       Dustin Lippe, Lampe, Mo., 12 bass, 25-11, $9,000
            10th:     Dennis Berhorst, Holts Summit, Mo., 13 bass, 23-11, $8,000

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

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Overall, there were 45 bass weighing 77 pounds, 5 ounces, caught by the final 10 boaters Friday. The catch included eight five-bass limits.

Justin Kimmel of Athens, Georgia, won the co-angler division and $50,000 Friday with a three-day total of 14 bass weighing 26 pounds, 9 ounces, followed by Larry Rothweil of Saint Charles, Missouri, in second place with 12 bass weighing 22-2, good for $10,000.

The top 10 co-anglers finished:

            1st:       Justin Kimmel, Athens, Ga., 14 bass, 26-9, $50,000
            2nd:      Larry Rothweil, St. Charles, Mo., 12 bass, 22-2, $10,000
            3rd:       Kibbee McCoy, Knoxville, Tenn., 12 bass, 19-14, $6,000
            4th:       David Blankinship, Cushing, Okla., 13 bass, 19-6, $5,000
            5th:       Dalton Steele, Cherokee, Ala., 10 bass, 18-5, $4,500
            6th:       Cole Sands, Calhoun, Tenn., 12 bass, 17-11, $4,000
            7th:       Andrew Wiley, Joppa, Md., 13 bass, 17-7, $3,500
            8th:       Leo Reiter, Greenup, Ill., 13 bass, 16-13, $3,000
            9th:       Jeff Rikard, Leesville, S.C., 11 bass, 16-2, $3,000
            10th:     Kerry Harris, Bethel Island, Calif., 11 bass, 16-1, $2,000

Overall, there were 30 bass weighing 40 pounds, 6 ounces, caught by the final 10 co-anglers Friday. The catch included two five-bass limits.

In addition to the cash payouts, the highest-finishing boater and co-angler from each of six Regional Championships, the Wild Card Championship and The Bass Federation (TBF) National Championship at the All-American now advance to the 2020 Toyota Series Championship next month on Lake Cumberland for a shot at winning $235,000 and $33,500, respectively.

The eight boaters and co-anglers that now advance to the 2020 Toyota Series Championship are:

Region 1 (Lake Hartwell) Boater Champion: Todd Goade, White Pine, Tenn.
Region 2 (Lake Seminole) Boater Champion: Randall Allen, Owens Cross Roads, Ala.
Region 3 (Kentucky-Barkley lakes) Boater Champion: Kerry Frey, Middlebury, Ind.
Region 4 (Potomac River) Boater Champion: Bradford Beavers, Summerville, S.C.
Region 5 (Lake Guntersville) Boater Champion: Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio
Region 6 (Grand Lake) Boater Champion: Chris Macy, Diamond, Mo.
WildCard (Kentucky Lake) Boater Champion: Bryan Dowdy, Florence, Ala.
TBF (Kentucky Lake) Boater Champion: Blake Wilson, Benton, Ark.

Region 1 (Lake Hartwell) Boater Champion: Justin Kimmel, Athens, Ga.
Region 2 (Lake Seminole) Boater Champion: Jeff Rikard, Leesville, S.C.
Region 3 (Kentucky-Barkley lakes) Boater Champion: David Blankinship, Cushing, Okla.
Region 4 (Potomac River) Boater Champion: Mark Blankenship, Christiansburg, Va.
Region 5 (Lake Guntersville) Boater Champion: Dalton Steele, Cherokee, Ala.
Region 6 (Grand Lake) Boater Champion: Larry Rothweil, Saint Charles, Mo.
WildCard (Kentucky Lake) Boater Champion: Leo Reiter, Greenup, Ill.
TBF (Kentucky Lake) Boater Champion: Andrew Wiley, Joppa, Md.

Hosted by Visit Anderson, the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American on Lake Hartwell presented by TINCUP featured a field of the top 55 boaters and 55 co-anglers from across the 24-division Bass Fishing League, TBF, Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI and High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing.

Television coverage of the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP will premiere Jan. 2, 2021, on the Outdoor Channel, Jan. 4, 2021, on the World Fishing Network and be featured in the FLW television series on YouTube.com/FLWFishing. FLW television is also distributed internationally to FLW partner countries, including Canada, China, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Zimbabwe.

Categories
MLF BIG-5

Poche Wins Toyota Series Event on Lake Seminole – Alabama Pro Wins by Nine Ounces to Take Home $31,960

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (Nov. 8, 2020) – Major League Fishing (MLF) pro Keith Poche of Pike Road, Alabama, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 6 ounces to win the three-day Toyota Series at Lake Seminole tournament in Bainbridge, Georgia. Poche’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 46-6 earned him the win by a 9-ounce margin over second-place angler Mikey Keyso, Jr. of North Port, Florida, and earned Poche the top payout of $31,960 in the third and final regular-season tournament of the 2020 Toyota Series Southern Division.

“I love fishing Lake Seminole and I especially like running up the Flint River in those shoals and catching shoal bass,” Poche said. “I’ve got a 17-foot, 6-inch flat-bottom aluminum boat I use just for fishing such rivers in the southeast, but I only looked into fishing this tournament earlier this week, so I’m shocked at pulling the win.”

As a fulltime professional angler on the MLF Bass Pro Tour, Poche is no stranger to big time bass fishing events. Poche said what stunned him, however, was he had no intention of even fishing the Toyota Series on Seminole until Tuesday of last week. In fact, other than a few Phoenix Bass Fishing League events early in his career, and the recent Tackle Warehouse  Pro Circuit Super Tournaments, Poche had never fished either a Pro Circuit or a Toyota Series event.

Poche said he ran as far as nearly Newton, Georgia, on the first day of the event, but found the Flint to be higher and dirtier than he would like for shoal bass.

 “I realized pretty quickly that because of the fast current, it was a total reaction bite,” Poche said. “I opted to drift down the river with the current, pitching a Berkley PowerBait Pit Boss in green pumpkin, teamed with a 3/8-ounce weight, tied to Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon to any current breaks caused by bank cuts, cypress trees, logs or rocks. The fish were holed up in the current breaks and they would bite as soon as it hit the water and started to fall.”

On day one, Poche weighed in all largemouths for 17 pounds, 14 ounces and settled in third place, behind Jared McMillan and Jason Smith. 

On day two, Poche ran some 35 to 40 miles up the river again, but said his quick pitch program died.

“I went like 3 hours without catching one,” he said. “So I changed up a little bit and started throwing a 3/8-ounce Humdinger Spinnerbait to main river rocks breaking current. That produced a couple of keeper shoal bass.”

Poche said he only had three bass in his livewell when he got back down towards Bainbridge. Needing to make something happen, he bumped over a shallow sandbar to access a backwater slough. Once in the slough, he caught a 4-pound largemouth and a couple more keepers on the spinnerbait.

“Looking back on the tournament, that 4-pounder on Friday is probably what won the tournament for me,” he recalled. “I had struggled all day and that one saved me.”

Poche started the final day some 6 pounds behind the leader and headed far north on the Flint again.

“It was sort of like day one again,” he said. “They were biting the Pit Boss as soon as it hit the water. I started to catch some better ones as the day went on and even added a nice shoal bass to top off my limit. By the end of the day, I was knocking on the door of the 15-pound range.”

Poche said it wasn’t until the final fish was weighed that he learned most of the top-10 had struggled and his consistent limits each day put him on top.

“I was happy to have made the top 10 and fish up there another day,” Poche said. “I figured I might stay in the top five with my catch and get a decent check for the week. But to win this thing? Man, I’m still a little shocked. It’s crazy how it all worked out.”

The top 10 pros on Lake Seminole finished:

            1st:       Keith Poche of Pike Road, Ala., 15 bass, 46-6, $31,960

            2nd:      Mikey Keyso, Jr. of North Port, Fla., 15 bass, 45-9, $12,191

            3rd:       Bryan New of Belmont, N.C., 15 bass, 44-11, $9,438

            4th:       Jared McMillan of Belle Glade, Fla., 15 bass, 44-7, $7,865

            5th:       Dillon McMillan of Belle Glade, Fla., 15 bass, 43-0, $7,179

            6th:       Jim Murray, Jr., Leesburg, Ga., 15 bass, 42-9, $6,292

            7th:       Jason S. Smith of Dawson, Ga., 13 bass, 35-14, $5,505

            8th:       Santos Solis of Vero Beach, Fla., 13 bass, 34-3, $5,719

            9th:       Gary Milicevic of Labelle, Fla., 11 bass, 32-14, $3,932

            10th:     Corey Smith of Clermont, Fla., 10 bass, 29-2, $3,247

A complete list of results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

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Solis took home an extra $1,000 as the highest finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $35,000 per event in each Toyota Series tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

Ricky Grant of Inverness, Florida, won the Co-angler Division Saturday with a three-day total of 14 bass weighing 33 pounds even. Grant took home the top prize package of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard motor.

The top 10 co-anglers on Lake Seminole finished:

            1st:       Ricky Grant of Inverness, Fla., 14 bass, 33-0, Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat w/115-hp outboard

            2nd:      Spencer Howerton of Melbourne Beach, Fla., 11 bass, 27-9, $3,983

            3rd:       J.P. Sims of Port St. Lucie, Fla., 12 bass, 24-2, $3,186

            4th:       Wyatt Frankens of Corrigan, Texas, nine bass, 23-0, $2,788

            5th:       John Riddling of Melrose, Fla., 13 bass, 22-13, $2,390

            6th:       Todd Beaver of Richland, Ga., nine bass, 21-14, $1,991

            7th:       James Brooks of Inverness, Fla., 10 bass, 21-1, $1,593

            8th:       Aaron Gengler of Lakeland, Fla., 13 bass, 20-10, $1,394

            9th:       Dan Ehmen of Rockford, Ill., 10 bass, 19-14, $1,195

            10th:     Blaine Partee of Oviedo, Fla., eight bass, 16-14, $996

The Toyota Series at Lake Seminole was hosted by the Bainbridge Convention and Visitors Bureau. It was the third and final tournament in 2020 for Southern Division anglers. The next event for Toyota Series anglers will take place on Dec. 3-5 – the 2020 Toyota Series Championship at Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Kentucky. For a complete schedule, visit FLWFishing.com.

The 2020 Toyota Series consists of eight divisions – Central, Eastern, Northern, Plains, Southeastern, Southern, Southwestern and Western – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International division. Anglers who fish all three qualifiers in any of the eight divisions and finish in the top 25 will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series Championship for a shot at winning $235,000 cash, including a $35,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus for qualified anglers. The winning co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard. The 2020 Toyota Series Championship will be held Dec. 3-5 on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Kentucky, and is hosted by the Somerset Tourist & Convention Commission and the Burnside Tourism Commission.

Categories
MLF BIG-5

Louisiana’s Johnson Wins Toyota Series Event on Sam Rayburn

BROOKELAND, Texas (Oct. 19, 2020) – Aaron Johnson of Shreveport, Louisiana, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 14 ounces to win the three-day Toyota Series at the Sam Rayburn Reservoir tournament in Brookeland, Texas. Johnson’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 54-14 earned him the win by an 11-ounce margin over second-place angler Blake Schroeder of Whitehouse, Texas, and earned Johnson the top payout of $31,751 in the third and final tournament of the 2020 Toyota Series Southwestern Division.

Johnson said he won the tournament fishing entirely around shallow hydrilla with a modified square-bill crankbait. Hanging in the mid-lake for the most part, in 3 to 6 feet, he targeted clumpier sections of the grass.

“Typically, I would run it over the top or over the side,” said Johnson of his presentation. “The bait comes through pretty good, so I’ll run it over the top and to the side, pop it, stop it, twitch it, just the normal erratic stuff to try to get a reaction. There were times when I would twitch it over a clump, and then reel it fast when I got it over the other side of the clump. Every day I had probably 10 that would try to get it and just wouldn’t get it, but that’s just part of it.”

Fishing a discontinued bait that he modified with a custom color scheme, a red treble hook on the front and a filed-down bill, Johnson knew he had a good thing going.

“I have a lot of confidence in that bait,” said Johnson. “I won a two-day tournament a few years ago here with it and I know what it will do if you stay with it, so I never put it down. I threw a ChatterBait maybe 10 times and then I cut it off and put on a crankbait. I just had to stick with it.”

Johnson said he started mid-lake on days one and two, then ran more isolated places that brought him all the way north of the TX-147 bridge. He said the presence or lack of wind was key for him every day.

“Today it blew so hard, and they were biting really good in one of my main places, so I never left,” said Johnson. “Every other day, I would run and hit a couple of small patches here and there, and yesterday I did that and caught my biggest fish out of a little clump. Today, I never left, and at 2:10 I culled a 2-pounder with a 3½-pounder, and that’s what won the event.”

Johnson won a Bassmaster Open on Kentucky Lake in 2008, but this is his biggest win with FLW by far. Oddly enough, it comes after he literally zeroed in the recent Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournament on Rayburn.

“I found these fish for the BFL, and I caught none of them,” said Johnson. “However, God has a plan, and this tournament worked out. It feels great – it’s been a little while since I’ve been in the winner’s seat – so it’s good to be back. I’m very fortunate and very grateful – these are hard to win.”

The top 10 pros on the Sam Rayburn Reservoir finished:

            1st:       Aaron Johnson of Shreveport, La., 15 bass, 54-14, $31,751

            2nd:      Blake Schroeder of Whitehouse, Texas, 15 bass, 54-3, $12,303

            3rd:       Nick LeBrun of Bossier City, La., 15 bass, 45-15, $9,525

            4th:       Chris McCall of Palmer, Texas, 15 bass, 44-13, $7,938

            5th:       Stephen Johnston of Hemphill, Texas, 15 bass, 42-1, $7,144

            6th:       Tim Reneau of Richland Springs, Texas, 15 bass, 41-15, $6,350

            7th:       Kenneth Cates of Zavalla, Texas, 15 bass, 41-12, $5,556

            8th:       Todd Castledine of Nacogdoches, Texas, 15 bass, 41-4, $4,763

            9th:       Cole Moore of Anacoco, La., 14 bass, 40-4, $4,969

            10th:     Justin O’Brian Cooper of Zwolle, La., 15 bass, 39-4, $3,175

A complete list of results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

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Moore took home an extra $1,000 as the highest finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $35,000 per event in each Toyota Series tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

Anthony Templeton of Beckville, Texas won the Co-angler Division Saturday with a three-day total of 12 bass weighing 28 pounds, 3 ounces. Templeton took home the top prize package of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard motor.

The top 10 co-anglers on the Sam Rayburn Reservoir finished:

            1st:       Anthony Templeton of Beckville, Texas, 12 bass, 28-3, Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat w/115-hp

outboard

            2nd:      Micheal Sharp of Argyle, Texas, 10 bass, 24-14, $4,057

            3rd:       Todd Childs of Waxahachie, Texas, seven bass, 23-2, $3,314

            4th:       Grayson Honeycutt of Temple, Texas, 12 bass, 21-5, $2,840

            5th:       Kayden Tanner of Millsap, Texas, 10 bass, 20-15, $2,434

            6th:       David Keith of Haughton, La., 10 bass, 20-13, $2,029

            7th:       Donny Davis of Livingston, La., 10 bass, 20-12, $1,623

            8th:       Timothy Cooper of Pelican, La., 10 bass, 19-15, $1,420

            9th:       Aaron Freeman of Montgomery, Texas, 10 bass, 18-2, $1,217

            10th:     Randy Pewthers of Pearland, Texas, seven bass, 16-6, $1,014

The Toyota Series at the Sam Rayburn Reservoir was hosted by the Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn Area Chamber of Commerce. It was the third of three regular-season tournaments in 2020 for Southwestern Division anglers. The next event for Toyota Series anglers will take place on Oct. 29-31 with the Toyota Series at Dale Hollow Lake in Monroe, Tennessee. For a complete schedule, visit FLWFishing.com.

The 2020 Toyota Series consists of eight divisions – Central, Eastern, Northern, Plains, Southeastern, Southern, Southwestern and Western – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International division. Anglers who fish all three qualifiers in any of the eight divisions and finish in the top 25 will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series Championship for a shot at winning $235,000 cash, including a $35,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus for qualified anglers. The winning co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard. The 2020 Toyota Series Championship will be held Dec. 3-5 on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Kentucky, and is hosted by the Somerset Tourist & Convention Commission and the Burnside Tourism Commission.

Categories
MLF BIG-5

Georgia’s Morrow Wins Two-Day Phoenix Bass Fishing League event on Lake Hartwell

ANDERSON, S.C. (Oct. 13, 2020) Boater Troy Morrow of Eastanollee, Georgia, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 32 pounds even, to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Savannah River Division Super-Tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Fish-Intel. For his victory, Morrow earned $6,415.

I didn’t start catching fish until after 9 a.m, but I had found a spot in practice with some big ones on a timber line,” said Morrow. “I broke a big one off yesterday that would have really helped but I went back today and they were schooling so I caught them all on top.”

Morrow comes from a recent Toyota Series win on Lake Norman, only a few short weeks ago.

“On Hartwell, it all depends on what bait the fish are currently eating,” Morrow continued. “These were eating small fish so I threw small topwater baits. Normally if you can find them eating on the bluebacks, you go with pencil poppers, big sammies and your bigger walking baits.”

Morrow said if he had to name his key bait it would be the Zoom Shakey Head Worm in green-pumpkin color.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament as follows:

            1st:       Troy Morrow of Eastonellee, Ga.,10 bass, 32-0, $6,415

            2nd:      Derek Lehtonen of Woodruff, S.C., 10 bass, 28-4, $3,708

            3rd:       Chris Nelson of Social Circle, Ga., 10 bass, 27-4, $2,141

            4th:       Jayme Rampey of Liberty, S.C., 10 bass, 26-11, $1,497

            5th:       Tony Holliday of Piedmont, S.C., 10 bass, 25-5, $1,283

            6th:       Justin Singleton of Myrtle Beach, S.C., 10 bass, 24-12, $1,376

            7th:       Lane Wright of Cumming, Ga., 10 bass, 24-6, $1,069

            8th:       Bo Price of Seneca, S.C., 10 bass, 23-12,  $962

            9th:       Trent Palmer of Cumming, Ga., 10 bass, 23-1, $855

            10th:     Collin Smith of Honea Path, S.C., 10 bass, 21-11, $748

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Jeremy Strong of Elberton, Georgia earned the day’s $907 Boater Big Bass award with a 5-pound, 5-ounce bass.

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Lehtonen took home an extra $500 as the highest finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

Nathan McClure of Hiawassee, Georgia earned the win in the Co-angler Division Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 19 pounds, 6 ounces. McClure earned $3,181 for his victory.

The top 10 co-anglers finished as follows:

            1st:       Nathan McClure of Hiawassee, Ga., 10 bass, 19-6, $3,181

            2nd:      Adam Tanner of Cleveland, Ga., 10 bass, 18-10, $1,591

            3rd:       Wendell Grantham of Athens, Ga., 10 bass, 17-13, $1,061

            4th:       Christopher Chavis of Guyton, Ga., nine bass, 17-5, $742

            5th:       Blake Wilson of Benton, Ark., 10 bass, 17-3, $636

            6th:       Wayne Hancock of Cumming, Ga., 10 bass, 16-15, $583

            7th:       Cody Coker of Comer, Ga., eight bass, 15-13, $530

            8th:       Brian Anthony of Pickens, S.C., 10 bass, 15-9, $677

            9th:       Gary Haraguchi of Phoenix, Ariz., nine bass, 15-7, $424

            10th:     Kevin Henderson of Honea Path, S.C., seven bass, 15-3, $371

Collin Cribb of Sumter, South Carolina, earned the event’s Co-angler Big Bass Award of $450 with a fish weighing in at 3 pounds, 7 ounces

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Hartwell was hosted by the Anderson Convention and Visitors Bureau and was the fifth and final qualifying event in the 2020 Savannah River Division.

Now the top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the Savannah River Division based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will advance to the Oct. 22-24 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia, hosted by Gainesville Convention and Visitors Bureau. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new 18-foot Phoenix bass boat with a 200-horsepower outboard.

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine 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 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American will be held Nov. 11-13 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina and is hosted by Visit Anderson. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division earn priority entry into the FLW Series, the pathway to the FLW Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour, where top pros compete with no entry fees.

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MLF BIG-5

Virginia’s Daves Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on James River

HENRICO, Va. (Oct. 12, 2020) Pro Chris Daves of Spring Grove, Virginia, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 50 pounds, 1 ounces to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship on the James River. For his victory, Daves earned $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, June 3-5, at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee.

“We had extremely low tides the past few days, which put the fish off the bank and right where I like to fish,” said Daves, regarding the key to his victory.

“I fished drops on the lower end of James in the mouth of the Chickahominy River, at a depth of 4 to 5 feet, with a chartreuse-colored square-bill crankbait,” continued Daves. “I also caught several key fish on a ribbontail worm.”

Daves said he grew up fishing this river and Wards Creek.

“Fishing on your home lake, you normally get the local jinx, but this time it worked out for me, so it feels good,” said Daves.

The top six boaters that qualified for 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American were:

            1st:       Chris Daves of Spring Grove, Va., 15 bass, 50-1, $60,000

            2nd:      Jason Burger of Bridgeton, N.J., 15 bass, 45-11, $10,000

            3rd:       Chris Baldwin of Lexington, N.C., 15 bass, 44-6, $5,200

            4th:       Keith Estes of Spring Grove, Va., 15 bass, 44-4, $3,000

            5th:       Jason Thomas of Lexington, N.C., 15 bass, 43-10, $2,500

            6th:       Chad Poteat of Mount Airy, N.C., 15 bass, 43-9, $1,800

Rounding out the top 10 boaters were:

            7th:       Chris Dover of Blacksburg, S.C., 15 bass, 41-11, $1,600

            8th:       Jason Barnes of Concord, N.C., 15 bass, 41-9, $1,400

            9th:       Cole Huskins of Gastonia, N.C., 15 bass, 40-9, $1,200

            10th:     Steve Colgin of Lanexa, Va., 15 bass, 40-1, $1,000

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Thomas took home an extra $500 as the highest finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

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Moo Bae of West Friendship, Maryland, weighed in 15 bass over three days totaling 35 pounds, 5 ounces to win the top co-angler prize package of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The top six co-anglers that qualified for the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American were:

1st:       Moo Bae of West Friendship, Md., 15 bass, 35-5, $50,000, including Phoenix 819 Pro boat w/200-hp outboard

            2nd:      David Mills of Wirtz, Va., 15 bass, 33-11, $5,000

            3rd:       Rod Mackinnon of Middletown, N.Y., 14 bass, 30-3, $2,500

            4th:       Travis Garrett of Charlottesville, Va., 13 bass, 30-3, $1,500

            5th:       Terri Davis of Chilhowie, Va., 15 bass, 27-15, $1,000

            6th:       Robert Wedding of Welcome, Md., 11 bass, 25-12, $1,150

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:

            7th:       Cody Lewis of Ooltewah, Tenn., nine bass, 22-2, $800

            8th:       Nick Coker of Knoxville, Tenn., 13 bass, 21-12, $700

            9th:       Bradley Smith of Cherryville, N.C. 14 bass, 21-3, $600

            10th:     Gregory Chuhta of Germantown, Md., 12 bass, 20-11, $500

The Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship on the James River was hosted by Richmond Region Tourism. It featured the top pros and co-anglers from the North Carolina, Northeast, Shenandoah and Volunteer divisions.

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine 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 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.

The 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American will be held June 3-5 at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee, and is hosted by the Jefferson County Department of Tourism. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour.