Dylan Hays Wins Group A Qualifying Round at Major League Fishing Suzuki Stage Two Presented by Fenwick at Santee Cooper Lakes

CLARENDON COUNTY, S.C. (Feb. 22, 2024) – Hot Springs, Arkansas, pro Dylan Hays caught seven scorable bass Thursday weighing 30 pounds, 8 ounces, to earn the Group A Qualifying Round win at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Suzuki Stage Two Presented by Fenwick at Santee Cooper Lakes in Clarendon County, South Carolina.

Hays’ two-day Qualifying Round catch of 17 bass totaling 71 pounds, 13 ounces, earned him the win by a narrow 2-pound, 11-ounce margin over Day 1 leader and reigning Fishing Clash Angler of the Year (AOY) Matt Becker of Ten Mile, Tennessee, who caught a two-day total of 19 bass weighing 69-2 to finish the round in second place. General Tire pro Alton Jones, Jr., of Waco, Texas, caught a two-day total of 18 bass weighing 66-9 to finish the round in third, while pro Gerald Spohrer of Gonzales, Louisiana, ended the round in fourth place with a two-day total of 23 bass for 64-15. Rounding out the top five is Stage One winner Dustin Connell of Clanton, Alabama, who caught 17 bass for 63-14 to advance in fifth place.

The top 10 anglers advancing from Group A will now have an off day from competition Friday, while the 40 anglers competing in Group B will complete their two-day Qualifying Round. The top 10 anglers from each group advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed, and the remaining 20 anglers compete to finish in the top 10 to advance to the Championship Round. In Sunday’s final day Championship Round, weights are zeroed, and the highest one-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.

All week, anglers have stressed the importance of triggering bites from the bigger-than-average bass that roam Santee Cooper. At least in Group A, no one has done so better than Hays.

The Arkansas pro anchored his Day 2 bag with a 7-3 kicker. He also caught a 6-7 and a 5-4. During each of his first two days on the water, he’s landed three bass over 5 pounds, and his biggest five fish weighed more than 26 both days.

Hays believes he’s figured out a key to enticing those bigger bass. Fishing in Lake Marion, he’s not shying away from the dirty water in much of the lake. He also thinks his bait selection has played a part. All his fish Thursday ate a 1/2-ounce bladed jig with either a Zoom Z Craw Jr. or Shimmer Shad as the trailer.

“Key No. 1 was dirty water,” Hays said. “Key No. 2 was throwing a ChatterBait instead of flipping. … And then just making a lot of casts, working really hard.”

Hays admitted that he’s “kind of making it up as [he goes],” especially as he explored new terrain, but he’s optimistic his key areas are reloading with new staging fish each day. Early in the morning, he watched another angler catch a 5-pounder off the same tree that produced a 6-pounder for him on Day 1.

Still, even if his cypress bite sputters, Hays now has a backup plan in place. The thing that had him most excited about his second day on the water was the fact that he caught several fish not around Santee Cooper’s ubiquitous wood, but grass.

“The first day I caught the majority of them off trees – specific trees, but off trees – but in practice I caught a couple good ones off of some grass,” Hays said. “I couldn’t ever really make it work very long. Today, I actually caught the 7 and 5 off the same kind of stuff, and a couple males, so that kind of got me excited. That might start developing as well.”

Hays’ Group A win marked the first time in his three Bass Pro Tour seasons that he’s won a round. He’ll hope it leads to his first tournament win as a pro on Sunday.

The fact that he’s put himself in that position power fishing around shallow cover – the way he grew up fishing – has made his first two days on Santee Cooper even more fun.

“Dude, if they’re biting a Hula Popper, I’ll throw a Hula Popper,” Hays said. “If I gotta throw a drop-shot in 40 foot, I’ll do that. I do not care, and that’s God’s honest truth. It does not matter; I like it all. But it is fun. I mean, it’s been a while since we were able to do this, and I grew up fishing a place very similar to this, a lot of cypress trees, and I’m very comfortable.”

The top 10 pros in Group A that now advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round on Santee Cooper Lakes are:

1st:        Dylan Hays, Hot Springs, Ark., 17 bass, 71-13
2nd:       Matt Becker, Ten Mile, Tenn., 19 bass, 69-2
3rd:       Alton Jones, Jr., Waco, Texas, 18 bass, 66-9
4th:        Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., 23 bass, 64-15
5th:        Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala., 17 bass, 63-14
6th:        James Watson, Lampe, Mo., 15 bass, 55-12
7th:        Jesse Wiggins, Cullman, Ala., 17 bass, 51-11
8th:        Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa., 14 bass, 50-12
9th:        Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, 16 bass, 50-8
10th:     Ron Nelson, Berrien Springs, Mich., 16 bass, 47-15

Eliminated from competition are:

11nd:    Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 14 bass, 45-11
12th:     Randy Howell, Guntersville, Ala., 15 bass, 40-10
13th:     Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., 10 bass, 40-7
14th:     Terry Scroggins, San Mateo, Fla., 14 bass, 38-9
15th:     Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 38-6
16th:     Greg Vinson, Wetumpka, Ala., 16 bass, 38-0
17th:     Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., 11 bass, 36-7
18th:     Matthew Stefan, Junction City, Wis., 11 bass, 36-1
19th:     Jeff Sprague, Wills Point, Texas, nine bass, 34-11
20th:     Jacob Wall, New Hope, Ala., nine bass, 34-11
21st:      Mark Daniels, Jr., Tuskegee, Ala., 14 bass, 33-3
22nd:    Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala., 12 bass, 32-14
23rd:     David Walker, Huntingdon, Tenn., nine bass, 32-4
24th:     Jacopo Gallelli, Florence, Italy, seven bass, 31-3
25th:     Takahiro Omori, Tokyo, Japan, 10 bass, 30-5
26th:     Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan., nine bass, 29-14
27th:     Matt Lee, Cullman, Ala., nine bass, 28-7
28th:     John Murray, Spring City, Tenn., seven bass, 26-8
29th:     Marty Robinson, Lyman, S.C., nine bass, 25-6
30th:     Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., eight bass, 24-15
31st:      Nick Hatfield, Greeneville, Tenn., nine bass, 24-11
32nd:    Shinichi Fukae, Osaka, Japan, seven bass, 24-9
33rd:     Britt Myers, Lake Wylie, S.C., four bass, 21-13
34th:     Josh Bertrand, Queen Creek, Ariz., six bass, 21-2
35th:     Brandon Coulter, Knoxville, Tenn., six bass, 19-7
36th:     Jared Lintner, Covington, Ga., five bass, 17-13
37th:     Colby Schrumpf, Highland, Ill., six bass, 15-8
38th:     Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif., five bass, 11-14
39th:     Jason Vance, Battle Ground, Ind., five bass, 11-2
40th:     Grae Buck, Green Lane, Pa., three bass, 10-14

A complete list of results can be found at

Pro David Walker of Huntingdon, Tennessee, earned Thursday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award with an 8-pound, 8-ounce largemouth that he caught on a bladed swimjig during Period 3. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass each day, and a $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass of the tournament.

The six-day tournament, hosted by the Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce, showcases 80 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing for a purse of $659,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable Fishing Clash Angler of the Year (AOY) points in hopes of qualifying for the General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and REDCREST 2025, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

The 40 Anglers in Group A competed in their two-day Qualifying Round on Tuesday and Thursday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Wednesday and Friday. After each two-day Qualifying Round is complete, the anglers that finish first through 10th from both groups advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed, and the remaining 20 anglers compete to finish in the top 10 to advance to Sunday’s Championship Round. In the final-day Championship Round, weights are zeroed, and the highest one-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.

Anglers will launch at 7:30 a.m. ET each day from the John C. Land III Landing, located at 4404 Greenall Road in Summerton. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will be held at the park, beginning at 4 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch and takeout events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLFNOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at .

The MLFNOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action live on the final four days of competition from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET. MLFNOW!®  is live streamed on and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

On Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 24-25, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. MLF welcomes fans of all ages to visit the John C. Land III landing for the MLF Watch Party. Fans can watch the pros live on the MLFNOW! big screen, enjoy free food, enter to win hourly giveaways and cheer on their favorite pros. The first 50 kids 14 and under will receive a free rod and reel from Pure Fishing each day. The final 10 Championship Round Bass Pro Tour anglers will be on hand at the trophy celebration on Championship Sunday to meet and greet fans, sign autographs and take selfies.

The Suzuki Stage Two at Santee Cooper Lakes Presented by Fenwick features the MLF catch, weigh, immediate-release format, in which anglers catch as much weight as they can each day, while also feeling the pressure and intensity of the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard. The tournament features anglers competing with a 1-pound, 8-ounce minimum weight requirement for a bass to be deemed scorable. The MLF Fisheries Management Division determines minimum weights for each body of water that the Bass Pro Tour visits, based on the productivity, bass population and anticipated average size of fish in each fishery.

The Bass Pro Tour features a field of 80 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2025 championship.

Bass Pro Tour anglers also compete throughout the 2024 season for the prestigious Fishing Clash Angler of the Year (AOY) award and its $100,000 payday. Fishing Clash – an interactive 3D fishing simulation game that’s played by more than 80 million people worldwide – is the official AOY sponsor of the Bass Pro Tour, Tackle Warehouse Invitationals, Toyota Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League.

Television coverage of the Suzuki Stage Two at Santee Cooper Lakes Presented by Fenwick will premiere as a two-hour episode starting at 7 a.m. ET, on Saturday, Sept. 21 on Discovery, with the Championship Round premiering the following Saturday on Sept. 28. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on Discovery, with re-airings on Outdoor Channel.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Bass Pro Tour include: Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, BUBBA, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, Garmin, General Tire, Humminbird, Lowrance, Mercury, MillerTech, Minn Kota, Mossy Oak Fishing, NITRO, Onyx, Plano, Power-Pole, Rapala, StarBrite, Suzuki, Toyota and U.S. Air Force.

Major League Fishing - Bass Pro Tour/Cup Events Uncategorized

Wheeler Wins Again! Tennessee Angler Wins Third Event of Season at MLF Bass Pro Tour Toyota Stage Six at Lake Champlain Presented by Googan Baits

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Aug. 10, 2021) – It’s getting hard to contextualize just how good Academy Sports + Outdoors pro Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tennessee, has been this season. Wheeler caught 27 scorable smallmouth bass Tuesday weighing 88 pounds, 2 ounces to win the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour Toyota Stage Six at Lake Champlain Presented by Googan Baits in Plattsburgh, New York, and earn another top payout of $100,000.

Wheeler’s margin-of-victory in the event was 30 pounds, 13 ounces – the largest margin in Bass Pro Tour history. Also winning late June’s Bass Pro Tour stop at the St. Lawrence River, Wheeler now becomes the first angler to ever win back-to-back Stages on the Bass Pro Tour, and the first angler to ever win three in one season. His fifth career victory this week at Lake Champlain broke his own record for the most Bass Pro Tour victories all-time, and he has finished first or second in four of the last five Bass Pro Tour events.

And he’s only 31 years old.

“It’s crazy to think – three wins this year. Absolutely crazy,” Wheeler said. “It’s been an unbelievable year. I just try to have that mindset – don’t ever give up, don’t ever give in. Just constantly working and preparing for the next one. There is so much hard work that goes into these events. And it still takes a lot of things to go right to come out on top against this group of guys.

“It takes so much time out here on the water,” Wheeler continued. “I just love this sport. I love competing. I love preparing for events. I love competing against this group of guys. These guys right here that I’m fishing against are the best in the world, hands down. The absolute toughest group of guys to beat. You have to bring your “A” game, day in and day out. Fishing against the best pushes me to become better. I’ve been truly blessed coming up here this season – New York has been pretty dang good to us.”

Wheeler mainly targeted smallmouth throughout the week, using just two baits.

“It was just typical smallmouth stuff,” he said. “Most of them came on a drop-shot rig, and some on a Ned rig. It came down to several different Ned style baits. I threw a (Googan Baits) Rattlin’ Ned and caught 3 or 4 key fish on it today. I also caught them this week on some fluke-style baits. It seemed like profile and color really mattered. Sometimes I had to go translucent. Sometimes I had to go lighter line. Sometimes I could get away with heavier line. It was really just trial and error each day.

“It’s really just been a progression of figuring it out this week, slowly but surely. It wasn’t fast and furious, but little clues gave me hints to certain things and I kind of dialed it in as the week went on. You have to keep an open mind and that’s been the biggest thing for me this year – fishing stuff that I think looks good, develop the pattern and figure it out throughout the week and it gets better and better.”

Despite Wheeler’s already incredible season, he still has one goal left for the year – the Bass Pro Tour Angler of the Year (AOY) title. Pro Ott DeFoe of Blaine, Tennessee, who finished the event in 3rd place, has had an incredible season in his own right, and with one event remaining in the season he currently owns a 12-point lead over second-place Wheeler in the AOY race.

“I love Ott to death. He is unreal everywhere we go,” Wheeler went on to say. “It’s going to be battle. If either of us slip up one time, one day, it’s over. Whoever wins is going to have to make a top-10 at Stage Seven in Detroit, and we’ve got our work cut out for us. Realistically, I could have a phenomenal finish and still get beat. I’m just going to worry about winning another tournament and if it works out, it works out. I don’t have any AOY pressure – I’m going to prepare for that tournament to win it.”

Florence, Italy’s Jacopo Gallelli, who qualified to compete in this tournament after winning the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event at the Potomac River in June, caught 21 bass totaling 57 pounds, 5 ounces to finish second and win $45,257.

“I tell you, with this situation I had this morning, this second place (finish) is like a win,” Gallelli said. “I lost 2 hours of fishing – 1½ hours because of mechanical issues and another half hour when we went idling back into the creek. So, I cannot be more happy about being second. Especially considering this field. This field is made of the 80 most skilled anglers in the world, and I proved it to myself and everybody that I can compete at this level.

“If somebody was thinking the Potomac River was just a fluke, I demonstrated to everybody that it was not, most of all to myself,” Gallelli went on to say. “I did my best, and dealt with a very bad situation, so I am very proud of myself and very happy.”

The top 10 at the Bass Pro Tour Toyota Stage Six at Lake Champlain finished:

1st:          Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., 27 bass, 88-2, $100,257
2nd:         Jacopo Gallelli, Florence, Italy, 21 bass, 57-5, $45,257
3rd:         Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., 18 bass, 50-6, $38,257
4th:         Timmy Horton, Muscle Shoals, Ala., 16 bass, 43-9, $32,257
5th:         Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 11 bass, 31-15, $30,257
9th:         Matt Lee, Cullman, Ala., 11 bass, 30-15, $26,257
6th:         Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 29-7, $23,257
7th:         Kelly Jordon, Flint, Texas, 11 bass, 29-6, $21,257
8th:         Wesley Strader, Spring City, Ala., 10 bass, 27-15, $19,257
10th:       Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., eight bass, 25-14, $16,257


A complete list of results can be found at

Overall, there were 143 bass weighing 411 pounds, 2 ounces caught by the final 10 pros on Tuesday.

Wheeler also won Tuesday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award, weighing a 4-pound, 15-ounce smallmouth on a drop-shot rig in Period 2 to earn the prize. Shaw Grigsby and Takahiro Omori split the $3,000 Berkley Big Bass award for the largest bass of the event as each weighed in a 5-pound, 14-ounce largemouth on Days 2 and 3 of competition.

The Toyota Stage Six at Lake Champlain Presented by Googan Baits featured anglers competing with a 2-pound minimum weight requirement for a bass to be deemed scorable. Minimum weights are determined individually for each competition waters that the Bass Pro Tour visits, based on the productivity, bass population and anticipated average size of fish in each fishery.

The MLF Bass Pro Tour Toyota Stage Six at Lake Champlain Presented by Googan Baits was hosted by the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau and the City of Plattsburgh. The six-day tournament featured the top professional anglers from around the world competing for a top cash prize of $100,000 to the winner.

Television coverage of the Toyota Stage Six at Lake Champlain Presented by Googan Baits will premiere at 7 a.m. ET, Nov. 6 on the Discovery Channel. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on the Discovery Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel. Each two-hour long reality-based episode goes in-depth to break down each day of competition.

The Bass Pro Tour features a field of 76 of the top professional anglers in the world – joined at each event by 4 pros that qualify from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit – competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, competing for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2022 championship.


Powroznik Wins Sudden Death Round at General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (Nov. 9, 2020) – Major League Fishing (MLF) pro Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Virginia, caught a 1-pound, 6-ounce smallmouth bass at 11:20 a.m. – his ninth smallmouth of the day – to cross the 20-pound qualifying weight threshold on Turtle Lake and become the first angler to advance to the final day Championship Round at the General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

Joining Powroznik will be the 2019 Angler of the Year (AOY) and REDCREST champion Edwin Evers, Casey Ashley, Takahiro Omori, Cody Meyer and Jordan Lee. The final day Championship Round episode premieres this Saturday, Nov. 14, from 7 to 9 a.m. EST, on Discovery.

“During the ride around I was looking and I found one kind of high shoal out in the middle of the lake that had three buoys on it that said ‘ROCK’,” Powroznik said in his post-game press conference. “I know that smallmouth love rock, so I kind of idled around it and I marked a couple of fish on my side scan. I thought it looked good, so I figured I’d fish around it and see if I could figure out what was going on. I ended up catching one on my very first cast, and it was on.

“I threw a little drop-shot worm, in smoke and green-pumpkin, but it really didn’t matter the color,” Powroznik continued. “The smallmouth were very active and if you put any bait in front of them they were going to bite it.”

Despite his fast start and finishing before noon, Powroznik said that he still felt the pressure of the Sudden Death Round.

“The first one and the last one are always the hardest fish to catch in Sudden Death,” Powroznik said. “I had 19-2 or something like that for a while, and I’m just thinking, ‘Come on… one more bite. And don’t lose it…’. It’s the highest of highs at that moment, but the stress level right then is out of this world. Your heart is racing, you’re breathing heavy. Everything is weighing on your shoulders to try to catch one more fish. I was nervous, but I had a pretty good lead so I wasn’t freaking out too bad.”

With just one round to go before the champion is crowned, Powroznik is now ready for his opportunity to take home the Johnny Morris award trophy and the top prize of $100,000.

“It would be unbelievable to win – I’d love to take that trophy back home with me to Virginia,” Powroznik went on to say. “It would make my 22-hour drive back to Prince George so much better.”

The first six anglers that reached the 20-pound Qualifying Weight on Turtle Lake and now advance to the Championship Round finale on Spider Lake are:

                1st (11:20am): Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., nine bass, 20-8
                2nd (11:42am): Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., 15 bass, 21-5                3rd (1:46pm): Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., nine bass, 20-1
                4th (2:07pm): Takahiro Omori of Tokyo, Japan, 13 bass, 20-6
                5th (2:35pm): Cody Meyer of Star, Idaho, 11 bass, 20-11
                6th (2:57pm): Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala., nine bass, 22-1

Eliminated from competition in the 2020 General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops were:

                7th:         Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C., 10 bass, 16-15
                8th:         Jeff Sprague of Point, Texas, eight bass, 16-5

Complete results and photos from the day can be found at


Lee caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day – a 4-pound, 3-ounce smallmouth that came offshore on a worm.

Overall, there were 84 bass weighing 158 pounds, 4 ounces caught by the eight pros on the day five Sudden Death Round of competition on Turtle Lake.

The 2020 Major League Fishing General Tire World Championship in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, is hosted by Visit Grand Rapids.

In MLF General Tire World Championship competition, the full field of 16 pro anglers was split into two groups of eight – Group 1 competed in Shotgun Round 1, Group 2 in Shotgun Round 2, with the winners of each day advancing directly to the Sudden Death Round. The remaining seven anglers from each group carried their total weight on to the Elimination Round. The three anglers from each group’s Elimination Round with the highest cumulative two-day weight advanced to the Sudden Death Round – eight anglers total.

During the Sudden Death round, the eight anglers that advanced from the Shotgun and Elimination Rounds competed to become one of the first six to reach a qualifying weight – determined by MLF officials. Now the top six anglers advance to the final day Championship Round – where weights are zeroed and the highest total weight at the end of competition wins and will be declared World Champion.

Next week’s finale episode of the General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops will feature the final six anglers competing in the Championship Round on Spider Lake in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

The General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops, hosted by Visit Grand Rapids, airs on the Discovery Channel as six, two-hour original episodes each Saturday morning running through Nov. 14, airing from 7 to 9 a.m. EDT. The full television schedule can be found at

Major League Fishing - Bass Pro Tour/Cup Events Uncategorized

Major League Fishing Moves Stage Five from Lake Champlain

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 15, 2020 (Tulsa, Okla.) Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today that Bass Pro Tour Stage Five presented by Covercraft will not take place on Lake Champlain as previously announced. Earlier today Vermont Governor Phil Scott amended and reinstated Executive Order 01-20, which states that visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Due to previously scheduled events, MLF pros and League staff cannot accommodate that order and will move the July event. 

Subject to a successful connectivity survey to support SCORETRACKER® and MLFNOW!production, MLF will move final Stage of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. The dates remain the same, July 10-15, 2020. Exact fisheries will be shared with competitors as determined by the Tournament Director and MLF Production teams based on the pending site survey. 

“While we are disappointed that we cannot have the final Stage of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour on Lake Champlain as originally planned, we understand the situation and look forward to the opportunity to showcase Vermont in the future.” said Michael Mulone, Major League Fishing Sr. Director of Events. “We appreciate Destination Sturgeon Bay helping us pull together an outstanding event under an abbreviated timeline.”

Major League Fishing - Bass Pro Tour/Cup Events Uncategorized

MLF Postpones Stage Four of the Bass Pro Tour in an Abundance of Caution

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March 23, 2020 (Tulsa, Okla.) Major League Fishing (MLF) announced the league will postpone the next stop on the Bass Pro Tour originally scheduled for April 3-8, 2020 in Raleigh, North Carolina in an abundance of caution surrounding the novel coronavirus. The League will monitor the situation and follow the advice of medical and Public Health officials to reschedule as quickly as possible. 
“The safety and health of our anglers, volunteers, staff, and host community are our primary concern,” said Jim Wilburn, Major League Fishing President and CEO. “While our format inherently allows for social distancing and other recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control to minimize the spread of COVID-19, we feel it’s in the best interest of all involved to pause our 2020 season.” 
The Berkley Stage Four presented by Covercraft was originally scheduled to take place on Jordan Lake, Falls Lake, and Shearon Harris Reservoir hosted by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance.
“We understand the decision by MLF to postpone the event,” commented Tori Collins, Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance Director. “These proactive measures are tough decisions but in the best interest for all involved. The Greater Raleigh area looks forward to welcoming the MLF Pros and staff back to North Carolina and showcasing our region’s beautiful lakes in the future.”
Major League Fishing will continue to assess the impact of COVID-19 and take the advice and mandates set forth by local, state, and national medical and Public Health officials to address the potential impact on future events and potential dates for rescheduling Stage Four.  
MLF strongly encourages everyone to follow the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on everyday prevention of viral infection, which include: 

  • Clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid close contact with sick persons
  • Practice social distancing among your community
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
  • Consult a healthcare provider as needed
  • For more information about the novel coronavirus, visit

MLF fans can tune into the Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel to see original airings of the MLF Cup events including the Premiere of the 2020 Patriot Cup on Saturday, April 4, 2020. MLF Cup events feature 30 Pros from the Bass Pro Tour filmed exclusively to premiere on Outdoor Channel. 2020 MLF Cup events were filmed in late 2019.  For a complete listing of the MLF television schedule, visit  


MLF BIG-5 Uncategorized

Mississippi’s Coker Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Tournament on Ross Barnett Reservoir

West Point’s Armstrong Wins Co-angler Division

BRANDON, Miss. (March 10, 2020) – Local boater Clyde Coker of Brandon, brought five bass to the scale Saturday totaling 16 pounds, 13 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Ross Barnett Reservoir in Brandon, Mississippi. For his victory, Coker earned a total of $4,315.

“The water temperatures had dropped, so I started out throwing a spinnerbait in the morning,” said Coker, who earned his first career victory in FLW competition. “I caught a bunch of short fish, then switched over to a ChatterBait.

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“When the wind picked up and the sun came out they wouldn’t hit the ChatterBait anymore, so I started swimming a jig and that is what the majority of my fish came on.”

Coker said he was mainly fishing main-lake flats in 3 feet of water. His jig of choice was a green-pumpkin and orange-colored Blacks Custom jig. He used a twin-tailed trailer with the tails dyed chartreuse.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament as follows:

            1st:       Clyde Coker of Brandon, Miss., five bass, 16-13, $4,315

            2nd:      Taurian Parks of Clinton, Miss., three bass, 11-7, $2,157

            3rd:       Joel Barber of Brandon, Miss., five bass, 11-2, $1,439

            4th:       Andy Graves of Clarksdale, Miss., two bass, 10-9, $1,617

            5th:       Mike Jones of Brandon, Miss., four bass, 9-15, $1,063

            6th:       Andy Coy of Corinth, Miss., four bass, 9-4, $1,291

            7th:       Lloyd Pickett Jr. of Bartlett, Tenn., two bass, 9-2, $683

            7th:       Gary Caruso of Baton Rouge, La., two bass, 9-2, $683

            9th:       Darrell Hunter of Lena, Miss., two bass, 8-13, $575

            10th:     Bryant Adam of Madison, Miss., three bass, 8-8, $503

Complete results can be found at


Graves brought a 6-pound, 4-ounce bass to the scale to win the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $610.

Coy was the highest-finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member and took home an extra $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 FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency program can be found at

Eddie Armstrong of West Point, Mississippi, won the Co-angler Division and $2,157 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 17 pounds, 10 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers finished as follows:

            1st:       Eddie Armstrong of West Point, Miss., five bass, 17-10, $2,157

            2nd:      Desmond Champion of El Dorado, Ark., three bass, 13-5, $1,384

            3rd:       David Hug of Collierville, Tenn., four bass, 11-7, $717

            4th:       Louie Parkman Jr. of Brandon, Miss., three bass, 8-0, $503

            5th:       Daniel Corkern of Florence, Miss., two bass, 7-2, $581

            6th:       Tim Davis of Laurel, Miss., two bass, 7-1, $396

            7th:       Joel Ross of Brandon, Miss., two bass, 6-14, $460

            8th:       Chris Godfrey of Columbus, Miss., two bass, 6-8, $324

            9th:       Chris Bray of Southaven, Miss., two bass, 5-12, $288

            10th:     Tyler Patterson of Tupelo, Miss., one bass, 5-11, $252

Champion caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, weighing in at 7 pounds, 15 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $305.

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Ross Barnett Reservoir was the first of five qualifying events in the Mississippi Division.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the Mississippi Division based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 8-10 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, Tennessee, hosted by the Rhea Economic and Tourism Council. 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.

King Kat Uncategorized


February 10, 2020 – Catfish anglers from nine states traveled to Santee Cooper for a King Kat Tournament Trail event presented by Bass Pro Shops Cabela’s. Forty-eight teams gathered at Cross, SC to test their catfishing skills against other anglers and Mother Nature.

Anglers fishing the February 7, 2020 event were vying for $11,750 in cash and prizes, and an opportunity to qualify for the $120,000 Classic Championship to be held October 30 – 31, 2020 on Milford Lake in Milford, KS.


Tournament day followed a late winter storm that produced torrential rainfall and winds greater than 40 miles per hour. Still, most anglers who were there ventured out the day before for some prefishing before the Captains Meeting on Friday night. Though none admitted to good catches, there was a feeling of optimism in the air. Almost everyone reported good quantiles of bait and the stage was set for tournament day.

When the time came for lines-in at 6:30 the winds had fallen to 2 miles per hour blowing from the NNW. Santee Cooper was flat. Too flat in fact, for most catfish tournament anglers. Winds increased as the day went on and clouds rolled in to make for a cool weigh-in in the 40’s. Santee Cooper produced another outstanding weigh-in at Black’s Camp and Restaurant.

Results for the Top Catfish Teams

The top spot at Santee Cooper went to Jim Page, Rick Page, and Alex Summer from Newberry and Clinton SC. Their limit of 5 fish weighed 157.2 pounds and included big fish of the tournament at 60 pounds. They earned a check for $4,400 and added $960 for Big Kat.

The team fished the King Kat on Santee last year and finished 3rd with 111 pounds just out of first by 8 pounds. They had trouble finding their unders last year and it cost them the tournament. So, they come in this year knowing that they would have to find some good unders to have a shot.

“I came down to Santee and prefished the weekend before the tournament,” reported Jim. “We found some good overs with 5 or 6 fish in the 40- and 50-pound range. The big fish were holding tight to structure in around 20 feet of water with small schools of baitfish.”

He also found some good unders in the 17- to 20-pound range hanging out under big schools of bait in about 25-30 feet of water. They found that if they went any deeper the fish seemed to get smaller so they had the info they needed to make a strategy.

“I left last weekend with a good game plan,” continued Jim. “The plan was to come back the following Friday to prefish one more day before the tournament. The weather had different plans as 30 mph winds and torrential rains kept us off the water. We came back on Friday evening for the captains meeting and decided to stick with the game plan I had established from the weekend before.”

Jim felt like the fish were not pressured too much from the weather conditions and should still be in about the same pattern if the bait hadn’t moved. So, they fished the lower end of Lake Moultrie targeting ditches and humps. They used gizzard shad from Midlands Outdoors, LLC as bait.

“Tournament morning held to our expectations,” recalled Jim. “We marked some good fish staged up around structure and baitfish in 20 feet of water. We anchored up on them and the first rod down was the big fish of the tournament. He hit hard pulling drag around 6:45 am. When we landed the fish, we knew he would at least be in the 50- pound class.”

Their heavy scales were not working so they put the big fish on a backup set that only went to 50 pounds. It would go up to 50 and then say fail. So, they didn’t know exactly how much the big fish weighed until they got to the scales. They caught several more fish in the high 20’s and low 30-pound class.

“We culled close to 120 pounds for being over the 36-inch rule,” reported Jim. “We culled a 26, 28, 29, and a 32. We kept a 35 for our second over. We bounced around the same area targeting fish holding tight to structure until around lunchtime. We only had 3  keepers in the boat, the 60, a 35, and a 21-pound under.

Knowing there was a good bite with all the water flowing through the lake from the heavy rains and wind the team needed two more good unders to have a chance at the win. They made the hard decision to leave biting fish to go find the unders they needed.

“We made a run across the lake close to Pinopolis,” explained Jim. “I had caught decent unders there before by drifting in deeper water under the big bait schools. We marked some fish holding all along a ledge in about 30 feet under huge bait schools. We made about a two-hour drift but only picked up one fish. It was a perfect size under at 35 1/2 inches and weighing 24 pounds.”

With only 4 weighable fish at 2 pm, they had to make another move. They decided to go back across the lake and see if they could target smaller fish that may have moved into the area they fished in the morning.

“I marked a good group of smaller cats,” reported Jim. “They were holding in a small ditch between Bonneau and Russellville in about 25 feet of water. We anchored up on them around 2:30 and downsized all our baits. We caught our last under of 18 pounds at 2:55 pm. Talk about coming down to the wire!”

“The good Lord looked out for us today, putting us on a solid bite,” concluded Jim. “We caught around 280 pounds of fish with 120 pounds going back over the side as culls. We had a blast fishing with some of the top teams in the country and look forward to the next one.

I would like to think Cabela’s King Kat and Kevin Davis from Blacks Camp for putting on an awesome tournament. Santee is a great fishery for any size catfish from eaters to trophy-class fish up in the triple-digit range. I encourage anyone wanting the chance to hook into a fish of a lifetime to give it a try or book a trip with many of the great guides this lake has to offer.”

The runner up spot went to James Wesney from Somerset, OH and Craig Shirey from Baltimore, OH. They teamed up to put 142.2 pounds of Santee Cooper cats in the boat and earned a check for $2,200.

Wesney and Shirey didn’t get to the lake until Friday. All their prefishing was done on a map and the rest of the time was used to get bait.


“We had one spot that we fished last year which was our first time on the lake,” recalled Shirey. “We also picked out two other spots we wanted to fish. We started on a shallow spot which did not pay off after two hours. So, we moved to the area we fished the previous year and had no bites after thirty minutes. So, off we go again to spot number three.”

It was third time charms for the OH team. The spot they picked from the map started producing fish right away. They caught about 15 fish on the day.

“We started catching fish,” concluded Shirey. “At  one time we had a 43, 47 and a 20-pound fish on at the same time. It was about forty feet of water using fresh cut shad. I really thought we had the win because we crushed last year’s weight. But with just a couple of boats left to weigh we got bumped by a huge weight. We are still happy with the results, especially for only being the second time fishing on the lake.”

Finishing in third place was David Kingsmore from Prosperity, SC and Mark Coburn from Conway, SC. Kingsmore and Coburn brought in a weight of 132.7 pounds to earn a check for $1,600.

This is the first year that Coburn has fished a Cabela’s King Kat USA event. He teamed up with David Kingsmore, a former Crappie USA National. It was the first time for the pair to fish together. They prefished separately in order to cover more water and make a plan of attack for the tournament.

“Through our prefishing we were able to quickly determine that the 23- to 28-foot depth seemed to be key in finding the best numbers of fish,” reported Coburn. “We decided to go ‘all in’ at that depth. With the wind blowing directly into the Bonneau area of Lake

Moultrie, we decided to head that way where we made a long drift from north to south with ‘lines-in’ beginning at 6:30.”

The team focused their drift in a heavily contoured area with the water depth that they determined in prefishing. That first drift produced nothing.

“Once the winds subsided, we moved,” stated Coburn. “We went a little further north to drift a flat area in 26 feet of water that David had found. In a span of 90 minutes, we had boated 16 fish. Fourteen of them were under fish. We kept our best three for about 66 pounds.”

“When the wind stopped the bite turned on,” confirmed Kingsmore. “After that, we caught a lot of fish.”

The team had 2 small overs at 11:30 am. They decided to use the next 4 hours to focus on nothing but overs.

“We moved to deeper water for the next several hours,” continued Coburn. “We only managed to increase our overs to a 38- and a 28-pound fish. In the end, it was luck and the focus on the unders that gave us a shot. David is an extremely talented angler. His extensive tournament experience and ability to formulate a plan was the key. It gave us an opportunity to compete in the field of elite anglers that Cabela’s is able to produce.”

“I feel I am an extremely blessed individual,” concluded Coburn. “I have gained acceptance and friendships from many in the Catfish world through my years behind the

camera. Now as a weighmaster and tournament promoter, I am able to take part in some of these wonderful events. There’s no better place to do it than Santee Cooper, SC.

Larry Mazalatis from Summerville, SC and Chuckie Ouvry from Goose Creek, SC, drifted the Rocks Pond area using perch and shad to catch 5 fish that weighed 132.2 pounds. Their efforts earned them fourth place and a check for $950.

Rounding out the top five was Wayne Estes and Alan Kerley from Statesville, NC. They drifted in the middle of lake Moultrie at various depths using cut baits to bring in a weight of 128.4 pounds and earn $600.

The Remaining Top Ten

6th Place – Danny Chappell and Bobby Chappell—126.5 pounds

7th Place – Jeff Outz and Kenneth Sudderth —122.9 pounds

8th Place – Clay Henderson and Gary Morton—118.80

9th Place – Mark Stanley and Bill Bristow—117.60

10 Place – Paul Blackwell and Tyler Lodridge—116.60



Tournament director, Darrell Van Vactor thanked Kevin Davis and the staff at Black’s Camp for making the Santee Cooper event possible and for the hospitality shown to the anglers.

“As always, we enjoy coming to Santee Cooper,” stated Van Vactor. “I think this weekend just goes to show what kind of fishery lakes Moultrie and Marion really are.”   

The 2020 Championship

This year’s Cabela’s King Kat Classic Championship will be held October 30 – 31, 2020 on Milford Lake in Milford, KS. The Classic features a guaranteed payout of $120,000 in cash and prizes. The points race is set to pay $30,000 to the top 20 places based on the competitor’s top five finishes.

BASSMASTER Elite Series/Opens Uncategorized



Expectations for the 2019 Berkley Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River presented by Black Velvet were slightly muted going into Day 1. After all, last year’s event on this storied fishery was dubbed as the best smallmouth tournament in the history of man, and practice for most of the Elite Series pros this time around was tough. There was no way, according to reports from the competitors, that this year’s event could match the statistics from the previous year. However, Chris Johnston proved that The No. 1 fishery in the nation according to Bassmaster Magazine’s 100 Best Bass Lakes rankings was still top of the class. The Canadian pro boated 24-7, including a 5-13 behemoth, to take the Day 1 lead.

“My day started pretty rough,” Johnston admitted. “I lost the first three fish I hooked, two 4s and a 5. I thought ‘oh, no, it’s going to be one of those days.’ But then, I landed a couple of good ones, and then caught one that nearly weighed 6 pounds. So, I’m really happy with how much weight I ended up with today.” Johnston is a little worried about whether or not he will be able to reproduce the massive limit over the next three days of the event. “I only have one really good spot, and I’m sharing it with another angler. So, I don’t know if it will hold up.”

Right on the heels of Johnston is Alabama pro Scott Canterbury, who boated 23-8. Unlike the Canadian pro, who has spent countless hours fishing the St. Lawrence River, Canterbury is fishing the New York waters for the very first time. “A lot of my practice was spent driving around, trying to learn the landscape of this fishery. I started to figure a few things out, and a lot of what doesn’t work here, and finally pieced together a game plan that would help me survive this tournament. My weight today is a blessing, I just hope I can reproduce it tomorrow.”

Veteran Elite Series pro Steve Kennedy weighed in 23-7 to take the third-place position, which included the Phoenix Boats Big Bass of the day, a 6-2 monster smallmouth. “I am doing something a lot different than most of the field,” the Alabama pro admitted. “I hand painted a big glide bait to look like a perch. I am using it as a search bait for individual fish. They follow the glide bait and show themselves, then I throw a follow-up lure to catch them.” Like the other top anglers, Kennedy is not sure if there are enough big fish in his area to bring another massive limit to the scales. “I have seen a lot of 4 pounders, but those 5- and 6-pound fish are rare where I am. I’m hoping more bass move into the area, otherwise I’ll have to go to Plan B.”

As for the expectations leading into this episode of the St. Lawrence Smallmouthfest, they were certainly exceeded. There were 35 limits exceeding 19 pounds, 26 of which topped the 20-pound mark and five eclipsed 23 pounds.

BASSMASTER Elite Series/Opens Uncategorized



Wes Logan of Springville, Ala., backed up his Day 1 leading weight of 16 pounds, 10 ounces with a Day 2 catch of 15-3 to maintain the top spot at the Bassmaster Central Open on the Mississippi River with a two-day total of 31-13.

“I had the chance to have a really big bag today, but I had some missed opportunities,” Logan said after losing a bass he estimated at 5 pounds Friday. “I’m still not getting many bites; I only caught eight or nine fish today.”

Weighing a mixed bag of smallmouth and largemouth, Logan said the key to his success has been targeting areas of strong current, where fish are staking out feeding spots near water-deflecting structures. He caught his fish from three different spots within an area about 2 to 3 miles long, but could not locate the optimal scenario elsewhere.

“I weighed in three of today’s fish from the same stretch where I caught two or three fish yesterday,” Logan said. “I hope it keeps replenishing.

“I tried to expand on my area today in case I make it to the final day, but it just doesn’t set up the same,” he said. “I came back to my area and caught a 3-pounder, so I guess I’m going to bunker in there tomorrow and fish it for all it’s worth.

The same mix of reaction baits and slower presentations Logan used on Day 1 produced again today. The biggest difference was that he got by on one trolling motor battery.

The current in his area is so strong Logan is unable to drift fish his spots. The most effective technique — using his Minn Kota Ultrex to hold himself in the flow — drained one of his Day 1 trolling motor batteries.

“I got up twice last night to put a single charger on my batteries, while my main charger was running to make sure they got as full as they could.”

Logan said he enjoyed his better action in the morning. The bite seemed to die around noon, with another afternoon flurry.

“They’re biting everywhere, but I think they set up better where you can catch them later in the day,” Logan said.

As for his Day 3 expectations, Logan had this to say: “I’m just looking for five bites; I’m not going to catch 40.”

Kyle Dorsett of Odenville, Ala., is in second place with 29-3. His daily weights of 14-9 and 14-10 were the event’s most consistent, but Dorsett said his catches are simply a result of grinding.

“I think I have a couple of areas that have some fish, and I’m just putting my head down and fishing,” he said. “There were a lot of boats in my area today, so I had to make a little adjustment. I caught three of the ones I weighed in today differently than I caught them yesterday.

“I have a little deal figured out how I can catch them on a topwater. It’s not really obvious; it took me five days of practice to figure it out.”

John Engler of Vinton, Iowa, is in third place with 28-12. After weighing 12-12 on Day 1, he turned in a significantly stronger Day 2 performance with a 16-pound limit — the day’s biggest bag.

“I went to Pool 9 today; yesterday I stayed on Pool 8,” Engler said. “Pool 9 just offered new water for me; Pool 8 got beaten up pretty bad all week with a lot of boats and I just wanted to get away from them.

“It wasn’t a fast bite. It was one here, one there. I was flipping points and grass banks.”

Kenta Kimura of Livingston, Texas, is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 5-8.

John Goebel of Lumberton, Texas, leads the co-angler division with 14-0. Adding 6-6 to his 7-10 from Day 1, he described a slow, grind that yielded only three bites.

“Fortunately, I was able to fish clean today,” Goebel said. “The plan was to go down to Pool 7 today, but the traffic didn’t allow us to make that run. It was a tough day for me, but I was able to get three decent fish. I caught all of my fish on a finesse rig over shell beds.”

Thaddaeus Vettrus of Chippewa Falls, Wis., holds the Phoenix Boats Big Bass lead among co-anglers with a 4-4.

Saturday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6 a.m. CT at Veterans Freedom Park. The Top 12 remaining anglers will weigh in back at the park at 2 p.m.

The event is hosted by

MLF BIG-5 Uncategorized


Walnut Hill’s Arning Takes Co-Angler Title

GOLCONDA, Ill. (July 29, 2019) – Boater Mike Keller of Metropolis, Illinois, took top honors at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on the Ohio River at Golconda Saturday after catching five bass weighing 16 pounds, 14 ounces. For his efforts, Keller pocketed $3,083.

“I fished all the way up the Tennessee River. I worked rock piles along a 30-yard stretch, and the fish were in about 7 feet of water,” said Keller, who notched his second win on the Ohio River in BFL competition. “My Bass Cat helped me beat everyone to my first spot and I ended up staying there all day.”

Keller said he used a ½-ounce, War Eagle spinnerbait and a Neko-rigged 5-inch, green-pumpkin Yamamoto Senko to catch his fish. He said he caught around eight keepers on the day, and weighed all largemouth.

“I worked the spinnerbait slow. The bite got better around 9 a.m. when the sun came up,” said Keller. “I caught my biggest fish – a 4-pounder – on a Neko rig at about 9:30 (a.m.).

“My MotorGuide X5 trolling motor kept me locked on my spot which ended up being huge for me,” Keller went on to say. “I didn’t have to worry about drifting off or losing my spot when I retied. I had a lot of boats around me, but I could relax and just fish when it was on.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st: Mike Keller, Metropolis, Ill., five bass, 16-14, $3,083

2nd: Nathan Murphy, Harrisburg, Ill., five bass, 13-5, $1,442

3rd: Jeremy Mull, Pawnee, Ill., five bass, 12-2, $1,310

4th: Brennon McCord, West Frankfort, Ill., five bass, 11-15, $673

5th: Riley Walk, Neoga, Ill., five bass, 11-9, $577

6th: Toby Corn, Calvert City, Ky., five bass, 10-7, $679

7th: Hilton Jones, Westfield, Ill., five bass, 9-12, $481

8th: Robert Neff, Roodhouse, Ill., five bass, 9-11, $408

8th: Matt Weber, Glen Carbon, Ill., four bass, 9-11, $408

10th: Mike Barnes, Mackinaw, Ill., five bass, 9-6, $636

Complete results can be found at

Terry Marucco of Sullivan, Illinois, caught a bass weighing 5 pounds even – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $320.

Aaron Arning of Walnut Hill, Illinois, won the Co-angler Division and $1,642 Saturday after catching four bass weighing 11 pounds, 5 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers were:

1st: Aaron Arning, Walnut Hill, Ill., four bass, 11-5, $1,642

2nd: Lewis Mallory, Martinsville, Ind., five bass, 10-15, $721

3rd: Nathan Day, Jewett, Ill., four bass, 8-13, $409

3rd: Dale Renth, Mascoutah, Ill., five bass, 8-13, $459

5th: Jacob Greco, Edwardsville, Ill., three bass, 6-14, $288

6th: Matt Chumbler, Carbondale, Ill., three bass, 6-12, $264

7th: Jason Piper, Collinsville, Ill., four bass, 6-9, $240

8th: Dave Dobill, Royalton, Ill., three bass, 5-13, $216

9th: Ryan Fancher, Olney, Ill., four bass, 5-4, $192

10th: Ryan Cain, Decatur, Ill., one bass, 5-3, $328

Cain caught the heaviest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 3 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $160.

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. 24-26 BFL Regional Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.

The 2019 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 2020 BFL All-American will be held April 30-May 2 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina, and is hosted by Visit Anderson. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.

For complete details and updated information For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League on FLW’s social media outletsat Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.