January 13, 2020 by FLW Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: PALATKA, FLA. – The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine continued competition Saturday at the St. John’s River in Palatka, Florida – the first time that the Gator Division presented by A.R.E. has opened their season on the St. John’s River – and featured a major return on investment for the winner.
Boater Eddie Carper of Valliant, Oklahoma, caught the largest five-bass limit of the day (weighing 26 pounds even) to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Gator division presented by A.R.E. opener and earn the top prize – a total of $12,415 after collecting his $7,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus contingency award. The victory was the first win of Carper’s FLW career.
“I travel a lot for work, so I don’t really get to practice or fish in my home region very much,” the Oklahoman said. “Getting the opportunity to come to a place like Florida and the St. John’s River and earning the win after never having been here in my life is pretty humbling. I’ve been chasing one of these for a long time, and it feels absolutely awesome to finally win one.
“I caught one fish early on a War Eagle Finesse Spinnerbait, but the rest of my fish came on a junebug-colored Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Worm,” Carper continued. “I was fishing in Lake George, and the key was definitely staying in that one area. I caught every one of my fish from one 30-by-30-yard area.
“They were biting good and I definitely had the confidence that they were there – especially after I caught the big one,” Carper said of his 9-pound, 15-ounce kicker, the largest bass of the tournament. “I had to drag my worm extremely slow, and they seemed to shut down when it got cloudy. But once the sun would come back out they’d feed again.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament as follows:
1st: Eddie Carper of Valliant, Okla., five bass, 26-0, $5,415 + $7,000 FLW PHOENIX BONUS
2nd: Yoan Alvarez of Miami, Fla., five bass, 21-14, $2,360
3rd: Jerry Stalvey Jr. of Palatka, Fla., five bass, 19-12, $1,574
4th: Mike Jackson of San Mateo, Fla., five bass, 19-5, $1,101
5th: Terry Fisher of Jacksonville, Fla., five bass, 16-4, $944
6th: Trevor Brown of Deltona, Fla., five bass, 14-8, $865
7th: Kyle Walters of Grant Valkaria, Fla., five bass, 13-13, $787
8th: Dawayne Burke of Cross City, Fla., five bass, 13-10, $708
9th: John Mobley of Macclenny, Fla., five bass, 13-4, $629
10th: Jason Reed of Hollister, Fla., five bass, 13-1, $551
Carper’s 9-pound, 15-ounce largemouth was also good for the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $695.
Carper took home an extra $7,000 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.
Randy Paquette of Sarasota, Florida, won the Co-angler Division and $2,360 Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 5 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers finished as follows:
1st: Randy Paquette of Sarasota, Fla., five bass, 16-5, $2,360
2nd: Theron Asbery of Fort Pierce, Fla., five bass, 12-0, $1,180
3rd: Kyle Gelles of Pingree, Idaho, three bass, 11-15, $1,284
4th: Scott Farnham of Port St. Lucie, Fla., five bass, 11-5, $551
5th: Richard Dunham of Palm Harbor, Fla., three bass, 8-14, $472
6th: Aaron Gengler of Lakeland, Fla., five bass, 8-2, $433
7th: Jerry Meece of Lufkin, Texas, four bass, 7-7, $493
8th: Spencer Howerton of Melbourne Beach, Fla., four bass, 6-6, $354
9th: Tim Kidwell of Crittenden, Ky., three bass, 6-2, $315
10th: Jason Gonzalez of Loxahatchee, Fla., three bass, 5-15, $275
Gelles caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $347.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the St. John’s River was hosted by the Putnam County Tourist Development Council.