Carper Wins Big on St. Johns River - Major League Fishing
Carper Wins Big on St. Johns River
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Carper Wins Big on St. Johns River

Oklahoma boater takes home over $12,000, which includes a $7,000 FLW PHOENIX BONUS
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Eddie Carper
January 13, 2020 • MLF • Phoenix Bass Fishing League

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine continued competition Saturday at the St. Johns River in Palatka, Florida – the first time that the Gator Division presented by A.R.E. has opened their season on the St. Johns 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 says. “Getting the opportunity to come to a place like Florida and the St. Johns 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 continues. “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 says 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:

 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

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

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.

 

Co-angler Randy Paquette

Paquette wins co-angler title

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:

 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.

 

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