Clay Batson of Bradenton, Florida, brought a huge five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 34 pounds, 8 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Florida. For his victory, Batson earned a total of $4,740.
The tournament was the third of five events in the Gator Division presented by A.R.E. Truck Caps.
“I was fishing on the north end of Lake Toho,” says Batson, who earned his first career victory in FLW competition. “Targeting hyacinth mats mixed in with pads, flipping a black and blue-colored Missile Baits D-Bomb with a 1¼-ounce weight.
“The key to my victory was that the mats and pads had to be adjacent to open lanes,” Batson continues. “The fish were using those access lanes as highways. All my fish were females that were staging for the spawn. The heavy cover had to be up next to an access lane.”
The Florida angler says that a positive attitude kept his mind in check and was a big factor in his win.
“It’s been a very tough year, but I just kept practicing and grinding and knew that one day, my luck would change. Today, it all came together,” Batson goes on to say. “I didn’t lose any fish fishing that thick cover – that is rare. I got them all in the boat and it was a blessed day. I’ve been doing this a long time and always waned to get one of these wins. It feels awesome.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Clay Batson of Bradenton, Fla., five bass, 34-8, $4,740
2nd: Marlon Crowder of Tampa, Fla., five bass, 24-15, $2,000
3rd: Thomas Clark of Wildwood, Fla., five bass, 20-14, $1,334
4th: Trevor Brown of Deltona, Fla., five bass, 18-11, $933
5th: Arthur Jackson of Kissimmee, Fla., five bass, 16-11, $800
6th: Blaine Partee of Oviedo, Fla., five bass, 15-2, $833
7th: Dan Blanchard of Kissimmee, Fla., five bass, 15-1, $667
8th: Anthony Ford of New Smyrna, Fla., five bass, 14-11, $600
9th: Robert Crosnoe of Inverness, Fla., five bass, 13-15, $533
10th: Kyle Gelles of Pingree, Idaho, five bass, 13-8, $467
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Batson’s big 11-pound, 6-ounce kicker also won the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $540.
Eddie Carper of Valliant, Oklahoma, 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.
Sean Hall of North Augusta, South Carolina, won the Co-angler Division and $2,000 Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 6 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Sean Hall of North Augusta, S.C., five bass, 14-6, $2,000
2nd: Alan Clayton of Live Oak, Fla., five bass, 13-13, $1,000
3rd: Mike Tucker of Yalaha, Fla., five bass, 13-0, $666
4th: Steve Proctor of Minneola, Fla., four bass, 11-6, $467
5th: Dale Tomlinson of Lake Worth, Fla., four bass, 10-15, $550
6th: Wesley Hall of Glen St. Mary, Fla., five bass, 10-10, $367
7th: Charles Owens of Rockledge, Fla., five bass, 9-12, $333
8th: Aymon Wilcox of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., five bass, 9-11, $300
9th: Jason Suvak of Lauderhill, Fla., five bass, 9-10, $267
10th: Steve Smith of Jacksonville, Fla., four bass, 9-9, $233
Ryan Meyer of Orlando, Florida caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 8 pounds, 2 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $270.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Toho was hosted by Experience Kissimmee.
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 & 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.