Boater Sean Buntin of Satsuma, Ala., brought a five-bass limit bass to the scale Saturday totaling 12 pounds, 1 ounce to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on the Alabama River in Prattville, Ala. Buntin topped his nearest competitor, Ben Weldon of Petumpka, Alabama, by just 3 ounces and earned $4,296 for his victory.
“I’m so excited and pumped, I could cry,” says Buntin, who earned the first FLW victory of his career. “I’ve fished close to 50 events and put a lot of work in. I finally got the win, and it is awesome.”
Buntin was fishing a deep brush pile when he noticed bass schooling near a little outlet ditch. He quickly capitalized to put the winning limit in his livewell.
“I was fishing a deep brush pile when I happened to look up the river and there was a little ditch that looked like there was some action on it,” Buntin says. “I slowly made my way up there and chunked a (River2Sea) Whopper Plopper in there and they just smoked it. About 10 casts later I had my weight for the day.
“I had a limit by 7:45 a.m.,” Buntin continues. “They all came on the Plopper, fished on a 7-foot, 8-inch FX Custom cranking rod. It’s made for crankbaits, but it works really nice for that Plopper.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Sean Buntin of Satsuma, Ala., five bass, 12-1, $4,296
2nd: Ben Weldon of Wetumpka, Ala., five bass, 11-14, $2,053
3rd: Steve Jones of Moss Point, Miss., five bass, 11-10, $1,099
4th: Chris Rutland of Wetumpka, Ala., five bass, 10-13, $769
5th: David Wesson of Southside, Ala., five bass, 10-3, $659
6th: Byron Smith of Tyrone, Ga., five bass, 9-15, $604
7th: Jody Wilson of Blue Ridge, Ga., five bass, 9-12, $549
8th: Casey O’Donnell of Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 9-9, $466
9th: Anthony Goggins of Clanton, Ala., five bass, 9-9, $466
10th: Brent Reaves of Alexander City, Ala., five bass, 9-8, $385
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Weldon caught brought a 5-pound, 1-ounce largemouth bass to the scale to add $515 – the day’s Boater Big Bass award – to his winnings.
Thomas Frink of Cedartown, Georgia, 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 PhoenixBassBoats.com.
Graham wins co-angler title
Rodney Graham of Childersburg, Ala., won the Co-angler Division and $1,648 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 8 pounds, 12 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Rodney Graham of Childersburg, Ala., five bass, 8-12, $1,648
2nd: Troy Calloway of Sylacauga, Ala., four bass, 8-8, $824
3rd: Dennis Sandoval of Decatur, Ala., five bass, 7-0, $549
4th: Donnie Gamble of Bessemer, Ala., five bass, 6-11, $385
5th: Wayne Kilgore of Attalla, Ala., four bass, 6-5, $330
6th: Mark Denney of Perry, Ga., five bass, 6-4, $302
7th: Willie Hill of Tuskegee, Ala., four bass, 6-3, $275
8th: William Yoerg of Odenville, Ala., two bass, 6-2, $449
9th: Justin Foster of Zebulon, Ga., five bass, 6-1, $220
10th: Gary Marlowe of Montgomery, Ala., three bass, 5-11, $192
Yoerg caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a nice 4-pound, 11-ouncer. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $202.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the Alabama River was the fourth of five qualifying events in the Bama Division.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the Bama 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.