It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Paducah with two Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the Ohio River events.
Boater Cade Laufenberg of Onalaska, Wis., brought a five-bass limit to the scale totaling 11 pounds, 8 ounces to win Saturday’s event and $3,842, while Dan Shoraga of West Frankfort, Ill., brought in five bass weighing 13 pounds, 4 ounces on Sunday to earn the win and $4,671.
"This is my first win away from home, so it feels so good to finally have a ‘signature’ win,” says Laufenberg, who earned his third career FLW victory. “I’ve been fishing these Illini Division events to qualify for the Regional Championship in La Crosse, so to now have the automatic-qualification feels unbelievable.
“I caught them early, and had my weight by 8:30 (a.m.),” Laufenberg continues. “The river is stabilizing now, but it had been dropping and the fish were seeking the strongest current. I targeted sandbars and rock points with a drop-shot rig to catch a couple, then I threw a white Big Bite Baits tube on a jig head, just dragging it off the drops.
“I also caught a few on a Carolina rig,” Laufenberg goes on to say. “The key was just mixing it up. We did a lot of different things but stayed in one area for most of the day. Most of our fish were smallmouth, but we did catch a few largemouth as well.”
The top five boaters on Saturday:
1st: Cade Laufenberg of Onalaska, Wis., five bass, 11-8, $3,842
2nd: Jay Peterson of Clinton, Ill., four bass, 10-1, $1,921
3rd: Jeremy Mull of Pawnee, Ill., four bass, 9-9, $1,792
4th: Riley Walk of Neoga, Ill., four bass, 9-8, $789
4th: Peyton Coleman of Paducah, Ky., three bass, 9-8, $1,289
4th: Bobby McMullin of Pevely, Mo., four bass, 9-8, $789
Complete results for Saturday can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Mull brought a 5-pound, 9-ounce bass to the scale to earn Saturday’s Boater Big Bass award of $510.
Coleman was the highest-finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member and took home an extra $500 Saturday. 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.
Black wins Saturday co-angler title
Amanda Black of Toledo, Ill., won the Co-angler Division and $1,921 Saturday after catching four bass weighing 8 pounds, 10 ounces.
The top five co-anglers Saturday:
1st: Amanda Black of Toledo, Ill., four bass, 8-10, $1,921
2nd: Steven Yeun of Elgin, Ill., four bass, 7-15, $960
3rd: Eugene Kim of Lindenhurst, Ill., three bass, 7-5, $641
4th: David Short of Royalton, Ill., three bass, 7-1, $448
5th: Kristian Dus of Chicago, Ill., three bass, 6-6, $384
Shoraga takes Sunday title
Sunday’s winner, Dan Shoraga, says that he targeted one 60-yard stretch on the Cumberland to earn his victory.
“They bit a little bit better for me on Sunday than they did on Saturday,” Shoraga says. “It was still pretty tough – I only had six bites all day, and I lost one and one was a short fish.
“I wasn’t doing anything special, just fishing below the dam with a shaky-head rig in 6 to 8 feet of water,” Shoraga continues. “I had four or five really good eddies that I just kept working, rotating through back and forth.”
The top five boaters on Sunday:
1st: Dan Shoraga of West Frankfort, Ill., four bass, 13-4, $4,671
2nd: Scott Freeman of Chicago, Ill., three bass, 11-5, $2,305
3rd: Justin Berger of Murray, Ky., four bass, 11-0, $1,224
4th: Ryan Lewis of Glasford, Ill., five bass, 10-2, $856
5th: Bobby McMullin of Pevely, Mo., four bass, 9-10, $734
Complete results for Sunday’s event on the Ohio River can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Ron Dickens of Doniphan, Missouri, brought a 4-pound, 3-ounce bass to the scale to win Sunday’s Boater Big Bass award of $235.
Brandon Broadway of Golconda, Illinois, was the highest-finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member on Sunday and took home the $500 contingency award.
Swetland wins Sunday co-angler title
Mike Swetland of Tamaroa, Illinois, won the Co-angler Division and $2,535 Sunday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 7 pounds, 11 ounces.
The top five co-anglers Sunday:
1st: Mike Swetland of Tamaroa, Ill., five bass, 7-11, $2,535
2nd: Dale Renth of Mascoutah, Ill., three bass, 6-1, $918
3rd: Ryan Murphy of Paris, Ill., five bass, 5-14, $612
4th: Joe Andres of New Athens, Ill., two bass, 5-3, $428
5th: Andy Paschedag of Worden, Ill., three bass, 5-0, $367
Dickens caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, weighing in at 4 pounds, 3 ounces. The catch earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $235.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Double-Header on the Ohio River was the third and fourth of five qualifying events in the Illini Division.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the Illini Division based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 15-17 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin, hosted by Explore La Crosse. 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.