Boater Josh Butler of Hayden, Alabama, brought a three-day total of 12 bass to the scale weighing 29 pounds, 3 ounces to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship at Lake Cherokee. For his victory, Butler earned $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, June 3-5, at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee.
“I feel very blessed this week,” says Butler. “I stumbled out of the gate on day one with only two fish weighing 5 pounds, but I rebounded the second day with 13 pounds and finished out strong on the final day to bring home the win with a decent limit of 10-7.”
Butler says his key to victory was the amount of time he spent graphing and marking brush piles on Lake Cherokee.
“I found 35 to 40 good brush piles, varied from 12 to 35 feet, but caught the majority 25 to 28 feet,” continues Butler. “I fished from the 25E bridge to the dam and caught most of my key fish throwing a morning-dawn-colored 6-inch Roboworm on a drop-shot rig.
“This is my first regional win and my first trip to the All-American and it means the world to me,” says Butler “This is one of the toughest tournaments to qualify for and I feel blessed. I’m excited and ready to get after it.”
The top six boaters that qualified for 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American:
1st: Josh Butler of Hayden, Ala., 12 bass, 29-3, $68,000
2nd: Timmy Thompkins of Myrtle Beach, S.C., 11 bass, 28-7, $10,000
3rd: John Duvall of Madison, Ga., 12 bass, 27-7, $5,000
4th: Dale Pelfrey of Rockwood, Tenn., 11 bass, 26-11, $3,000
5th: Chris Martinkovic of Hamilton, Ohio., 14 bass, 26-6, $2,700
6th: Brant Grimm of Church Hill, Tenn., 11 bass, 26-1, $1,800
Rounding out the top 12 boaters:
7th: Josh Smith of Hamilton, Ohio., 11 bass, 22-2, $1,600
8th: Derek Miller of Grant, Ala., eight bass, 21-15, $1,400
9th: Charles Willis of Dayton, Ohio, eight bass, 20-12, $1,200
10th: Bill Dunn of Maynardville, Tenn., nine bass, 20-4, $1,000
11th: Clabion Johns of Social Circle, Ga., nine bass, 17-3, $1,000
12th: Nick Gant of Myrtle Beach, S.C., six bass, 15-0, $1,000
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Butler also 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.
Bible nets co-angler title
Don Bible of Knoxville, Tennessee, weighed in nine bass over three days totaling 20 pounds, 2 ounces to win the top co-angler prize package of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.
The top six co-anglers that qualified for the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American:
1st: Don Bible of Knoxville, Tenn., nine bass, 20-2, $50,000
2nd: Rex Henry of Hixson, Tenn., seven bass, 15-6, $5,000
3rd: Jeff Rikard of Leesville, S.C., seven bass, 15-0, $3,000
4th: Andrew Starnes of Chapin, S.C., six bass, 13-5, $1,500
5th: Dax Liner of Mineral Bluff, Ga., eight bass, 13-4, $1,000
6th: Daniel Buswell, Jr. of Fayetteville, Ga., five bass, 11-14, $900
Rounding out the top 12 co-anglers:
7th: James Ross of Akron, Ohio, four bass, 11-1, $800
8th: Steve Sorrell of Beaver Creek, Ohio, five bass, 11-0, $700
9th: Matt Brown of Harriman, Tenn., five bass, 10-10, $600
10th: Jordon Smith of Middletown, Ohio, five bass, 9-14, $500
11th: Scott Sayasing of Grantville, Ga., four bass, 8-7, $500
12th: Nicholas Ray of Milledgeville, Ga., four bass, 8-1, $500
The Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship on Lake Cherokee was hosted by the Jefferson County Department of Tourism. It featured the top pros and co-anglers from the Buckeye (Ohio), Bulldog (Georgia), Choo Choo (Alabama/Tennessee) and South Carolina divisions.