EUFAULA, Okla. – Boater Mario “Mark” Riojas of Blanchard, Oklahoma, caught five bass Sunday weighing 13 pounds, 2 ounces, to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Eufaula presented by Flamingo Fish and Marine. The tournament was the third event of the season for the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Okie Division and the second event in a two-event Phoenix Bass Fishing League double-header on Lake Eufaula over the weekend. Riojas earned $4,009 for his victory.
“It’s been brutally tough for Lake Eufaula for this time of year,” Riojas said. “Saturday, when I fished the first BFL of the weekend here, the lake was up and muddy. I ended up with one fish, and my co-angler pulled out two at the very end of the day.
“I stewed over that on Saturday night and decided to go back to the same spot because that’s the only spot I had caught fish,” Riojas said. “I worked a half-mile stretch of bank in the Porum Landing area back and forth all day and pulled out five keeper bites flipping buck brush in about 6 feet of water.”
Riojas said the day’s bites were few and far between and described the tournament as a “grind.” Riojas said his bait of choice for the day was a 4/0 flipping hook with a 5/16-ounce pegged weight and a green pumpkin Zoom Brush Hog.
“I’m pretty excited to win this,” Riojas said. “This was my 81st event that I’ve fished with Major League Fishing, and I’ve never had a win. The closest I came was in 2020 at the Toyota Series Championship on Lake Cumberland as a co-angler.”
The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Phillips had a largemouth that weighed 5 pounds, 8 ounces that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $550.
Wesley Bissett of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,005 Sunday after catching four bass weighing 8 pounds, 9 ounces.
The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
Huddleston caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds even. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $275.
After three events, Brian Bean of Hot Springs, Arkansas, leads the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Okie Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 742 points, while Jonathan Simms of Hot Springs, Arkansas, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 735 points.
The Top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 13-15 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Boaters will compete for a top award of $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.
The 2022 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The Top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Regional Championships where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American. The 2022 All-American will be held June 2-4 at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.
The Top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the Bass Pro Tour.
Proud sponsors of the 2022 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, AFTCO, A.R.E. Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Gary Yamamoto Baits, General Tire, Lew’s, Lowrance, Lucas Oil, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Revital Outdoors, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X, YETI and Yo-Zuri.
For complete details and updated tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.