OSAGE BEACH, Mo. – Boater Eli Brumnett of Wagoner, Oklahoma, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 49 pounds, 14 ounces, to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine Regional Event on Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri. For his victory, Brumnett earned $68,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, along with the lucrative $7,000 Phoenix MLF contingency bonus. Brumnett also received automatic entry into the 2024 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, May 29-31, at Cherokee Lake in Jefferson County, Tennessee.
“I only got to pre-fish for the tournament for two hours,” Brumnett said. “I made about 100 casts, and I only had one or two bites.
“I started out the tournament Thursday with only two 2-pounders until about 11 o’clock,” Brumnett said. “I idled to the back of a pocket and noticed a cluster of concrete around a marina dock on my Garmin LiveScope. I marked it, turned around and made three casts to it, and caught a 5-9 and two 4½-pounders. After I caught those three big ones, I knew I was going to win the tournament. I could see close to 40 fish bigger than 4 pounds swimming around the concrete block.”
Brumnett said the large, boat-length concrete blocks needed to have shad around them to hold the bigger bass he was seeking, and he threw a homemade ¾-ounce living rubber green pumpkin jig with a green pumpkin Strike King Rage Craw trailer, as well as a ½-ounce Greenfish Tackle jig and Rage Craw, both in green pumpkin.
Brumnett said he started the second day of competition on the same concrete feature to catch a quick limit. By 8:30 a.m. he had his limit, so he left and searched for more pockets that had concrete in 18 to 26 feet of water, near marina docks. His next stop produced two large bass that boosted his second-day weight to 21-8 – all by 9 a.m.
The third day of competition was different for Brumnett. He said he fished for five hours and could not get a big bass to bite. He struggled but caught his fifth fish at 2:30 p.m.
“This tournament was awesome,” Brumnett said. “I’ve had a lot of second-, third- and fourth-place finishes, but not a major win.”
Rounding out the Top 10 boaters were:
The top four boaters from each division that earned a $1,000 bonus for placing highest in the event were:
Great Lakes: Mike Feldermann, Galena, Ill., 6th Place, $1,000
Hoosier: Scott Bateman, Jasper, Ind., 8th Place, $1,000
LBL: Jordan Hartman, Murray, Ky., 3rd Place, $1,000
Okie: Roger Fitzpatrick, Eldon, Mo., 2nd Place $1,000
Brumnett took home an extra $7,000 as the highest finishing Phoenix MLF Bonus member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
Justin Parchman of Oologah, Oklahoma, weighed in 13 bass over three days totaling 21 pounds, 4 ounces to win the top Strike King co-angler prize package of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.
Rounding out the Top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
The top four Strike King Co-anglers from each division that earned a $500 bonus for placing highest in the event were:
Great Lakes: Thomas Bridges, Kankakee, Ill., 5th Place, $500
Hoosier: Zion Dunaway, Campbellsburg, Ind., 3rd Place, $500
LBL: Marcus Mann, Benton, Ky., 11th Place, $500
Okie: Chase Fitzpatrick, Eldon, Mo., 2nd Place $500
The Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine Regional Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks was hosted by the Tri-County Lodging Association. It featured the top pros and Strike King co-anglers from the Great Lakes, Hoosier, LBL and Okie divisions.