SANDUSKY, Ohio – Boater Alex Redwine of Cincinnati, Ohio, caught 10 bass weighing 43 pounds, 9 ounces, to win the two-day MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Erie Presented by Rabid Baits in Sandusky, Ohio. The tournament was the fifth and final regular-season event for the Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division Presented by Rabid Baits. Redwine earned $6,121 for his victory.
“I didn’t really know how the first day was going to go, because it was very windy,” said Redwine. “There was a lot of north wind making 4- and 5-foot waves, and it took me a while to get to my area where I was fishing. Once I got there, I was able to bounce around three places where I caught key fish.
“Day 2 was a lot calmer and there wasn’t as much sun, which made the bite a little more difficult,” Redwine went on to say. “I was still around the right size of fish; I just couldn’t get them to bite as well. I did find one new area where I caught two or three key fish.”
Redwine said he focused his efforts on an island and fished 15 to 25 feet deep and targeted patches of rock or isolated boulders where baitfish were present. He said he switched between a Ned rig and a drop-shot rig to catch his bass.
“I thought once I got over 20 pounds that I had a pretty good shot at winning and guys would have to really catch them to beat me,” Redwine said. “The guy that came in second by one ounce, Jeremy, is a long-time best friend of mine, so that was pretty cool for us to finish 1-2. We’ve both put a lot of time on the water here, and for us to both do really good was just awesome.”
The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Dan Fry of Marysville, Ohio, had a bass that weighed 5 pounds, 1 ounce that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $840.
Douglas Shope of Arcanum, Ohio, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $3,060 Sunday after catching a two-day total of nine bass weighing 34 pounds, 14 ounces.
The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
Terry Bucciarelli of Ypsilanti, Michigan, caught the largest bass in the Strike King Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 4 pounds, 15 ounces. The catch earned him the Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $420.
With the regular season now complete, boater Chris Martinkovic of Hamilton, Ohio, won the 2023 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division Presented by Rabid Baits Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with a five-event total of 1,266 points to earn the $1,000 boater AOY award. Steve Sorrell of Beavercreek, Ohio, won the 2023 Strike King Co-Angler Buckeye Division Presented by Rabid Baits AOY race with 1,276 points and earned the $500 Strike King Co-angler of the Year award.
Now, the Top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the division based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will advance to compete in the Oct. 5-7 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. Boaters will fish 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 compete for a top award of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.
The 2023 Phoenix BFL Presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 events throughout the season, five qualifying tournaments in each division. The Top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five qualifying event winners, will advance to one of six BFL Regional tournaments 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 BFL All-American.
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 MLF Toyota Series, the pathway to the MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitationals and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.
Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, General Tire, Grundéns, Gill, Lew’s, Lowrance, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Mystik Lubricants, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X and YETI.
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.