BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – The Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine’s Bama, Illini, Michigan and Volunteer divisions will finish out the 2023 season in Byrdstown, Tennessee, Oct. 12-14, with the Phoenix BFL Presented by T-H Marine Regional Event at Dale Hollow Lake.
Hosted by the Byrdstown-Pickett County Chamber of Commerce, the three-day regional tournament will feature the top 45 boaters and co-anglers plus tournament winners from all four divisions, battling it out for a top prize of $60,000, including a Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, along with lucrative contingency awards, including up to an additional $7,000 Phoenix MLF Bonus. Strike King co-anglers will compete for a top prize of $50,000, including a Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard. Winners will be determined by the heaviest three-day catch.
The top six finishers in each regional will qualify for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American. The highest finishing boater from each division will also receive a $1,000 bonus and the highest finishing co-angler from each division will receive a $500 bonus.
“Dale Hollow is an awesome fishery, no doubt,” said pro Adam Wagner of Cookeville, Tennessee, who has four career victories on Dale Hollow Lake in MLF competition. “This event is definitely going to be a forward-facing sonar tournament. If you’re not a LiveScoper, you’re in trouble. I think the entire top six will likely be LiveScoping.”
Wagner said Dale Hollow’s water levels were 12 to 15 feet low right now, and with not much grass to be found an angler may be able to catch a few bass fishing shallow, but certainly not enough to win.
“Everything is out right now, roaming with the shad,” Wagner said. “I don’t think the smallmouth will be much of a factor, strictly due to the slot. If you get lucky and catch one over 21 inches, it’ll definitely help. But with so many largemouth there now, I don’t think the smallmouth will really play.”
Wagner said that an angler may be able to find an early morning topwater bite, but that most of the tactics employed by anglers would be offshore baits.
“There are definitely certain areas where you can find them schooling in the morning and you might be able to catch them on topwater, but that bite usually fizzles pretty quickly,” Wagner said. “I think Damiki rigs, swimbaits and spoons are all going to be strong in this event.
“It will take at least 19 pounds a day to get this one,” Wagner said. “I predict the winner has 57 to 60 pounds over the three days of competition.”
Anglers will launch at 7 a.m. CT each morning from the Sunset Marina & Resort, located at 2040 Sunset Dock Road, in Monroe, Tennessee. Weigh-ins will also be held at the landing and will begin at 3 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend the event or follow the action online through the “MLF Live” weigh-in broadcasts at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
The 2023 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine consisted of 24-divisions devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season and 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, advance to one of six Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regionals. The 2024 Phoenix BFL All-American will be held May 29-31 at Cherokee Lake in Jefferson County, Tennessee
The top boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Invitationals and ultimately the Bass Pro Tour.
For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.
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.