Fayetteville’s Armstrong posts second career win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Lake Sinclair - Major League Fishing
Fayetteville’s Armstrong posts second career win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Lake Sinclair
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Fayetteville’s Armstrong posts second career win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Lake Sinclair

Marietta’s Foster tops Strike King co-angler division
Image for Fayetteville’s Armstrong posts second career win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Lake Sinclair
April 29, 2024 • MLF • Phoenix Bass Fishing League

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – Boater Noah Armstrong of Fayetteville, Georgia, caught a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 14 ounces, Saturday to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Sinclair. The tournament was the fourth event of the season for the BFL Bulldog Division. Armstrong earned $3,917 for his victory.

Armstrong said his expectations were pretty low coming into the tournament. The spawn was over. So was the shad spawn. Add in some weather swings, and the fish were clearly in a funk, as reflected in the weights. Even in practice, Armstrong spent two days scouting the lake and never caught a fish over 2 pounds. He shook off a few he felt were decent, but that was it.

“It was definitely tough, to say the least,” Armstrong said. “It was a grind.”

With his confidence low, Armstrong hit the lake with an open mind. He ran to a couple grass spots first thing in the morning and there were already boats on them. So he ran down the lake, keeping his eyes open for anything that looked good. 

“I found one little place that had some rocks, and then there was some grass,” Armstrong said. “I said, ‘This looks good. Let’s stop over there and maybe take five minutes to fish.’ On the third cast I caught a 5-pounder on a ChatterBait.”

From there, Armstrong went junk-fishing around shallow grass. He was able to catch a limit, but even with that 5-plus-pound bass in the livewell, his best five might have weighed just 8 or 9 pounds. 

“Then I ran to another place where I’ve caught them before,” he said. “It’s a shallow hard spot off the bank. I caught two almost 3-pounders there that were really spawned out.”

He finished the day bouncing around fishing docks and made two small culls that gave him just enough weight to lock down the win by 1 ounce. 

Armstrong’s biggest bass came on a Z-Man Evergreen ChatterBait Jack Hammer. He caught one fish from the offshore rocks using a Carolina rig and the other using Garmin LiveScope and a Neko rig. His primary dock-skipping bait was a Texas rig. 

The weigh-in brought an exciting finish for Armstrong, who works full time rigging fishing boats at Stateline Marine, a Phoenix Boats dealer in Lanett, Alabama.

“It caught me by surprise for sure,” he said of the win. “I knew 13-something was leading it, but I knew there was a handful left to weigh in. I thought surely one of those guys caught 15 pounds because usually it takes good weight there every time. It was definitely a pleasant surprise. I was not expecting that for sure.”

The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

  • 1st:          Noah Armstrong, Fayetteville, Ga., five bass, 13-14, $3,917
  • 2nd:        John Kitchens, Cumming, Ga., five bass, 13-13, $1,958
  • 3rd:        Mason White, Moultrie, Ga., five bass, 13-11, $1,307
  • 4th:         Zach Clark, Newnan, Ga., five bass, 13-5, $914
  • 5th:         Chuck Howard, Elloree, S.C., five bass, 13-1, $1,303
  • 6th:         Weston Parker, Mansfield, Ga., five bass, 12-14, $718
  • 7th:         Frank Kitchens III, Oxford, Ga., five bass, 12-7, $653
  • 8th:         Brad Stalnaker, Eatonton, Ga., five bass, 12-4, $588
  • 9th:         Jae Evans, Boca Raton, Fla., five bass, 12-3, $522
  • 10th:      Mark Knight, McDonough, Ga., five bass, 12-1, $457

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Chuck Howard of Elloree, South Carolina, caught a bass that weighed 6 pounds, 10 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $520.

Matthew Foster of Marietta, Georgia, won the Strike King co-angler division and $1,958 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 12 pounds, 12 ounces.

The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished: 

  • 1st:          Matthew Foster, Marietta, Ga., five bass, 12-12, $1,958
  • 2nd:        Anthony Gaskins, Hinesville, Ga., five bass, 12-11, $979
  • 3rd:        Chris Lumpkin, Gray, Ga., five bass, 10-15, $653
  • 4th:         Harrison Dunahoo, Clermont, Ga., five bass, 10-7, $717
  • 5th:         Joshua Green, Cartersville, Ga., five bass, 10-6, $392
  • 6th:         James A. Bryant, Empire, Ga., five bass, 9-12, $359
  • 7th:         Don Griffin, Roswell, Ga., four bass, 9-5, $326
  • 8th:         Bruce Jeffrey, Lithonia, Ga., five bass, 9-2, $294
  • 9th:         Cameron Sampson, Jackson, Ga., five bass, 9-1, $261
  • 10th:      Brian Jenkins, Kennesaw, Ga., five bass, 9-0, $228

Harrison Dunahoo of Clermont, Georgia, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $260, catching a bass that weighed in at 5 pounds, 6 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After four events, Brooks Anderson of Marietta, Georgia, leads the Fishing Clash Bulldog Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 928 points, while Jaquas Dobbs of Conyers, Georgia, leads the Fishing Clash Bulldog Division Co-Angler of the Year race with 916 points.

The next event for BFL Bulldog Division anglers will be held Sept. 21-22, at Lake Oconee in Buckhead, Georgia. To register for the event as a boater or a co-angler, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com or call 270-252-1000.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five tournament winners of each qualifying event, will qualify for the Oct. 10-12 BFL Regional tournament on Santee Cooper Lakes in Clarendon County, South Carolina. Boaters will fish for a top award of $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Suzuki 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 or Suzuki outboard.

The 2024 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.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 7Brew, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, BUBBA, E3, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, General Tire, GSM Outdoors, Lew’s, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, REDCON1, Strike King, Suzuki, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, WIX Filters 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 FacebookInstagram, and YouTube.