LA CROSSE, Wis. – Boater Nick Trim of Galesville, Wisconsin, caught a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounce, Sunday to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on the Mississippi River at La Crosse. The tournament, hosted by Explore La Crosse, was the second event of the season for the BFL Great Lakes Division. Trim earned $13,024, including the lucrative $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus, for his victory.
“First thing this morning, I wanted to lock into Pool 7, but there was a barge in the lock, so I pulled into a dead-end pocket and caught a couple of largemouth,” said Trim, who notched his third BFL win.
Trim said a half-hour later he locked into Pool No. 7, where he had 10 bed fish he had found in practice and marked on his electronics.
“I went to them and basically picked them off one at a time,” Trim said.
Trim said his largemouth approach consisted of a black and blue Missile Baits D Bomb Creature Bait on a ¼-ounce tungsten weight. The D Bomb also produced three smallmouth for Trim.
Trim said he used his Garmin Livescope in water that was too dirty to be able to see the bedded fish.
“I watched my biggest fish of the day on my Livescope swim away every time the bait hit the bed,” Trim said. “I fished it for 45 minutes, finally hooked up, and then lost it. So, I left, came back later, and tried again. About 20 minutes went by; she finally bit, and it ended up being the big bass of the day.
“I love the spawn and I love fishing beds,” Trim said. “It’s something I’m really confident in. So, this win feels really good.”
The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament:
1st: Nick Trim, Galesville, Wis., five bass, 19-1, $13,024 (includes $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
2nd: Cade Laufenberg, Onalaska, Wis., five bass, 18-11, $2,197
3rd: Austin Bartholomew, Keosauqua, Iowa, five bass, 15-1, $1,464
4th: Dan Mohn, Lansing, Iowa, five bass, 15-0, $1,745
5th: Jeff Ritter, Prairie Du Chien, Wis., five bass, 14-9, $879
6th: Ben Potaracke, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 14-7, $805
7th: Aidan Brown, Bangor, Wis., five bass, 14-5, $732
8th: Max Ford, Genoa, Wis., five bass, 14-4, $659
9th: Brent Schroeder, Caledonia, Minn., five bass, 14-3, $549
9th: Austin Brimeyer, Dubuque, Iowa, five bass, 14-3, $549
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Trim also caught a bass weighing 4 pounds, 7 ounces to earn the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $630.
Jeff Benson of Holmen, Wisconsin, won the Strike King co-angler division and a total of $2,197 Sunday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 15 pounds, 11 ounces.
The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:
1st: Jeff Benson, Holmen, Wis., five bass, 15-11, $2,197
2nd: Kenny Nachtman, Bellevue, Iowa, five bass, 14-0, $1,098
3rd: C.J. Reitz, Morton, Ill., five bass, 12-9, $733
4th: Hertz Skaer, Holmen, Wis., five bass, 12-8, $513
5th: Craig Fanning, Elwood, Ill., five bass, 12-6, $754
6th: Bernard Campos, Round Lake Beach, Ill., five bass, 11-14, $403
7th: Logan Sullivan, Waunakee, Wis., five bass, 11-12, $366
8th: Maddox Cejka, Prairie Du Chien, Wis., five bass, 11-3, $311
8th: Lance Olson, Necedah, Wis., five bass, 11-3, $311
10th: Troy Jutting, Savage, Minn., five bass, 10-15, $256
Craig Fanning of Elwood, Illinois, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $315, catching a bass that weighed in at 4 pounds, 7 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.
After two events, Cade Laufenberg of Onalaska, Wisconsin, leads the BFL Great Lakes Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 499 points, while Hertz Skaer of Holmen, Wisconsin, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 493 points.
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. 19-21 BFL Regional tournament on Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri. 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 2023 All-American event will take place May 31 through June 2, on Lake Hartwell in Seneca, South Carolina. The event is hosted by Visit Oconee SC.
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.