Georgia’s Murray posts fifth career win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Lake Eufaula - Major League Fishing
Georgia’s Murray posts fifth career win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Lake Eufaula
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Georgia’s Murray posts fifth career win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Lake Eufaula

Columbus, Georgia’s Cook tops Strike King co-angler division
Image for Georgia’s Murray posts fifth career win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Lake Eufaula
Boater winner Jim Murray, Jr., of Parrott, Georgia, and Strike-King co-angler winner Jeff Cook of Columbus, Georgia.
April 8, 2024 • MLF • Phoenix Bass Fishing League

EUFAULA, Ala. – Boater Jim Murray Jr. of Parrott, Georgia, caught a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds, 12 ounces, Saturday to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Eufaula. Hosted by the Eufaula-Barbour County Chamber of Commerce, the tournament was the third event of the season for the BFL Bulldog Division. Murray earned $4,046 for his victory.

Murray describes himself as old school. And he’s been fishing tournaments on Eufaula long enough to have a pretty solid milk run of spots where he can get bit this time of year. 

With all that knowledge at his disposal, Murray didn’t have to follow the trend of using live sonar technology to win. Instead, he power fished his way to victory with a homemade spinnerbait (it resembles a big gizzard shad), a Z-Man Evergreen ChatterBait Jack Hammer and a swimbait. 

“I’m 49 years old,” Murray said. “I’ve been fishing for a long time. I still think in one-day derbies you can power fish to win. But I don’t know in a multiple-day derby if you can. It’s hard to beat that black box.”

According to Murray, about half the bass in Eufaula have already spawned. With the fish in transition, he targeted isolated pieces of cover and structure. 

“Isolated is the main thing,” he said. “This time of year, I like to focus on clay because you have a shad spawn coming up. Or isolated stumps off a bar. Just something where one fish can set up for a day or two to decide whatever it’s going to do. I caught some fish off chunk rock out of 5, 6, 7 foot of water off the bank. I caught some off manmade brush. The biggest thing is having enough targets.”

After catching a limit of spotted bass early, Murray ran his milk run and landed about 15 keepers. He never really got a big kicker bite. But, with solid quality in his limit, Murray finished more than 5 1/2 pounds ahead of second place to sew up his fifth career BFL win dating back to 2002. 

“It was a fun day of fishing,” Murray said. “You can’t beat that.”

The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

  • 1st:          Jim Murray Jr., Parrott, Ga., five bass, 25-12, $4,046
  • 2nd:        Buddy Benson, Dahlonega, Ga., five bass, 21-2, $2,023
  • 3rd:        Todd Beaver, Richland, Ga., five bass, 20-6, $1,848 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
  • 4th:         John Lee, Cataula, Ga., five bass, 19-15, $944
  • 5th:         Sam Hanggi, Knoxville, Tenn., five bass, 18-15, $809
  • 6th:         Bobby D. Padgett, Lagrange, Ga., five bass, 18-14, $742
  • 7th:         Donald Griffith, Robertsdale, Ala., five bass, 18-3, $1,229
  • 8th:         Mason White, Moultrie, Ga., five bass, 18-2, $607
  • 9th:         Ashley Drake, Box Springs, Ga., five bass, 18-0, $539
  • 10th:      Rodger Beaver, Dawson, Ga., five bass, 17-15, $472

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Donald Griffith of Robertsdale, Alabama, caught a bass that weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $555.

Jeff Cook of Columbus, Georgia, won the Strike King co-angler division and $2,023 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 14 pounds, 13 ounces.

The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished: 

  • 1st:          Jeff Cook, Columbus, Ga., five bass, 14-13, $2,023
  • 2nd:        Jeffrey Webb, Watkinsville, Ga., five bass, 14-3, $1,011
  • 3rd:        Josten Harvey, Fairburn, Ga., five bass, 13-0, $674
  • 4th:         Conery Williams, Macon, Ga., five bass, 12-12, $472
  • 5th:         Anthony Fattal, Warner Robins, Ga., five bass, 11-8, $405
  • 6th:         Isaiah Payne, Jasper, Ga., five bass, 11-2, $371
  • 7th:         Jaquas Dobbs, Conyers, Ga., five bass, 11-0, $337
  • 8th:         Chris Davies, Milner, Ga., three bass, 10-13, $303
  • 9th:         Bradley Hoff, Brooks, Ga., five bass, 10-10, $270
  • 10th:      Richard Causey, Perry, Ga., five bass, 10-3, $236

Brad Beard of Moreland, Georgia, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $277, catching a bass that weighed in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After three events, Brooks Anderson of Marietta, Georgia, leads the Fishing Clash Bulldog Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 708 points, while Jaquas Dobbs of Conyers, Georgia, leads the Fishing Clash Bulldog Division Co-Angler of the Year race with 723 points.

The next event for BFL Bulldog Division anglers will be held April 27, at Lake Sinclair in Milledgeville, 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, Strike King, Suzuki, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota 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.