FLORENCE, Ala. – Boater Garrett Warren of Hoover, Alabama, caught 10 bass weighing 35 pounds even to win the two-day MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Alabama. The tournament, hosted by Florence-Lauderdale Tourism, was the fifth and final regular-season event for the Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division. Warren earned $5,831 for his victory.
Warren said he keyed in on Pickwick’s Seven Mile Island area and fished to his strengths to claim the victory. He said he flipped a ½-ounce jig tipped with a green-pumpkin Zoom Z-Craw Jr. with a hand-dyed chartreuse tail to bushes on the bank where current had cut the bank to 2-to-4-feet deep. He said a mixture of oxygen in the water and a good presence of bluegill had the bass holding and actively feeding.
“I’ve had a pretty good history with BFLs on Pickwick,” Warren said. “In all three of the BFL events I’ve fished there, I’ve caught all of my fish shallow. I fish the Chattahoochee River in a 17-foot boat and fish a lot of channel-swing banks, and I’m able to really understand current now.”
Warren said he lost a good fish early Saturday but filled his limit on three different stretches of water as he “fished by the seat of his pants” to hook five keeper bass on the first day of competition. Warren said his last keeper of the day came just seven minutes before his afternoon check-in.
Sunday was more of the same grind, as Warren had only two keepers at 1:30.
“I caught one on a buzzbait early Sunday, then proceeded to lose three really big fish – one on a buzzbait and two on a frog skipping around the bushes,” Warren said.
“I never lost confidence, because I knew if I got mentally out of it in the last hour I would lose,” Warren added. “I had to focus and make perfect skips and flips for the last hour, and it really paid off. It’s just unreal to win on Pickwick. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s made me want to strive harder for the next win.”
The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Scott Towry of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, caught a bass weighing 4 pounds, 13 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – to earn the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $787.
Chaz McMahan of Saint Joseph, Tennessee, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,909 Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 34 pounds, 9 ounces.
The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
Allen Rhodes of Decherd, Tennessee, caught the largest bass in the Strike King Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 3 ounces. The catch earned him the Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $386.
With the regular season now complete, boater Casey Martin of Brownsboro, Alabama, won the 2022 Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with a five-event total of 1,307 points to earn the $1,000 boater AOY award. Randy Wilson of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, won the 2022 Strike King Co-Angler Choo Choo Division AOY race with 1,282 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. 6-8 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lake Murray in Prosperity, South Carolina. Boaters will compete 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 fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.
The 2022 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, 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, will advance to one of six Regional Championships 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 Phoenix Bass Fishing League 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 Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.
Proud sponsors of the 2022 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, AFTCO, A.R.E. Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Gary Yamamoto Baits, General Tire, Lew’s, Lowrance, Lucas Oil, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Revital Outdoors, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X, YETI and Yo-Zuri.
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.