CLEWISTON, Fla. – Boater Stanley Hunt of Jacksonville, Florida, caught five bass Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 13 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Okeechobee. The tournament was the fourth event for the Bass Fishing League Gator Division Presented by Revital Outdoors. Hunt earned $5,349 for his victory.
“What a great tournament,” Hunt said. “I caught fish all day long on a Heddon Zara Spook on the north end near Buckhead Ridge. I was just trying to stay in clean water near spawning flats where they had just finished spawning.”
Hunt said he targeted bass that were two feet deep with a white and yellow Spook, retrieved in a traditional fast walk-the-dog retrieve. Hunt said he caught 15 fish throughout the competition – all keepers – with the smallest one weighing 2 pounds.
“I found those fish earlier in the week when they were on beds,” Hunt said. “I went back in there on Thursday and picked up the Spook and started throwing it. The first fish I caught in there was a 6½-pounder, and then I caught a 5-pounder, and I said, ‘OK I’ve got to get out of here.’
“Saturday, we got there at 8 o’clock and stayed until 2 o’clock,” Hunt said. “When they hit the Spook it was explosive. And when they hit it, they were pulling drag right out of the gate.”
The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Ronnie Buck had largemouth that weighed 7-pounds even that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $850.
Adam Giran of Wesley Chapel, Florida, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,775 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 20 pounds even.
The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
Jake Suvak caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $425.
After four events, Mark Lundgren of Saint Cloud, Florida, leads the Bass Fishing League Gator Division Presented by Revital Outdoors Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 898 points, while David DiMauro of Miramar, Florida, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 955 points.
The Top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 6-8 Phoenix 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 2022 All-American will be held June 2-4 at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.
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.