BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – Boater Isaac Peavyhouse of Jamestown, Tennessee, caught a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 7 ounces, Saturday to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Dale Hollow Lake. The tournament, hosted by Star Point Marina & Resort, was the first event of the season for the BFL Mountain Division. Peavyhouse earned $13,943, including the lucrative $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus, for his victory.
Peavyhouse said he ran around a lot during the tournament, hitting spots from mid-lake to the dam to produce a winning weight. He said he looked for suspending fish in 30 to 50 feet of water with his Lowrance ActiveTarget Sonar Kit. A Damiki rig with½-ounce Damiki Rig Jig Heads provoked the bikes he needed.
“I started off the day with a little over 20½ pounds in the first 45 minutes,” said Peavyhouse. “That calmed me down quite a bit, and after that, I just went big fish fishing the rest of the day.”
Peavyhouse said he culled bass three or four times after his initial flurry and was throwing back good bass that just wouldn’t improve his final weight.
“I caught about 20 keepers, and I threw back another 20-pound limit,” Peavyhouse said. “I never lost a fish. It was one of those deals where it was just meant to be.
“I’m a local, and I’ve been fortunate enough to weigh a lot of 22- to 24-pound bags,” Peavyhouse added. “So, I never felt like I had it won. I knew as tough as it was this week that people would have to earn it to beat me, but I never felt like I had it won.”
The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament:
1st: Isaac Peavyhouse, Jamestown, Tenn., five bass, 23-7, $13,943 (includes $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
2nd: Lee Sinclair, Albany, Ky., five bass, 21-7, $2,722
3rd: Josh Womack, Gallatin, Tenn., five bass, 21-6, $2,679
4th: Christian Nash, Allons, Tenn., five bass, 20-1, $1,270
5th: Alex Wright, Bowling Green, Ky., five bass, 19-7, $1,089
6th: Bryce McDonald, Paintsville, Ky., five bass, 19-4, $952
6th: Cole Logsdon, Brownsville, Ky., five bass, 19-4, $952
8th: Bennie Mutter, Glasgow, Ky., five bass, 18-10, $817
9th: Brody Campbell, Oxford, Ohio, five bass, 18-9, $1,246
10th: Jarrod Conn, Burgin, Ky., five bass, 17-8, $635
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Josh Womack of Gallatin, Tennessee, caught a bass that weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $865.
John Fitzpatrick of Baxter, Tennessee, won the Strike King co-angler division and a total of $3,032 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 16 pounds, 13 ounces.
The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:
1st: John Fitzpatrick, Baxter, Tenn., five bass, 16-13, $3,032
2nd: Lukas Owens, Berea, Ky., five bass, 15-11, $1,310
3rd: Keith Bridges, Spring City, Tenn., five bass, 14-11, $877
4th: Glen Alan Ruth, Frankfort, Ky., five bass, 13-3, $611
5th: James Wheatley, Coxs Creek, Ky., five bass, 12-15, $502
5th: Jeff Sears, Byrdstown, Tenn., four bass, 12-15, $502
7th: Anthony Scott, Byrdstown, Tenn., five bass, 12-11, $437
8th: Gilbert Jolley, Livingston, Tenn., five bass, 12-0, $593
9th: Michael Weimann, Murfreesboro, Tenn., five bass, 11-2, $349
10th: Mike Bowman, Cincinnati, Ohio, four bass, 10-7, $306
Fitzpatrick also earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $412, catching a bass that weighed in at 5 pounds, 5 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.
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 Norman in Huntersville, North Carolina. 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: 4WP, 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, 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.