KIMBERLING CITY, Mo. – Boater Cole McFarland of Lake Ozark, Missouri, caught five bass Saturday weighing 16 pounds, 6 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Table Rock Lake. The tournament was the third event for the Bass Fishing League Ozark Division. McFarland earned $8,000 for his victory.
“We had a pretty nasty fog delay, and I was the last boat out,” McFarland said. “I started out flipping bushes, and it didn’t pan out. I practiced last Sunday and had them located pretty good up shallow, but the lake was up 10 feet higher (during the tournament).”
McFarland said he switched his approach to looking for smallmouth by fishing a flat and caught a couple of bass, then targeted docks with a 5/16-ounce Crock-O-Gator shaky-head rig. He said he stayed close to the Kimberling City area for the duration of the tournament.
“The shaky-head rig was the bulk of it, honestly,” McFarland said. “I caught my largest and one of my better ones that way, then caught a 3-pounder flipping a bush later in the day. Then, with about 10 minutes to go before weigh-in, I culled out my smallest smallmouth with a 2½-pounder dragging the shaky head on a point.”
McFarland said he culled twice during the day and his weigh bag consisted of four largemouth and one big smallmouth.
“This is just surreal,” McFarland said. “This feeling hasn’t worn off yet. It’s just awesome to win such a well-put-together event.”
The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
McFarland had a largemouth that weighed 4 pounds, 14 ounces that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $1,000.
Brian Huber of Saint Peters, Missouri, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $3,000 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 12 pounds, 14 ounces.
The Top 10 Strike King Co-anglers were:
Hunter Hansen of Overland Park, Kansas, caught the largest bass in the co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 6 pounds, 13 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $500.
After three events, Tyler Casey of Harrison, Arkansas, leads the Bass Fishing League Ozark Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 717 points, while Drew Boehle of Saint Charles, Missouri, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 715 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. 20-22 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma. 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..