MONTICELLO, Ky. – Boater Jason Akemon of McKee, Kentucky, caught five bass Saturday weighing 16 pounds, 6 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Cumberland. The tournament was the third event for the Bass Fishing League Mountain Division. Akemon earned $5,550 for his victory.
“I went looking for post-spawn largemouth that might be up feeding on shad, but I didn’t find any,” Akemon said. “What I did find was fish on the inside edge of the short pockets on the main lake. If there was mud with big chunk rock, there were smallmouth there. They were stacked up in 10 to 15 feet just sitting there.”
Akemon said he targeted the smallmouth with a Keitech 3.3-inch Swing Impact FAT Swimbait with a ¼-ounce head. He noted they bit well until the sun came out, then shied away. Akemon said he then shifted to a Carolina rig with a Zoom Super Speed Craw to catch his bass. He said he caught 15 fish during the course of the tournament, 10 of which were keepers.
“I had a limit by 10 o’clock and then just started upgrading,” Akemon said. “I won the BFL event on Lake Cumberland in 2018 by sight fishing, which is my strength. But I wanted to win it again.
“A lot of the places I caught fish were places I had been night fishing with my mentor years ago when he was teaching me to fish,” Akemon added. “So this win was pretty sentimental to me.”
The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Akemon had a fish that weighed 3 pounds, 15 ounces that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $720.
Caleb Chambers of Elizabethton, Tennessee, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,515 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 13 pounds, 10 ounces.
The Top 10 Strike King Co-anglers were:
Barry King of Liberty, Kentucky, caught the largest bass in the Co-Angler Division, a fish weighing in at 4 pounds, 8 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $360.
After three events, Tristan Abbott of Somerset, Kentucky, leads the Bass Fishing League Mountain Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 725 points, while Todd Stopher of London, Kentucky, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 710 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 Smith Lake in Cullman, Alabama. 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.