MONTICELLO, Ky. – Boater Jake Morris of McKee, Kentucky, caught a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 15 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Cumberland. The tournament was the third event of the season for the BFL Mountain Division. Morris earned $5,122 for his victory.
“Man, it was slow for me,” Morris said. “I never caught a keeper until I got my first one between 11 o’clock and noon. And after that, it wasn’t much better. I caught five keepers. That’s it.”
Morris said he targeted bass in 2 to 3 feet of water, pitching and flipping trees and bushes with a Zoom Brush Hog as well as a Zoom Z Craw. Morris said his fourth fish, a 6-pound 5-ounce bass that took the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award, changed his tournament.
“That helped out tremendously,” Morris said. “That’s what won it for me. If you don’t catch a big one you get stuck in that 12- to 13-pound traffic jam.
“It feels great to win this on my home lake,” Morris added. “I’ve been fishing these things for 20 years now, and it is definitely not easy to win a BFL.”
The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament:
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Morris’ 6-pound, 5-ounce bass earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $650.
Mike Casada of Stearns, Kentucky, won the Strike King co-angler division and $2,179 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 10 pounds, 3 ounces.
The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:
Timothy Ernst of Winchester, Kentucky, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $312, catching a bass that weighed in at 3 pounds, 13 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.
After three events, Christian Nash of Allons, Tennessee, leads the BFL Mountain Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 714 points, while Allen Neal of Whitley City, Kentucky, 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 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-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: 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, Mystik Lubricants, 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.