HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Boater Jeff Copley of Marengo, Ohio, caught five bass Saturday weighing 26 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Lake St. Clair. The tournament was the second event for the Bass Fishing League Michigan Division. Copley earned $8,407, including a $2,500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus, for his victory.
“We pulled up on some areas where I thought I had them pretty planned out, but I struggled for a while,” Copley said. “I ended up locating a school I had found Friday and spent the rest of the day making drifts and alternating between a swimbait and a drop-shot.”
Copley said he was fishing 13 to 16 feet deep and targeting isolated grass clumps in the Anchor Bay area. Copley said he caught an estimated 20 fish during the course of the day, all of which were keepers.
“I don’t typically weigh fish,” Copley said. “If they’re over four pounds, they go in the livewell, and if they’re under four pounds they get a cull tag. At one point I had culled everything that had a cull tag, and then I caught a 6-pounder. At that point I knew I had significantly more than 21 pounds.
“I’ve learned from some of the best out there by fishing as a co-angler,” Copley said. “To be able to go out there and put it together myself was pretty amazing.”
The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Copley also caught the heaviest bass of the tournament – 6 pounds, 3 ounces, to earn the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $735.
Benjamin Mott of North Royalton, Ohio, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,736 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 22 pounds even.
The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
Matt Knox of Metamora, Illinois, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 14 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $367.
After two events, Kyle Greene of Ortonville, Michigan, leads the Bass Fishing League Michigan Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 498 points, while Greg Elswick of Goshen, Indiana, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 490 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. 13-15 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin. 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 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.