Ontario's Miller Claims Victory at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on St. Lawrence River - Major League Fishing
Ontario’s Miller Claims Victory at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on St. Lawrence River
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Ontario’s Miller Claims Victory at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on St. Lawrence River

Image for Ontario’s Miller Claims Victory at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on St. Lawrence River
Tennessee’s Steele Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division
July 11, 2022 • MLF • Phoenix Bass Fishing League

MASSENA, N.Y. – Boater Gary Miller of Stouffville, Ontario, caught five bass Saturday weighing 28 pounds, 14 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on the St. Lawrence River. The tournament, hosted by the Town of Massena, was the third event for the Bass Fishing League Northeast Division. Miller earned $3,990 for his victory.

“We made a pretty long, 65- to 70-mile run, down to Lake Ontario to some spots I had picked out during pre-fishing,” Miller said. “Every spot I stopped at worked out, and I got a big fish on each one. And that really made up the bag that I weighed in.”

Miller said clear and sunny weather helped him succeed in the tournament. Miller said he relied on a hair jig and a Ned rig to land his six fish of the day, all of which were keepers.

“I was targeting big fish only, so pretty early on I knew I had a pretty good bag,” Miller said. “Most of my fish were over five pounds, so I knew it was a pretty good bag for this time of year.

“Any time you have a day like that you have to be pretty happy about it,” Miller added. “It doesn’t always go that way.”

Miller’s win was also the first Major League Fishing event he had fished, and said it was nice to have the effort he put into preparing for the tournament pay off.

“The event was very organized and easy to fish,” Miller said. “It was a pleasure to fish with MLF and made the win even better.”

The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

  • 1st: Gary Miller, Stouffville, Ontario, five bass, 28-14, $3,990
  • 2nd: Jesse Spellicy, Gouverneur, N.Y., five bass, 24-13, $2,273 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
  • 3rd: Matt Dobson, Millbrook, Ontario, five bass, 23-3, $1,181
  • 4th: Alec Morrison, Peru, N.Y., five bass, 22-5, $827
  • 5th: James Ciferni, Hammond, N.Y., five bass, 22-0, $909
  • 6th: Jack Dice, Lynchburg, Va., five bass, 21-7, $620
  • 6th: Brian Campbell, Uniontown, Pa., five bass, 21-7, $620
  • 8th: Brad Paradis, Ogdensburg, N.Y., five bass, 20-15, $532
  • 9th: Rick Harris, Kingsland, Texas, five bass, 20-4, $473
  • 10th: Ronald Penders Jr., Webster, N.Y., five bass, 20-2, $414

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Miller also caught the heaviest bass of the tournament – 6 pounds, 6 ounces, to earn the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $445.

Toby Steele of Ten Mile, Tennessee, won the Strike King co-angler Division and $1,973 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 21 pounds, 15 ounces.

The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:

  • 1st: Toby Steele, Ten Mile, Tenn., five bass, 21-15, $1,973
  • 2nd: Frank Garcia, Cranford, N.J., five bass, 17-11, $886
  • 3rd: Daniel Miguel, Ajax, Ontario, five bass, 16-4, $591
  • 4th: Bradley Petrie, Johnstown, N.Y., five bass, 16-1, $414
  • 5th: Jeff Turner, Plainfield, Ill., five bass, 15-14, $355
  • 6th: Tyler Anderson, York, S.C., five bass, 15-9, $325
  • 7th: Michael Fox, East Greenville, Pa., five bass, 15-7, $295
  • 8th: Robert Hockley, Annville, Pa., five bass, 15-0, $366
  • 9th: Justin Thompson, Stafford, Va., five bass, 14-11, $236
  • 10th: Lazarus Durham, Dumfries, Va., five bass, 14-9, $357

Michael Bahnweg of Union Dale, Pennsylvania, caught the largest bass in the co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 8 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $222.

After three events, Ernie Freeman of Broad Run, Virginia, leads the Bass Fishing League Northeast Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 714 points, while Richard Jensen of Virginia Beach, Virginia, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 706 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 the James River in Richmond, Virginia. 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.