GROVE, Okla. – Boater Phillip Lunceford of Stigler, Oklahoma, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 39 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine Regional Event on Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma. For his victory, Lunceford earned $61,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000. Lunceford also received automatic entry into the 2023 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, May 31 through June 2, at Lake Hartwell in Seneca, South Carolina.
“In September, Grand Lake goes through what I call the ‘fall blues,’” Lunceford said. “It’s a transition period. In practice I ran seven or eight spots I had fished in September, and I caught a limit pretty quick. I tried to expand on that, but a cold front came in and changed it.”
Lunceford said that October is traditionally a good time for a topwater bite, but he couldn’t get bass to react during the tournament. Instead he focused on what worked for him in practice, and in the first 10 minutes of the opening day of the tournament he had two fish for 8 pounds in the livewell. The same tactics worked on the second day, then the weather changed.
“The wind blew on the last day, and I knew I probably couldn’t fish the areas I had been fishing, but I had to go look at them,” Lunceford said. “I couldn’t run in that wind, so I turned around and fished some stuff in practice from Sailboat Bridge up to near Neosho. Once I ran those spots, I just started fishing history.
“I’m 41 years old, and I’ve been going to Grand Lake since I was 15,” Lunceford said. “The win felt great because it was 20-something years of redemption of letting multi-day tournament wins slip through my fingers.”
The top six boaters that qualified for the 2023 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American were:
Rounding out the top 10 boaters were:
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
The top four boaters from each division that earned a $1,000 bonus for placing highest in the event were:
Lippe took home an extra $500 as the highest finishing Phoenix MLF Bonus member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
Cody Carl of Lake Lotawana, Missouri, weighed in 12 bass over three days totaling 25 pounds, 10 ounces to win the top Strike King co-angler prize package of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.
The top six Strike King co-anglers that qualified for the 2023 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American were:
Rounding out the top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
The top four Strike King Co-anglers from each division that earned a $500 bonus for placing highest in the event were:
The Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine Regional Tournament on Grand Lake was hosted by the City of Grove. It featured the top pros and Strike King co-anglers from the Arkie, Cowboy, Great Lakes and Ozark divisions.
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, advanced 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 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Invitationals and ultimately the 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.