Troy's Hulsey edges field for win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Table Rock Lake - Major League Fishing
Troy’s Hulsey edges field for win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Table Rock Lake
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Troy’s Hulsey edges field for win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Table Rock Lake

Kansas’ Bechard tops Strike King co-angler Division
Image for Troy’s Hulsey edges field for win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Table Rock Lake
Boater Bryan Hulsey of Troy, Missouri, and Strike-King co-angler Ryan Bechard of Hays, Kansas.
May 9, 2023 • MLF • Phoenix Bass Fishing League

KIMBERLING CITY, Mo. – Boater Bryan Hulsey of Troy, Missouri, caught a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 13 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Table Rock Lake. The tournament was the fourth event of the season for the BFL Ozark Division. Hulsey earned $4,720 for his victory.

“My morning started off really slow,” said Hulsey. “I had a 4½-pounder in the first 20 minutes, but I couldn’t get a bite in my primary area, so I kind of just bounced around looking for bites.”

Hulsey said he searched for bites with a Crock-O-Gator Swamp Bug where bluffs transitioned to pea gravel in 3 to 7 feet of water, but only had only two keepers by noon. He then returned to his primary area to find more bites.

“It was like somebody had just flipped a switch,” Hulsey said. “Not only did I catch them, but my co-angler (winner Ryan Bechard) caught them, too.

“I was pretty nervous at noon,” Hulsey added. “I know from past experience that you just keep your head down and give it 100 percent. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.”

Hulsey said he wasn’t confident in his weight, even after taking the lead, and was waiting for another angler to weigh a 20- to 21-pound sack. The big bag never came.

“This win is pretty special,” Hulsey said. “To come away with the win and qualify for the Regional … what a surprise. It’s one of those things you just don’t expect to happen.”

The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

  • 1st:        Bryan Hulsey, Troy, Mo., five bass, 17-13, $4,720
  • 2nd:       Anthony Johnson, Excelsior Springs, Mo., five bass, 17-2, $3,055
  • 3rd:       Quenten Reed, Osage Beach, Mo., five bass, 16-7, $1,574
  • 4th:        Brock Bolden, Rogers, Ark., five bass, 16-1, $1,601 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
  • 5th:        Tyler Stuart, Fenton, Mo., five bass, 15-10, $944
  • 6th:        Eric Olliverson, Lampe, Mo., five bass, 15-9, $865
  • 7th:        Wesley Rogers, Thayer, Mo., five bass, 15-2, $747
  • 7th:        Aaron Stanphill, Bella Vista, Ark., five bass, 15-2, $747
  • 9th:        Dustin Lippe, Blue Eye, Mo., five bass, 14-13, $1,099
  • 10th:     Bobby Shockley, Springfield, Mo., five bass, 14-12, $551

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Anthony Johnson of Excelsior Springs, Missouri, caught a bass that weighed 5 pounds, 11 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $695.

Ryan Bechard of Hays, Kansas, won the Strike King co-angler division and a total of $3,307 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 16 pounds even.

The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

  • 1st:        Ryan Bechard, Hays, Kan., five bass, 16-0, $3,307
  • 2nd:       Eric Wright, Bella Vista, Ark., five bass, 14-1, $1,180
  • 3rd:       Corey Henderson, Fenton, Mo., five bass, 13-13, $787
  • 4th:        Travis McKee, Fayetteville, Ark., five bass, 13-1, $551
  • 5th:        Sam Box, Rogers, Ark., five bass, 11-13, $472
  • 6th:        Charles Coleman, Reeds Spring, Mo., five bass, 11-11, $433
  • 7th:        Tom Alsop, Overland Park, Kan., five bass, 11-10, $354
  • 7th:        D.J. Pugh, Overland Park, Kan, five bass, 11-10, $354
  • 7th:        Kirk Short, St. Clair, Mo., five bass, 11-10, $354
  • 10th:     Michael Shinstine, Springdale, Ark., five bass, 10-15, $275

Bechard also earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $347, catching a bass that weighed in at 4 pounds, 10 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After four events, Justin Luetkemeyer of Lake Ozark, Missouri, leads the BFL Ozark Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 914 points, while Ryan Bechard of Hays, Kansas, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 924 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. 5-7 BFL Regional tournament on Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Oklahoma. 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 FacebookInstagram, and YouTube.

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