HENDERSON, N.C. – Boater Bryson Peed of Clarksville, Virginia, caught a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 14 ounces, Saturday to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Kerr Lake. The tournament, hosted by the Vance County Tourism Development Authority, was the first event of 2023 for the BFL Shenandoah Division. Peed earned $5,665 for his victory.
Water temperatures on Kerr had been in the 60s in days prior to the tournament, but a cold front moved through the area and pushed water temps back into the 50s. Peed said he drew on his knowledge of Kerr to help him locate fish during the tougher tournament conditions.
“We started out near Nutbush (Creek), but didn’t get bit, so I moved up the lake and started getting bites pretty quickly,” said Peed. “So, we just settled in and fished a little key area of the lake the rest of the day.”
Peed said he was targeting isolated rock piles with stumps nearby in two to six feet of water, casting crankbaits and jigs to entice bites. His methods produced 10 fish – all keepers – during the course of the day.
“This is a tough group of guys to fish against and a hard lake to win on,” Peed said. “It’s taken 20 to 21 pounds to win lately, and I figured it would take at least 20 pounds to win this. I couldn’t cull my last 2½-pounder, and I didn’t think I had enough to win, so this feels really good.”
The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament:
1st: Bryson Peed, Clarksville, Va., five bass, 17-14, $5,665
2nd: Rodney Sorrell, Stokesdale, N.C., five bass, 14-9, $2,458
3rd: Tony Black, Broad Run, Va., five bass, 14-5, $1,640
4th: Lee Cox, Frederick, Md., five bass, 13-11, $1,147
5th: Bryan Welch, Greensboro, N.C., five bass, 13-2, $1,483 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
6th: Ron Rousseau, Raleigh, N.C., five bass, 13-1, $860
6th: Dustin Riddle, Hiwassee, Va., five bass, 13-1, $860
8th: Ryan Harrell, Roanoke Rapids, N.C., five bass, 12-8, $737
9th: Christopher Grenier, Clarksburg, W.V., five bass, 12-6, $614
9th: Zachary Stoupa, Prince George, Va., five bass, 12-6, $614
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Peed also caught a bass that weighed 5 pounds, 9 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $750.
Thomas Driscoll of Annandale, Virginia, won the Strike King co-angler division and a total of $2,458 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 12 pounds, 14 ounces.
The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:
1st: Thomas Driscoll, Annandale, Va., five bass, 12-14, $2,458
2nd: David Deciucis, Chester, Va., five bass, 11-11, $1,229
3rd: Steve Kiser, Tarboro, N.C., four bass, 10-5, $817
4th: John Robinson, Montpelier, Va., three bass, 9-12, $573
5th: Tim Privette Jr., Wendell, N.C., five bass, 9-1, $692
6th: Jeff McBeth, New Philadelphia, Ohio, four bass, 8-5, $451
7th: Curtis Vick, Boydton, Va., four bass, 7-12, $760
8th: Roland Gittings, Perryville, Md., two bass, 7-7, $369
9th: Joshua McGeary, Mount Pleasant, Pa., three bass, 7-6, $328
10th: Sean Lane, Culpeper, Va., three bass, 7-3, $287
Steve Cannon of Wilkesboro, North Carolina, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $375, catching a bass that weighed in at 5 pounds, 5 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.
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 through 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: 4WP, 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, 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.