KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Boater Clay Batson of Bradenton, Florida, brought a huge five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 34 pounds, 8 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Florida. For his victory, Batson earned a total of $4,740.
The tournament was the third of five events in the Gator Division presented by A.R.E. Truck Caps.
“I was fishing on the north end of Lake Toho,” said Batson, who earned his first career victory in FLW competition. “Targeting hyacinth mats mixed in with pads, flipping a black and blue-colored Missile Baits D-Bomb with a 1¼-ounce weight.
“The key to my victory was that the mats and pads had to be adjacent to open lanes,” Batson continued. “The fish were using those access lanes as highways. All my fish were females that were staging for the spawn. The heavy cover had to be up next to an access lane.”
The Florida angler said that a positive attitude kept his mind in check and was a big factor in his win.
“It’s been a very tough year, but I just kept practicing and grinding and knew that one day, my luck would change. Today, it all came together,” Batson went on to say. “I didn’t lose any fish fishing that thick cover – that is rare. I got them all in the boat and it was a blessed day. I’ve been doing this a long time and always waned to get one of these wins. It feels awesome.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament as follows:
1st: Clay Batson of Bradenton, Fla., five bass, 34-8, $4,740
2nd: Marlon Crowder of Tampa, Fla., five bass, 24-15, $2,000
3rd: Thomas Clark of Wildwood, Fla., five bass, 20-14, $1,334
4th: Trevor Brown of Deltona, Fla., five bass, 18-11, $933
5th: Arthur Jackson of Kissimmee, Fla., five bass, 16-11, $800
6th: Blaine Partee of Oviedo, Fla., five bass, 15-2, $833
7th: Dan Blanchard of Kissimmee, Fla., five bass, 15-1, $667
8th: Anthony Ford of New Smyrna, Fla., five bass, 14-11, $600
9th: Robert Crosnoe of Inverness, Fla., five bass, 13-15, $533
10th: Kyle Gelles of Pingree, Idaho, five bass, 13-8, $467
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Batson’s big 11-pound, 6-ounce kicker also won the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $540.
Eddie Carper of Valliant, Oklahoma, took home an extra $500 as the highest finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
Sean Hall of North Augusta, South Carolina, won the Co-angler Division and $2,000 Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 6 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers finished as follows:
1st: Sean Hall of North Augusta, S.C., five bass, 14-6, $2,000
2nd: Alan Clayton of Live Oak, Fla., five bass, 13-13, $1,000
3rd: Mike Tucker of Yalaha, Fla., five bass, 13-0, $666
4th: Steve Proctor of Minneola, Fla., four bass, 11-6, $467
5th: Dale Tomlinson of Lake Worth, Fla., four bass, 10-15, $550
6th: Wesley Hall of Glen St. Mary, Fla., five bass, 10-10, $367
7th: Charles Owens of Rockledge, Fla., five bass, 9-12, $333
8th: Aymon Wilcox of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., five bass, 9-11, $300
9th: Jason Suvak of Lauderhill, Fla., five bass, 9-10, $267
10th: Steve Smith of Jacksonville, Fla., four bass, 9-9, $233
Ryan Meyer of Orlando, Florida caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 8 pounds, 2 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $270.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Toho was hosted by Experience Kissimmee.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the Gator Division presented by A.R.E. based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 22-24 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia, hosted by the Gainesville Convention & Visitors Bureau. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new 18-foot Phoenix bass boat with a 200-horsepower outboard.
The 2020 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 co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six 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 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American will be held April 30 through May 2 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina and is hosted by Visit Anderson. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division earn priority entry into the FLW Series, the pathway to the FLW Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour, where top pros compete with no entry fees.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, FLW and its partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe.
FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show while Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. Acquired by Major League Fishing in late 2019, FLW is expanding its programming in 2020 to the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel as well as on-demand at MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).
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