EUFAULA, Okla. – It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Eufaula with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Eufaula Lake events. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organization to pause competition in mid-March.
Boater Heath Eldridge of McAlester, Oklahoma, brought five bass to the scale totaling 18 pounds, 1 ounce to win Saturday’s event, while boater Hayden Burkett of Bokchito, Oklahoma, brought in three bass weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces, on Sunday to earn the win. Eldridge earned a total of $5,380 for his victory and Burkett won Sunday’s top prize of $5,779.
“I had boat issues, so I only was able to run 3 or 4 miles from takeoff,” said Eldridge, who earned his first BFL victory as a boater. “There was no wind, but there was a lot of boat traffic, so I found some current near some rip rap on bridges and that turned out to be the key area.”
Eldridge said the majority of his bass came on a shaky-head rig with a junebug-colored GrandeBass Airtail worm, but he also added a solid keeper on a shad-colored Bomber crankbait.
The top five boaters on Saturday were:
1st: Heath Eldridge of McAlester, Okla., five bass, 18-1, $5,380
2nd: Brandon Mosley of Choctaw, Okla., five bass, 16-13, $2,690
3rd: Jeremy Whitson of Denison, Texas, five bass, 16-7, $1,794
4th: Nick Kincaid of Coweta, Okla., five bass, 15-5, $1,255
5th: Mark Johnson of Weleetka, Okla., five bass, 15-1, $1,031
5th: Samuel Byrd of Tahlequah, Okla., five bass, 15-1, $1,031
Complete results for Saturday can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Cory Carter of Muskogee, Oklahoma, brought a 5-pound, 11-ounce bass to the scale to win Saturday’s Boater Big Bass award of $855.
Justin Lillie of Edmond, Oklahoma, was the highest-finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member and took home an extra $500. 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.
Chad Schmidt of Clearwater, Kansas, won the Co-angler Division and $2,690 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 13 pounds, 15 ounces.
The top five co-anglers Saturday finished as follows:
1st: Chad Schmidt of Clearwater, Kan., five bass, 13-15, $2,690
2nd: Billy Johnson of McAlester, Okla., five bass, 12-11, $1,345
3rd: Randy Staton of Muskogee, Okla., five bass, 12-10, $899
4th: Eli Brumnett of Wagoner, Okla., five bass, 12-9, $628
5th: Bill Black of McAlester, Okla., five bass, 12-3, $538
Danny Kindle of Stilwell, Oklahoma, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division Saturday, weighing in at 4 pounds, 8 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $427.
Due to the extreme heat on Sunday, Tournament Director Robert Evans made the decision to change the format to a three-fish limit – instead of the normal five – and opened the scales at noon for anyone that wanted to weigh their fish early.
Hayden Burkett took advantage of Evans change, bringing in three bass – including the day’s big bass – right at noon and earning the win.
“I was mainly cranking them a little bit, but I also had a little dock pattern going,” said Burkett. “Everywhere I went today, I was catching them. I caught a big one out deep, and I caught a big one fishing docks.”
Burkett mentioned his crankbait of choice was a Sexy Shad-colored Strike King Series 6, but did not divulge the baits that he used on the docks.
The top five boaters on Sunday were:
1st: Hayden Burkett of Bokchito, Okla., three bass, 15-8, $5,779
2nd: Jeremy Whitson of Denison, Texas, three bass, 15-4, $2,507
3rd: James Marsh of Thomas, Okla., three bass, 12-1, $1,670
4th: Lance Williams of Billings, Mo., three bass, 11-1, $1,170
5th: Dane Coale of Norman, Okla., three bass, 10-13, $1,003
Complete results for Sunday’s event on Dale Hollow can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Burkett brought a 7-pound, 13-ounce lunker to the scale Sunday to add to his winnings and earn the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $765.
Steve Bradfield of Claremore, Oklahoma, won the Co-angler Division and $2,474 Sunday after catching three bass weighing 8 pounds, 13 ounces.
The top five co-anglers Sunday finished as follows:
1st: Steve Bradfield of Claremore, Okla., three bass, 8-13, $2,474
2nd: Dalton Ross of Centerton, Ark., three bass, 8-9, $1,237
3rd: Raymond Moody of Norman, Okla., three bass, 8-7, $824
4th: Cody Abbott of Fort Gibson, Okla., three bass, 8-2, $536
4th: Hunter Alsip of Chouteau, Okla., three bass, 8-2, $536
Michael Wood of Guthrie, Oklahoma caught Sunday’s largest bass in the Co-angler Division, weighing in at 5 pounds, 1 ounce. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $377.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Double-Header on Eufaula Lake was the first and second of five qualifying events in the Okie Division.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the Okie Division based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 22-24 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, hosted by ExploreBranson.com. 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 Nov. 11-13 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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