GADSDEN, Ala. – It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Gadsden with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Neely Henry 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.
Boaters Jason Nixon of Wetumpka, Alabama, and Byron Smith of Tyrone, Georgia, both brought a five-bass limit to the scale totaling 13 pounds, 10 ounces to tie for the win at Saturday’s event, while Hunter Hayes of Gadsden, Alabama, brought in a limit weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces on Sunday to earn the win. Nixon and Smith each earned $2,937 for their wins Saturday, while Hayes won Sunday’s top prize of $4,545.
Smith fished shallow, flipping to wood and isolated grass clumps in the mid-lake area, while Nixon used nine different rods and junk-fished his way to a solid limit. Nixon said his key bait was flipping a watermelon red flake-colored Zoom Brush Hog.
“It was a tough practice, so I just kept a bait in the water,” Nixon said. “I culled one time and caught two short fish – only eight bites all day.”
The top five boaters on Saturday were:
1st: Jason Nixon of Wetumpka, Ala., five bass, 13-10, $3,457
1st: Byron Smith of Tyrone, Ga., five bass, 13-10, $2,937
3rd: Steven White of Ashville, Ala., five bass, 13-4, $1,807
4th: Jordan Heath of Rainbow City, Ala., five bass, 13-2, $914
5th: Geoff McKnight of Rainbow City, Ala., five bass, 12-2, $983
Complete results for Saturday can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Nixon brought a 5-pound, 3-ounce bass to the scale to add Saturday’s Boater Big Bass award of $520 to his winnings.
White was the highest-finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member and took home an extra $500 Saturday. 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.
Justin Thomas of Panama City, Florida, won the Co-angler Division and $1,958 Saturday after catching four bass weighing 10 pounds, 5 ounces.
The top five co-anglers Saturday finished as follows:
1st: Justin Thomas of Panama City, Fla., four bass, 10-5, $1,958
2nd: Mark Denney of Perry, Ga., five bass, 9-4, $979
3rd: Justin Nalley of Fayetteville, Ga., four bass, 9-3, $653
4th: Daniel Buswell Jr. of Fayetteville, Ga., five bass, 9-0, $457
5th: Thomas Taylor Ellington of Opelika, Ala., four bass, 8-12, $392
Chris Wade of Acworth, Georgia, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division Saturday, weighing in at 4 pounds, 12 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $260.
On Sunday, Hayes went up the river targeting laydowns and openings with a crankbait to earn his victory.
“I knew how tough the grass was yesterday, so today (Sunday) I went way up the river fishing for spotted bass,” Hayes said. “I got lucky and caught a nice 4-pound largemouth and ended up filling out my limit with 2¼-pound spots.
“I caught my fish on a (Rapala) DT6 crankbait in chartreuse with a blue top,” Hayes continued. “There was no pressure up the river – I might have seen five other boats all day.”
The top five boaters on Sunday were:
1st: Hunter Hayes of Gadsden, Ala., five bass, 14-12, $4,545
2nd: Geoff McKnight of Rainbow City, Ala., five bass, 13-5, $1,973
3rd: Kris Colley of Ragland, Ala., five bass, 12-8, $1,181
4th: Jason Nixon of Wetumpka, Ala., five bass, 12-3, $827
5th: George Crain of Cropwell, Ala., five bass, 11-15, $1,154
Complete results for Sunday’s event on Neely Henry Lake can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Crain brought a 5-pound, 1-ounce bass to the scale to win Sunday’s Boater Big Bass award of $445.
Jeff Kitchens of Auburn, Alabama, was Sunday’s highest-finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member and took home an extra $500.
Danny Moss of Glencoe, Alabama, won the Co-angler Division and $1,773 Sunday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 9 pounds, 15 ounces.
The top five co-anglers Sunday finished as follows:
1st: Danny Moss of Glencoe, Ala., five bass, 9-15, $1,773
2nd: Dennis Sandoval of Decatur, Ala., five bass, 9-13, $886
3rd: Andrew Fisher of Anniston, Ala., five bass, 9-1, $591
4th: Scott Carpenter of Childersburg, Ala., five bass, 8-4, $414
5th: Rod Smith of Pell City, Ala., five bass, 8-1, $355
Brad Sampson of Carriere, Mississippi, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, weighing in at 5 pounds, 7 ounces. The catch earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $222.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Double-Header on Neely Henry Lake was hosted by the City of Gadsden. It was the second and third of five qualifying events in the Bama Division.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the Bama Division based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 8-10 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, Tennessee, hosted by the Rhea Economic and Tourism Council. 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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