SMYRNA, Tenn. – Boater Kelly Readhimer of Beech Bluff, Tennessee, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce, to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Percy Priest Lake presented by Lithium Pros. The tournament was the third event of the season for the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Music City Division. Readhimer earned $4,235 for his victory.
“I practiced on Friday and caught probably 13 or 14 pounds in one school,” Readhimer said. “I threw a crankbait into it and didn’t get bit, so I spun the boat around and fired up onto the point in 8 to 10 feet of water. I caught three 3-pounders in a row. So I marked those fish.”
Readhimer said he began the tournament Saturday fishing a shad spawn and didn’t catch a bass. He said he returned to the school he found the previous day, but nothing bit the crankbait he threw. He switched to a brown ¾-ounce football mop jig and cast to the point, hopped the jig twice and landed a 4½-pound bass.
Readhimer said he focused on the Hobson Pike Bridge area and targeted a shallow flat that ran from an island to the bank and featured a lot of large rocks. He hopped the jig, caught a couple of keeper bass, and fished the spot until he filled his limit.
“All I was doing was stroking that big mop jig,” Readhimer said. “You couldn’t drag it and get bit. I was stroking it so hard with 30 minutes left in the tournament that my right arm was cramping.”
Readhimer said he had been to Percy Priest only five times and felt fortunate to get the win.
“I don’t have a lot of experience on the lake, but I knew it was fishing tough,” Readhimer said. “Basically, I had two spots and I just milked them for all it was worth. The way I found those fish was just luck.”
The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Mugleston had a largemouth that weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $590.
Brian Haworth of Cookeville, Tennessee, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,413 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces.
The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
Haworth caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 4 pounds, 8 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $295.
After three events, Jade Keeton of Florence, Alabama, leads the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Music City Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 705 points, while Grant Frazier of Manchester, Tennessee, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 732 points.
The Top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 13-15 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Pickwick Lake in Counce, Tennessee. Boaters will compete 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 fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.
The 2022 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 Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Regional Championships 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 2022 All-American will be held June 2-4 at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.
The Top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the Bass Pro Tour.
Proud sponsors of the 2022 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, AFTCO, A.R.E. Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Gary Yamamoto Baits, General Tire, Lew’s, Lowrance, Lucas Oil, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Revital Outdoors, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X, YETI and Yo-Zuri.
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.