TRENTON, Mich. – Boater Mike Trombly of Belleville, Michigan, caught a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 3 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on the Detroit River. The tournament was the third event of the season for the BFL Michigan Division. Trombly earned $3,963 for his victory.
“We had heavy winds throughout the day, and I made a long run in heavy waves to get where I needed to fish,” said Trombly, who notched his 10th career win, including eight BFL victories and two Toyota Series titles. “I caught a big fish right off the bat on a drop-shot. I fished around in that area in big waves and was able to finish off my limit with some 2-pounders.”
Trombly said he slowly began making his way toward the weigh-in site, stopping to hit points along the way. Around noon, he stopped at a spot that held a good number of bigger fish in 30 to 32 feet of water and finished off his final weigh bag.
“The last stop I made that had the big fish on it I told my co-angler, “I think I’m starting to become relevant in this tournament,’” Trombly said with a laugh. “I could tell just because of the quality I was catching. I knew there was a chance.”
Trombly said he used a (Berkley PowerBait MaxScent) Flat Worm with the drop-shot rig to catch his smallmouth, rigged on a 1/0 hook with a ½-ounce weight. The setup produced 12 bass for Trombly – all except one were keepers. He said he focused on the north shore, some areas of the river, and open water on Lake Erie.
“It’s awesome to win,” Trombly said. “It never gets old. It’s a blessing to be able to win in this division. We’ve got some tremendous smallmouth fishermen in this division.”
The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament:
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Kyle Malone of Troy, Ohio, caught a bass that weighed 5 pounds, 13 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $535.
Billy Crider, Jr., of Kettering, Ohio, won the Strike King co-angler division and a total of $1,981 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 19 pounds, 1 ounce.
The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:
Christopher Majerle of Trenton, Michigan, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $267, catching a bass that weighed in at 6 pounds, 3 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.
After three events, Mike Trombly of Belleville, Michigan, leads the BFL Michigan Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 744 points, while Hunter Ingle of Fort Wayne, Indiana, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 711 points.
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. 12-14 BFL Regional tournament on Dale Hollow Lake in Byrdstown, Tennessee. 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.
Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 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, Mystik Lubricants, 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.