SHELBYVILLE, Ill. – Boater Robert Davis of Bethalto, Illinois, caught four bass Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Shelbyville. The tournament was the season-opener for the Bass Fishing League Illini Division. Davis earned $4,825 for his victory.
“This tournament was a hot grind,” Davis said. “My original plan did not pan out, so I went with Plan B that I had found the week before – fishing spawning and postspawn fish, and that paid off.
“I was going back and forth between shallow and deep fish,” Davis said. “I was slow-rolling a spinnerbait near the bottom. Everything I was getting was just subtle bites; they weren’t hitting very hard at all. It was just a reaction bite. I could get them fired up for about 10 minutes and then go two hours without another bite, then get them fired back up for about 10 minutes. It was tedious.”
Davis said he fished three different areas up-river on Lake Shelbyville, and his slow-rolling technique focused on water about 20 feet deep and produced four keepers in the livewell. Davis said he lost four other keepers during the tournament.
“I feel humbled and blessed to win this,” Davis said. “I’ve been fishing the BFL events for four years now with only one Top-10 finish. To win on a lake I’m not too familiar with is great. Everything just lined up right for me.”
The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Davis had a largemouth that weighed 6 pounds even that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $590.
Jay Fields of Breese, Illinois, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,082 Saturday after catching four bass weighing 8 pounds, 7 ounces.
The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
Westley Smith of Bridgeport, Illinois, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 4 pounds, 1 ounce. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $290.
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 the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin. 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.