HENDERSON, N.C. – Boater David Williams of Newton, North Carolina, caught five bass Sunday weighing 18 pounds, 2 ounces, to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine event on Kerr Lake. The Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament, hosted by the Vance County Tourism Development Authority, had been rescheduled from March 12 because of severe storms and inclement weather. Williams earned $3,756 for his victory.
“I started off just covering a lot of water with an Evergreen Shower Blows Topwater bait,” Williams said. “I had been getting a couple of fish like that each morning, and if they blew up on it and I didn’t catch them, usually I could go back later and catch them. I think a lot of them were bedding and I was getting a reaction bite.”
Williams said he focused his efforts in the Nutbush Bridge area of Kerr, and added if wind was present he could catch fish on a spinnerbait around rocks on points where shad or blueback herring were spawning. Later in the day, he shifted tactics to swimming a jig or a jig fished on the bottom around wood or docks. Williams said his jig setup consisted of a ½-ounce Queen Tackle Jig with a Zoom Z Craw Jr. trailer. Williams said 12 to 15 of the 20 bass he caught during competition were keepers.
Williams finished third in Saturday’s BFL tournament on Kerr Lake and thought it would take 18 pounds to be in the running for a win Sunday. Williams edged that number and said the successful weekend held special meaning for him.
“I lost my mom last week and actually came up the day after I lost her and started fishing,” Williams said. “I dedicate this win to her. She was always my biggest fan.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: David Williams, Newton, NC., five bass, 18-2, $3,756
2nd: Kevin Walton, Norfolk, Va., five bass, 17-0, $1,878
3rd: Dennis Middleton, Madison Heights, Va., five bass, 15-11, $1,253
4th: Aaron Falwell, Forest, Va., five bass, 15-1, $876
5th: Kevin Chandler, New London, N.C., five bass, 14-12, $751
6th: Shawn Hammack, Gasburg, Va., five bass, 14-11, $1,679 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
7th: Keith Roberts, Hurt, Va., five bass, 14-10, $1,026
8th: Ben Dalton, Keeling, Va., five bass, 14-5, $563
9th: Jeremy Talbert, Albemarle, N.C., five bass, 14-3, $501
10th: Michael Maull, Fayetteville, N.C., five bass, 13-14, $438
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Hammack had a largemouth that weighed 5 pounds, 13 ounces that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $490.
Kenneth Brown of Leesburg, Virginia, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,101 Sunday after catching five bass weighing 14 pounds, 13 ounces.
The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
1st: Kenneth Brown, Leesburg, Va., five bass, 14-13, $2,101
2nd: Arthur Harris, York, S.C., five bass, 12-14, $929
3rd: David Deciucis, Chester, Va., five bass, 11-15, $619
4th: Nathan Reeves, Lynchburg, Va., four bass, 11-10, $534
5th: Greg Ravitsky, Palmyra, Va., five bass, 10-14, $372
6th: Anthony Pulley, Chester, Va., five bass, 10-12, $341
7th: Darrell Medley, Chesapeake, Va., four bass, 10-7, $310
8th: Scott McKay, New London, N.C., four bass, 10-4, $279
9th: Pat Kendrick, Bumpass, Va., four bass, 9-5, $448
10th: James Williams, Sims, N.C., three bass, 9-4, $217
Brown caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 8 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $242.
After three events, Eric Johnson of Partlow, Virginia, leads the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 703 points, while Nathan Reeves of Lynchburg, Virginia, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 742 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. 6-8 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lake Murray in Prosperity, South Carolina. 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.