Galena’s Statler earns first career win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Truman Lake - Major League Fishing
Galena’s Statler earns first career win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Truman Lake
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Galena’s Statler earns first career win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Truman Lake

Oronogo’s Moss tops Strike King co-angler division
Image for Galena’s Statler earns first career win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Truman Lake
June 17, 2024 • MLF • Press Releases

WARSAW, Mo. – Boater Dillon Statler of Galena, Missouri, caught a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 6 ounces, Saturday to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Truman Lake. The tournament was the fourth event of the season for the BFL Ozark Division. Statler earned $4,119 for his victory.

Typically, Statler flips bushes when the water’s up at Truman Lake. He tried that this time around with the water up and didn’t like what he found.

“I started in a couple places that have some grass in the water and caught one on a buzzbait first thing this morning. Then I flipped for five or six hours and didn’t catch a thing,” Statler said.

“I went out to a hump just down the lake with a rock pile on it. It was 10 or 15 feet deep on top. I caught a 4 (pounder) and a 3 1/2, back to back. And then on the end of it I caught a 2 1/2.”

After the quick action offshore, Statler ran around trying to find other similar places.

“The last place I pulled up to is another rock vein I’ve caught them off before,” he said. “My first cast I caught one around 3. That was pretty much all she wrote.”

Five bites was all Statler could get throughout the day, and five bites was all he needed.

He figures he got in a bad rotation on the flipping bite, and that’s why it never panned out. Regardless, adapting to the conditions paid off.

“It happened pretty quick,” he said. “They kicked the current up this afternoon, and those places I was fishing were down around the dam. So all the current they were running was rolling right through there. They just set up on it. It happened to be the right place at the right time, really.”

Statler caught his fish on a buzzbait with a toad trailer and a 1/2-ounce Chompers football jig.

The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:          Dillon Statler, Galena, Mo., five bass, 16-6, $4,119
2nd:        Anthony Johnson, Excelsior Springs, Mo., five bass, 16-5, $2,059
3rd:        Adam Boehle, Warrenton, Mo., five bass, 15-9, $1,874 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
4th:         David Hughes, Olathe, Kan., five bass, 14-12, $961
5th:         Darin Lankford, Clinton, Mo., five bass, 14-9, $1,389
6th:         Zac Udock, Belton, Mo., five bass, 14-2, $720
6th:         Greg Nicks, Kansas City, Mo., five bass, 14-2, $845
8th:         Doug Henzlik, Overland Park, Kan., five bass, 13-14, $618
9th:         Tom Statler, Kimberling City, Mo., five bass, 13-8, $549
10th:      Ronnie Dobbs, Shell Knob, Mo., five bass, 13-6, $480

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Darin Lankford of Clinton, Missouri, caught a bass that weighed 5 pounds, 1 ounce, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $565.

Jeff Moss of Oronogo, Missouri, won the Strike King co-angler division and $2,609 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 15 pounds even.

The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished: 

1st:          Jeff Moss, Oronogo, Mo., five bass, 15-0, $2,609
2nd:        Jim Kopff, Old Monroe, Mo., five bass, 13-3, $1,030
3rd:        Alex Waisner, Greenwood, Mo., four bass, 11-7, $687
4th:         Craig Rose, Olathe, Kan., five bass, 10-15, $480
5th:         Josh Colley, O’Fallon, Mo., five bass, 10-3, $412
6th:         Kirk Short, St. Clair, Mo., five bass, 10-2, $378
7th:         Koby Murrell, Lebanon, Mo., five bass, 9-14, $343
8th:         Ben Bromley, Odessa, Mo., four bass, 9-4, $309
9th:         Peyton Keathley, Ashland, Mo., three bass, 9-0, $275
10th:      Bryce Atchison, Tonganoxie, Kan., three bass, 8-5, $240

Tyler Neis of Arnold, Missouri, and Vincent Jones of Robertsville, Missouri, tied for the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of by each catching a bass that weighed in at 4 pounds, 15 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day. They each took home $141 for their share of the prize.

After four events, Eric Olliverson of Shell Knob, Missouri, leads the Fishing Clash Ozark Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 948 points, while Kirk Short of St. Clair, Missouri, leads the Fishing Clash Ozark Division Co-Angler of the Year race with 980 points.

The next event for BFL Ozark Division anglers will be held Sept. 7-8, at Table Rock Lake in Kimberling City, Missouri. To register for the event as a boater or a co-angler, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com or call 270-252-1000.

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. 3-5 BFL Regional tournament on Pickwick Lake in Counce, Tennessee. Boaters will fish for a top award of $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Suzuki 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 or Suzuki outboard.

The 2024 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 2024 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 7Brew, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, BUBBA, E3, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, General Tire, GSM Outdoors, Lew’s, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, PowerStop Brakes, REDCON1, Strike King, Suzuki, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, WIX Filters 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 FacebookInstagram, and YouTube.