WINNECONNE, Wis. – Boater Brian Fitzpatrick of La Crosse, Wisconsin, caught five bass Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on the Wolf River Chain of Lakes. The tournament was the third event for the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division. Fitzpatrick earned $3,963 for his victory.
“I started off catching a few pretty quick,” Fitzpatrick said. “You know, just putting some in the boat. That always helps out mentally. I was just running around, hitting a bunch of areas and fishing fast.”
Fitzpatrick said he employed a swim jig and a buzzbait to cover water quickly and boated 20 to 25 bass during the course of the day, 15 of which were keepers.
“Around mid-day I got rid of a couple of 14-inchers I had and knew I had a little more than 15 pounds, so I knew I might have a shot at winning,” Fitzpatrick said. “I really felt like I needed to upgrade one more fish, though. I knew it would be close.”
It turns out Fitzpatrick, who calls the Mississippi River his home water, did not need to upgrade his weight, and the tournament trophy was his.
“This feels great,” Fitzpatrick said. “It feels a little bit better getting a win here than it does on my home water.”
The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Brian Fitzpatrick, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 15-12, $3,963
2nd: Andrew Behnke, Fond du Lac, Wis., five bass, 15-2, $1,981
3rd: Kyle Meyer, Blaine, Minn., five bass, 14-14, $1,322
4th: Kory Rose, Waterloo, Iowa, five bass, 14-2, $925
5th: Nick Trim, Galesville, Wis., five bass, 13-15, $1,293 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
6th: Jeremy Nokken, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 13-12, $727
7th: Jeff Ritter, Prairie du Chien, Wis., five bass, 13-9, $627
7th: Hunter Litchfield, Macomb, Ill., five bass, 13-9, $827
9th: Mike Feldermann, Galena, Ill., five bass, 13-7, $528
10th: Brandon Gann, Sparta, Wis., five bass, 13-4, $462
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Alex Standerfer of New London, Wisconsin, caught a bass weighing 4 pounds, 5 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – to earn the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $535.
Devan Jenkins of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $1,921 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 12 pounds, 1 ounce.
The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
1st: Devan Jenkins, Milwaukee, Wis., five bass, 12-1, $1,921
2nd: John Sordahl, Holmen, Wis., five bass, 11-12, $960
3rd: Ron Mairet, Columbus Junction, Iowa, five bass, 11-0, $641
4th: Chad Plaskey, West Bend, Wis., five bass, 10-14, $448
5th: Brady Rufenacht, Lavalle, Wis., four bass, 10-8, $384
6th: Kevin Anderson, Ettrick, Wis., five bass, 10-6, $352
7th: Matthew Vang, Milwaukee, Wis., five bass, 10-5, $320
8th: Zachary Burns, Campbellsport, Wis., four bass, 9-5, $288
9th: Carter Wijangco, Naperville, Ill., four bass, 8-15, $256
10th: Cody Oberfoell, Marion, Iowa, three bass, 8-7, $224
Kyle Simonson of Appleton, Wisconsin, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 4 pounds, 7 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $255.
After three events, Jeff Ritter of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, leads the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 720 points, while Chad Plaskey of West Bend, Wisconsin, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 722 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. 20-22 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma. 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 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, Instagramand YouTube.