Lufkin’s Heck uses home-water experience to kick off season with win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Sam Rayburn Reservoir - Major League Fishing
Lufkin’s Heck uses home-water experience to kick off season with win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Sam Rayburn Reservoir
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Lufkin’s Heck uses home-water experience to kick off season with win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Sam Rayburn Reservoir

San Antonio’s Sink tops Strike King Co-Angler Division
Image for Lufkin’s Heck uses home-water experience to kick off season with win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Sam Rayburn Reservoir
January 8, 2024 • MLF • Press Releases

BROOKELAND, Texas – Boater Hayden Heck of Lufkin, Texas, caught a five-bass limit weighing 29 pounds, 3 ounces, Saturday to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Hosted by the Jasper County Development District, the tournament kicked off the season for the BFL Cowboy Division. Heck earned $6,199 for his victory.

“I decided to go to a spot where I had been seeing fish for a couple of weeks,” Heck said. “It’s been really spotty, though – one day they’d be there and the next they wouldn’t.

“I was fishing a little bit offshore,” Heck said. “Nothing super deep. I was using a brown and purple football jig and a drop-shot rig. There was a lot of bait around the area, and that kept the fish around for a bit.”

Heck said his boat was sitting in about 10 feet of water while fishing the jig, and his efforts produced 20 bites from the south part of Sam Rayburn during the event.

“I fish Rayburn a lot,” Heck said. “It’s the only lake I fish, and the last couple of weeks have been tough here. The fish seem to be moving around a lot, like saltwater fish. They’re on the move daily with the bait. So, if you can time it right, you can really catch them.

“On Rayburn, unless you bust a really big bag, you don’t think you really ever have a chance to win,” Heck said. “Once it gets cold on Rayburn anyone can come in with 40-plus pounds. So, I’m really happy to get the win.”

The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

  • 1st:          Hayden Heck, Lufkin, Texas, five bass, 29-3, $6,199
  • 2nd:        Wesley Baxley, Cypress, Texas, five bass, 25-2, $2,675
  • 3rd:        Jeffery Rice, Shreveport, La., five bass, 22-4, $1,782
  • 4th:         Glen Webb, Bethel, Okla, five bass, 20-9, $1,248
  • 5th:         Riley Harris, Orange, Texas, five bass, 19-5, $1,070
  • 6th:         Tater Reynolds, Florien, La., five bass, 18-11, $1,236
  • 6th:         Bobby Vice, Orange, Texas, five bass, 18-11, $936
  • 8th:         Jaden Parrish, Liberty, Texas, five bass, 17-3, $802
  • 9th:         Colby Miller, Elmer, La., five bass, 16-14, $713
  • 10th:      Darren Taylor, Coldspring, Texas, five bass, 16-2, $624

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Heck caught a bass that weighed 9 pounds, 14 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $850.

Tim Sink of San Antonio, Texas, won the Strike King co-angler division and $3,088 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 14 pounds, 13 ounces.

The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished: 

  • 1st:          Tim Sink, San Antonio, Texas, five bass, 14-13, $3,088
  • 2nd:        Brad Poole, Roanoke, Texas, five bass, 14-4, $1,334
  • 3rd:        Derek Swindler, Waxahachie, Texas, five bass, 12-9, $888
  • 4th:         Robert Joslin, Fort Smith, Ark., five bass, 11-12, $623
  • 5th:         Dakota Posey, Orange, Texas, five bass, 11-1, $534
  • 6th:         Mitchel Martin, Washington, La., five bass, 10-15, $489
  • 7th:         James Moore, Jr., Lampasas, Texas, five bass, 10-12, $595
  • 8th:         Kenneth Venable, Fred, Texas, five bass, 10-11, $378
  • 8th:         Michael Wall, Montgomery, Texas, five bass, 10-11, $378
  • 10th:      Bradley Sullivan, Shawnee, Okla., four bass, 10-10, $295
  • 10th:      Casey Craig, Nacogdoches, Texas, five bass, 10-10, $295

Sink also earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $420, catching a bass that weighed in at 6 pounds, 14 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

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. 17-19 BFL Regional tournament on Wright Patman Lake in Texarkana, Texas. 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.

The next event for BFL Cowboy Division anglers will be held Jan. 27, at Lake of the Pines in Jefferson, Texas. To register for the event as a boater or a co-angler, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com or call 270-252-1000.

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, General Tire, GSM Outdoors, Lew’s, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Suzuki, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota 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.