Murray State’s Drew Morgan wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Kentucky-Barkley Lakes - Major League Fishing
Murray State’s Drew Morgan wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Kentucky-Barkley Lakes
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Murray State’s Drew Morgan wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Kentucky-Barkley Lakes

Indiana’s Salzman tops Strike King co-angler division
Image for Murray State’s Drew Morgan wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Kentucky-Barkley Lakes
April 8, 2024 • MLF • Press Releases

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – Boater Drew Morgan of Noblesville, Indiana, caught a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 9 ounces, Saturday to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. Hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau, the tournament was the second event of the season for the BFL LBL Division. Morgan earned $4,541 for his victory.

Morgan is a collegiate angler at Murray State University. On Friday, he competed in the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI event at Table Rock Lake, then blitzed back home Friday night to get into the BFL event on Kentucky Lake the next morning.

The engineering major is also a local hammer around Kentucky Lake. Morgan won a major springtime tournament on the lake a week prior with 27 pounds and change. 

While weights were a bit lower in the BFL, Morgan was able to lock up the win and move to fourth place in the LBL Division standings. 

“I was catching them on swimbaits in 8 to 14 feet of water,” he said. “(I was) really just seeing them on (Garmin) LiveScope. I’d try to cover a lot of water because half of them wouldn’t eat.”

Morgan said he caught about 40 fish for the day, fishing areas from Paris, Tennessee, clear to Kentucky Dam. All five fish in his limit were smallmouth bass. 

Though there was no real pattern to the specific areas he targeted, Morgan said most of the more productive spots were near areas where the fish will eventually spawn. His biggest key was just covering as much water as possible.

“A lot of fish I’d see roaming, but there’s a lot of bait in the lake, too,” he said. “I caught a couple fish around bait.”

The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

  • 1st:          Drew Morgan, Noblesville, Ind., five bass, 22-9, $4,541
  • 2nd:        Levi Kohl, Edinburg, Ill., five bass, 22-8, $2,270
  • 3rd:        Jordan Hartman, Benton, Ky., five bass, 22-0, $1,514
  • 4th:         Clint Knight, Lewisburg, Ky., five bass, 21-13, $1,060
  • 5th:         Clayton Ellis, Saltillo, Miss., five bass, 21-2, $908
  • 6th:         Connor DeWeese, Evansville, Ind., five bass, 20-12, $833
  • 7th:         Matteo Turano, Puryear, Tenn., five bass, 19-9, $1,379
  • 7th:         BJ Fitzgerald, Whitesville, Ky., five bass, 19-9, $719
  • 9th:         Marty Sisk, Evansville, Ind., five bass, 19-8, $605
  • 10th:      Harbor Lovin, New Concord, Ky., five bass, 19-0, $530

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Matteo Turano of Puryear, Tennessee, caught a bass that weighed 5 pounds, 15 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $660.

Douglas Salzman of Newburgh, Indiana, won the Strike King co-angler division and $2,236 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 16 pounds, 7 ounces.

The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished: 

  • 1st:          Douglas Salzman, Newburgh, Ind., five bass, 16-7, $2,236
  • 2nd:        Joshua Smith, Benton, Ky., five bass, 16-6, $1,118
  • 3rd:        Daniel Effinger, Springville, Tenn., five bass, 14-13, $745
  • 4th:         Patrick Thomas, Clarksville, Tenn., five bass, 14-7, $522
  • 5th:         John Lovin, Fayetteville, Ohio, five bass, 13-5, $447
  • 6th:         Dave Maxfield, Gilbertsville, Ky., five bass, 12-8, $410
  • 7th:         Chris Medlin, Dumas, Miss., five bass, 12-6, $373
  • 8th:         Dustin Miller, Sparland, Ill., five bass, 11-15, $335
  • 9th:         Barry Gunter, Trafalger, Ind., four bass, 11-9, $298
  • 10th:      Ed Daniell, West Frankfort, Ill., four bass, 11-5, $411

Mark Manley of Bowling Green, Kentucky, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $325, catching a bass that weighed in at 5 pounds, 5 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After two events, Clint Knight of Lewisburg, Kentucky, leads the Fishing Clash LBL Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 490 points, while John Lovin of Fayetteville, Ohio, leads the Fishing Clash LBL Division Co-Angler of the Year race with 485 points.

The next event for BFL LBL Division anglers will be held May 4, at Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley in Gilbertsville, Kentucky. 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, 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.