North Carolina angler Hodges mines one spot for the win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Potomac River - Major League Fishing
North Carolina angler Hodges mines one spot for the win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Potomac River
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North Carolina angler Hodges mines one spot for the win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Potomac River

Virginia’s Steinberg tops Strike King co-angler division
Image for North Carolina angler Hodges mines one spot for the win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Potomac River
Boater winner Richard Hodges, Jr., of Camden, North Carolina, and Strike King co-angler winner Josh Steinberg of Midland, Virginia.
June 24, 2024 • MLF • Press Releases

MARBURY, Md. – Boater Richard Hodges, Jr., of Camden, North Carolina, caught a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 10 ounces, Saturday to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on the Potomac River. Hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners, the tournament was the third event of the season for the BFL Shenandoah Division. Hodges earned $6,139 for his victory. 

Hodges’ winning experience proves that even though things sometimes don’t start the way you expect, they can still turn around real quickly.

“It was a struggle for about the first hour,” he said. “I went to what I thought was my best spot, and I left there with one 13-inch fish. But the day before, I found a school of what I thought was 2-pounders. I went running to them – they were back in a deep hole – and they ended up being bigger than what I saw the first day (practice). I caught them on a swimbait and a ChatterBait Jack Hammer. My co-angler and I, out of a 50-yard stretch, we caught 40 or 50 bass.”

When Hodges found the spot in practice, the tide was at its lowest, and the water was clear enough that he could see the fish swimming around. In the tournament, the water had dirtied, so he couldn’t see them. So he sat on the edge of the hole and blind-cast into it.

The perimeter of the spot was about 2 feet deep, with the middle dropping to about 4 feet. He’d found it while trolling across a shallow flat. 

“I’ve been fishing that area for years and never saw it before,” he added. “We sat there for probably four or five hours until we quit getting bites. I caught the first big one (a 5-pound, 12-ounce fish) on a ChatterBait almost instantly when we got there. We fished it and fished it until we quit getting bites, and then we left for an hour and went to fish some grass. When we came back, on my first cast with the ChatterBait I ended up catching a 5-4.”

The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Richard Hodges, Jr., Camden, N.C., five bass, 20-10, $6,139
2nd:       Jessie Moore, Severn, Md., five bass, 17-14, $2,952
3rd:       Brian Laclair, Denton, Md., five bass, 17-13, $1,768
4th:        Jonathan Hamilton, Newburg, Md., five bass, 17-7, $1,238
5th:        John Duarte, Middle River, Md., five bass, 16-15, $1,686 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
6th:        Ed Milton, Chester, Va., five bass, 16-13, $972
7th:        Chris Brummett, Lynch Station, Va., five bass, 16-7, $884
8th:        Michael Duarte, Baltimore, Md., five bass, 16-5, $796
9th:        Jarvis Raynor, Spotsylvania, Va., five bass, 16-3, $707
10th:     Joshua Greenberg, Bumpass, Va., five bass, 16-2, $619

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Hodges caught a bass that weighed 5 pounds, 12 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $835.

Josh Steinberg of Midland, Virginia, won the Strike King co-angler division and $2,631 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 16 pounds, 14 ounces.

The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

1st:        Josh Steinberg, Midland, Va., five bass, 16-14, $2,631
2nd:       Glenn Eskin, Henderson, N.C., five bass, 16-1, $1,725
3rd:       Lenny Baird, Stafford, Va., five bass, 15-2, $1,127
4th:        Lew Jenkins, Waldorf, Md., five bass, 15-0, $614
5th:        Matthew Ross, Barton, Md., five bass, 14-12, $526
6th:        Jeff McBeth, New Philadelphia, Ohio, five bass, 14-6, $482
7th:        Eric Nelson, Gainesville, Va., five bass, 14-3, $438
8th:        Keyshawn Bratcher, Altamonte Springs, Fla., five bass, 14-2, $395
9th:        Jeff Turner, Morris, Ill., five bass, 14-1, $351
10th:     Stephen Barr, Wilmington, N.C., five bass, 14-0, $307

Glenn Eskin of Henderson, North Carolina, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $410, catching a bass that weighed in at 6 pounds, 4 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After three events, Chris Brummett of Lynch Station, Virginia, leads the Fishing Clash Shenandoah Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 733 points, while David Williams of Fredericksburg, Virginia, leads the Fishing Clash Shenandoah Division Co-Angler of the Year race with 720 points.

The next event for BFL Shenandoah Division anglers will be held July 27, at James River in Henrico, Virginia. 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 Kerr Lake in Henderson, North Carolina. 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.