GROVE, Okla. – The Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats is set to visit Grove, Oklahoma, and Grand Lake, next week, March 16-18, for the Plains Division opener – the Toyota Series at Grand Lake. The three-day tournament, hosted by the City of Grove, will feature a roster of the region’s best bass-fishing pros and Strike King co-anglers competing for a top prize of up to $100,000 in the pro division and a new Phoenix 518 Pro boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard motor in the co-angler division.
“Things are happening quickly on Grand Lake right now, and everything seems to be changing day to day, but I expect that this event will definitely be a prespawn tournament,” said Bass Pro Tour pro James Elam of Tulsa, Oklahoma. “The fish are still in a solid winter pattern – we may see some very early prespawn action, but keying in on the staging fish is going to be the key.
“A variety of things will work,” Elam said. “That’s the cool thing about Grand Lake – the tournament can be won anywhere, and guys are going to be able to fish their strengths. I’d figure out a couple of solid areas to go on and then just try to expand on that as the tournament goes on.”
Elam said that he expects umbrella rigs, jerkbaits, crankbaits and jigs to be big players in this event, and that for anglers targeting stained water ChatterBaits and spinnerbaits would be strong options.
“It’s going to be a really similar event to what we saw in REDCREST at Grand Lake last year,” Elam said. “I think someone will probably come in with 23 pounds on the first day, then they’ll back it up with a couple of 17- and 18-pound limits. Over three days, I predict the winner will weigh in right around 56 to 58 pounds – let’s call it 55 to 60 pounds, just to be safe. This is going to be a great tournament.”
Anglers will take off each day at 7:30 a.m. CT from Wolf Creek Park, located at 963 N. 16th St., in Grove. Weigh-ins will also be held at the park and will begin at 3:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend and encouraged to follow the event online through the “MLF Live” weigh-in broadcasts and daily coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
In Toyota Series regular-season competition, payouts are based on the number of participants competing in the event, scaling up for every 20 boats over 160 and scaling down for every boat below 160. With a 160-boat field, pros fish for a top prize of $40,000, plus an extra $35,000 if Phoenix MLF Bonus qualified. Strike King co-anglers cast for the top prize of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard (valued at $33,500). With a 260-boat field, pros fish for a top award of $65,000, plus an extra $35,000 if Phoenix MLF Bonus qualified. Strike King co-anglers cast for the top prize of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard (valued at $33,500) plus $5,000 cash.
The 2023 Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats consists of six divisions – Central, Northern, Plains, Southern, Southwestern and the Western Division Presented by Tackle Warehouse – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International and Wild Card divisions. Anglers who fish in any of the six divisions or the Wild Card division and finish in the top 25 will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series Championship for a shot at winning up to $235,000 and a qualification to REDCREST 2024. The winning Strike King co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard. The 2023 Toyota Series Championship will be held Nov. 2-4 on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, and is hosted by ExploreBranson.com.
Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Toyota Series include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Black Rifle Coffee Company, E3, Favorite Fishing, Fox Rent a Car, General Tire, Gill, Grundéns, Lew’s, Lowrance, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Wiley X and YETI.
For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Toyota Series updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the MLF5 social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.