LAKEVIEW, Ohio – Boater Michael Nesbitt of St. Paris, Ohio, caught five bass Saturday weighing 10 pounds, 3 ounces, to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Indian Lake. The tournament was the season-opener for the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division. Nesbitt earned $5,154 for his victory.
“We went back to the Game Preserve where there was one spot I wanted to fish, and there were already boats there,” Nesbitt said. “I’m a big frog fisherman, but there were people already frogging there, so I just went to finesse fishing. We had boats literally right beside us all day. I threw a wacky rig and a swimbait, then caught one right at the end of the day on a frog that was a good cull up.”
Nesbitt said he made long casts to fish guarding fry around grass and lily pads, and said the key to his success was bait placement more than anything else. He also said he caught nine fish, all keepers, during the tournament.
“It was a pretty simple day, really,” Nesbitt said. “We just battled it out in one little area.
“All of my fish came on a spinning rod in the heavy vegetation,” Nesbitt said. “I was really trying to focus on winning this event and pre-fished four or five times for it. I’ve spent a lot of time on that lake.”
The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Jarrett Martin of Mansfield, Ohio, had a largemouth that weighed 4 pounds, 6 ounces that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $795.
Jeffrey Smith won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,512 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 10 pounds, 1 ounce.
The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
Larry Dew of Allison Park, Pennsylvania, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 3 pounds, 2 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $387.
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 the James River in Richmond, Virginia. 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 2022 All-American will be held June 2-4 at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.
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, Instagram, and YouTube.