BETHEL ISLAND, Calif. – Major League Fishing, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, is set to return to California for a tournament next week, June 1-3 – the Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. at the California Delta at Russo’s Marina in Bethel Island The three-day bass fishing tournament is the third and final event of the regular season for the Toyota Series Western Division.
The tournament will showcase a field of the West’s best bass-fishing pros and Strike King co-anglers casting for a top prize package of up to $75,000 in the pro division and a new Phoenix 518 pro boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard motor in the co-angler division, and valuable points to qualify for November’s 2022 Toyota Series Championship.
“Man, I love fishing the Delta – it is my home away from home,” said pro Tai Au of Glendale, Arizona, who has four Top-10 finishes on the California Delta in MLF competition. “It’s crazy, but you can literally win the tournament anywhere at the Delta. All the way from north to south, you basically just have to find an area that has good grass and good water quality and then run into those right bite windows to sack up a monster bag.
“I think it’s going to be hard to consistently catch those bigger bags, but I think the winner will have something like a high 20-pound limit, followed up by a few bags close to 20 pounds. My prediction is that it will take 63 to 64 pounds to win.”
Au said that he expects there will still be some late straggler bass that are still spawning during the event, but that competitors would be able to catch fish on a variety of baits and tactics.
“The weather is definitely the most important factor. The fish there are really, really affected by cold fronts and pressure systems – they like stable water,” Au said. “I think we’re going to see a ton of different tactics in play. Buzzbaits, frogs, flipping and punching. I’ll have a (Z-Man) Jack Hammer in my hand with a (Yamamoto) Zako trailer, and a 6- or 7-inch (Yamamoto) Senko. Topwater baits are going to be important looking for those big kicker bites. Believe it or not, a drop-shot rig can catch some big ones there. It’s going to be wide open, and a lot of fun.”
With just one event remaining in the Toyota Series Southern Division regular season, pro Kyle Grover of Rancho Santa Margarita, California, leads the Western Division Pro Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 517 points, while Zack Eggleston of Goleta, California, leads the Western Division Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 508 points. The AOY in the Pro Division will receive $5,000 and the winning Strike King Co-angler will receive $2,000.
Anglers will launch each day at 6 a.m. PT from Russo’s Marina, located at 3995 Willow Road in Bethel Island. Weigh-ins will also be held at Russo’s Marina, beginning at 2 p.m. each day. Fans are welcome to attend and encouraged to follow the event online through the MLF NOW! 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 2022 Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. consists of six divisions – Central, Northern, Plains Presented by Outlaw Ordnance, Southern, Southwestern Presented by Outlaw Ordnance and Western – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International and Wild Card divisions. Anglers who fish in any of the six divisions and finish in the Top 25 – or the Top 12 from the Wild Card division – will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. Championship for a shot at winning up to $235,000 cash. The winning Strike King co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard. The 2022 Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. Championship will be held Nov. 3-5 on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama, and is hosted by Marshall County Tourism and Sports.
Proud sponsors of the 2022 MLF Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. 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, Outlaw Ordnance, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X and YETI.
For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the MLF Toyota Series on the MLF5 social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.