PROSPERITY, S.C. – Boater Tyler Trent of Nathalie, Virginia, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 49 pounds, 3 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine Regional Event on Lake Murray in Prosperity, South Carolina. For his victory, Trent earned $67,604, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, along with the lucrative $7,000 Phoenix MLF contingency bonus. Trent also received automatic entry into the 2023 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, May 31-June 2, at Lake Hartwell in Seneca, South Carolina.
“This was my first time to fish Lake Murray, but I knew it was known for offshore fishing,” Trent said. “All I did in practice was idle from the state park area to the dam – that was the biggest key. I found plenty of places to hit for the three days of the tournament.”
Trent said he thought a topwater bait would be most effective for the fish he had located but ended up catching only two bass that way. Every fish he weighed in came on a drop-shot rig with a 6-inch green-pumpkin straight worm, targeting cane piles, brush piles and stumps in 20 to 30 feet of water for the first two days of the competition. Trent said the fish were holding in the tops of the structure at about 10 to 15 feet and on the last day of the tournament he caught a few fish suspended around baitfish in open water.
Trent credited his Lowrance ActiveTarget Live Sonar as the key to locating his target bass.
“Finesse fishing and being consistent with my weights were the key to my win,” Trent said. “I had basically the same weight (16-5, 16-7, 16-7) every day of the tournament.
“I prefer a multi-day tournament, and this win just feels really good,” Trent added. “Three of my BFL wins have been multi-day tournaments. I just like to fish where I can be consistent with my weights.”
The top six boaters that qualified for the 2023 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American were:
Rounding out the Top 10 boaters were:
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
The top four boaters from each division that earned a $1,000 bonus for placing highest in the event were:
Bulldog: Matthew O’Connell, Brooks, Ga., 2nd Place, $1,000
Choo Choo: Corey McMullen, Gurley, Ala. 10th Place, $1,000
Gator: John Dial, Winter Haven, Fla., 13th Place, $1,000
Piedmont: Chad Poteat, Mount Airy, N.C., 3rd Place $1,000
Trent took home an extra $7,000 as the highest finishing Phoenix MLF Bonus member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
Tim Privette, Jr., of Wendell, North Carolina, weighed in 10 bass over three days totaling 21 pounds, 3 ounces to win the top Strike King co-angler prize package of $50,200, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.
The top six Strike King Co-anglers that qualified for the 2023 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American were:
Rounding out the Top 10 Strike King Co-anglers were:
The top four Strike King Co-anglers from each division that earned a $1,000 bonus for placing highest in the event were:
Bulldog: Benjie Winkler, Cleveland, Ga., 5th Place, $500
Choo Choo: Jerry Armstrong, Shelbyville, Tenn. 3rd Place, $500
Gator: Shaun Ireland, Lake Worth, Fla., 11th Place, $500 (not pictured)
Piedmont: Wayne Smelser, Wytheville, Va., 2nd Place $500
The Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine Regional Tournament on Lake Murray was hosted by the Capital City Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board. It featured the top pros and Strike King co-anglers from the Gator, Choo Choo, Bulldog and Piedmont divisions.
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, advanced 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 top boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the MLF Toyota Series, the pathway to the MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitationals and ultimately the MLF 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.