Wieda gets the win at home at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Ohio River-Tanners Creek - Major League Fishing
Wieda gets the win at home at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Ohio River-Tanners Creek
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Wieda gets the win at home at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Ohio River-Tanners Creek

Ohio’s Sykes tops Strike King co-angler division
Image for Wieda gets the win at home at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at Ohio River-Tanners Creek
Boater Sean Wieda of Alexandria, Kentucky, and Strike King co-angler Ryan Sykes of Fairfield, Ohio.
May 20, 2024 • MLF • Press Releases

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. – Boater Sean Wieda of Alexandria, Kentucky, caught a five-bass limit weighing 9 pounds, 4 ounces, Saturday to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on the Ohio River at Tanners Creek. The tournament was the first event of the season for the BFL Buckeye Division. Wieda earned $4,279 for his victory.

For Wieda, this was a big “finally” moment – winning a BFL event on his home waters.

“I’ve been fishing here for 25 years, and I’ve come close to winning a bunch,” he said. “I’ve got several seconds and thirds. Springtime is my favorite time of year. The water was up, and the fish were spawning. The biggest key for me was I was fishing for spawners that you couldn’t see. A lot of people try to catch the ones up on the bank, and what I do is try to find where the males are and back off in front of them in like 2 or 3 feet of water, which is deep water for the river.”

Wieda calls the technique “blind sight-fishing.” He says often the females will be out a hair deeper, just out of sight. Making repeated casts out in front of visible beds and understanding how to trigger bites are keys to Wieda’s approach. 

“Most of my fish were caught on a soft plastic I call the Wieda Bug that I make,” he said, “and my biggest fish was caught on an Ark Z-Series (Z-Alpha) square-bill.

“The (fish I caught on the) square bill was a spawner also,” Wieda said. “Sometimes you can get them to react to something like that. That fish was 2 to 3 feet off the bank, and I couldn’t see her or anything, but I saw the male up there and I ran the crankbait through there four or five times.”

When fishing the soft plastic, Wieda used a 7-foot, 6-inch Ark Randall Tharp Series rod with the Ark Gravity 8 reel.

Wieda, who owns Wieda’s Marine, a Phoenix Boats dealership, also offered a sincere thanks to his support team.

“Thanks to my crew at Wieda’s Marine,” he said. “Not only do they take care of customers all over the United States, but they take really good care of me and allow me to get out there and fish. I’ve been fishing them (BFLs) for years. It was good to finally win here. I’ve had some other wins, but I’ve never won there on my home water, so that was pretty special. I’m excited.”

The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:          Sean Wieda, Alexandria, Ky., five bass, 9-4, $4,279
2nd:        Nick Leonard, Amelia, Ohio, five bass, 8-7, $2,140
3rd:        Mark Dove, North Vernon, Ind., five bass, 8-3, $1,212
3rd:        Kevin Spivey, Hamilton, Ohio, three bass, 8-3, $1,817
5th:         Jason Steele, Hamilton, Ohio, five bass, 7-12, $856
6th:         Michael Nesbitt, St. Paris, Ohio, five bass, 7-9, $749
6th:         Roger Hahn, Fairfield, Ohio, five bass, 7-9, $1,049
8th:         Chad McCarty, Tipp City, Ohio, five bass, 7-7, $642
9th:         Chris Martinkovic, Hamilton, Ohio, five bass, 7-2, $571
10th:      William (Bill) Spivey, Middletown, Ohio, five bass, 7-0, $499

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Kevin Spivey of Hamilton, Ohio, caught a bass that weighed 3 pounds, 8 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $605.

Ryan Sykes of Fairfield, Ohio, won the Strike King co-angler division and $2,140 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 6 pounds, 7 ounces.

The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished: 

1st:          Ryan Sykes, Fairfield, Ohio, five bass, 6-7, $2,140
2nd:        Landen Wisener, Russells Point, Ohio, four bass, 5-8, $1,070
3rd:        Brian Blinn, Troy, Ohio, three bass, 5-7, $712
4th:         Aaron Napier, Franklin, Ohio, four bass, 4-15, $499
5th:         James Jeffers III, Athens, Ohio, four bass, 4-10, $510
5th:         Douglas Shope, Arcanum, Ohio, four bass, 4-10, $410
7th:         Jesse Foster, Franklin, Ohio, four bass, 4-7, $357
8th:         Andrew Worrall, Burlington, Ky., four bass, 4-6, $321
9th:         Rob Webber, Elyria, Ohio, three bass, 4-5, $285
10th:      Brent Jones, Okeana, Ohio, three bass, 4-4, $250

Chad McQueen of Fairfield, Ohio, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $302, catching a bass that weighed in at 3 pounds, 4 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

The next event for BFL Buckeye Division anglers will be held June 8, at Mosquito Lake in Cortland, Ohio. 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, 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.