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Alec Morrison Wins MLF Toyota Series Southwestern Division Finale on Sam Rayburn Reservoir

BROOKELAND, Texas – Pro Alec Morrison of Peru, New York, brought five bass to the scale, Saturday, totaling 16 pounds, 3 ounces, to win the Toyota Series at Sam Rayburn Reservoir and earn the top payout of $70,975, including the lucrative $35,000 Phoenix MLF Bonus. The unique thing about that, though, is that Morrison could have taken the day off.

Morrison’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 73-5 earned him the victory by a jaw-dropping 24-pound margin – the largest margin of victory in MLF (and FLW) Toyota Series history. The previous largest winning margin was 17-15 and belonged to Ken Howden, a mark he set in 2011 on Roosevelt Lake.

“Despite the lead I had coming into today, I didn’t sleep at all last night,” Morrison admitted. “I was extremely nervous this morning and all day until I caught my one big one. It was just so hard for me to believe that it was actually coming true, I don’t think my nerves have let up even still.”

The 23-year-old angler started his Day 3 the same way he had all week – ‘scoping out deeper brush piles looking for big ones. That strategy proved extremely effective the first two days, as that’s how the bulk of Morrison’s impressive bags were caught. But on Saturday, Morrison’s pattern took a while to get going.

“It was a slower start to the morning, but I stuck with the same strategy,” Morrison explained. “What I thought was my primary spot going into today didn’t really work out. It was great the first two days, but nothing happened there today. I didn’t freak out, I just ran around a lot and hit some other spots and was able to find what I needed to.”

Morrison was able to hunker down and fill his limit around 9:30 a.m., and then culled a few times to get him up to 16-3 for the day. A few variations of soft plastic worms were the winning bait combinations including a drop-shot, a free rig and a Texas rig with a sliding football head. However, Morrison insists that it was more about the spots he had picked out than any specific bait.

The New York kid now prepares to make the long trek back to upstate New York near the banks of Lake Champlain with a trophy and big check in tow. He has plans to fish a few of the Northern Division stops this summer to prepare himself for his Toyota Series Championship appearance in November.

The top 10 pros on Sam Rayburn Reservoir finished:

1st:          Alec Morrison, Peru, N.Y., 15 bass, 73-5, $70,975 (includes $35,000 Phoenix MLF Bonus)
2nd:         Tater Reynolds, Florien, La., 15 bass, 49-5, $14,240
3rd:         Cody Huff, Ava, Mo., 15 bass, 48-12, $10,793
4th:         Jeff Reynolds, Calera, Okla., 15 bass, 48-1, $8,994
5th:         Jaden Parrish, Liberty, Texas, 15 bass, 47-13, $8,594
6th:         Kris Wilson, Montgomery, Texas, 15 bass, 47-9, $7,695
7th:         Keith Combs, Huntington, Texas, 15 bass, 45-5, $6,296
8th:         Brett Preuett, Monroe, La., 15 bass, 44-13, $5,396
9th:         Matt Reed, Madisonville, Texas, 15 bass, 44-13, $4,497
10th:       Marshall Hughes, Hemphill, Texas, 15 bass, 44-7, $3,598

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

On Thursday, pro Jeff Reynolds earned the $500 Day 1 Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division with a bass weighing 10 pounds, 10 ounces. On Friday pro Matt Reed earned the $500 Berkley Big Bass prize with a largemouth weighing in at 8 pounds, 15 ounces.

Chance Shelby of Denim Springs, Louisiana, won the Strike King Co-angler Division Saturday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 31 pounds, 9 ounces. Shelby took home the top co-angler prize package worth $33,500, including a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard motor.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers on Sam Rayburn Reservoir finished:

1st:          Chance Shelby, Denim Springs, La., 15 bass, 31-9, Phoenix 518 Pro boat w/115-hp Mercury outboard
2nd:         Morgan White, Jasper, Texas, 12 bass, 31-2, $4,549
3rd:         Robert Davis, Lufkin, Texas, 15 bass, 30-0, $3,639
4th:         Robert Williams, Houston, Texas, 15 bass, 29-15, $3,184
5th:         William Easley, Pollok, Texas, 11 bass, 29-4, $2,729
6th:         Zack Nick, Lufkin, Texas, 15 bass, 29-3, $2,274
7th:         Cedric Jackson, Sicily Island, La., 15 bass, 29-2, $1,819
8th:         Casey McCommons, Ina, Ill., 14 bass, 28-13, $1,667
9th:         Bryan Hester, Bossier City, La., 11 bass, 26-9, $1,440
10th:       Nick Stanislaus, Porter, Texas, 15 bass, 25-11, $1,337

Sloan earned Thursday’s $150 Berkley Big Bass co-angler award after weighing in a 7-pound, 14-ounce largemouth, while Friday’s Day 2 $150 co-angler award was split between Casey McCommons and Bryan Hester, who both weighed in a bass that totaled 7 pounds, 2 ounces.

The three-day tournament was hosted by the Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn Area Chamber of Commerce, and was the third and final regular-season event for the 2023 Toyota Series Southwestern Division.

With the three regular-season events in the Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats Southwestern Division now complete, pro Todd Castledine of Nacogdoches, Texas, was crowned the 2023 Southwestern Division Pro Angler of the Year (AOY) and earned the $5,000 AOY bonus with a total of 743 points. Cedric Jackson of Sicily Island, Louisiana, won the 2023 Southwestern Division Strike King Co-angler AOY race and the $2,000 AOY bonus with 757 points.

The Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats at Sam Rayburn Reservoir was hosted by the Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn Area Chamber of Commerce. It was the third and final regular-season event for the Toyota Series Southwestern Division. The next event for the top 25 anglers in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division AOY standings will be the Toyota Series Championship at Table Rock Lake, Nov. 2-4, in Branson, Missouri. For a complete schedule of events, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

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 on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, is hosted by ExploreBranson.com.

Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Toyota Series include: 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, Next Gen Lithium, 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.

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