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Austin’s Jeremy Johnson Chucks A-Rig to Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Hoosier Division Opener at Lake Monroe

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Boater Jeremy Johnson of Austin, Indiana, weighed in four bass totaling 12 pounds even Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Monroe. The tournament was the first event of the season for the BFL Hoosier Division. Johnson earned $4,498 for his victory.

“I fished at the causeway to start out, and I didn’t get bit at all. Then I ran some bushes and didn’t get bit at all, so I had to go to Plan C. I ran all the way up to the dam and threw an umbrella rig for five hours and ended up catching four big ones on the A-rig,” Johnson said.

“All of my fish came on the A-rig,” Johnson continued. “I tried flipping bushes and throwing tubes and shaky-head rigs on the causeway, but no luck there. I knew they were pulling the water a little bit, so going up the river would not be ideal. So, I did the complete opposite, and I ran all the way up to the dam. I feel like those fish there don’t get affected as much.

“I think just having multiple plans on opposite sides of the spectrum was the key. If the shallow bite doesn’t work, then go completely to the other end and launch a big bait.”

The win was Johnson’s first victory of his BFL career and also his first event as a boater after competing last season as a Strike King co-angler.

“This feels good. My brother (Jeff) has won a BFL before, and my good buddy Richard Ison has won one. So it’s good to be with them in that group.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:          Jeremy Johnson, Austin, Ind., four bass, 12-0, $4,498
2nd:        Mike Quinlin, Mooresville, Ind., five bass, 11-4, $3,519
3rd:        Ethan Hill, Columbus, Ind., four bass, 10-3, $1,498
4th:         Travis Spivey, Union, Ky., three bass, 8-3, $1,050
5th:         John Melton, Corydon, Ind., four bass, 7-8, $1,100
6th:         Jared Robinson, Medora, Ind., two bass, 6-14, $787
6th:         Caleb Perkins, Santa Claus, Ind., one bass, 6-14, $1,432
8th:         Mark Dove, North Vernon, Ind., three bass, 6-8, $675
9th:         Lee Mills, Columbus, Ind., two bass, 6-4, $600
10th:      Richard Hardebeck, Elwood, Ind., two bass, 6-3, $525

Complete results can be found at

Perkins caught a bass that weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $645.

Kyle Taylor of Sullivan, Indiana, won the Strike King co-angler division and a total of $2,571 Saturday, after bringing two bass to the scale that totaled 7 pounds, 1 ounce.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

1st:          Kyle Taylor, Sullivan, Ind., two bass, 7-1, $2,571
2nd:        Zion Dunaway, Campbellsburg, Ind., two bass, 5-8, $1,125
3rd:        Wayne Fackler, Scottsburg, Ind., one bass, 5-2, $752
4th:         Andrew Matuszak, Washington, Ind., two bass, 4-15, $525
5th:         Jason Thornton, Corydon, Ind., one bass, 4-5, $450
5th:         Nathaniel Hester, Indianapolis, Ind., one bass, 4-2, $412
7th:         Rodney Bolte, Bloomington, Ind., one bass, 4-0, $375
8th:         Joe Gorham, Indianapolis, Ind., one bass, 3-14, $337
9th:         Dylan Grace, Scottsburg, Ind., one bass, 3-12, $300
10th:      Mark Goodridge, Burlington, Ky., one bass, 3-10, $249
10th:      Brian Liming, Dillsboro, Ind., one bass, 3-10, $249

Taylor also earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $322, catching a bass that weighed in at 5 pounds, 4 ounces.

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. 19-21 BFL Regional tournament on Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri. Boaters will fish 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 compete for a top award of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The 2023 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. The 2023 All-American event will take place May 31-June 2, on Lake Hartwell in Seneca, South Carolina. The event is hosted by Visit Oconee SC.

Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, General Tire, Grundéns, Gill, Lew’s, Lowrance, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Mystik Lubricants, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X and YETI.

For complete details and updated tournament information, visit

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