The Fishing and Marine Industry Daily News Feed

Harris Chain Of Lakes Readies For MLF Toyota Series

Leesburg, FL– The Major League Fishing (MLF) Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats is set to return to Leesburg, Florida, next week, March 19-21, for the Toyota Series at Harris Chain of Lakes . 

The three-day tournament is the second event of the year for Southern Division anglers and is hosted by Discover Lake County Florida. The event will feature a roster of the region’s best bass-fishing pros and Strike King co-anglers competing for a top prize of up to $100,000 in the pro division and a new Phoenix 518 Pro boat with a 115-horsepower outboard motor plus $5,000 in the co-angler division.

Local pro Christian Greico of Tampa, Florida, said the fishing on the Harris Chain has been more difficult than usual recently, but he’s looking forward to a great event. 

“It’s been tougher than usual – there have even been a few recent tournaments that were won with less than 20 pounds – which is pretty unusual for the Harris Chain,” said Greico. “I’m sure we’ll still see some really good weights – you typically do on all of the Florida fisheries – but I think it’s going to be a lot tougher overall than a lot of guys expect.”

The Florida pro said because the Harris Chain of Lakes has been fishing so good for a number of years, anglers just expect it to always yield really high weights, but that hasn’t been the case over the past few months. 

“Right now, we’re just not seeing those really high weights as much,” explained Greico. “I’m not sure if it’s due to pressure on the fishery, time of year or if it’s just fluctuating currently. Sometimes lakes will be really good for a couple years, then it evens out, then surges again, and it just feels like it’s currently transitioning.”

As for strategy during the event, Greico said it’s really going to be dependent on which lake anglers choose to fish.    

“Dora, Beauclair and Apopka have been the popular lakes on that chain recently,” said Greico. “Lake Apopka has been really popular, which has created some issues, as only three boats can go through the lock at a time.  There were a bunch of guys at the last Phoenix Bass Fishing League tournament that were late back to the weigh-in due to the lock, so if guys choose to go that direction, getting back for the weigh-in could definitely be a factor.”

Greico said the timing of the event on the Florida fishery opens it up for various types of fishing, and that anglers should be able to fish to their strengths.  

“Although there will still be some fish spawning, I think most of the bigger fish have probably already spawned, so you’ll see a lot of post-spawn fish being targeted and caught,” said Greico. “There will probably be a couple guys who are still catching them off beds, but this time of year you can really get on all three transitions. 

“I like fishing for postspawn fish,” Greico continued. “If you can get on a group of them, you can come in with a big bag. That’s probably what I’ll focus on during most of my practice, locating groups of postspawn fish, or even groups of fish heading out from the spawn trying to feed up. I expect to see guys flipping and throwing Carolina rigs, crankbaits and ChatterBaits throughout the event.” 

Greico said he anticipates the three-day winning weight to be in the mid to high 60’s and believes a three-day bag in the low 50’s will make it into the top 10.

Anglers will launch at 7:30 a.m. ET each day from the Ski Beach at the Venetian Gardens, located at 201 E. Lake Harris Drive in Leesburg. Weigh-ins will also be held at the same location and will begin at 3:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend and encouraged to follow the event online through the “MLF Live” 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 up to $75,000, 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 or Suzuki outboard (valued at $33,500). With a 260-boat field, pros fish for a top award of up to $100,000, 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 or Suzuki outboard plus $5,000 cash. 

The 2024 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 2025. The winning Strike King co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard. The 2024 Toyota Series Championship will be held Nov. 7-9 on Wheeler Lake in Huntsville, Alabama, and is hosted by the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Madison County Commission and the Huntsville Sports Commission.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Toyota Series include: 7Brew, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, BUBBA, E3, Epic Baits, FX Custom Rods, General Tire, Lew’s, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Suzuki, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota and YETI.

For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Toyota Series updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the MLF5 social media outlets at FacebookInstagram and YouTube.

About Major League Fishing (MLF)

Major League Fishing (MLF) is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, producing more than 250 events annually at some of the most prestigious fisheries in the world, while broadcasting to America’s living rooms on CBS, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network and on demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, the MLF roster of bass anglers includes the world’s top pros and more than 30,000 competitors in all 50 states and 17 countries. Since its founding in 2011, MLF has advanced the sport of competitive fishing through its premier television broadcasts and livestreams and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bass through research, education, fisheries enhancement and fish care.

Fishing Wire Logo 2

Keep your finger on the fishing industry pulse

The Definititive News Source of the Fishing & Marine Industry