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Kansas’ Tassi Keeps Calm, Fishes On For Win At Two-Day Phoenix Bass Fishing League Super Tournament On Grand Lake

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Grove, OK – Boater Scott Tassi of Arma, Kansas, caught 10 bass weighing 36 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the two-day MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma. The tournament was the fifth and final regular-season event for the Bass Fishing League Okie Division Presented by Mystik Lubricants. Tassi earned $8,735 for his victory.

“I found some fish shallow on topwater and squarebill crankbaits during practice Thursday and Friday, but nothing great,” Tassi said. “It was just scrounging up five fish a day.”

Tassi received a late boat draw for the tournament, and said his starting spots were taken, so he started out running his shallow pattern where he could. With only one fish at 9:30 Saturday morning, Tassi said his approach just wasn’t working out for the tournament.

“I just had to punt, basically,” Tassi said. “I had to go back to where I’d caught a few fish offshore in practice, but that wasn’t something that I thought would be viable. At 1 o’clock Saturday I still had just one fish. So, I thought, ‘I’ve got to go big, or I’m going home.’”

Tassi said he stumbled onto something on his mid-lake offshore spots. Something good enough for a good limit both Saturday and Sunday, in fact. While most of his bass fell for a ¾-ounce Motion Fishing Company Football Jig, Tassi said he caught a few on a worm in stained water in 12 to 17 feet of water.

“I think the biggest key for me this weekend was just being patient,” Tassi said. “Instead of pulling up and throwing 15 or 20 casts and saying, ‘No, they’re not here,’ I stuck with it and ground it out. I knew if I calmed down and fished slowly it would happen.

“It was very stressful and very eventful,” Tassi added. “If you fish, you know two-day tournaments are hard to win, and three-day tournaments are near impossible to win on just a couple of schools of fish. Everything just worked out right. They bit, and everything that bit I got into the boat. It just turns out that where I had caught one fish in practice turned out to be the mother lode.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:


1st:          Scott Tassi, Arma, Kan., 10 bass, 36-10, $8,735
2nd:        Joshua Tepley, Harrah, Okla., 10 bass, 29-2, $3,652
3rd:        Bradley Sullivan, Shawnee, Okla., 10 bass, 26-10, $2,433
4th:         Andy Newcomb, Camdenton, Mo., 10 bass, 26-9, $2,504 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
5th:         Andy Carroll, Greenwood, Ark., 10 bass, 25-11, $1,461
6th:         Brian Thurber, Siloam Springs, Ark., nine bass, 25-3, $1,339
7th:         Dalton Warrington, Tishomingo, Okla., 10 bass, 25-2, $1,217
8th:         Dennis Berhost, Summit, Mo., 10 bass, 24-10, $1,096
9th:         T.J. Martin, Claremore, Okla., 10 bass, 24-8, $974
10th:      Caleb Black, McAlester, Okla., 10 bass, 24-7, $852

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Tassi also had a bass that weighed 5 pounds, 7 ounces that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $1,102.

Stephen Vogel of Muenster, Texas, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $3,627 Sunday after catching a two-day total of eight bass weighing 23 pounds, 5 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:

1st:          Stephen Vogel, Muenster, Texas, eight bass, 23-5, $3,627
2nd:        Justin Parchman, Oologah, Okla., eight bass, 19-15, $1,813
3rd:        Kaleb O’Brien, Wagoner, Okla., seven bass, 19-5, $1,209
4th:         Wesley Bissett, Broken Arrow, Okla., eight bass, 18-3, $846
5th:         J.P. Northcutt, Grove, Okla., seven bass, 17-6, $725
6th:         Blake Denny, Crowder, Okla., eight bass, 17-2, $665
7th:         Michael Shinstine, Springdale, Ark., eight bass, 17-1, $604
8th:         Brock Krohne, Belton, Mo., seven bass, 16-5, $544
9th:         Timothy Cartwright, Sand Springs, Okla., seven bass, 16-4, $484
10th:      Patrick Weir, Park Hill, Okla., seven bass, 15-12, $423

Scott Stallings of Glencoe, Oklahoma, caught the largest bass in the Strike King Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 2 ounces. The catch earned him the Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $547.

With the regular season now complete, boater T.J. Martin of Claremore, Oklahoma, won the 2023 Bass Fishing League Okie Division Presented by Mystik Lubricants Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with a five-event total of 1,286 points to earn the $1,000 boater AOY award. Danny Giacomo of McAlester, Oklahoma, won the 2023 Strike King Co-Angler Okie Division Presented by Mystik Lubricants AOY race with 1,237 points and earned the $500 Strike King Co-angler of the Year award.

Now, the top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the division based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will advance to compete in the Oct. 19-21 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship 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 top 45 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 2023 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 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 MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at FacebookInstagram and YouTube.
 

About Major League Fishing

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, the Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, the 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 13 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.

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