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Mansfield’s Parker Gets Home Water Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event at Lake Oconee Presented by Brown Oil Company

BUCKHEAD, Ga. – Boater Weston Parker of Mansfield, Georgia, caught a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Oconee Presented by Brown Oil Company. The tournament was the third event of the season for the BFL Bulldog Division Presented by Mystik Lubricants. Parker earned $10,279, including the lucrative $5,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus, for his victory.

“I found a shad spawn and caught a big fish early on a spinnerbait,” said Parker, who notched his first career BFL win on his home lake. “I just kept covering water and kept catching them throughout the day.”

Parker said he caught 10 to 12 keepers throughout the course of the tournament on flat, chunk rock banks that held spawning shad. He alternated between a spinnerbait and a topwater frog to boat his limit. He said he focused the spinnerbait on chunk rock and the frog any time he came across any type of cover.

“I lost two good fish early in the morning and told myself at 1 o’clock, ‘Weston, you’ve done it again. You’ve come close to winning big and messed it up,’” Parker said. “But it ended up working out for me.

“This feels awesome,” Parker added. “I’ve won some tournaments on Oconee before, but this is the first time I’ve won something this big. I’m ecstatic.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Weston Parker, Mansfield, Ga., five bass, 18-1, $10,279 (includes $5,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
2nd:       Jody Holland, Clermont, Ga., five bass, 17-13, $2,140
3rd:       Brad Stalnaker, Eatonton, Ga., five bass, 16-13, $1,426
4th:        Danny Hall, Ellijay, Ga., five bass, 16-2, $998
5th:        Ryan Frisch, Eatonton, Ga., five bass, 15-13, $856
6th:        Scott Hayes, Wedowee, Ala., five bass, 15-12, $985
7th:        Will Thomas, Madison, Ga., five bass, 15-7, $713
8th:        Troy Harris, Watkinsville, Ga., five bass, 14-13, $642
9th:        Justin Durham, Madison, Ga., five bass, 14-11, $791
10th:     Mark Burns, Good Hope, Ga., five bass, 14-5, $499

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Brandon Hightower of Molena, Georgia, caught a bass that weighed 6 pounds, 3 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $605.

Nicholas Gresens of Tucker, Georgia, and Demetrice Collins of Thomson, Georgia, ended the tournament tied atop the Strike King co-angler division leaderboard, and each won a total of $1,605 Saturday, after bringing five bass each to the scale that totaled 11 pounds, 6 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

1st:        Nicholas Gresens, Tucker, Ga., five bass, 11-6, $1,605
1st:        Demetrice Collins, Thomson, Ga., five bass, 11-6, $1,605
3rd:       Devin Higginbotham, Madison, Ga., five bass, 10-4, $712
4th:        Dennis McGouirk, Carrollton, Ga., three bass, 9-12, $801
5th:        Robert McNear, Warner Robins, Ga., three bass, 9-11, $428
6th:        Adam Johnson, Duluth, Ga., five bass, 8-14, $392
7th:        Zachary Archer, Cumming, Ga., three bass, 8-12, $357
8th:        Baylor Whitfield, Lagrange, Ga., five bass, 8-8, $321
9th:        Brody Bowen, Cleveland, Ga., four bass, 8-2, $267
9th:        Ashley Klaus, Thomson, Ga., five bass, 8-2, $267

Dennis McGouirk of Carrollton, Georgia, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $302, catching a bass that weighed in at 5 pounds, 10 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After three events, Matthew O’Connell of Brooks, Georgia, leads the BFL Bulldog Division Presented by Mystik Lubricants Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 689 points, while Tony Stevens of Monroe, Georgia, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 694 points.

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 Norman in Huntersville, North Carolina. 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 MajorLeagueFishing.com.

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