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MLF Toyota Series Presented By Phoenix Boats Prepares To Launch 2024 Season At Lake Okeechobee

Clewiston, FL – The Major League Fishing (MLF) Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats is set to visit Clewiston, Florida, next week, Jan. 25-27, for the 2024 season-opening event – the Toyota Series at Lake Okeechobee

The three-day tournament is the first event of the year for Southern Division anglers and hosted by the Hendry County Tourism Development Council. 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.

“This is going to be a great tournament – there is nowhere better to start the season than in Florida,” said Bass Pro Tour angler Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Florida, the REDCREST 2022 Champion with more than $2.5 million in career earnings. “Lake Okeechobee is a fantastic fishery, and if the weather stays stable, we are going to see a good one.

“The lake is really high – we’ve had a lot of water this year,” Lane continued. “If I was approaching this tournament, I’d be spending time on the south end, the north end and the shoal. I’d also look around the J&S canal to see if anything was going on, and pretty much cover all four sides of the lake. This tournament could be won from one end of the lake to the other.”

Lane said that he expects the tournament competitors to start the event on popular community holes, but top finishers will need to have a backup plan in place.

“The angler that wins is going to catch them in a community hole on the first day, but the amount of pressure on those schools will only hold up for a day or day and a half,” Lane said. “You’ll need a backup plan for the afternoon of the second and then the third day, and whoever has that will win this tournament.

“I think the fish are going to be moving,” Lane added. “Moving baits, and lipless baits will be good. If it’s cold, the (Berkley) Slobberknocker will be hard to beat, especially in the golden shiner color. If it gets really warm and the spawn starts moving around, we’ll see more traditional (Berkley) PowerWorm and (Berkley) MaxScent The General type baits working.”

Lane predicted that with stable weather, fans can expect to see single-day high weights in the 27-to 30-pound range, and he expects the overall winner to weigh in 69 to 70 pounds over three days of competition.

Anglers will launch at 7 a.m. ET each day from Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina & Resort, located at 920 E. Del Monte Avenue in Clewiston. Weigh-ins will also be held at the resort and will begin at 3 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.

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