The Fishing and Marine Industry Daily News Feed

MLF Toyota Series Set To Close Plains Division With Tournament At Lake Of The Ozarks Presented By FVP

Osage Beach, MO – The Major League Fishing (MLF) Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats is set to visit Osage Beach, and the Lake of the Ozarks next week, Sept. 28-30, for the third and final event in the Toyota Series Plains Division – the Toyota Series at Lake of the Ozarks Presented by FVP.

The three-day tournament, hosted by the Tri-County Lodging Association, will feature 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 Mercury outboard motor in the co-angler division.

“Lake of the Ozarks has been fishing really good, and over the next couple of weeks it’s only going to get better and better,” said pro Payden Hibdon of Versailles, Missouri, who has three top-10 finishes on Lake of the Ozarks in MLF competition. “The fish are loosening up a bit and guys are going to be able to catch them how they want, deep or shallow. There is no limit – it’s going to be typical, fall Ozarks fishing.”

Hibdon said that despite the topwater bite not ever coming to fruition in the BFL Super Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks last weekend, he expects that bite to be a big player in this one.

“I expect we’re going to be able to catch them better on topwater, next week,” Hibdon said. “That bite went away during the Super Tournament, which was odd, because we had been catching them on topwater leading up to that event. So I think that bite is coming back and by next weekend it should be busted wide open.

“The key is going to be getting 1 or 2 of the ‘right’ bites, and then having a decent limit to go along with them,” Hibdon continued. “I think 16 pounds a day is the goal – if you can catch 16 pounds a day you’ll be right there at the end, and I predict it’ll take 48 pounds to win this thing.”

Hibdon, who will be competing in this tournament, said he’ll be throwing his family’s signature jig.

“This time of year, we always throw the Hibdon Hammer jig – a ¾-ounce out deep, and 3/8- and ½-ounce for skipping boat docks,” Hibdon said. “I’ll start out the mornings fishing topwater – buzzbaits, Whopper Ploppers, Zara Spooks – then spend the rest of the day with the jig.”

Anglers will launch at 7 a.m. CT each day from Public Beach No. 2 at Lake of the Ozarks State Park, located at 711 Public Beach Road in Osage Beach. Weigh-ins will also be held at the beach 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 $40,000, plus an extra $35,000 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 outboard (valued at $33,500). With a 260-boat field, pros fish for a top award of $65

,000, plus an extra $35,000 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 outboard (valued at $33,500) plus $5,000 cash.

The 2023 Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats consists of six divisions – Central, Northern Division Presented by Rabid Baits, 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 2024. The winning Strike King co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard. The 2023 Toyota Series Championship will be held Nov. 2-4 on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, and is hosted by ExploreBranson.com.

Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Toyota Series include: 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Black Rifle Coffee Company, E3, Favorite Fishing, Fox Rent a Car, General Tire, Gill, Grundéns, Lew’s, Lowrance, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Next Gen Lithium, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Wiley X 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

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, the 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.

Keep your finger on the fishing industry pulse

The Definititive News Source of the Fishing & Marine Industry