Pembroke’s Burdette Claims Victory at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Smith Mountain Lake

HUDDLESTON, Va. – Boater Dennis Burdette of Pembroke, Virginia, caught a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 15 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Smith Mountain Lake . The tournament was the first event for the BFL Piedmont Division. Burdette earned $12,981, including the lucrative $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus, for his victory.

“I started out mid-lake around the state park and fished wind-blown banks and points,” said Burdette. “Really, anything that had rock on it that the wind was beating. It was all about the wind; I chased it all day.”

Burdette said his baits of choice during the tournament were a Rapala DT6 crankbait, a Megabass jerkbait and an Alabama rig, and he caught most of his 12 keepers in two to six feet of water.

“They were all right on the bank,” Burdette said. “You’d crank the crankbait two or three times and they were on it. It slowed down later in the day, but thankfully I caught the right ones early on.

“To be on my home lake with all the great fishermen that fish here in the BFLs … it just feels great to win this,” Burdette added.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Dennis Burdette, Pembroke, Va., five bass, 22-15, $12,981 (includes $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
2nd:       Dennis Stump, Madison Heights, Va., five bass, 22-5, $2,490
3rd:       Paul Worthington, Benson, N.C., five bass, 20-3, $1,662
4th:        Chris Brummett, Lynch Station, Va., five bass, 18-0, $2,642
5th:        Ian Branson, Salem, Va., five bass, 17-12, $996
6th:        Broderick Luckey, Lynchburg, Va., five bass, 17-5, $913
7th:        Hunter Smith, Williamsburg, Va., five bass, 17-0, $830
8th:        Scott Banton, Midlothian, Va., five bass, 16-8, $747
9th:        Adam White, Graham, N.C., five bass, 16-4, $664
10th:     Tyler Trent, Nathalie, Va., five bass, 16-3, $581

Complete results can be found at

Chris Brummett of Lynch Station, Virginia, caught a bass that weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $760.

Dylan Gray of Goode, Virginia, won the Strike King co-angler division and a total of $2,490 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 16 pounds, 3 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

1st:        Dylan Gray, Goode, Va., five bass, 16-3, $2,490
2nd:       Dustin Riddle, Hiwassee, Va., five bass, 14-14, $1,245
3rd:       Jacob Waller, Chatham, Va., three bass, 11-5, $1,029
4th:        Scott Howard, Bedford, Va., five bass, 10-9, $539
4th:        Brandon Miskell, Vienna, Va., two bass, 10-9, $729
6th:        Dakoda Lucy, South Hill, Va., three bass, 10-5, $647
7th:        Trevor Holman, Durham, N.C., four bass, 9-3, $394
7th:        Patrick Hash, Roanoke, Va., three bass, 9-3, $394
9th:        Brian Byrd, Roanoke, Va., three bass, 9-0, $332
10th:     Timothy Kinder, Fairfax, Va., four bass, 8-10, $441

Dakoda Lucy of South Hill, Virginia, and Brandon Miskell of Vienna, Virginia, both caught bass that weighed in at 6 pounds, 3 ounces to split the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $380.

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. 5-7 BFL Regional tournament on the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. 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, 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

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