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Pennsylvania’s Thompson Adapts To Conditions, Wins Two-Day Phoenix Bass Fishing League Super Tournament On The St. Lawrence River

Coatesville Angler Also Records Back-to-Back Angler of the Year Titles.
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Massena, NY – Boater Joseph Thompson of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, caught 10 bass weighing 44 pounds, 5 ounces, to win the two-day MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on the St. Lawrence River in Massena, New York. The tournament was the fifth and final regular-season event for the Bass Fishing League Northeast Division. Thompson earned $12,806 for his victory, including the lucrative $7,000 Phoenix MLF contingency bonus.

“The conditions on the days of competition for the tournament were unlike any of the practice days,” Thompson said. “Practice was sunny, with good wind direction, and then the tournament was overcast with a northeast wind. It really backed the current up. It had fish positioned a little differently, and the first couple of hours each morning it took me a bit to figure it out and see how they had repositioned.”

Thompson said he didn’t land his first bass Sunday until 10 a.m., and caught most of his weigh fish between 10 and 1 p.m. He fished the Brockville area and relied primarily on a Carolina rig and a drop-shot rig for his bass around steep ledges off points in 30 feet of water.

Thompson entered the Super Tournament needing the win to secure his second-consecutive Northeast Division Angler of the Year title.

“I thought I was going to be a little short when it was all said and done, to be honest with you,” Thompson said. “I was surprised when I won.

“The win feels so good,” Thompson added. “The caliber of fishermen in the BFLs is unbelievable. Everywhere you go it’s the best of the local guys fishing in them. It’s an unbelievable talent pool.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st:          Joseph Thompson, Coatesville, Pa., 10 bass, 44-5, $12,806 (includes $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
2nd:        Ethan Carr, Massena, N.Y., 10 bass, 41-0, $2,403
3rd:        Kent Compo, Brasherfalls, N.Y., 10 bass, 40-15, $1,603
4th:         Lane Olson, Forest Grove, Ore., 10 bass, 40-10, $1,121
5th:         Christopher Sperling, Cato, N.Y., 10 bass, 40-2, $961
6th:         Clay Reece, Lexington, Ky., 10 bass, 39-12, $881
7th:         Brett Carnright, Plattsburgh, N.Y., 10 bass, 38-10, $1,378
8th:         Douglas Reed, Bridgeton, N.J., 10 bass, 38-8, $721
9th:         Ethan McMahon, Swanton, Vt., nine bass, 38-4, $641
10th:      Jonathan Robla, Lisbon, N.Y., 10 bass, 37-11, $561

Complete results can be found at

Brett Carnright of Plattsburgh, New York, had a bass that weighed 5 pounds, 10 ounces that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $577.

Christopher Dam of Staatsburg, New York, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,972 Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 40 pounds, 1 ounce.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:

1st:          Christopher Dam, Staatsburg, N.Y., 10 bass, 40-1, $2,972
2nd:        Eric Baba, Plainville, Ct., 10 bass, 35-10, $1,186
3rd:        Justin Harant, Havertown, Pa., 10 bass, 35-9, $792
4th:         Matt Hummel, Dillsburg, Pa., 10 bass, 35-4, $838
5th:         Cory Germano, Staatsburg, N.Y., 10 bass, 32-5, $624
6th:         Michael Bahnweg, Union Dale, Pa., nine bass, 29-9, $435
7th:         John Alexander, Mt. Airy, Md., nine bass, 29-8, $395
8th:         Jimmy Papineau, Staatsburg, N.Y., 10 bass, 29-1, $356
9th:         Alexandre Jelev, Petawawa, Ont., 10 bass, 27-14, $316
10th:      Avery Shoemaker, Oakwood, Ga., 10 bass, 27-0, $277

Matt Hummel of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, caught the largest bass in the Strike King Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 14 ounces. The catch earned him the Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $285.

With the regular season now complete, boater Joseph Thompson of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, won the 2023 Bass Fishing League Northeast Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with a five-event total of 1,274 points to earn the $1,000 boater AOY award. Michael Bahnweg of Union Dale, Pennsylvania, won the 2023 Strike King Co-Angler Northeast Division AOY race with 1,281 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. 5-7 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship 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 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 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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