WARSAW, Mo.– Boater Derek Felton of Willard, Missouri, caught five bass Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Truman . The tournament was the fourth event for the Bass Fishing League Ozark Division. Felton earned $13,488 for his victory.
“We made a long run up the lake to Thibault Point and started out flipping bushes and caught a couple of keepers,” said Felton while recounting his first tournament experience on Lake Truman. “Then the sun got up, and we decided to run back down the lake and fished some pockets I’d found in practice.”
Felton said the first pocket he stopped at produced a couple of 3-pound bass, and the next stop resulted in a 4-pounder.
“After that, I just slowly upgraded one at a time throughout the day,” Felton said. “I probably caught 20 to 25 fish during the day flipping bushes in three feet of water with a Jewel Baits Pro Spider Jig. Nine of those were keepers.”
Felton said he didn’t feel comfortable with the limit he had in the livewell at the end of the day, but Felton’s tournament had a surprise ending.
“I felt like I would end up in the top 10,” Felton said. “But I had more weight than I expected. This win feels amazing.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Derek Felton, Willard, Mo., five bass, 17-9, $13,488 (includes $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
2nd: Jonathan Pimentel, Camdenton, Mo., five bass, 15-8, $3,244
3rd: Dillon Statler, Kimberling City, Mo., five bass, 14-4, $2,709
4th: Tom Alsop, Overland Park, Kansas, five bass, 13-13, $1,281
5th: Jacob Welch, Jefferson City, Mo., five bass, 13-12, $1,098
6th: Wesley Myers, Raytown, Mo., five bass, 13-10, $1,006
7th: Samuel Louw, Story City, Iowa, five bass, 13-8, $915
8th: Brock Reinkemeyer, Warsaw, Mo., five bass, 13-7, $777
8th: Michael Stetich, Ankeny, Iowa, five bass, 13-7, $777
10th: Dennis Young, Olathe, Kan., five bass, 13-6, $640
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Statler also caught a largemouth weighing 4 pounds, 14 ounces, the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division, to earn the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $880.
Oliver Siebert of Fenton, Missouri, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,728 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 13 pounds, 7 ounces.
The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
1st: Oliver Siebert, Fenton, Mo., five bass, 13-7, $2,728
2nd: Stanislav Sedletskii, Springfield, Mo., five bass, 11-11, $1,364
3rd: Will Billeter, Springfield, Mo., five bass, 11-7, $911
4th: Grant Larkins, Farmington, Mo., three bass, 11-5, $837
5th: Josh Hood, Dupo, Ill., five bass, 10-14, $546
6th: Jeremy Fiedler, Sullivan, Mo., five bass, 10-10, $477
6th: Chris McClellan, Desoto, Mo., five bass, 10-10, $577
8th: J.D. Smith, Carthage, Mo., four bass, 10-4, $409
9th: Joe Dietz, O’Fallon, Mo., five bass, 9-12, $364
10th: Caleb Welch, Bolivar, Mo., four bass, 8-12, $302
10th: Kelby Humble, Rogersville, Mo., four bass, 8-12, $302
Tom Leblanc of Omaha, Nebraska, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 15 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $437.
After four events, Travis Harriman of Huntsville, Arkansas, leads the Bass Fishing League Ozark Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 909 points, while Shawn Kemper of Iberia, Missouri, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 858 points.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 20-22 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma. Boaters will compete 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 fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.
The 2022 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Regional Championships 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 Phoenix Bass Fishing League 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 Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.
Proud sponsors of the 2022 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, AFTCO, A.R.E. Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Gary Yamamoto Baits, General Tire, Lew’s, Lowrance, Lucas Oil, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Revital Outdoors, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X, YETI and Yo-Zuri.
For complete details and updated tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.