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Phoenix’s Conrad Demecs Wins MLF Toyota Series Western Division Finale at California Delta

BETHEL ISLAND, Calif. – An old adage in tournament bass fishing is ‘consistency is key’, and that was certainly the case this week in the final MLF Toyota Series Western Division Presented by Tackle Warehouse event of the year. Phoenix, Arizona, pro Conrad Demecs brought a five-bass limit to the scale Friday weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounce – his third straight 19+ pound limit of the event – to win the Toyota Series at the California Delta Presented by Psycho Tuna and earn the top payout of $25,819. Demecs’ three-day total of 15 bass weighing 57-6 earned him the victory by a 2-pound, 6-ounce margin over second-place angler Christian Ostrander of Turlock, California, who weighed in 15 bass totaling 55-0 to earn $9,346.

“I figured I needed at least another 19 pounds today, and I knew all the guys behind me are hammers with the potential to catch 20 pounds,” Demecs said. “I had to be consistent to pull it off.”

Demecs entered the final day just 1-pound, 4-ounces ahead of Ostrander. Demecs said he stuck with the same basic plan that worked the first two days, eventually burning more than 30 gallons of fuel each day en route to his win.

“I got two big ones pretty early and got a 5-pounder on my last cast,” Demecs said.

Demecs’ win came on a 3/8- and a ½-ounce vibrating jig, as well as punching with a beaver-style bait and throwing a frog. He primarily targeted areas in the mid- to southern part of the Delta, which offered warmer water and better grass.

“I just ran around a lot,” Demecs said. “If you want to win these events, you (usually) have to go punching but I couldn’t get much going punching. I caught fish this week on a spinnerbait, some punching, a few on a (Yamamoto) Senko, some on a frog. I think the warmer water is why I was able to generate the frog bite that I did, today. I caught it at 1:30 p.m. when it was like 80 degrees.”

The top 10 pros on the California Delta finished:

1st:          Conrad Demecs, Phoenix, Ariz., 15 bass, 57-6, $25,819
2nd:         Christian Ostrander, Turlock, Calif., 15 bass, 55-0, $9,346
3rd:         Adam Deakin, Windsor, Colo., 15 bass, 53-2, $8,236 (includes $1,000 Phoenix Bonus)
4th:         Cody Crist, Ramona, Calif., 15 bass, 48-0, $6,030
5th:         Beau Joudrey, Oakley, Calif., 15 bass, 45-15, $5,427
6th:         Patrick Touey, Santa Maria, Calif., 15 bass, 43-14, $4,824
7th:         Hunter Schlander, Modesto, Calif., 15 bass, 43-7, $4,221
8th:         Ken Phillips, Concord, Calif., 15 bass, 43-7, $3,618
9th:         Bill Oshinn, Granite Bay, Calif., 15 bass, 43-3, $3,015
10th:       Ty Faber, Pagosa Springs, Colo., 15 bass, 41-3, $2,412

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Pro Mark Lassagne of Dixon, California, won the $500 Day 1 Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division Wednesday with a bass weighing 8 pounds, 5 ounces. On Thursday, J.D. Blackamore of Yorba Linda, California, earned the $500 Berkley Big Bass prize with a mammoth largemouth weighing in at 12 pounds even – the largest fish weighed in MLF competition this year.

Steve Wey of Salida, California, won the Strike King Co-angler Division Friday with a three-day total of 14 bass weighing 34 pounds, 2 ounces. Wey took home the top co-angler prize of $33,650, including a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard motor.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers on the California Delta finished:

1st:          Steve Wey, Salida, Calif., 14 bass, 34-2, Phoenix 518 Pro boat w/115-hp Mercury outboard
2nd:         Tyson Christman, Glendale, Ariz., 12 bass, 32-3, $3,155
3rd:         Kirk Marshall, Discovery Bay, Calif., nine bass, 28-13, $2,524
4th:         David Zavvar, Concord, Calif., 14 bass, 28-12, $2,208
5th:         Jonathan Green, San Pablo, Calif., 11 bass, 28-1, $1,893
6th:         Micheal Klemm, Oroville, Calif., 13 bass, 28-0, $1,577
7th:         Ty Crofts, Cedar City, Utah, 14 bass, 27-2, $1,412
8th:         Blaine Christiansen, San Jose, Calif., 13 bass, 26-8, $1,104
9th:         Chad Roorda, Palm Desert, Calif., 12 bass, 26-7, $1,096
10th:       Scott Bern, San Rafael, Calif., 14 bass, 26-4, $989

Chad Roorda of Palm Desert, California, earned Wednesday’s $150 Berkley Big Bass award after weighing in a 7-pound, 6-ounce bass, while the Day 2 $150 award went to co-angler winner Steve Wey, who brought a 6-pound, 10-ounce bass to the scale.

With the three regular-season events in the Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats Western Division presented by Tackle Warehouse now complete, pro David Valdivia of Riverside, California, was crowned the 2023 Western Division Pro Angler of the Year (AOY) and earned the $5,000 AOY bonus with a total of 754 points. Bruce Harris of Oakdale, California, won the 2023 Western Division Strike King Co-angler AOY race and the $2,000 AOY bonus with 755 points.

The Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats at the California Delta Presented by Psycho Tuna was hosted by the City of Oakley. It was the third and final regular-season event for the Toyota Series Western Division Presented by Tackle Warehouse. The next event for the top 25 anglers in the Toyota Series Western Division Presented by Tackle Warehouse AOY standings will be the Toyota Series Championship at Table Rock Lake, Nov. 2-4, in Branson, Missouri. For a complete schedule of events, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The 2023 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 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 on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, is hosted by ExploreBranson.com.

Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Toyota Series include: 4WP, 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.

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