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Yadkinville’s Haire Edges Field for Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event at Kerr Lake

HENDERSON, N.C. – Boater Danny Haire of Yadkinville, North Carolina, caught a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 15 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Kerr Lake. The tournament, hosted by the Vance County Tourism Development Authority, was the second event of the season for the BFL Piedmont Division. Haire earned $4,279 for his victory.

“The water at Kerr Lake has been up in the bushes lately,” said Haire, who refers to himself as a Carolina-rig specialist. “I hadn’t been faring too well. But they drew the water down out of the bushes, and that caused some fish to get out on shallow points. I know the lake well enough, and the water was just perfect for me.”

Haire said he got the chance to throw the Carolina rig, and he focused on flats in 5 to 12 feet of water in Nutbush Creek and used Zoom plastic baits of all types on the tip of his rig to catch bass. His efforts produced 12 keepers during the tournament.

“I had three fish right at 5 pounds, and two fish that were 15 inches long, and I never could cull the dinks,” Haire said.

Haire was worried about the two small fish in his weigh bag and thought they would cost him the tournament.

“Generally, it’s going to take 17 or 18 pounds to win there, and I thought I was going to be a pound or two short,” Haire said. “I had two good fish that got off, and usually you can’t lose one good one and still win. But the bite was kind of tough, and there were a lot of limits caught, but they included a lot of 2- and 2½-pounders.”

In the end, Haire’s bag was good enough to win by 5 ounces.

“This feels really good,” said Haire, who now has four BFL wins, all on Kerr Lake. “I’m 65 years old, so they get a little sweeter with each one.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Danny Haire, Yadkinville, N.C., five bass, 16-15, $4,279
2nd:       Tyler Purcell, Townsville, N.C., five bass, 16-10, $2,140
3rd:       Tyler Trent, Nathalie, Va., five bass, 14-15, $1,926 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
4th:        Ron Rousseau III, Raleigh, N.C., five bass, 14-11, $1,603
5th:        Chris Baldwin, Lexington, N.C., five bass, 14-10, $1,526
6th:        Chris Brummett, Lynch Station, Va., five bass, 14-3, $1,085
7th:        Billy Bledsoe, Fayetteville, N.C., five bass, 14-1, $713
8th:        Evan White, Roanoke Rapids, N.C., five bass, 14-0, $642
9th:        Ryan McGee, Battleboro, N.C., five bass, 13-11, $571
10th:     Flash Butts, Roanoke Rapids, N.C., five bass, 13-3, $474
10th:     Jonathan Bailey, Peterstown, W.V., five bass, 13-3, $474

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Ron Rousseau III of Raleigh, North Carolina, caught a bass that weighed 5 pounds, 9 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $605.

Cornell Badra of Clarksburg, Maryland, won the Strike King co-angler division and a total of $2,140 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 12 pounds, 8 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

1st:        Cornell Badra, Clarksburg, Md., five bass, 12-8, $2,140
2nd:       Bud Amend, Pleasant Garden, N.C., five bass, 12-1, $1,070
3rd:       Tim Privette, Jr., Wendell, N.C., five bass, 11-13, $912
4th:        Robert Wedding, Welcome, Md., five bass, 11-7, $849
5th:        Payton Thompson, Rustburg, Va., five bass, 11-2, $428
6th:        Phillip Ragland, Jr., Rustburg, Va., five bass, 10-12, $392
7th:        Michael Garrett, Buena Vista, Va., five bass, 10-9, $357
8th:        Jonathan Ceaser, Maidens, Va., five bass, 10-6, $321
9th:        Craig Hamilton, Salisbury, N.C., five bass, 10-2, $285
10th:     Stephen Barr, Wilmington, N.C., five bass, 10-1, $250

Victor Cuevas of Supply, North Carolina, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $302, catching a bass that weighed in at 5 pounds, 1 ounce – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After two events, Chris Brummett of Lynch Station, Virginia, leads the BFL Piedmont Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 492 points, while Phillip Ragland Jr. of Rustburg, Virginia, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 484 points.

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: 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 MajorLeagueFishing.com.

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