|Boater Cody Pitt of Elmer, Louisiana and Strike-King co-angler Leroy Dee Sheperd of Mountain View, Oklahoma.|
|BFL All-time Big Bass and Largest Weight Ever Weighed at Toledo Bend in MLF Competition Records Fall as Five 10+ Pounders Come Visit the Scale|
MANY, La. (Feb. 6, 2023) – Boater Cody Pitt of Elmer, Louisiana, caught an all-time MLF Toledo Bend-cumulative weight record five-bass limit weighing 39 pounds, 15 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Toledo Bend by a massive 8-pound, 1-ounce margin of victory. The tournament was the second event for the BFL Cowboy Division. Pitt earned $8,107 for his victory, including the lucrative $2,500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus.
Toledo Bend Reservoir showed out this weekend, as five bass were weighed Saturday in excess of 10+ pounds.
Pitt’s day started out rather unassuming, as he started his day on a couple of big-bite spots for him – offshore, isolated hard spots that held fish in 25 feet of water. He fished those spots for an hour and a half but managed to land only two small Kentucky bass. He relocated and found fish in 32 feet of water.
“I catch them deep this time of year, but typically not that deep,” Pitt said. “I thought they were smaller fish down there, but my first cast I caught one that weighed 6 pounds.”
Pitt used a ¾-ounce V&M Cliff Pace The Flatline Pacemaker Football Jig, as well as Strike King Pro Model 6XD and 10XD crankbaits , fished anywhere from 12 to 32 feet of water to entice bites.. His third spot produced a bite on his first cast, but it didn’t hold. His second cast with the B&M jig, however, produced the record-breaking big bass.
“When I first laid my eyes on it, I told my co-angler that it weighed at least 12 pounds,” Pitt said. “Then when I put my hands on it, I thought that it actually could go in the teens.”
Pitt pulled another 6-pounder from that spot, then moved again and boated a 4-pounder to fill his five-bass limit.
“At the start of the tournament I thought I had a pretty good chance at 30 pounds or maybe a little over 30,” said Pitt. “But right at 40? And catching a bass in the teens? That never crossed my mind.”
Pitt moved around some more, trying not to disturb fish for another upcoming tournament he plans to fish, and caught another 6-pounder and a 5½-pounder in five casts before he decided to head to weigh-in an hour early.
“If you win a BFL on Toledo Bend or Sam Rayburn, you’ve really done something,” Pitt said. “To beat that field feels really good. It’s a major accomplishment to win on those lakes.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:1st: Cody Pitt, Elmer, La., five bass, 39-15, $8,107 (includes $2,500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
2nd: Tater Reynolds, Florien, La, five bass, 31-14, $2,436
3rd: Cal Cameron, Coppell, Texas, five bass, 23-2, $1,623
4th: Michael Powell, Henderson, Texas, five bass, 20-7, $1,137
5th: Casey Tate, Oakdale, La., five bass, 19-13, $974
6th: Raymond Anselmo, Baton Rouge, La., five bass, 17-8, $893
7th: Dylan Smith, Midlothian, Texas, four bass, 17-2, $812
8th: Cole Moore, Anacoco, La., five bass, 16-11, $731
9th: Cody Ross, Livingston, Texas, five bass, 16-5, $650
10th: Joe Beebee, Huntsville, Texas, five bass, 16-1, $568Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Pitt’s BFL-record largemouth weighed 13 pounds, 6 ounces, and easily earned the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $735.
Leroy Dee Sheperd of Mountain View, Oklahoma, won the Strike King co-angler division and a total of $2,436 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 23 pounds, 11 ounces.
The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished: 1st: Leroy Dee Sheperd, Mountain View, Okla., five bass, 23-11, $2,436
2nd: Michael Fagan, Big Sandy, Texas, three bass, 17-14, $1,585
3rd: Ray Welch, Bossier City, La., five bass, 12-8, $814
4th: Korby Friday, Elizabeth, La., four bass, 12-1, $568
5th: Bryan Allen, Conroe, Texas, four bass, 11-4, $487
6th: Dustin Berry, Dayton, Texas, four bass, 10-3, $447
7th: Jesse Rawls, Oklahoma City, Okla., four bass, 8-13, $385
7th: David Koch, Azle, Texas, three bass, 8-13, $385
9th: Garrett Wilson, Willis, Texas, three bass, 8-11, $325
10th: Nathan Bourque, Prairieville, La., three bass, 7-13, $284Fagan earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $367, catching a largemouth that weighed in at 11 pounds even– the largest co-angler catch of the day.
After two events, Cole Moore of Anacoco, Louisiana, leads the BFL Cowboy Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 492 points, while Dustin Berry of Dayton, Texas, 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 Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Oklahoma. 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 MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.