Sunday, June 23, 2024

Ohio’s Fricke ‘Finally’ Records Elusive Victory at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event at the Ohio River in Maysville


Boater Dave Fricke of Hamilton, Ohio, and Strike-King co-angler Jordan Smith of Middleton, Ohio.
Middletown, Ohio’s Smith Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

MAYSVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2023) – Boater Dave Fricke of Hamilton, Ohio, caught a five-bass limit weighing 11 pounds, 13 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on the Ohio River in Maysville presented by Rabid Baits . The tournament was the fourth event of the season for the BFL Buckeye Presented by Rabid Baits Division. Fricke earned $3,963 for his victory.

“I found some fish in practice,” said Fricke, who said he concentrated his efforts near the Manchester Islands east of Maysville. “I went in today and caught four of them pretty much right away.

“The fish were shallow – 1 to 3 feet – on flats and blowing up on bait,” Fricke continued. “I went through a series of baits and found they would hit the drop shot. After I had the fourth fish, I thought I had a good shot of doing well, because they were decent fish.”

Fricke said he relocated to check some main river spots but returned to his primary area and caught two more quality fish. Fricke caught eight fish during the tournament, including six keepers. Although he had posted six BFL 10-top finishes prior to Saturday’s tournament, a BFL win had remained elusive.

“I’m still shocked,” Fricke said. “Finally! I’ve waited a long time for this. Three out of four I should have won. I had the winning fish on. I saw the fish. It was really haunting me.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

                1st:        Dave Fricke, Hamilton, Ohio, five bass, 11-13, $3,963
                2nd:       Kenneth Pincombe, Hamilton, Ohio, five bass, 9-0, $1,981
                3rd:       Bob Robinson, Lebanon, Ohio, four bass, 7-5, $1,822 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
                4th:        Scott Manson, Covington, Ohio, four bass, 7-0, $925
                5th:        David Hoheisel, Westerville, Ohio, two bass, 6-7, $1,328
                6th:        William Redmond, Sciotoville, Ohio, five bass, 5-15, $693
                6th:        Clayton England, Germantown, Ky., five bass, 5-15, $693
                8th:        Doug Ruster, New Palestine, Ind., five bass, 5-14, $1,111
                8th:        Tim Adams, Burlington, Ky., three bass, 5-14, $561
                10th:     Christopher Helfer, Baltimore, Ohio, three bass, 5-11, $462

Complete results can be found at

David Hoheisel of Westerville, Ohio, caught a bass that weighed 4 pounds, 7 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $535.

Jordan Smith of Middletown, Ohio, won the Strike King co-angler division and a total of $1,963 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 5 pounds, 12 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

                1st:        Jordan Smith, Middletown, Ohio, five bass, 5-12, $1,963
                2nd:       Jeff Campbell, Fairfield, Ohio, two bass, 4-9, $981
                3rd:       Brian Zelinskas, Beavercreek, Ohio, two bass, 3-14, $655
                4th:        Matt Fisher, Glouster, Ohio, three bass, 3-12, $1,008
                5th:        Chris Malas, Cincinnati, Ohio, two bass, 3-8, $393
                6th:        Josh Whitehead, Kent, Ohio, two bass, 3-5, $360
                7th:        Walter Hammond, Lees Summitt, Mo., two bass, 3-2, $294
                7th:        Kevin Pierce, Eldorado, Ohio, three bass, 3-2, $294
                7th:        Sam Scroggins, Owenton, Ky., three bass, 3-2, $294
                10th:     Jordan Garrett, Portsmouth, Ohio, three bass, 3-1, $229

Adam Radovic of Brecksville, Ohio, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $265, catching a bass that weighed in at 2 pounds, 12 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After four events, Chris Martinkovic of Hamilton, Ohio, leads the BFL Buckeye Presented by Rabid Baits Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 951 points, while Steve Sorrell of Beavercreek, Ohio, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 939 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.

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 Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

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