|Boater Phillip Dutra of Arab, Alabama, and Strike-King co-angler John Davenport of Huntsville, Alabama.|
|Huntsville’s Davenport Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division|
SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (Sept. 25, 2023) – Boater Phillip Dutra of Arab, Alabama, caught 10 bass weighing 39 pounds, 10 ounces to win the two-day MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Guntersville in Scottsboro, Alabama. The tournament, hosted by the Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce, was the fifth and final regular-season event for the Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division. Dutra earned $7,717 for his victory.
“I fished a mixture of baits, mainly topwater and flipping,” said Dutra, who earned his first career victory after eight previous top-10 finishes in MLF competition. “I fished up and down the lake and located a couple of areas that had quality fish. Then I just cycled through those areas.”
A longtime Toyota Series Western division pro, Dutra recently moved to Alabama and was competing in his first ever Phoenix BFL tournament.
“I think that was the key to my win – pretty much just fishing the way I used to fish out west at the California Delta,” Dutra said. “I covered a lot of water and fished all throughout the lake. I didn’t have one spot, or one area.”
Dutra estimated that he had around 15 bites on Day 1, and around nine or 10 on Day 2.
“I threw quite a few different baits, but a Damiki Rambler, Damiki Knockout, a Snag Proof Bobby’s Perfect Frog and a Bobby D Buzzbait all got me some bites,” Dutra said. “I was using the brand new SEVIIN reels from St. Croix and was blown away at how far my casts were going. I paired that with 50-pound P-Line X-Braid for my topwater and flipping, and my equipment, no doubt, made a huge difference in how I ended up.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Phillip Dutra, Arab, Ala., 10 bass, 39-10, $7,717
2nd: Alex Davis, Albertville, Ala., 10 bass, 38-10, $3,709
3rd: Terry Fisher, Decatur, Ala., 10 bass, 37-12, $2,674
4th: Logan Dyar, Cleveland, Ala., 10 bass, 35-6, $1,731
5th: Fisher Anaya, Eva, Ala., 10 bass, 35-2, $1,115, $1,483
6th: Scott Wiley, Jr., Bay Minette, Ala., 10 bass, 33-15, $1,360
7th: Kent Ware, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 33-7, $1,736 (includes $500 Phoenix Bonus)
8th: Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala., 10 bass, 33-5, $1,113
9th: Ryan Salzman, Huntsville, Ala., 10 bass, 33-2, $989
10th: Chandler Brewer, Meridianville, Ala, 10 bass, 32-11, $865
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
John Janick of Adams, Tennessee, caught the heaviest bass in the boater division, a bass that weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces to win the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $1,132.
John Davenport of Huntsville, Alabama, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $3,652 Sunday after catching a two-day total of nine bass weighing 30 pounds, 8 ounces.
The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
1st: John Davenport, Huntsville, Ala., nine bass, 20-1, $3,652
2nd: Cy Matlock, Crump, Tenn., seven bass, 17-15, $1,826
3rd: Rich Frey, Guntersville, Ala., seven bass, 16-11, $1,218
4th: Scott Mascadri, Southside, Ala., five bass, 14-1, $852
5th: Chris Allen, Bremen, Ga., seven bass, 13-7, $730
6th: Toby Lawson, Trussville, Ala., five bass, 13-7, $669
7th: Tony Pendley, Oakman, Ala., five bass, 13-4, $609
8th: Christian Jones, Cadiz, Ky., five bass, 11-13, $548
9th: Larry Franks, Jr., Wilsonville, Ala., five bass, 11-0, $487
10th: Jamie Bladow, Houston, Ala., four bass, 9-4, $426
Alex Ross of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Brian Carroll of Glencoe, Alabama, tie for the largest bass in the Strike King Co-angler Division, as each caught a bass weighing 5 pounds, 3 ounces. They split the $550 Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award and each brought home $275.
With the regular season now complete, boater Jordan Lee of Cullman, Alabama, won the 2023 Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with a five-event total of 1,305 points to earn the $1,000 boater AOY award. Justin Stephenson of Jasper, Alabama, won the 2023 Strike King Co-Angler Choo Choo Division AOY race with 1,328 points and earned the $500 Strike King Co-angler of the Year award.
Now, the top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the division based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will advance to compete in the Oct. 12-14 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Alabama. 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 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 Invitationals and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.
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. For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.