Boater Chris Wilkinson of Farmersburg, Indiana and Strike-King co-angler Brian Zelinskas of Beavercreek, Ohio.
Ohio’s Zelinskas Tops Strike King Co-Angler Division

LAWRENCEBERG, Ind. (June 27, 2022) – Boater Chris Wilkinson of Farmersburg, Indiana, caught five bass Saturday weighing 12 pounds, 9 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on the Ohio River . The tournament was the second event for the Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division. Wilkinson earned $4,938 for his victory.

“We started off with a bit of a fog delay and got off a bit later than we wanted to, but I went to an area where I felt like it had some better fish that I could catch,” said Wilkinson, who now has seven career BFL wins.

Wilkinson said he focused on creeks with current breaks that featured rock and wood.  A buzzbait accounted for his fish early in the day before the sun was directly overhead.

“Later on in the day I caught two of my better fish on a Honey Creek Tackle tube,” Wilkinson said. “I caught eight keepers during the day.

“Every win is special,” Wilkinson added. “I’ve been lucky enough to win seven, and you never know when one is going to be your last.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st:          Chris Wilkinson, Farmersburg, Indiana, five bass, 12-9, $4,938
2nd:        Brian Wrobleski, Alexandria, Ky., five bass, 9-10, $3,714 (Includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
3rd:        William Jackson, Lawrenceburg, Ind., five bass, 9-0, $1,646
4th:         Ryan Collins, Fairfield, Ohio, four bass, 8-15, $1,352
5th:         Nathan Brown, five bass, 8-3, $988
6th:         Kenny Dials, Gallipolis, Ohio, four bass, 7-15, $905
7th:         Jeremy Higgins, Union, Ky., five bass, 7-7, $782
7th:         Pat White, Batavia, Ohio, five bass, 7-7, $982
9th:         Mark Dove, North Vernon, Ind., four bass, 7-6, $617
9th:         Trevor Howard, four bass, 7-6, $617
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Wrobleski caught a fish that weighing 4 pounds, 11 ounces that – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – earning him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $745.

Brian Zelinskas of Beavercreek, Ohio, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,469 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 8 pounds even.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:

1st:          Brian Zelinskas, Beavercreek, Ohio, five bass, 8-0, $2,469
2nd:        Ryan Zwick, Oxford, Ohio, four bass, 7-2, $1,435
3rd:        Kyle Taylor, Sullivan, Ind., three bass, 5-12, $823
4th:         Zach Smith, Flatwoods, Ky., three bass, 5-9, $948
5th:         Austin Thome, Oxford, Ohio, four bass, 5-5, $494
6th:         Brian Short, Oxford, Ohio, four bass, 5-4, $453
7th:         Matt Luken, Independence, Ky., four bass, 4-15, $412
8th:         Matt Fisher, three bass, 4-13, $820
9th:         Douglas Shope, Troy, Ohio, three bass, 4-9, $329
10th:      Marcus Dudley, Twinsburg, Ohio, two bass, 4-8, $288
Smith also caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 3 pounds, 9 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $372.

After two events, David Fricke of Hamilton, Ohio, leads the Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 486 points, while Brian Zelinskas of Beavercreek, Ohio, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 481 points.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 20-22 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on the James River in Richmond, Virginia. Boaters will compete 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 fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The 2022 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Regional Championships 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 Phoenix Bass Fishing League 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 Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.

Proud sponsors of the 2022 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, AFTCO, A.R.E. Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Gary Yamamoto Baits, General Tire, Lew’s, Lowrance, Lucas Oil, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Revital Outdoors, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X, YETI and Yo-Zuri.

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.