Boater Bobby Stanfill of Greenwood, South Carolina, and Strike-King co-angler Jared Upchurch of Lugoff, South Carolina.
Lugoff’s Upchurch Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

PROSPERITY, S.C. (May 9, 2022) – Boater Bobby Stanfill of Greenwood, South Carolina, caught five bass Saturday weighing 27 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Murray . The tournament, hosted by Capital City Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board, was the third event for the Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division. Stanfill earned $4,864 for his victory.

“I caught a lot of fish, and I caught them all day long,” Stanfill said. “This was a culmination of a whole lot of decisions I made throughout the day, and every single one of them was right. I had a starting place where I ended up catching a pretty decent limit right out of the gate. Then the pressure was kind of off me.”

Stanfill said after he caught his limit he moved to a different location where blueback herring had not been present on the bank and not spawning during practice. He said he threw a spinnerbait across a windy flat and about 25 6-inch herring followed the bait. Stanfill said he knew the wind and herring meant largemouth would be nearby.

“I said, “I’m just going to hang in this area and go with it,’” Stanfill said. “I saw a fish break at the surface, tossed a topwater bait to it, and the fish came up to it and killed it. I caught several more in a row and said, ‘I’m just going to go with this.’”

Stanfill said the bass were “flat absolutely biting” during the event, and the fishing was fantastic for many competitors. He said he expected to see 20- and 21-pound stringers during weigh-in, but the baitfish and wind provided anglers with ample opportunities for big bags.

“I didn’t realize what size stringer I was building,” Stanfill added. “I don’t focus on that. I just look at the smallest one I’ve got and try to replace it. What it all boiled down to was just some vicious flurries where I just wrecked them.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st:        Bobby Stanfill, Greenwood, S.C., five bass, 27-11, $4,864
2nd:       Roger Medlock, Mount Pleasant, S.C., five bass, 22-15, $2,048
3rd:       Jason Burroughs, Hodges, S.C., five bass, 22-12, $2,310 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
4th:        Ricky Basey, Warrenville, S.C., five bass, 21-2, $847
5th:        Nelson Walker, Manning, S.C., five bass, 20-14, $726
6th:        Chris Blanchette, Charleston, S.C., five bass, 20-11, $666
7th:        Bradford Beavers, Summerville, S.C., five bass, 20-5, $605
8th:        Josh Rennebaum, Chapin, S.C., five bass, 20-2, $545
9th:        Derek Lehtonen, Woodruff, S.C., five bass, 20-1, $484
10th:     Kevin Whitmore, Easley, S.C., five bass, 19-11, $424

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Stanfill and Medlock each had largemouth that weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces that tied for the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division, and they split the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $464.

Jared Upchurch of Lugoff, South Carolina, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $1,816 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 15 pounds, 2 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:

1st:        Jared Upchurch, Lugoff, S.C., five bass, 15-2, $1,816
2nd:       Tracy Harrington, Rock Hill, S.C., four bass, 14-14, $1,290
3rd:       Kevin Henderson, Honea Path, S.C., five bass, 14-12, $606
4th:        John Joyce II, Inman, S.C., five bass, 14-0, $424
5th:        Lonnie Drusch, Sumter, S.C., five bass, 13-8, $363
6th:        Stephen Britt, Chapin, S.C., three bass, 12-14, $333
7th:        Jason Hueble, Whitmire, S.C., five bass, 12-1, $303
8th:        Mel Tolson, Hartsville, S.C., four bass, 9-14, $272
9th:        Erik Girouard, Sumter, S.C., three bass, 9-11, $227
9th:        Christopher Helton, Greer, S.C., five bass, 9-11, $227

Harrington caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 9 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $232.

After three events, Jason Burroughs of Hodges, South Carolina, leads the Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 740 points, while Jacob Barfield of Conway, South Carolina, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 715 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. 13-15 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Pickwick Lake in Counce, Tennessee. 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 2022 All-American will be held June 2-4 at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.

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.

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