Boater Chris Wilkinson of Farmersburg, Indiana, and Strike-King co-angler Joshua Guthrie of Athens, Ohio.
Ohio’s Guthrie Tops Strike King Co-Angler Division

MAYSVILLE, Ky. (July 25, 2022) – Boater Chris Wilkinson of Farmersburg, Indiana, caught five bass Saturday weighing 8 pounds, 2 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on the Ohio River. The tournament was the third event for the Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division. Wilkinson earned $4,199 for his victory.

Wilkinson, who notched his eighth career BFL victory – with his last coming last month on the Ohio River out of Tanners Creek – said this event was only his third time to ever fish the Ohio River.

“I had heard the (Maysville) pool could fish really tough,” Wilkinson said. “And it sounds a little crazy, but I like it when the fishing is tough like that.

“I started out in the back of a creek and caught two keepers and then moved out toward the mouth of the creek and caught one more,” Wilkinson added. “I fished the whole tournament in creeks, with the exception of my last fish, which I caught in the main river.”

Wilkinson said he caught almost all of his fish on a Texas-rigged, gill-colored Hog Snatcher Baits tube. Wilkinson targeted bass holding on wood in less than a foot of water.

“I caught 10 keepers during the day,” Wilkinson said. “I didn’t really upgrade a whole lot. I was due in at 2:20, and at 2:16 I culled my last fish. That was definitely the one that gave me enough to win.

“I’ve seen six pounds win there, and I’ve seen seven pounds win there, and I had right at eight pounds, but yeah, it surprised me I won,” Wilkinson added.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st:        Chris Wilkinson, Farmersburg, Ind., five bass, 8-2, $4,199
2nd:       Jake Poffenberger, Brookville, Ohio, five bass, 7-15, $2,600 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
3rd:       Pete Justice, Sharonville, Ohio, three bass, 7-6, $2183
4th:        Dick Shaffer, Rockford, Ohio, four bass, 7-4, $910
4th:        Chuck Willis, Dayton, Ohio, five bass, 7-4, $910
6th:        Chris Martinkovic, Hamilton, Ohio, five bass, 7-3, $1,470
7th:        Dave Fricke, Hamilton, Ohio, five bass, 6-14, $700
8th:        Jamie Cunnagin, New Lebanon, Ohio, three bass, 5-15, $630
9th:        Brody Campbell, Oxford, Ohio, four bass, 5-14, $560
10th:     David Spivey, Hamilton, Ohio, four bass, 5-11, $490

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Justice caught the heaviest bass of the event in the Boater Division, weighing 4 pounds, 3 ounces,to earn the day’s Berkley Big Bass award of $585.

Joshua Guthrie of Athens, Ohio, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,100 Saturday after catching four bass weighing 5 pounds, 11 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:

1st:        Joshua Guthrie, Athens, Ohio, four bass, 5-11, $2,100
2nd:       Matt Fisher, Glouster, Ohio, three bass, 5-5, $1,700
3rd:       Jesse Foster, Franklin, Ohio, two bass, 4-12, $701
4th:        Matt Luken, Independence, Ky., four bass, 4-8, $490
5th:        Ed Mook, Sewickley, Pa., three bass, 4-2, $402
5th:        Cole Lorenz, Canal Winchester, Ohio, two bass, 4-2, $402
7th:        Rick McGuire, Brookville, Ohio, two bass, 3-14, $350
8th:        Jeff Turner, Plainfield, Ill., two bass, 3-13, $315
9th:        Ryan Sykes, Fairfield, Ohio, two bass, 3-12, $280
10th:     Josh Whitehead, Kent, Ohio, one bass, 3-10, $537

Whitehead caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 3 pounds, 10 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $292.

After three events, Dave Fricke of Hamilton, Ohio, leads the Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 730 points, while Jacob Alltop of Lewistown, Ohio, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 711 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.