Boater Robert Mixon of Lexington, North Carolina, and Strike-King co-angler Dustin Riddle of Hiwassee, Virginia
Virginia’s Riddle Claims Victory in Strike King Co-Angler Division

SALISBURY, N.C. (Sept. 19, 2022) – Boater Robert Mixon of Lexington, North Carolina, caught 10 bass weighing 37 pounds, 1 ounce, to win the two-day MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on High Rock Lake in Salisbury, North Carolina. The tournament was the fifth and final regular-season event for the Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division. Mixon earned $4,189 for his victory.

“I started off fishing piers to catch good fish early, and then moved out during the later part of the day,” Mixon said. “On Saturday, I caught four or five off the piers, and four or five when I moved away from the piers. Then on Sunday, I caught five starting off fishing the piers, then I caught some more fish out, but they weren’t big ones and didn’t help me.”

Mixon said practiced for five days before the event and ended up targeting piers in Abbot’s Creek that sat in four feet of water, but he caught his bass where the piers met the bank in one foot of water. He fished a black Zoom Trick Worm for his pier fish, and switched to a Carolina rig with a green-pumpkin-colored Zoom Brush Hog in the main river of High Rock Lake later in the day.

“When I sat the hook, water just boiled,” Mixon said.

Mixon said after catching a 4-pounder and one that weighed 6-1, the thought of a win crept into his mind.

“I was fishing against 12 of the best guys on High Rock, so I wasn’t guaranteed anything,” Mixon said. “You can’t take anything for granted until you weigh in.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st:        Robert Mixon, Lexington, N.C., 10 bass, 37-1, $4,189
2nd:       Maurice Freeze, Concord, N.C., 10 bass, 28-6, $2,295
3rd:       Eric Johnson, Partlow, Va., 10 bass, 28-4, $1,396
4th:        Christopher Brown, Lexington, N.C., 10 bass, 27-12, $978
5th:        Thomas Milton, Chester, Va., eight bass, 26-11, $838
6th:        Kevin Chandler, New London, N.C., 10 bass, 26-11, $768
7th:        Steve Sink, Winston-Salem, N.C., 10 bass, 25-4, $698
8th:        Bradley Staley, Sophia, N.C., 10 bass, 23-11, $928
9th:        Tyler Trent, Nathalie, Va., six bass, 20-13, $1,059 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF5 contingency bonus)
10th:     Todd Harris, Lexington, N.C., eight bass, 20-13, $489

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Chad Poteat of Mount Airy, North Carolina, had a bass that weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $465.

Dustin Riddle of Hiwassee, Virginia, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,095 Sunday after catching a two-day total of eight bass weighing 21 pounds, 10 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:

1st:        Dustin Riddle, Hiwassee, Va., eight bass, 21-10, $2,095
2nd:       Clifton Jenkins, Elm City, N.C., seven bass, 17-6, $1,047
3rd:       Tony Toombs, Drakes Branch, Va., five bass, 14-14, $932
4th:        Hunter Alexander, China Grove, N.C., six bass, 14-9, $489
5th:        Hayden Payne, Dugspur, Va., four bass, 13-3, $519
6th:        David Deciucis, Chester, Va., six bass, 13-2, $384
7th:        Nathan Reeves, Lynchburg, Va., six bass, 12-11, $549
8th:        Pat Kendrick, Bumpass, Va., seven bass, 12-3, $314
9th:        Phillip Ragland Jr., Rustburg, Va., three bass, 11-14, $479
10th:     Jeff Rikard, Leesville, S.C., five bass, 11-13, $394

Tony Toombs of Drakes Branch, Virginia, caught the largest bass in the Strike King Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 11 ounces. The catch earned him the Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $232.

With the regular season now complete, boater Eric Johnson of Partlow, Virginia, won the 2022 Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with a five-event total of 1,293 points to earn the $1,000 boater AOY award. David Deciucis of Chester, Virginia, won the 2022 Strike King Co-Angler Piedmont Division AOY race with 1,322 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. 6-8 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lake Murray in Prosperity, South Carolina. 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.