Mansfield’s Batson Claims Victory at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Sinclair
May 9th, 2022 by Keith Worrall
Modified May 9th, 2022 at 2:56 PM
Boater Aaron Batson of Mansfield, Georgia, and Strike-King co-angler Keith Howard of Perry, Georgia.
Perry’s Howard Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. (May 9, 2022) – Boater Aaron Batson of Mansfield, Georgia, caught five bass Saturday weighing 20 pounds even to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Sinclair . The tournament was the second event of the season for the Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division, and the first of a tournament double-header weekend as another event took place on Sunday. Batson earned $5,057 for his victory Saturday.
“I started out fishing water willow, but I knew it had been getting pounded, so I changed it up and started looking for deeper seawalls,” Batson said. “I started with a Trixter Custom Baits jig and a Dock Hopper, looking for deeper seawalls. I stayed in the mid-lake area and worked that jig and a Zoom Ol’ Monster worm.
“I definitely did all my work in the first two hours of the day,” Batson added. “I caught a pretty good limit of 21 pounds or so early on.”
Batson said he changed tactics and worked shell beds and fished a frog in very shallow water in the back of a creek later in the day, but credited the jig with his win.
“I felt pretty good about this tournament after I caught my limit,” Batson said. “The fishing’s been tough here, and it’s been taking a good bag.
“There are some big sticks that fish the Bulldog Division,” Batson added. “It feels great to get my first win.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Aaron Batson, Mansfield, Ga., five bass, 20-0, $5,057
2nd: Stephen Jones, Macon, Ga., five bass, 19-13, $2,528
3rd: Kip Carter, Eatonton, Ga., five bass, 16-8, $1,685
4th: Emil Wagner, Marietta, Ga., five bass, 15-11, $1,880 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
5th: Travis Clay, Jackson, Ga., five bass, 15-10, $1,011
6th: Flint Davis, Leesburg, Ga., five bass, 14-14, $927
7th: Brad Stalnaker, Eatonton, Ga., five bass, 13-12, $843
8th: Larry Cason, Newborn, Ga., five bass, 13-7, $758
9th: Andy Wicker, Cayce, S.C., five bass, 12-8, $832
9th: Grant Kelly, Milledgeville, Ga., five bass, 12-8, $632
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Blade Parker of Resaca, Georgia, had a largemouth that weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $780.
Keith Howard of Perry, Georgia, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,528 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce.
The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
1st: Keith Howard, Perry, Ga., five bass, 13-1, $2,528
2nd: David Gibson, Atlanta, Ga., five bass, 12-2, $1,264
3rd: Mark Brinkman, Cumming, Ga., five bass, 11-3, $717
3rd: Wesley Mullins, Guyton, Ga., five bass, 11-3, $717
5th: Nicholas Clark, Lawrenceville, Ga., five bass, 9-8, $506
6th: Donald Peppers, Good Hope, Ga., five bass, 9-6, $464
7th: Chandler White, Covington, Ga., five bass, 9-5, $421
8th: Joe Morgan, Woodstock, Ga., five bass, 9-0, $379
9th: Austin Lockridge, Canon, Ga., five bass, 8-15, $337
10th: Robert Enke, Columbus, Ga., five bass, 8-10, $295
Shane Carlton of Akron, Ohio, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 3 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $390.
After Saturday’s event, Jerry Brumfield of Cumming, Georgia, led the Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 490 points, while Mark Brinkman of Cumming, Georgia, led the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 484 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. 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 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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Major League Fishing (MLF) is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, producing more than 250 events annually at some of the most prestigious fisheries in the world, while broadcasting to America’s living rooms on CBS, the Discovery Channel, the Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, the World Fishing Network, and on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with offices in Benton, Kentucky, the MLF roster of bass anglers includes the world’s top pros and more than 30,000 competitors in all 50 states and 13 countries. In 2019, MLF expanded its portfolio of catch, weigh, and immediately release events to include the sport’s strongest five-biggest-fish format tournament circuits. Since its founding in 2011, MLF has advanced the sport of competitive fishing through its premier television broadcasts and livestreams, and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bass through research, education, fisheries enhancement, and fish care.
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