Anderson’s Alvarez Tops Field at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Hartwell
Apr 12th, 2022 by Keith Worrall
Modified Apr 12th, 2022 at 1:16 PM
Boater Sean Alvarez of Anderson, South Carolina and Strike-King co-angler Eduardo Pabon of Gainesville, Georgia.
Georgia’s Pabon Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division
ANDERSON, S.C. (April 11, 2022) – Boater Sean Alvarez of Anderson, South Carolina, caught five bass Saturday weighing 21 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Hartwell . The tournament, hosted by the Anderson Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, was the second event for the Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division. Alvarez earned $11,133, including the lucrative $5,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus, for his victory.
“When we got out on the water we had forecasts for high winds, and I was pretty excited,” Alvarez said. “I’m pretty old-school when it comes to some of my favorite styles of bass fishing. When that wind blows I go right to my spinnerbait, and I knew I was going to be able to do that as long as the wind blew and it would allow me to do it in areas where other fishermen were going to avoid.”
Alvarez, who lives on Lake Hartwell, said he had about 30 spots where baitfish were present that he was keying in on during the week leading up to the tournament. Windy conditions prevailed for three days prior to the competition, so Alvarez felt confident in his approach.
“The second cast of the morning landed me a bass that weighed 5 pounds, 12 ounces,” Alvarez said. “Another dozen casts later, I caught a 4-pounder. It was nice to get two fish out of the same area.”
Alvarez said he was targeting post-spawn largemouth that were feeding on main points outside of spawning areas. After his first stop, he relocated to another main point that produced a 4- and 5-pounder to add to his bag.
“I was just moving around trying to target active fish that were nose into the wind,” Alvarez said. “I never was able to cull up, but fish bit every place I went.”
Alvarez said he caught about 30 keepers during the course of the day on a modified BOOYAH spinnerbait.
“The action was just so fast,” Alvarez said. “It was just net the fish, grab the fish, throw it in the livewell and get back up and do it again.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Sean Alvarez, Anderson, S.C., five bass, 21-10, $11,133 (includes $5,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
2nd: Tracy Watkins, Belton, S.C., five bass, 18-11, $2,566
3rd: Jayme Rampey, Liberty, S.C., five bass, 18-10, $1,710
4th: Jody Wilson, Blue Ridge, Ga., five bass, 18-5, $1,998
5th: Cody Hoyle, Rutherfordton, N.C., five bass, 18-4, $1,027
6th: Jason Burroughs, Hodges, S.C., five bass, 17-15, $1,541
7th: Michael Webster, Gastonia, N.C., five bass, 16-6, $855
8th: Justin Raines, Easley, S.C., five bass, 16-5, $770
9th: Bradley Day, Anderson, S.C., five bass, 16-4, $684
10th: Brad Benfield, Demorest, Ga., five bass, 15-10, $599
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Wilson had a largemouth that weighed 6 pounds even that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $800.
Eduardo Pabon of Gainesville, Georgia, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,566 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 13 pounds, 13 ounces.
The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
1st: Eduardo Pabon, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 13-13, $2,566
2nd: Dale Ball, Asheville, N.C., five bass, 13-11, $1,283
3rd: William Chris Bensel, Abbeville, S.C., five bass, 12-10, $955
4th: Paul Ellis, Cumming, Ga., five bass, 12-2, $599
5th: Johnny Hancox, West Union, S.C., five bass, 12-1, $513
6th: Aiden Free, Hodges, S.C., five bass, 11-13, $471
7th: Chris Wilson, Easley, S.C., five bass, 11-12, $428
8th: Kevin Henderson, Honea Path, S.C., five bass, 11-7, $385
9th: Gerald Glouse, Easley, S.C., five bass, 11-2, $342
10th: Don Meury, Marietta, S.C., four bass, 11-0, $899
Meury caught the largest bass in the Strike King Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5 pounds, 13 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $400.
After two events, Jason Burroughs of Hodges, South Carolina, leads the Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 494 points, while Chris Wilson of Easley, S.C, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 492 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 Smith Lake in Cullman, Alabama. 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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