Bethalto’s Davis Wins at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Shelbyville
May 16th, 2022 by Keith Worrall
Modified May 16th, 2022 at 8:09 PM
Boater Robert Davis of Bethalto, Illinois, and Strike-King co-angler Jay Fields of Breese, Illinois.
Breese’s Fields Claims Strike King Co-Angler Division Victory
SHELBYVILLE, Ill. (May 16, 2022) – Boater Robert Davis of Bethalto, Illinois, caught four bass Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Shelbyville. The tournament was the season-opener for the Bass Fishing League Illini Division. Davis earned $4,825 for his victory.
“This tournament was a hot grind,” Davis said. “My original plan did not pan out, so I went with Plan B that I had found the week before – fishing spawning and post-spawn fish, and that paid off.
“I was going back and forth between shallow and deep fish,” Davis added. “I was slow-rolling a spinnerbait near the bottom. Everything I was getting was just subtle bites; they weren’t hitting very hard at all. It was just a reaction bite. I could get them fired up for about 10 minutes and then go two hours without another bite, then get them fired back up for about 10 minutes. It was tedious.”
Davis said he fished three different areas up-river on Lake Shelbyville, and his slow-rolling technique focused on water about 20 feet deep and produced four keepers in the livewell. Davis said he lost four other keepers during the tournament.
“I feel humbled and blessed to win this,” Davis said. “I’ve been fishing the BFL events for four years now with only one top-10 finish. To win on a lake I’m not too familiar with is great. Everything just lined up right for me.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Robert Davis, Bethalto, Ill., four bass, 14-4, $4,825
2nd: Mike Brueggen, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 13-12, $2,118
3rd: Tanner Shiley, Oakland, Ill., four bass, 13-0, $1,700 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
3rd: Bill Cearlock, Springfield, Ill., five bass, 13-0, $1,200
5th: Ben Holmes, Altamont, Ill., five bass, 12-2, $847
6th: Cole Jezek, Salem, Ill., five bass, 11-8, $741
6th: Trey McKinney, Carbondale, Ill., five bass, 11-8, $741
8th: Luke Budde, St. Louis, Mo., five bass, 10-9, $635
9th: Shane Haslett, Beecher City, Ill., five bass, 10-3, $565
10th: Patrick Odell, Windsor, Ill., five bass, 10-2, $494
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Davis 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 $590.
Jay Fields of Breese, Illinois, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,082 Saturday after catching four bass weighing 8 pounds, 7 ounces.
The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
1st: Jay Fields, Breese, Ill., four bass, 8-7, $2,082
2nd: Andrew Dunford, Christopher, Ill., three bass, 8-6, $1,041
3rd: Matt Cannaday, Farmington, Mo., three bass, 8-3, $692
4th: Joe Andres, Effingham, Ill., four bass, 8-2, $486
5th: Aaron Wehmeyer, Bloomington, Ill., four bass, 7-13, $416
6th: Derick Holmes, Fairfield, Ill., four bass, 7-11, $382
7th: Jimmy Null, Bethalto, Ill., three bass, 7-4, $347
8th: Steve Grigsby, Washington, Ill., four bass, 7-2, $312
9th: John Hingson, Montrose, Ill., three bass, 6-11, $278
10th: Gary Huber II, Saint Charles, Mo., four bass, 6-9, $243
Westley Smith of Bridgeport, Illinois, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 4 pounds, 1 ounce. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $290.
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 the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin. 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.
About Major League Fishing
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.
Major League Fishing – WE ARE Bass Fishing™