Blue Ridge’s Prince Wins Two-Day Phoenix Bass Fishing League Super Tournament on Lake Hartwell
Sep 13th, 2022 by Keith Worrall
Modified Sep 14th, 2022 at 1:14 PM
Boater Alex Prince of Blue Ridge, Georgia and Strike-King co-angler Cody Hawkins of Travelers Rest, South Carolina.
South Carolina’s Hawkins Tops Strike King Co-Angler Division
LAVONIA, Ga. (Sept. 12, 2022) – Boater Alex Prince of Blue Ridge, Georgia, caught 10 bass weighing 38 pounds, 6 ounces, to win the two-day MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Hartwell in Lavonia, Georgia. The tournament, hosted by the City of Lavonia, was the fifth and final regular-season event for the Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division. Prince earned $6,121 for his victory.
Prince said he started the tournament hot out of the gate Saturday morning, catching good fish at his first location on the main lake throwing a topwater bait.
“They were just biting, and we were catching,” the 23-year-old Prince said. “There was wind, and the weather was good.”
However, Prince said things changed for him on Sunday, and he only had 10 pounds in the livewell at noon. Then the sun came out, the wind picked up, and the fish turned on.
“They started biting, and I culled three times with three of my biggest fish,” Prince said. “I was chasing big schools of fish that were roaming, and I was catching them on a fluke-style bait rigged on a 4/0 Gamakatsu EWG hook. I also caught a couple on a walking bait.
“The key thing for me on Sunday was when the sun came out, they sat up on the brush, and you knew where they were instead of chasing them around,” Prince added. “I caught them anywhere from 15 to 30 feet deep.
“It was an awesome day,” Prince added. “I’m just a young kid who likes to bass fish. I never dreamed of winning one of these. I know the Savannah River division has some of the best fishermen in the country. This win is such a blessing.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Alex Prince, Blue Ridge, Ga., 10 bass, 38-6, $6,121
2nd: Emil Wagner, Marietta, Ga, 10 bass, 35-8, $3,760 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF5 contingency bonus)
3rd: Tyler Campbell, Martin, Ga., 10 bass, 34-15, $2,041
4th: Bradford Beavers, Summerville, S.C., 10 bass, 33-6, $1,428
5th: Cole Wilson, Nicholson, Ga, 10 bass, 32-5, $1,224
6th: Jayme Rampey, Liberty, S.C., 10 bass, 31-14, $1,122
7th: Justin Tingen, Moore, S.C., 10 bass, 31-2, $1,020
8th: Collin Smith, Honea Path, S.C., 10 bass, 30-12, $1,758
9th: Matthew O’Connell, Brooks, Ga., 10 bass, 29-9, $1,116
10th: Justin Raines, Easley, S.C., 10 bass, 29-0, $714
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Collin Smith of Honea Path, South Carolina, caught a bass weighing 6 pounds, 12 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – to earn the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $840.
Cody Hawkins of Travelers Rest, South Carolina, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $3,449 Sunday after catching a two-day total of nine bass weighing 24 pounds, 14 ounces.
The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
1st: Cody Hawkins, Travelers Rest, S.C., nine bass, 24-14, $3,449
2nd: Caleb Warrington, Watkinsville, Ga., 10 bass, 22-7, $1,517
3rd: Brody Bowen, Cleveland, Ga., 10 bass, 20-12, $1,010
4th: Damon Phillips, Anderson, S.C., 10 bass, 20-9, $708
5th: Lee Polatty, Abbeville, S.C., eight bass, 17-12, $607
6th: Kevin Henderson, Honea Path, S.C., nine bass, 17-4, $556
7th: Zach Pringle, Newton, N.C., eight bass, 16-5, $506
8th: Corey Veal, Royston, Ga., 10 bass, 15-13, $445
9th: Jacob Turner, Hodges, S.C., six bass, 15-6, $1,054
10th: Darren Jeter, Candler, N.C., 10 bass, 15-3, $354
Hawkins also caught the largest bass in the Strike King Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 4 pounds, 4 ounces. The catch earned him the Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $416.
With the regular season now complete, boater Greg Glouse of Liberty, South Carolina, won the 2022 Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with a five-event total of 1,335 points to earn the $1,000 boater AOY award. Johnny Hancox of West Union, S.C., won the 2022 Strike King Co-Angler Savannah River Division AOY race with 1,314 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. 20-22 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lewis 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 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.
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