Meridian’s Gilmore Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Pickwick Lake
Feb 22nd, 2022 by Keith Worrall
Modified Feb 22nd, 2022 at 4:56 PM
Lake Pickwick Boater Champion Heath Gilmore of Meridian, Miss., and Strike King Co-Angler Champion Blake Koenigsberger of Columbus, Miss.
Columbus’ Koenigsberger Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division
IUKA, Miss. (Feb. 21, 2022) – Boater Heath Gilmore of Meridian, Mississippi, caught five bass Saturday weighing 21 pounds, 15 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Pickwick Lake. The tournament, hosted by Tishomingo County Tourism, was the season-opener for the Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division. Gilmore earned $5,395 for his victory.
“I made a cold, long ride,” Gilmore said. “But it was worth it to find the transition fish in the ditches. I pulled up on the right ditch and caught the right size fish.”
Gilmore said he caught his seven fish of the day, all keepers, on a Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap focusing on ditches that were around six feet deep.
“I had to change the retrieve up,” Gilmore said. “I started the morning out using a yo-yo action, and as the day got warmer I moved it a little faster. I just tried all types of retrieves.”
Gilmore said the water temperature was 48 degrees when the tournament began but warmed up to 53 degrees as the day progressed, which allowed him to experiment with the different retrieves.
“I had seven bites all day,” Gilmore said. “It was a long day. It wore me out. But this win feels good. I’ve been fishing Pickwick about 20 years, and I’ve been close to winning a few times, and I finally did it. I love fishing Pickwick.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Heath Gilmore, Meridian, Miss., five bass, 21-15, $5,395
2nd: Aaron Harrelson, Glen, Miss., five bass, 20-07, $2,348
3rd: J.C. Coggins, Guntown, Miss., five bass, 19-7, $1,565
4th: Garrett Riles, Potts Camp, Miss., five bass, 19-1, $1,096
5th: Michael Wooley, Booneville, Miss., five bass, 16-12, $939
6th: Shane Cox, Iuka, Miss., five bass, 16-7, $861
7th: Max Moore, Fulton, Miss., five bass, 16-6, $743
7th: Kyle Horne, Olive Branch, Miss., five bass, 16-6, $743
9th: Luke Glasgow, Guin, Ala., five bass, 16-5, $587
9th: Mickey Beck, Lebanon, Tenn., five bass, 16-5, $587
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Gilmore had a 7-pound, 7-ounce largemouth that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $700.
Blake Koenigsberger of Columbus, Mississippi, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,348 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 15 pounds, 10 ounces.
The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
1st: Blake Koenigsberger, Columbus, Miss., five bass, 15-10, $2,348
2nd: Cameron Petras, Biloxi, Miss., three bass, 14-12, $977
2nd: Teddy Baggett, Nashville, Tenn., five bass, 14-12, $977
4th: Sims Meredith, Tupelo, Miss., four bass, 11-2, $548
5th: Anthony Rasberry, New Albany, Miss., four bass, 11-1, $670
6th: Joey Tanner, Meridian, Miss., four bass, 11-0, $410
6th: Johnny Suratt, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., three bass, 11-0, $410
8th: Bob Thompson, Florence, Ala., five bass, 10-10, $352
9th: Jason James, Corinth, Miss., three bass, 9-6, $313
10th: Larry Gipson, Ridgeland, Miss., three bass, 9-3, $274
Corey Lindsey, of Southhaven, Mississippi, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $350.
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. 22-24 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.
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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