MLF Toyota Series Set for Western Division Tournament on Clear Lake
Apr 20th, 2022 by Keith Worrall
Modified Apr 20th, 2022 at 11:26 AM
CLEARLAKE, Calif. (April 19, 2022) –Major League Fishing (MLF) is set to visit California and Clearlake, for a tournament next week, April 28-30, with the Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. at Clear Lake. The three-day bass fishing tournament is the second event of the season for the Toyota Series Western Division.
The tournament will showcase a field of the region’s best bass-fishing pros and Strike King co-anglers casting for a top prize package of up to $75,000 in the pro division and a new Phoenix 518 pro boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard motor, in the co-angler division.
While still excellent fishing, Clear Lake has not been immune from the drought that has affected the West in recent years. The last three years in California have been the driest on record since 1895, which means Clear Lake is a bit different than some of MLF’s prior visits.
Despite the low water levels, pro Todd Woods of Long Beach, California, who won at Clear Lake in 2016, still thinks the fishing will be really good.
“It’s still about 5 feet below normal pool, and when I won it was about 4 feet above normal pool,” Woods said. “The fishing is great right now – you can catch all the 2-pounders you want. But, the days of 35-pound limits are almost completely gone – a huge bag there is 27 pounds now. To make the Top 25, I would say it’s going to take 16 pounds a day.
“Typically you might catch 20 that are 2-pounders, and then all of a sudden you’ll catch a 6-pounder,” Woods said. “The days of pulling up on a spot and catching five 5-pounders, that’s very unusual.”
Still, even with some of the size not there, the fishing should be pretty good, and Woods expects a lot of different techniques to play that time of year.
“They spawn there ‘til June, so it’ll definitely be a prespawn-spawn-postspawn deal, just depending on the weather and the moon phase,” Woods said. “There will be a shad spawn. The year that I won, there were shad everywhere, I would throw an underspin, and there would be six or seven shad trying to spawn with it every cast. It’s not like that anymore. Now, I think it’s a hitch deal, if you find the hitch, you’ll find the better quality of fish.”
Even if the weights aren’t truly amazing like the old days, Woods still expects to see a good event.
“I absolutely love Clear Lake any time of the year,” Woods said. “I absolutely love Clear Lake, because even when I don’t cash a check I have a really good time catching fish.”
For this event, Woods expects basically anything in the tackle box to work.
“Sight fishing, swimbaits, finesse fishing – like Senkos and drop-shots – reaction baits, a ChatterBait and a little bit of crankbait,” Woods said. “Really, you’ll be able to do whatever you want to do.”
Anglers will take off each day at 6:30 a.m. PT from Redbud Park, located at 14655 Lakeshore Drive in Clearlake, California. Weigh-ins will also be held at the park, beginning at 2:30 p.m. each day. Fans are welcome to attend and encouraged to follow the event online through the “MLF Live” weigh-in broadcasts and daily coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Currently after one event in the Toyota Series Western Division, Patrick Touey of Santa Maria, California, leads the Pro Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 260 points, while Colby Huntze of Discovery Bay, California, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 260 points.
In Toyota Series regular-season competition, payouts are based on the number of participants competing in the event, scaling up for every 20 boats over 160 and scaling down for every boat below 160. With a 160-boat field, pros fish for a top prize of $40,000, plus an extra $35,000 if Phoenix MLF Bonus qualified. Strike King co-anglers cast for the top prize of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard (valued at $33,500). With a 260-boat field, pros fish for a top award of $65,000, plus an extra $35,000 if Phoenix MLF Bonus qualified. Strike King co-anglers cast for the top prize of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard (valued at $33,500) plus $5,000 cash.
The 2022 Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. consists of six divisions – Central, Northern, Plains Presented by Outlaw Ordnance, Southern, Southwestern Presented by Outlaw Ordnance and Western – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International and Wild Card divisions. Anglers who fish in any of the six divisions and finish in the top 25 – or the top 12 from the Wild Card division – will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. Championship for a shot at winning up to $235,000 cash. The winning Strike King co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard. The 2022 Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. Championship will be held Nov. 3-5 on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama, and is hosted by Marshall County Tourism and Sports.
Proud sponsors of the 2022 MLF Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. 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, Outlaw Ordnance, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X and YETI.
For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the MLF Toyota Series on the MLF5 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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