Mooresville’s Monti Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Norman

Category: article

 Mar 8th, 2022 by Keith Worrall 

Modified Mar 8th, 2022 at 10:23 AM

Boater Jake Monti of Mooresville, N.C., and Strike-King co-angler Chris McMillan of Charlotte, N.C.

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (March 7, 2022) – Boater Jake Monti of Mooresville, North Carolina, caught five bass Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 2 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Norman . The tournament, hosted by Visit Lake Norman, was the season-opener for the Bass Fishing League North Carolina Division. Monti earned $9,158, including a $2,500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus, for his victory.

“In practice on Friday I found a bed on the lower end of the lake where I saw a male locked on the bed,” Monti said. “He was about a 3½-pounder, and I could see the female sitting off to the side underneath a dock. I thought she would go about 6 pounds, because she was real wide across the back.

“Usually when the female is sitting off the bed like that you don’t have a real good chance of catching her unless you catch the male first and she moves up to protect the bed,” Monti added.

Monti said he had a good takeoff draw with boat No. 10, and he ran to the bedding pair of bass to start his tournament day. He said he targeted the pair with a Queen Tackle Tungsten Hammer Shake Shaky Head tipped with a Bizz Baits Cutter Craw.

“The female bit on the first cast I made there,” Monti said. “She ended up being a 5-pounder. The male bit on my next flip. So within the first 10 minutes of my day I had 9 pounds with two fish.”

Monti said he then made his way up the lake and focused on pre-spawn fish using a Rapala DT 6 Series crankbait as well as a Fluke. He said he caught about 20 keepers during the course of the tournament – none of which were short fish.

“I didn’t want to stay down the lake with the crowd down there, so I filled out the rest of my limit with pre-spawners,” Monti said.

“This feels amazing,” Monti said. “I’ve been waiting for one of these wins, and it feels great for my hard work to finally pay off.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st: Jake Monti, Mooresville, N.C., five bass, 17-2, $9,158 (includes $2,500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
2nd: Stephen Cannon, Wilkesboro, N.C.., five bass, 16-4, $2,357
2nd: Michael Webster, Gastonia, N.C., five bass, 16-4, $2,357
4th: Chad Sims, Lancaster, S.C., five bass, 15-11, $1,520
5th: Ben Robertson, Walnut Cove, N.C., five bass, 15-5, $1,132
6th: Aaron Digh, Denver, N.C., five bass, 15-4, $1,037
7th: Kevin Farley, East Bend, N.C., five bass, 15-2, $1,858
8th: James Blankenship, Siler City, N.C., five bass, 14-13, $1,049
9th: Chris Dover, Blacksburg, S.C., five bass, 14-12, $754
10th: Shane Lineberger, Lincolnton, N.C., five bass, 14-4, $627
10th: Ben Hudson, Lynchburg, Va., five bass, 14-4, $627

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Farley had a 6-pound, 13-ounce largemouth that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $915.

Chris McMillan of Charlotte, North Carolina, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,829 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 11 pounds, 4 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:

1st: Chris McMillan, Charlotte, N.C., five bass, 11-4, $2,829
2nd: Alex Ortiz, Asheboro, N.C., five bass, 11-2, $1,414
3rd: Hunter Harwell, Maiden, N.C., five bass, 10-9, $945
4th: Jonathan Strickland, Graham, N.C., five bass, 10-8, $660
5th: Travis Ruff, Connelly Springs, N.C., five bass, 9-12, $542
5th: Wayne Smelser, Wytheville, Va., five bass, 9-12, $542
7th: Byran Lefever, Statesville, N.C., five bass, 9-9, $471
8th: Mike Shatley, North Wilkesboro, N.C., five bass, 9-6, $400
8th: Hunter Carpenter, Lincolnton, N.C., four bass, 9-6, $400
10th: Justin Strickland, Roseboro, N.C., five bass, 9-4, $330

Kyle Allred of Lexington, North Carolina, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 4 pounds, 12 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $457.

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 the James River in Richmond, Virginia. 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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