Oviedo’s Partee Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Harris Chain of Lakes
Mar 8th, 2022 by Keith Worrall
Modified Mar 8th, 2022 at 10:40 AM
Boater Blaine Partee of Oviedo, Fla., and Strike-King co-angler Loren Hepler of Mulberry, Fla.
LEESBURG, Fla. (March 7, 2022) – Boater Blaine Partee of Oviedo, Florida, caught five bass Saturday weighing 26 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Harris Chain of Lakes. The tournament, hosted by Visit Lake County, Florida, was the third event for the Bass Fishing League Gator Division Presented by Revital Outdoors. Partee earned $6,000 for his victory.
“First thing in the morning I stopped at a shell bar not far from the boat ramp, and in the first 15 minutes I had four fish that weighed 21 pounds,” Partee said. “Then they just seemed to shut off on us and we moved around from here to there to other shell bars and I eventually caught another 5-pounder, and that basically sealed the deal for me.”
Partee said he targeted specific shell bars that featured wind current and used a Carolina rig tipped with a Bitter’s Magic Wand to land three of his fish and a chartreuse-back Rapala DT10 crankbait to complete his bag with two keepers. Partee said he caught 14 keepers in 8 to 13 feet of water during the course of the day.
“This win is awesome,” Partee said. “I’ve been trying a long time to win one of these events, and I finally got it done. It’s pretty amazing.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Blaine Partee, Oviedo, Fla., five bass, 26-12, $6,000
2nd: Eric Panzironi, Longwood, Fla., five bass, 26-6, $3,000
3rd: Kolbi Morgan, Land O Lakes, Fla., five bass, 26-0, $2,000
4th: Ben McCann, Bradenton, Fla., five bass, 24-12, $1,400
5th: Rob Milbut, Alapaha, Ga., five bass, 22-3, $1,200
6th: Levi Crossway, Callahan, Fla., five bass, 21-0, $1,100
7th: Ricky Grant, Inverness, Fla., five bass, 20-4, $2,000
8th: James McLees, Eustis, Fla., five bass, 19-14, $900
9th: Jeffrey Harper, Fleming Island, Fla., five bass, 19-6, $800
10th: Arnie Lane, Lakeland, Fla., five bass, 18-7, $700
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Grant had a 9-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 $1,000.
Loren Hepler of Mulberry, Florida, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $3,000 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 21 pounds, 13 ounces.
1st: Loren Hepler, Mulberry, Fla., five bass, 21-13, $3,000
2nd: Jesse Taylor, Jacksonville, Fla., five bass, 18-5, $1,500
3rd: Kenneth Bivins, Orlando, Fla., five bass, 18-2, $1,500
4th: Robert Kinder, Tampa, Fla., five bass, 15-12, $700
5th: Clayton Stokes, Haines City, Fla., five bass, 15-11, $600
6th: Aaron Gengler, Lakeland, Fla., five bass, 14-8, $525
6th: Steven Obester, Palatka, Fla., five bass, 14-8, $525
8th: Clint Sterling, Safety Harbor, Fla., five bass, 14-1, $450
9th: Steven Hollingsworth, Lakeland, Fla., five bass, 13-15, $400
10th: Justin Brown, Frostproof, Fla., five bass, 13-11, $550
Bivins caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $500.
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. 6-8 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lake Murray in Prosperity, South Carolina. 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.
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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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