Hartman

Jordan Hartman of Bentoncaught five bass on Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Kentucky-Barkley Lake.

GILBERTSVILLE — Boater Jordan Hartman of Bentoncaught five bass Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Kentucky-Barkley Lake.

The tournament, hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau, was the season-opener for the Bass Fishing League LBL Division. Hartman earned $5,839 for his victory.

“I knew it was going to be windy, so I wanted to try to hit some of my better stuff as early as possible to catch what I could before the wind got up,” Hartman said. “I ran down to the Paris Landing area and fished the main lake there.”

Hartman said he had a limit of 12 pounds of smallmouth after spending 20 minutes at his first stop. Hartman said the smallmouth fell for a String King Pro Model 5XD crankbait. Hartman spent the rest of the day moving around and culling fish.

“Every place I stopped it just didn’t seem to go wrong,” Hartman said. “I just kept culling up. I probably caught 25 keepers.”

“This win has been a goal of mine ever since I moved from Illinois to go to Murray State University,” Hartman added. “I started fishing these tournaments three or four years ago. It’s very hard to win when you’re fishing against all of the locals, so this is pretty special to me. It makes all of the time you spend on the water worth it.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st: Jordan Hartman, Benton, Ky., five bass, 19-11, $5,839

2nd: Marty Sisk, Evansville, Ind., five bass, 18-1, $2,419

3rd: Brad Kell, Benton, Ky., five bass, 18-0, $1,614

4th: Bill Schroeder III, Benton, Ky., five bass, 17-1, $1,129

5th: Harold Buchmeier, Gilbertsville, Ky., five bass, 16-3, $968

6th: Drew Boggs, Lebanon, Tenn., five bass, 15-12, $887

7th: Jeff Defew, Benton, Ky., five bass, 15-11, $806

8th: Mike Suddoth, Dickson, Tenn., five bass, 15-3, $726

9th: Chris Hellebuyck, Waterford, Mich., five bass, 15-2, $1,845 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)

10th: Ray Barga, Benton, Ky., five bass, 14-4, $565

Ron Smith of Walton, Kentucky, had a 5-pound, 1-ounce largemouth that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $730.

Blake Smith of Tennessee Ridge, Tennessee, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,419 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 13 pounds, 5 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:

1st: Blake Smith, Tennessee Ridge, Tenn., five bass, 13-5, $2,419

2nd: Andrew Dunford, Christopher, Ill., three bass, 11-3, $1,210

3rd: Bill Wasden, Paris, Tenn., four bass, 11-1, $807

4th: Ethan Wheeler, Mayfield, Ky., two bass, 10-1, $930

5th: Peyton Coleman, Paducah, Ky., three bass, 10-0, $484

6th: John Dunn, Paducah, Ky., three bass, 9-15, $444

7th: Frank Haysley, Louisville, Ky., four bass, 9-14, $403

8th: Ed Daniell, West Frankfort, Ill., four bass, 8-12, $513

9th: Dean Hesse, Brandenburg, Ky., three bass, 8-5, $323

10th: Colin Fogerty, Memphis, Tenn., three bass, 7-10, $282

Wheeler caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 6 pounds, 4 ounces.

The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $365.

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. 13-15 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Pickwick Lake in Counce, Tennessee. 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.

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