Afton’s Hartsell dominates the field at the two-day Phoenix Bass Fishing League Super Tournament on Grand Lake

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Category: article

1 week ago by Keith Worrall

Amended 09/20/2022 at 10:03 a.m.

Boater Toby Harstell of Afton, Oklahoma, and Strike-King co-fisherman Thad Hewitt of Delaware, Oklahoma

Delaware’s Hewitt Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

GROVE, Okla. (September 19, 2022) – Boater Toby Hartsell from Afton, Oklahomacaught 10 bass weighing 28 pounds, 12 ounces to win both days MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by TH Marine on Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma. The tournament, hosted by the town of Grove, was the fifth and final regular season event for the Bass Fishing League‘s Okie Division. Hartsell earned $6,871 for her victory.

“It’s been pretty tough here lately,” Hartsell said. “I tried to get a surface bite early, and I couldn’t get anything. So I went offshore and tried to focus on quality fish. I managed to get a few bites in and around the middle lake area.”

Hartsell said he relies on a Berkley Japan Power Flutter for the majority of his bass, and said he only caught five keepers on Saturday and seven or eight on Sunday.

“I didn’t really expect this win,” Hartsell said. “It was definitely not a ‘gimme’.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st: Toby Hartsell, Afton, Okla., 10 bass, 28-12, $6,871
2nd: Lane Kindle, Stilwell, Okla., 10 bass, 26-12, $4,136
3rd: Cameron Foster, Wagoner, Okla., eight bass, 26-1, $2,290
4th: Gary Lower, Iola, Kansas, 10 bass, 25-3, $1,603
5th: Mark Talley, Grove, Okla., 10 bass, 24-13, $1,374
6th: Mark Shadowens, Kiefer, Okla., 10 bass, 24-6, $1,260
7th: John Shore, Owasso, Okla., 10 bass, 22-13, $1,145
8th: Dalton Warrington, Tishomingo, Okla., nine bass, 21-13, $1,031
9th: Justin Curnette, Grove, Okla., 10 bass, 21-12, $916
10th: Crawford Brantley, Grove, Okla., eight bass, 21-10, $802

Full results are available at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Dillon Roberts of Oologah, Oklahoma, and Brian Caruso of Moore, Oklahoma, both had a bass that weighed in at 5 pounds, 13 ounces which was the heaviest in the event in the Boater Division. Roberts and Caruso split the Berkley Big Bass Boater prize of $1,012.

Thad Hewitt of Delaware, Oklahoma won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $3,455 on Sunday after catching a total of eight basses in two days weighing 19 pounds, 5 ounces.

Strike King’s top 10 co-anglers were:

1st: Thad Hewitt, Delaware, Okla., low eight, 19-5, $3,455
2nd: Justin Nobles, Owasso, Okla., eight bass, 18-4, $1,728
3rd: Alex Albert, Coppell, Texas, eight bass, 15-11, $1,254
4th: Patrick Weir, Park Hill, Okla., six bass, 12-10, $806
5th: Terry Moody, Owasso, Okla., five bass, 11-11, $691
6th: Andrew Workman, Stilwell, Okla., six bass, 11-10, $633
7th: Stanley Forrester, Westville, Okla., four bass, 11-9, $576
8th: Kevin Brown, Salina, Okla., five bass, 11-4, $518
9th: Levi Malone, Anderson, Mo., six bass, 11-4, $461
10th: Justin Fuller, Cushing, Okla., five bass, 11-1, $443

Dakota Nollen of Midwest City, Oklahoma, caught the biggest bass in the Strike King Co-angler division, a fish weighing 4 pounds and 8 ounces. The catch earned him the Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $502.

With the regular season now over, boater Ian Laybas of McAlester, Oklahoma won the 2022 Bass Fishing League Okie Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with a five-event total of 1,271 points to win the AOY award from $1,000 from the boater. David Blankinship of Delaware, Oklahoma won the 2022 Strike King Co-Angler Okie Division AOY race with 1,333 points and took home the $500 Strike King Co-angler of the Year award.

Now the top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the division based on points standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will advance to compete in the Regional Bass Fishing League Championship from May 13-15. October on the Mississippi River at La Crosse, Wisconsin. Boaters will compete for a prize of $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200 horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while fellow anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a Mercury outboard of 200 horsepower.

The 2022 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by TH Marine is a 24-division circuit dedicated to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 Strike King boaters and co-fishermen in each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Regional Championships where they compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the oldest championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.

The top 45 Strike King boaters and co-fishermen as well as tournament winners from each division of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League will also gain priority entry into the MLF Toyota Series, the path 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 TH Marine include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, AFTCO, ARE 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, TH Marine, Toyota, Wiley X, YETI and Yo-Zuri .

For more details and up-to-date tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

About Major League Fishing
Major League Fishing (MLF) is the world’s largest fishing tournament organization, producing more than 250 events a year in some of the world’s most prestigious fisheries, while broadcasting in American living rooms on CBS, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, the World Fishing Network and on demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with offices in Benton, Kentucky, the MLF list of bass anglers includes the world’s top pros and more than 30,000 competitors in all 50 states and 13 countries. In 2019, the MLF expanded its portfolio of catch, weigh-in and immediate release events to include the five biggest most powerful fish format tournament circuits in the sport. Since its founding in 2011, MLF has advanced the sport of competitive fishing through its premier television and live streams and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bass through research, to education, the improvement of fishing and the care of fish.

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Robert A. Glidden