Anderson’s Alvarez dominates the field during the Phoenix Bass Fishing League event on Lake Hartwel

Georgia’s Pabon Wins Strike King Co-Angler DivisionANDERSON, SC (April 11, 2022) – Boater Sean Alvarez of Anderson, SCcaught five bass on Saturday weighing 21 pounds and 10 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by TH Marine on Lake Hartwell . The tournament, hosted by the Anderson Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, was the second Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division event. Alvarez won $11,133, including the lucrative Phoenix MLF contingency bonus of $5,000, for his win.

“When we got out on the water, we had forecasts of high winds, and I was pretty excited,” Alvarez said. “I’m pretty old-school when it comes to some of my favorite styles of bass fishing. When that wind blows I go straight to my spinnerbait, and I knew I was going to be able to do that as long as the wind was blowing and it would allow me to do it in areas other anglers were going to avoid.

Alvarez, who lives on Lake Hartwell, said he had about 30 baitfish locations he looked at in the week leading up to the tournament. Windy conditions prevailed for three days before the competition, so Alvarez felt confident in his approach.

“The second casting of the morning landed me a bass that weighed 5 pounds and 12 ounces,” Alvarez said. “Another dozen pitches later, I caught a 4-pounder. It was nice to get two fish out of the same area.

Alvarez said he targets large post-spawn mouths that feed on key spots outside spawning areas. After his first save, he moved to another main point which produced a 4 and 5 pounds to add to his sack.

“I was just moving around trying to target active fish that were nose in the wind,” Alvarez said. “I was never able to take down, but fish bit everywhere I went.”

Alvarez said he caught around 30 goalkeepers during the day on a modified version Spinnerbait BOOYAH.

“The action was so quick,” Alvarez said. “It was just catch the fish, catch the fish, throw it in the tank and get back up and do it again.”

1st: Sean Alvarez, Anderson, SC, five bass, 21-10, $11,133 (includes $5,000 Phoenix MLF contingency bonus)
2nd: Tracy Watkins, Belton, SC, five bass, 18-11, $2,566
3rd: Jayme Rampey, Liberty, SC, five bass, 18-10, $1,710
4th: Jody Wilson, Blue Ridge, Georgia, five bass, 18-5, $1,998
5th: Cody Hoyle, Rutherfordton, NC, five bass, 18-4, $1,027
6th: Jason Burroughs, Hodges, SC, five bass, 17-15, $1,541
7th: Michael Webster, Gastonia, NC, five bass, 16-6, $855
8th: Justin Raines, Easley, SC, five bass, 16-5, $770
9th: Bradley Day, Anderson, SC, five bass, 16-4, $684
10th: Brad Benfield, Demorest, Georgia, five bass, 15-10, $599

Full results are available at MajorLeagueFishing.com.Wilson had a big mouth that weighed in at 6 pounds, even though it was the heaviest of the event in the Boater division and won the $800 Berkley Big Bass Boater of the Day award.

Eduardo Pabon of Gainesville, Georgia won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,566 on Saturday after catching five bass weighing 13 pounds, 13 ounces.

Strike King’s top 10 co-anglers were:

1st: Eduardo Pabon, Gainesville, Georgia, five bass, 13-13, $2,566
2nd: Dale Ball, Asheville, NC, five bass, 13-11, $1,283
3rd: William Chris Bensel, Abbeville, SC, five bass, 12-10, $955
4th: Paul Ellis, Cumming, Georgia, five bass, 12-2, $599
5th: Johnny Hancox, West Union, SC, five bass, 12-1, $513
6th: Aiden Free, Hodges, SC, five bass, 11-13, $471
7th: Chris Wilson, Easley, SC, five bass, 11-12, $428
8th: Kevin Henderson, Honea Path, SC, five bass, 11-7, $385
9th: Gerald Glouse, Easley, SC, five bass, 11-2, $342
10th: Don Meury, Marietta, SC, four basses, 11-0, $899

Meury caught the biggest bass in the Strike King Co-angler division, a fish weighing 5 pounds and 13 ounces. The catch earned him the Berkley Big Bass Co-angler Price of the Day of $400. Chris Wilson of Easley, SC leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 492 points.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will be entered into the Bass Fishing League Regional Championships Oct. 20-22 on Smith Lake in Cullman, in Alabama. 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 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 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 at Facebook, instagramand Youtube.

Robert A. Glidden