Kell Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Norfork Lake
Brad Kell (Photo courtesy of Major League Fishing)
MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. –Brad Kell of Benton, Ky., Brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scales on Saturday, weighing 34 pounds and 15 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship presented by TH Marine at Norfork Lake. For his victory, Kell won $ 60,000, including a Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200 horsepower, $ 10,000 Mercury outboard, as well as lucrative emergency bounties, including up to an additional $ 7,000 Phoenix MLF Bonus. Kell also received automatic entry into the 2022 Phoenix Bottom Fishing League Pan American Championship June 2-4 at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, as well as priority entry into the Toyota Series – the path to the Tackle Warehouse Pro circuit and ultimately the Bass. Professional tour.
Although Kell is far from a Norfork resident, he said he is certainly no stranger to the area.
âI went to the area a few times as a kid,â Kell said. âBut I’ve always been there fishing for trout in the Norfork and White rivers. I went down to [Norfork] for half days bass fishing in some Bass Cat tournaments, but this was the first week I spent full days bass fishing.
Kell began training to chase the bite out of surface waters, but with the rain coming on the second day of training, he said he knew it wouldn’t hold up throughout the event.
“I started looking for brush piles and within two hours I found two of the biggest bass schools I have ever found in my life – and found a few on the lake Kentucky that had 400 or 500 of them. These schools were this size, but just smaller than a normal Kentucky Lake bass.
After discovering two mega schools, Kell said he wasn’t comfortable with what tournament day would bring, but when things started on day one, it didn’t take long for him to start. put on a show.
Weighing 11-8 on Day 1 to sit 10th, Kell picked up where he left off on Day 2 after a two hour fog delay.
âI went to my second zone on day 2 and they were there, but I didn’t catch them as well,â Kell said. “I felt great because I was 12 pounds with the fog delay and the shallow water guys just didn’t catch them.”
Taking the lead after day 2, Kell returned to his second school on the last day, but things didn’t go so well.
âI was stressed out on the last day because I slaughtered the wrong fish twice,â he said. âI was catching them so fast, and they all looked the same, but I was eliminating the wrong fish. Around noon I started to think I should have weighed more than I did and when I looked in the fish tank I still had one that weighed 1-7.
“I hung my cork in a pile of brush and was shaking it when I got right on it and a 2 1/2 or 2 3/4 pound ate it and I flipped it back in the boat and it was that time that I knew some things that you can’t help but happen.
To target his schools of fish, which were between 13 and 22 feet of water, Kell said a Strike King 6XD and 10XD did the heavy lifting for him throughout the tournament. He also caught several fish on a Mark Kirby spinnerbait and 3/4 ounce All Terrain Tackle jig with a Strike King Rage Craw trailer, with his two larger fish coming on a 5 inch Ignite Swimbait.
As this is only his second fishing season in the LBL division, Kell made the Regionals two consecutive years. Although he was late for the party, he said he was happy to have finally achieved one of his fishing goals.
âIt’s awesome,â Kell said of his win. âWhen the fishing got worse on Lake Kentucky, I knew it would be time to try and make the All-American. I am 43 years old and I started fishing [BFLs] when I was 41, it was time to do it. My kids are old enough, my wife is super supportive, so I started fishing [with MLF].
Kell said he’s worried he won’t even make the regional this year, due to missed opportunities at the Super-tournament and scheduling conflicts with the Wild Card Regional fishing.
âHowever, everything went perfectly. It just fell into place, and I think I could fish the Toyota series next year and see how it goes, âKell said.
The top six boaters who qualified for the 2022 All-American Phoenix Bass Fishing League were:
1st: Brad Kell of Benton, Ky., 15 bass, 34-15, $ 60,000 including a Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with 200 hp Mercury outboard motor
2nd: Connor Cunningham of Springfield, 15 basses, 32-8, $ 10,500
3rd: Drew Tabor of Harrison, 15 basses, 32-7, $ 5,000
4th: Brien Vaughn of Branson, 15 basses, 31-2, $ 3,000
5th: David Rice of Galena, 15 basses, 30-14, $ 2,000
6th: Brad Jelinek of Lincoln, 15 basses, 29-0, $ 1,800
The top 10 boaters were:
7th: Corey Cook from Lebanon, 13 basses, 28-8, $ 1,600
8th: Wesley Rogers of Thayer, 15 basses, 28-7, $ 1,400
9th: Michael Harlin of Sunrise Beach, 15 basses, 28-5, $ 1,200
10th: Kyle Presley of Harrison, 12 basses, 27-9, $ 1,000
Full results are available at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Cunningham took home an additional $ 500 as the Most Successful Phoenix MLF Bonus Member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an additional $ 7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League tournament presented by TH Marine if all conditions are met. More information about the Phoenix MLF Bonus Emergency Program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
Tyler Stuart of Manchester, Missouri, weighed in 15 basses over three days for a total of 25 pounds and 10 ounces to win the Strike King Best Co-Angler award of $ 50,000, featuring a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with an hors -200 horsepower Mercury side.
The top six Strike King co-anglers who qualified for the 2022 All-American Phoenix Bass Fishing League were:
1st: Tyler Stuart of Manchester, 15 bass, 25-10, $ 50,000 including Phoenix 819 Pro boat with 200 hp Mercury outboard motor
2nd: Brian Choate of Conway, 11 basses, 20-5, $ 5,000
3rd: Danny Robinson of Fairland, Indiana, 12 basses, 18-12 years old, $ 2,500
4th: Andrew Wooley of Little Rock, 12 basses, 18-3, $ 1,500
5th: Randy Allen of Russellville, nine double bass, 17-5, $ 1,200
6th: Drew Cress of Highland, Illinois, eight basses, 16-0, $ 800
To complete the top 10 Strike King co-fishermen:
7th: Dennis Taylor of Murray, Ky., Nine double bass, 14-15, $ 800
8th: Brayden Schaben from Westphalia, eight basses, 13-2, $ 700
9th: Wes Oxley of Murryville, Illinois, eight basses, 12-13, $ 600
10th: Ethan Sutton of Hot Springs, seven basses, $ 10-9, 500
The Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by TH Marine Regional Championship on Lake Norfork was hosted by the Mountain Home Region Chamber of Commerce. It featured top Strike King pros and co-anglers from the Arkie, Illini, LBL and Ozark Divisions.
The 2021 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by TH Marine consisted of 24 divisions dedicated to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season and five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 Strike King boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five qualifying event winners, advance to one of six Phoenix Bass Fishing League regional championships.
The top six from each region will advance to one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American, to be held June 2-4 at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, and hot springs tour.
Top Strike King boaters and co-anglers from each division of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the route to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, and ultimately the Bass Pro Tour.
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