Lexington’s Thomas Tops Field at the Phoenix Bass Fishing League event on High Rock Lake

Wake Forest’s White Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

SALISBURY, North Carolina (June 27, 2022) – Boater Jason Thomas from Lexington, North Carolinacaught five bass on Saturday weighing 23 pounds even to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by TH Marine on High Rock Lake . The tournament was the fourth event for North Carolina’s division of the Bass Fishing League. Thomas earned $4,584 for his win.

“I practiced Wednesday and Thursday and the fish didn’t really bite until later in the day,” Thomas said. “We surface fished for a couple of hours and it didn’t go too well, so we went to a few places where I had eaten a few bites.

“We had three bites pretty quickly and ended up staying in a few places most of the day,” Thomas added.

Thomas said he fished the mid-lake area and Abbott’s Creek to fill his limit during the tournament. A jig and spoon fished from 13 to 17 feet deep accounted for most of his eight keepers during the day, and most fish were caught from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

“It’s a great achievement to win against this crowd here,” said Thomas, who also picked up a BFL win at High Rock Lake in 2020. “There were a lot of good homegrown guys in this tournament, and he there was a lot of boat traffic and pressure on the lake, so it feels good to be successful.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st: Jason Thomas, Lexington, NC, five bass, 23-0, $4,584
2nd: Byron Brush, Rockwell, NC, five bass, 19-6, $2,292
3rd: David Wright, Lexington, NC, five lows, 19-0, $2,229 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF contingency bonus)
4th: Jackson Pleasant, Four Oaks, NC, five bass, 17-15, $1,270
5th: Ray Griffin, Greensboro, NC, four bass, 16-2, $917
6th: Conrad Manuel, Pilot Mountain, NC, five bass, 15-4, $840
7th: Travis Willis, Charlotte, NC, five bass, 15-2, $764
8th: Doug Young, Salisbury, NC, five bass, 14-14, $688
9th: John Ritchie, Salisbury, NC, five bass, 14-13, $611
10th: Mark Cannon, Youngsville, NC, five bass, 14-11, $535

Full results are available at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Robert Drew of Gold Hill, North Carolina, caught a big mouth weighing 6 pounds, 12 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater division – earning him the Berkley Big Bass Boater of the Day award of 675 $.

Will White of Wake Forest, North Carolina won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,292 on Saturday after catching five bass weighing 20 pounds, 9 ounces.

Strike King’s top 10 co-anglers were:

1st: Will White, Wake Forest, NC, five bass, 20-9, $2,292
2nd: Cole File, Gold Hill, NC, five bass, 14-10, $955
2nd: James Jackson, Raeford, NC, five bass, 14-10, $955
4th: Jonathan Strickland, Graham, NC, four bass, 13-14, $535
5th: Wayne Smelser, Wytheville, Va., four bass, 13-6, $895
6th: Jeff Frazier, Trinity, NC, four bass, 12-6, $420
7th: George Boyce, Youngsville, NC, five bass, 12-5, $382
8th: Adam Edwards, Cana, Virginia, five bass, 12-0, $344
9th: Samuel Jones, Fuquay Varina, NC, five bass, 11-10, $306
10th: Zach Pringle, Newton, NC, four bass, 11-5, $267

Smelser also caught the largest bass in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 7 pounds and 2 ounces. The catch earned him the Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $337.

After four events, Aaron Digh of Denver, NC leads the Bass Fishing League North Carolina Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 948 points, while Trevor Wright of Chesterfield, Virginia leads the Strike King Co-Angler AOY division. race with 875 points.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on points standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will compete in the Bass Fishing League Regional Championship October 20-22 on the James River in Richmond, in Virginia. 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 at Facebook, instagram and Youtube.

Robert A. Glidden