Meridian’s Gilmore wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League event on Lake Pickwick

Heath Gilmore, Pickwick Lake Boater’s Champion, of Meridian, Miss., and Strike King Co-Angler Champion, Blake Koenigsberger, of Columbus, Miss.

Columbus’ Koenigsberger Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

IUKA, Mississippi (February 21, 2022) – Boater Heath Gilmore from Meridian, Mississippicaught five bass on Saturday weighing 21 pounds and 15 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by TH Marine on Pickwick Lake. The tournament, hosted by Tishomingo County Tourism, was the season opener for the Mississippi Division of the Bass Fishing League. Gilmore earned $5,395 for his win.

“I had a long, cold ride,” Gilmore said. “But it was worth finding the transition fish in the ditches. I stopped on the right ditch and caught the right size fish.

Gilmore said he caught his seven fish of the day, all keepers, on a Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap concentrating on ditches about six feet deep.

“I had to change the recovery,” Gilmore said. “I started the morning using yo-yo action, and as the day got warmer I moved it a little faster. I just tried all types of recoveries.

Gilmore said the water temperature was 48 degrees at the start of the tournament, but warmed to 53 degrees as the day progressed, allowing him to experiment with the different recoveries.

“I had seven bites all day,” Gilmore said. “It was a long day. It wore me out. But this win feels good. I’ve been fishing Pickwick for about 20 years, and I’ve come close to winning a few times, and finally did it. J love to fish Pickwick.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st: Heath Gilmore, Meridian, Miss., five bass, 21-15, $5,395
2nd: Aaron Harrelson, Glen, Miss., five bass, 20-07, $2,348
3rd: JC Coggins, Guntown, Mississippi, five bass, 19-7, $1,565
4th: Garrett Riles, Potts Camp, Mississippi, five bass, 19-1, $1,096
5th: Michael Wooley, Booneville, Miss., five bass, 16-12, $939
6th: Shane Cox, Iuka, Miss., five bass, 16-7, $861
7th: Max Moore, Fulton, Mississippi, five bass, 16-6, $743
7th: Kyle Horne, Olive Branch, Miss., five bass, 16-6, $743
9th: Luke Glasgow, Guin, Ala., five bass, 16-5, $587
9th: Mickey Beck, Lebanon, Tennessee, five bass, 16-5, $587

Full results are available at

Gilmore had a 7-pound, 7-ounce bigmouth that was the heaviest in the event in the Boater Division and won the $700 Berkley Big Bass Boater of the Day award.

Blake Koenigsberger of Columbus, Mississippi won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,348 on Saturday after catching five bass weighing 15 pounds, 10 ounces.

Strike King’s top 10 co-anglers were:

1st: Blake Koenigsberger, Columbus, Mississippi, five bass, 15-10, $2,348
2nd: Cameron Petras, Biloxi, Miss., three bass, 14-12, $977
2nd: Teddy Baggett, Nashville, TN, five bass, 14-12, $977
4th: Sims Meredith, Tupelo, Mississippi, four bass, 11-2, $548
5th: Anthony Rasberry, New Albany, Mississippi, four bass, 11-1, $670
6th: Joey Tanner, Meridian, Mississippi, four bass, 11-0, $410
6th: Johnny Suratt, Lawrenceburg, TN, three bass, 11-0, $410
8th: Bob Thompson, Florence, Alabama, five bass, 10-10, $352
9th: Jason James, Corinth, Mississippi, three bass, 9-6, $313
10th: Larry Gipson, Ridgeland, Mississippi, three bass, 9-3, $274

Corey Lindsey, of Southhaven, Mississippi, caught the biggest bass in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 11 ounces. The catch earned him the Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $350.

The top 45 boaters and co-fishermen in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will compete in the Bass Fishing League Regional Championship Oct. 22-24 on Smith Lake in Cullman, Alaska. 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 For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media at Facebook, instagramand Youtube.

Robert A. Glidden