MIKE GILES: Meridian’s Gilmore wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League event on Pickwick Lake | Outside

IUKA – Boater Heath Gilmore of Meridian caught five bass on Saturday, February 19, weighing 21 pounds, 15 ounces, to win the Major League Fishing (MLF) Phoenix Bass Fishing League 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, but it was worth finding the transition fish in the ditches,” Gilmore said. “I stopped on the right ditch and caught the right size fish.”

Gilmore said he caught his seven fish of the day, all keeper, on a Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap focusing on ditches about 6 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 I finally did it. J love fishing.

Full results are available at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

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.

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

Meridian’s Joey Tanner also finished sixth in the Co-Angler Division with four bars that weighed in at 11-0.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1.Heath Gilmore, Meridian, five bass, 21-15, $5,395

2. Aaron Harrelson, Glen, five bass, 20-07, $2,348

3. JC Coggins, Guntown, five bass, 19-7, $1,565

4. Garrett Riles, Potts Camp, five bass, 19-1, $1,096

5.Michael Wooley, Booneville, five bass, 16-12, $939

6. Shane Cox, Iuka, five bass, 16-7, $861

T-7. Max Moore, Fulton, five bass, 16-6, $743

T-7. Kyle Horne, Olive Branch, five bass, 16-6, $743

T-9. Luke Glasgow, Guin, Alabama, five bass, 16-5, $587

T-9. Mickey Beck, Lebanon, Tennessee, five bass, 16-5, $587

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

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 Championships 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.

For more details and up-to-date tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Call Mike Giles at 601-917-3898 or email [email protected]

Robert A. Glidden