Monti from Mooresville wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League event on Lake Norman

HUNTERSVILLE, NC (March 7, 2022) – Boater Jake Monti from Mooresville, North Carolinacaught five bass on Saturday weighing 17 pounds and 2 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by TH Marine on Lake Norman . The tournament, hosted by Visit Lake Norman, was the season opener for the North Carolina division of the Bass Fishing League. Monti won $9,158, including a Phoenix MLF contingency bonus of $2,500, for her victory.

“In practice on Friday I found a bed at the lower end of the lake where I saw a man locked on the bed,” Monti said. “He was about 3½ pounds and I could see the female sitting on her side under a dock. I thought she would weigh about 6 pounds, as she was very wide in the back.

“Usually when the female is sitting out of bed like that, you don’t have a real chance of catching her unless you grab the male first and he gets up to protect the bed,” said added Monti.

Monti said he had a good take-off draw with the No. 10 boat and raced to the bass pair to start his tournament day. He said he targeted the pair with a Queen Tackle Tungsten Hammer Shake Shaky Head provided with a tip Bizz Baits Cutter Craw.

“The woman participated in the first casting I did there,” Monti said. “She ended up being a 5-pounder. The male bit on my next trick. So in the first 10 minutes of my day I had 9 pounds with two fish.

Monti said he then sailed up the lake and focused on pre-spawning fish using a Rapala. DT 6 series crankbait as well as a Fluke. He said he caught about 20 keepers during the tournament – none of which were short fish.

“I didn’t want to stay lakeside with the crowds there, so I filled the rest of my limit with pre-spawners,” Monti said.

“It’s amazing,” Monti said. “I’ve been waiting for one of those wins, and it’s great that my hard work is finally paying off.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st: Jake Monti, Mooresville, NC, five low, 17-2, $9,158 (includes $2,500 Phoenix MLF contingency bonus)
2nd: Stephen Cannon, Wilkesboro, NC, five bass, 16-4, $2,357
2nd: Michael Webster, Gastonia, NC, five bass, 16-4, $2,357
4th: Chad Sims, Lancaster, SC, five bass, 15-11, $1,520
5th: Ben Robertson, Walnut Cove, NC, five bass, 15-5, $1,132
6th: Aaron Digh, Denver, NC, five bass, 15-4, $1,037
7th: Kevin Farley, East Bend, NC, five bass, 15-2, $1,858
8th: James Blankenship, Siler City, NC, five bass, 14-13, $1,049
9th: Chris Dover, Blacksburg, SC, five bass, 14-12, $754
10th: Shane Lineberger, Lincolnton, NC, five bass, 14-4, $627
10th: Ben Hudson, Lynchburg, Va., five bass, 14-4, $627

Full results are available at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Farley had a 6-pound, 13-ounce bigmouth that was the heaviest in the event in the Boater Division and won the $915 Berkley Big Bass Boater of the Day award.

Chris McMillan of Charlotte, North Carolina won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,829 on Saturday after catching five bass weighing 11 pounds, 4 ounces.

Strike King’s top 10 co-anglers were:

1st: Chris McMillan, Charlotte, NC, five bass, 11-4, $2,829
2nd: Alex Ortiz, Asheboro, NC, five bass, 11-2, $1,414
3rd: Hunter Harwell, Maiden, NC, five bass, 10-9, $945
4th: Jonathan Strickland, Graham, NC, five bass, 10-8, $660
5th: Travis Ruff, Connelly Springs, NC, five bass, 9-12, $542
5th: Wayne Smelser, Wytheville, Va., five bass, 9-12, $542
7th: Byran Lefever, Statesville, NC, five bass, 9-9, $471
8th: Mike Shatley, North Wilkesboro, NC, five bass, 9-6, $400
8th: Hunter Carpenter, Lincolnton, NC, four bass, 9-6, $400
10th: Justin Strickland, Roseboro, NC, five bass, 9-4, $330

Kyle Allred of Lexington, North Carolina caught the biggest bass in the co-anglers division, a fish weighing 4 pounds and 12 ounces. The catch earned him the Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $457.

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 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