Reenville’s Derrick Bridges takes top honors at Phoenix Bass Fishing League tournament on Lake Hartwell

Winning boater Derrick Bridges of Greenville, SC (left) and winning Strike King co-angler Albert McNair of Watkinsville, Ga.

Georgia’s McNair Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

ANDERSON, SC (February 16, 2022)Greenville, SC fisherman Derrick Bridges brought five basses to the ladder on Saturday totaling 16 pounds and 12 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by TH Marine on Lake Hartwell . The event, hosted by the Anderson Convention & Visitors Bureau, was the season opener for the South Carolina division of the Bass Fishing League. Bridges earned $4,652 for her victory.

“A lot of this tournament was just angling history,” said Bridges, who picked up her first career win in MLF competition. “I have a lot of experience on this lake, but I’ve only had a few hours of training. And I couldn’t do anything in the morning, which is critical on Lake Hartwell. So, I ran the story.

Bridges said he fishes in the mid-lake area on the Georgia and South Carolina side. He said he caught one early on a Keitech swimbait, then the rest of his eight keepers came on a jig.

“I caught one on a brown mop jig, and the rest on a ½ ounce pumpkin green color War Eagle Heavy Finesse jig“, said Bridges. I used (Zoom) Speed ​​Craws and the Zoom Super Song Jr. for the trailers, but I don’t think they were really important.

Bridges credited its forward-looking sonar with being important to its success.

“Could I have won without my forward looking sonar, of course. I’ve won a lot of tournaments without it,” Bridges continued. “But it makes you so much more efficient. You could see a fish in a bush 50 or 60 feet away and insert your jig into it – if you didn’t see the fish detach from the structure – might as well move on.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st: Derrick Bridges, Greenville, SC, five bass, 16-12, $4,652
2nd: Randy Childers, Anderson, SC, five bass, 16-6, $2,326
3rd: Justin Kimmel, Athens, Georgia, five bass, 16-2, $1,551
4th: Greg Glouse, Liberty, SC, five bass, 15-15, $1,086
5th: Brent Story, Atlanta, Georgia, five bass, 15-14, $930
6th: Shannon Poore, Walhalla, SC, five bass, 15-11, $853
7th: Alex Cummings, Lyman, SC, five bass, 15-8, $775
8th: Justin Raines, Easley, SC, five bass, 15-0, $698
9th: Jason Burroughs, Hodges, SC, five bass, 14-11, $1,320 (includes $500 MLF Phoenix bonus)
10th: Bo Price, Seneca, SC, five bass, 14-9, $543

Full results are available at

Shane Cantley of Elgin, SC caught a 6½-pounder – the heaviest bass weighed in at the event in the Boater Division and won the $685 Berkley Big Bass Boater of the Day award.

Albert McNair of Watkinsville, Georgia, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,620 on Saturday after catching five bass weighing 17 pounds, 7 ounces.

Strike King’s top 10 co-anglers were:

1st: Albert McNair, Watkinsville, Georgia, five bass, 17-7, $2,620
2nd: Blake Gillispie, Reidsville, NC, five bass, 14-15, $1,144
3rd: William Chris Bensel, Abbeville, SC, five bass, 12-2, $762
4th: Wess Johnson, Covington, GA, three bass, 11-14, $534
5th: Darren Ashley, Calhoun Falls, SC, five bass, 10-13, $658
6th: Ryan Evans, Columbia, SC, five bass, 10-3, $419
7th: Eddie Hall, Inman, SC, four bass, 10-1, $381
8th: Casey McQuerns, Appling, Georgia, five bass, 9-10, $343
9th: Arthur Harris, York, SC, five bass, 8-11, $286
10th: Zahreed McClinton, Fort Bragg, NC, five bass, 8-11, $286

McNair also caught the biggest bass in the Co-angler division, a fish even weighing 7 pounds. The catch earned him the Berkley Big Bass Co-angler of the Day award of $332.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on points standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will be entered into the Bass Fishing League Regional Championship October 13-15 on Pickwick Lake in Counce, TN. 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