Wetumpka’s Rutland Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event Title on Alabama River

Ranburne’s Harper Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

PRATTVILLE, Alabama (May 9, 2022) – Boater Chris Rutland from Wetumpka, Alabamacaught five bass on Saturday weighing 17 pounds even to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by TH Marine on the Alabama River. The tournament was the third event for the Bama division of the Bass Fishing League. Rutland earned $4,825 for her win.

“I didn’t catch anything the first three or four saves I made,” Rutland said. “Finally I caught a small fish mid-morning, then another small one, and then I totally abandoned my game plan.

“I owe my co-fisherman a lot of credit for the change,” Rutland added. “I was fishing some pretty fast bait, and he was dragging, and he had a limit before I even caught a fish.”

Rutland said he changed to a Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog and caught “seven or eight” fish – including a 6-pound Berkley Big Bass and two that weighed 3½ pounds – from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Rutland said he tossed the frog, paired with a 3/8 ounce weight, into wood in the shade.

“These basses were very aggressive with the frog,” Rutland said. “You would throw in there and pick it up, and they’d walk away with it. They were there immediately or not at all.

Rutland said he considers the Alabama River and nearby Lake Jordan his home waters.

“I’ve been fishing the Alabama River for years and have had great success here over the years,” Rutland said. “So it’s really good to win this tournament here.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st: Chris Rutland, Wetumpka, Alabama, five bass, 17-0, $4,825
2nd: Keith Poche, Pike Road, Alabama, five bass, 16-1, $2,418
3rd: Scott Wiley Jr., Bay Minette, Alabama, five bass, 14-7, $1,413
4th: Taylor Luna, Millbrook, Alabama, five bass, 14-5, $988
5th: Robbie Robinson, Mobile, Alabama, five bass, 13-14, $847
6th: Dennis Perrigo, Rienzi, Miss., five bass, 12-12, $1,176
7th: Conner Neal, Hoover, Ala., five bass, 12-9, $670
7th: Joseph Lamar, Deatsville, Alabama, five bass, 12-9, $670
9th: Lamar Landreth Jr., Smiths Station, Ala., five bass, 11-14, $1,065 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF contingency bonus)
10th: Kyle Dorsett, Springville, Alabama, five bass, 11-13, $494

Full results are available at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Rutland’s big mouth which weighed in at 6 pounds was even the heaviest of the event in the Boater division and also earned him the Berkley Big Bass Boater of the Day award of $590.

Kane Harper of Ranburne, Alabama, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,118 on Saturday after catching five bass weighing 12 pounds, 3 ounces.

Strike King’s top 10 co-anglers were:

1st: Kane Harper, Ranburne, Alabama, five bass, 12-3, $2,118
2nd: Brannon Jones, Montgomery, Ala., five bass, 11-12, $1,059
3rd: Daniel Corkern, Florence, Mississippi, five bass, 11-9, $856
4th: William Chadick, Auburn, Alabama, five bass, 11-4, $494
5th: Anthony Davis, McCalla, Ala., five bass, 10-15, $719
6th: Edward Kennedy, Wetumpka, Alabama, five bass, 10-9, $388
7th: Chris Harcrow, Dawson, Alabama, four bass, 10-5, $453
8th: Larry Harvey, Montgomery, Alabama, five bass, 10-1, $318
9th: Mike Langdale, Sycamore, Georgia, five bass, 9-11, $282
10th: Caleb Whitehurst, Andalucia, Alabama, five bass, 9-7, $247

Davis caught the largest bass in the Co-angler division, a fish weighing 5 pounds, 6 ounces. The catch earned him the Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $295.

After three events, Robbie Robinson of Mobile, Alabama leads the Bass Fishing League Bama Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 722 points, while Mike Langdale of Sycamore, Georgia leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race. with 729 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 be entered into the Bass Fishing League Regional Championship October 13-15 on Pickwick Lake in Counce. , Tennessee. 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