Fishing & Boating News

Missouri’s Fitzpatrick Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship by Four Ounces on Table Rock Lake

Co-angler Victory Goes to Arkansas’ Hays, First Woman to Win a Regional Championship

by: CHARITY MUEHLENWEG, MLF

Photo by CHARITY MUEHLENWEG
(Oct 26, 2020 - BRANSON, Mo.)

Boater Roger Fitzpatrick of Eldon, Missouri, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 38 pounds, 4 ounces to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship at Table Rock Lake. For his victory, Fitzpatrick earned $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, June 3-5, at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee.

“I caught most of my fish on a 1-ounce Omega Football Jig,” said Fitzpatrick. “The area I was fishing was slick, with no wood or rock – the only thing that jig hung on was the jaw of the bass I kept pulling out.”

Fitzpatrick said the fish in his honey hole were abundant.

“My co-angler and I got a limit within a half hour on the spot on day one,” said Fitzpatrick. “The second and third day it took me until about 11 a.m. to get a limit. I culled seven or eight times on the final day, but I was only culling ounces – I told her I’d already made the All-American, but the only chance for a win was to go shallow and catch a couple big ones.

“On the second dock, I flipped a ½-ounce Omega Flippin’ Jig and caught a 4-pounder and then a 3-pounder.”

Fitzpatrick said those two fish were the difference makers in his 4-ounce victory.

“This is amazing,” said Fitzpatrick. “God’s got a plan and He is so good.”

The top six boaters that qualified for 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American were:

            1st:       Roger Fitzpatrick of Eldon, Mo., 15 bass, 38-4, $60,000

            2nd:      Shane Long of Willard, Mo., 15 bass, 38-0, $10,000

            3rd:       Brandon Booth of Bryan, Texas, 15 bass, 31-8, $5,000

            4th:       Eric Olliverson of Lampe, Mo., 12 bass, 31-7, $3,000

            5th:       Josh Busby of Rogersville, Mo., 13 bass, 30-14, $2,500

            6th:       Hunter Litchfield of Macomb, Ill., 15 bass, 29-10, $1,800

Rounding out the top 12 boaters were:

            7th:       Beau Browning of Hot Springs, Ark., 12 bass, 28-4, $1,600

            8th:       Richard Ballard of Sulphur, La., 112 bass, 27-7, $1,400

            9th:       Mike Roller of Purdy, Mo., 12 bass, 26-14, $1,200

            10th:     Audie Prewitt, Jr. of Benton, Ark., 13 bass, 26-10, $1,000

            11th:     Brad Morgan of Ashdown, Ark., 11 bass, 25-14, $1,000

            12th:     Jared Miller of Norman, Okla., 10 bass, 22-3, 1,200

Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Busby took home an extra $500 as the highest finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

Melinda Hays of Hot Springs, Arkansas became the first woman to win a PhoenixBass Fishing League Regional Championship in FLW history. Hays weighed 10 bass over three days totaling 22 pounds, 4 ounces and took home the top co-angler prize package of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard. Hays will be only the fourth female angler in FLW history to qualify for or compete in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.

The top six co-anglers that qualified for the 2021 All-American were:

            1st:       Melinda Hays of Hot Springs, Ark., 10 bass, 22-4, $50,000

            2nd:      Cedric Jackson of Sicily Island, La., eight bass, 18-3, $5,000

            3rd:       Chase Fitzpatrick of Eldon, Mo., seven bass, 17-1, $2,500

            4th:       Ken Coats of Claremore, Okla., six bass, 16-14, $1,500

            5th:       Jake Elledge of Broken Arrow, Okla., six bass, 16-3, $1,000

            6th:       Kanon Harmon of Benton, Ark., seven bass, 16-0, $900

Rounding out the top 12 co-anglers were:

            7th:       Jason Swanson of Waterloo, Iowa, seven bass, 15-2, $800

            8th:       Troy Sippl of Sussex, Wis., six bass, 13-14, $700

            9th:       Josh Castleberry of Jessieville, Ark., six bass, 13-2, $600

            10th:     Jonathan Jones of Grain Valley, Mo., three bass, 11-4, $500

            11th:     Troy Carrell of Woodville, Texas, five bass, 10-14, $500

            12th:     Bradley Thacher of Preston, Minn., four bass, 10-2, $500

The Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship on Table Rock Lake was hosted by ExploreBranson.com. It featured the top pros and co-anglers from the Arkie (Arkansas), Cowboy (Texas), Great Lakes (Wisconsin) and Okie (Oklahoma) divisions.

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.

The 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American will be held June 3-5 at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee, and is hosted by the Jefferson County Department of Tourism. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour. 

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on FLW’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

About FLW
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, FLW and its partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe.

FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show while Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. Acquired by Major League Fishing in late 2019, FLW is expanding its programming in 2020 to the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel as well as on-demand at MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).