Fishing & Boating News

Highlandville’s Garner Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Table Rock Lake

by: Joe Opager | Director of Communications, Major League Fishing

Boater Justin Garner of Highlandville, Missouri,
Photo by courtsey MFL
Strike-King co-angler Sam Poulos of Kirbyville, Missouri.
Photo by courtsey MFL
(Apr 5, 2022 - KIMBERLING CITY, Mo.)  Boater Justin Garner of Highlandville, Missouri, caught five bass Saturday weighing 21 pounds, 13 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Table Rock Lake . The tournament was the season-opener for the Bass Fishing League Ozark Division. Garner earned $13,000, which included the lucrative $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus, for his victory.

“I started out in pre-spawn areas where I know bass like to stage,” Garner said. “I pulled into my second spot and there were shad everywhere, and it was just game on.”

Garner said a Picasso Umbrella Rig with Keitech Swimbaits fished in spots from the Joe Bald area to the Table Rock Dam accounted for most of his bass Saturday.

“This win is awesome,” Garner said. “This Phoenix boat and Major League Fishing makes a good combination and a good payday.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

                1st:        Justin Garner, Highlandville, Mo., five bass, 21-13, $13,000 (includes $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
                2nd:       Landon Edwards, Springdale, Ark., five bass, 21-2, $3,000
                3rd:       Shawn Kowal, Linn Creek, Mo., five bass, 20-3, $2,000
                4th:        Travis Harriman, Huntsville, Ark., five bass, 20-2, $1,400
                5th:        Dustin Blevins, Harrison, Ark., five bass, 17-14, $1,400
                6th:        Wesley Rogers, Thayer, Mo., five bass, 17-13, $1,100
                7th:        Connor Cunningham, Springfield, Mo., five bass, 17-11, $1,000
                8th:        Tom Statler, Kimberling City, Mo., five bass, 16-14, $900
                9th:        Chris Horton, Highlandville, Mo., five bass, 16-12, $800
                10th:     Cade Alsbury, Gentry, Ark., five bass, 16-7, $700

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Thomas Rallo of Eldon, Missouri, had a 5-pound, 12-ounce largemouth that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $1,000.

Sam Poulos of Kirbyville, Missouri, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $3,000 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 18 pounds, 12 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:

                1st:        Sam Poulos, Kirbyville, Mo., five bass, 18-12, $3,000
                2nd:       Aaron Lorenz, Branson West, Mo., five bass, 18-8, $1,500
                3rd:       Christopher Coy, Kirksville, Mo., four bass, 15-3, $1,500
                4th:        Bryan Barnard, Harrison, Ark., five bass, 13-10, $700
                5th:        Dennis Spell, Bonne Terre, Mo., five bass, 13-7, $600
                6th:        Josh Hood, Dupo, Ill., five bass, 12-8, $550
                7th:        Rich Carpenter, Parkville, Mo., four bass, 11-8, $500
                8th:        Luke Ahart, Ulman, Mo., five bass, 11-7, $450
                9th:        Barry Aumiller, Wildwood, Mo., five bass, 10-9, $600
                10th:     Alan Quick, Springfield, Mo., four bass, 10-5, $350

Coy caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 6 pounds, 5 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $500.

After one event, Garner leads the Bass Fishing League Ozark Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 250 points, while Poulos leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race, also with 250 points.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 20-22 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma. Boaters will compete for a top award of $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The 2022 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 Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Regional Championships 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 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 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the MLF Toyota Series, the pathway 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 T-H Marine include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, AFTCO, A.R.E. 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, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X, YETI and Yo-Zuri.

For complete details and updated tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

About Major League Fishing
Major League Fishing (MLF) is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, producing more than 250 events annually at some of the most prestigious fisheries in the world, while broadcasting to America’s living rooms on CBS, the Discovery Channel, the Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, the World Fishing Network, and on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with offices in Benton, Kentucky, the MLF roster of bass anglers includes the world’s top pros and more than 30,000 competitors in all 50 states and 13 countries. In 2019, MLF expanded its portfolio of catch, weigh, and immediately release events to include the sport’s strongest five-biggest-fish format tournament circuits. Since its founding in 2011, MLF has advanced the sport of competitive fishing through its premier television broadcasts and livestreams, and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bass through research, education, fisheries enhancement, and fish care.

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