MUSKOGEE, Okla. (June 29, 2020) – It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Muskogee with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the Arkansas River events. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organization to pause competition in mid-March.
Boater Mitchell Webb of Skiatook, Oklahoma, brought five bass to the scale totaling 16 pounds, 1 ounce to win Saturday’s event and earn $12,839 – including the lucrative $7,000 FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency award – while boaters Roger Fitzpatrick of Eldon, Missouri, and Mike Gilbreath of Grove, Oklahoma, both brought in limits weighing 13 pounds, 13 ounces, on Sunday to tie for the win. Fitzpatrick earned $3,380 for his victory, while Gilbreath won a total of $6,880 after contingency awards.
“It started off kind of slow for me. I just kind of caught one here, then caught one there, and by the end of the day I realized I had a pretty decent limit,” said Webb, who earned his first career FLW win. “I stayed in Muskogee Pool and just covered a lot of water. I basically ran from lock to lock.
“I caught four of my five fishing flipping shallow, and the other one I caught on an offshore spot,” Webb went on to say. “I’d had a couple of mishaps with my tow vehicle earlier this week, so it feels good to finally come out on the right side of something.”
The top five boaters on Saturday were:
1st: Mitchell Webb of Skiatook, Okla., five bass, 16-1, $12,839
2nd: Caleb Black of McAlester, Okla., five bass, 15-2, $2,419
3rd: Jeff Clark of Van Buren, Ark., five bass, 14-11, $1,614
4th: Blake Capps of Muskogee, Okla., five bass, 13-4, $1,129
5th: Jason Sandidge of Centerton, Ark., five bass, 13-2, $968
Complete results for Saturday can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Steven McLarty of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, brought a 5-pound, 4-ounce bass to the scale to win Saturday’s Boater Big Bass award of $730.
Webb was the highest-finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member and took home the top contingency payout of $7,000. 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.
Aubrey Herlocker of Stillwater, Oklahoma, won the Co-angler Division and $2,419 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 12 pounds, 4 ounces.
The top five co-anglers Saturday finished as follows:
1st: Aubrey Herlocker of Stillwater, Okla., five bass, 13-15, $2,419
2nd: Hunter Moody of Norman, Okla., three bass, 12-11, $1,210
3rd: Porky Roberts of Morris, Okla., three bass, 12-10, $807
4th: Matthew Hargarten of Bolivar, Mo., three bass, 12-9, $565
5th: Chase Fitzpatrick of Eldon, Mo., two bass, 12-3, $484
Joe Landers of Okemah, Oklahoma, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division Saturday, weighing in at 5 pounds, 3 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $365.
On Sunday, winning boaters Roger Fitzpatrick and Mike Gilbreath also stayed in Muskogee Pool.
“I caught a limit fairly early on a crankbait, but it only weighed around 10 pounds and I knew it wasn’t going to help me much,” said Fitzpatrick, who earned his ninth career FLW victory. “I spent the rest of my day flipping wood with a Zoom Speed Craw.
“I also found a little hyacinth patch that had floated to the bank,” Fitzpatrick continued. “It was near deeper water – over 5 feet – and I ended up catching my three biggest fish out of that.”
Gilbreath fished a similar pattern as Fitzpatrick.
“I had a great time out there,” Gilbreath said. “I caught some early on a squarebill crankbait, then flipped in the creeks later in the day. It was tough – I found a few areas where I had to make 8 to 10 casts to the same piece of structure before I’d get a bite – but all in all it was a very good day.”
The top five boaters on Sunday were:
1st: Roger Fitzpatrick of Eldon, Mo., five bass, 13-13, $3,380
1st: Mike Gilbreath of Grove, Okla., five bass, 13-13, $6,880
3rd: Ed Barton of Vian, Okla., five bass, 13-11, $1,502
4th: Jared Miller of Norman, Okla., five bass, 12-7, $1,052
5th: Joel Baker of Talala, Okla., five bass, 11-10, $901
Complete results for Sunday’s event on the Arkansas River can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Scott Burkett of Bokchito, Oklahoma, brought a 4-pound, 12-ounce bass to the scale Sunday to earn the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $655.
Thad Hewitt of Delaware, Oklahoma, won the Co-angler Division and $2,253 Sunday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 11 ounces.
The top five co-anglers Sunday finished as follows:
1st: Thad Hewitt of Delaware, Okla., five bass, 12-11, $2,253
2nd: Ken Coats of Claremore, Okla., five bass, 12-10, $1,127
3rd: Maverick Mosiman of Bel Aire, Kan., five bass, 11-12, $751
4th: Aaron Warren of Inola, Okla., four bass, 10-14, $526
4th: Raymond Moody of Norman, Okla., five bass, 10-13, $451
Bill Wiles of Arcadia, Oklahoma caught Sunday’s largest bass in the Co-angler Division, weighing in at 4 pounds, 8 ounces to earn him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $327.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Double-Header on the Arkansas River was the third and fourth of five qualifying events in the Okie Division.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the Okie Division based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 22-24 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, hosted by ExploreBranson.com. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new 18-foot Phoenix bass boat with a 200-horsepower outboard.
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 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American will be held Nov. 11-13 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina and is hosted by Visit Anderson. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division earn priority entry into the FLW Series, the pathway to the FLW Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour, where top pros compete with no entry fees.