Bowling Wins Two-Day Phoenix Bass Fishing League Super Tournament on Watts Bar

Bailey Claims Strike King Co-Angler Division

SPRING CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 12, 2022) – Boater Jonathan Bowling of Harriman, Tennessee, caught eight bass weighing 31 pounds, 14 ounces, to win the two-day MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Watts Bar Presented by Lithium Pros in Spring City, Tennessee. The tournament, hosted by Fish Dayton and the Rhea Economic & Tourism Council, was the fifth and final regular-season event for the Bass Fishing League Volunteer Division. Bowling earned $5,817 for his victory.

“I had a good practice and located some very big largemouth between six and eight pounds,” Bowling said. “I executed my pattern and plan, and everything just fell into place. I didn’t lose any big fish. I only caught four fish both days, but they were big for the most part – I caught one nearly seven pounds yesterday and three over five pounds today.”

Bowling said he locked through to Lake Chickamauga for the event to fish the main channel and submerged vegetation in four to six feet of water. Bowling employed a variety of baits to catch his bass, including jointed swimbaits as well as a punch rig, a popper and a frog.

“I had to scramble and make an adjustment on Sunday, because the cloud cover affected the fish Saturday, and the fish didn’t bite exactly like they did in practice, so I had to make adjustments,” Bowling said. “So, I went a bit deeper. On Saturday I was fishing grass in two to four feet of water.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st:          Jonathan Bowling, Harriman, Tenn., eight bass, 31-14, $5,817
2nd:        Chase Henley, Kingston, Tenn., 10 bass, 26-1, $3,609 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF5 contingency bonus)
3rd:        Jimmy Neece Jr., Bristol, Tenn., nine bass, 25-6, $1,939
4th:         Brian Hatfield, Spring City, Tenn., eight bass, 24-6, $1,357
5th:         Jack Daniel Williams, Kingsport, Tenn., 10 bass, 24-4, $1,935
6th:         Chris Frazier, Afton, Tenn., 10 bass, 21-10, $1,266
7th:         Dale Pelfrey, Rockwood, Tenn., seven bass, 20-6, $970
8th:         Michael Delvisco, Dandridge, Tenn., seven bass, 16-2, $1,173
9th:         Casey Majni, Knoxville, Tenn., seven bass, 15-7, $776
10th:      Bud McKelvey, Knoxville, Tenn., six bass, 14-9, $679

Complete results can be found at Daniel Williams of Kingsport, Tennessee, caught a bass weighing 7 pounds, 8 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – to earn the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $772.

Blake Bailey of Rutledge, Tennessee, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,909 Sunday after catching a two-day total of three bass weighing 11 pounds, 8 ounces.The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:

1st:          Blake Bailey, Rutledge, Tenn., three bass, 11-8, $2,909
2nd:        Gerrit Goins, Charleston, Tenn., three bass, 10-14, $1,840
3rd:        Chris Hamby, Harriman, Tenn., four bass, 8-11, $970
4th:         Thomas Doc Legassie, Kingsport, Tenn., four bass, 7-15, $679
5th:         Matt Brown, Harriman, Tenn., four bass, 7-11, $582
6th:         Craig Jones, Knoxville, Tenn., three bass, 7-4, $1,033
7th:         Shane Bowman, Caryville, Tenn., four bass, 7-3, $485
8th:         James Roten, West Jefferson, N.C., two bass, 5-15, $436
9th:         Steve Simmons, Dalton, Ga., four bass, 5-14, $388
10th:      Caden Mullins, Norton, Va., two bass, 5-10, $339

Gerrit Goins of Charleston, Tennessee, caught the largest bass in the Strike King Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 3 pounds, 15 ounces. The catch earned him the Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $386.With the regular season now complete, boater Casey Majni of Knoxville, Tennessee, won the 2022 Bass Fishing League Volunteer Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with a five-event total of 1,272 points to earn the $1,000 boater AOY award. Brad Barton of Middlesboro, Kentucky, won the 2022 Strike King Co-Angler Volunteer Division AOY race with 1,317 points and earned the $500 Strike King Co-angler of the Year award.

Now, the top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the division based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will advance to compete in the Oct. 20-22 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lewis Smith Lake in Cullman, Alabama. 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 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 For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.