Clarksville Angler Zach King Wins MLF Toyota Series at Lake Dardanelle

Arkansas Pro Weighs In Three Consecutive 18-pound Bags to Take Home Coveted Win, Strike King co-angler Chavers Goes Wire-To-Wire Out of Same Boat

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (April 7, 2023) – Pro Zach King of Clarksville, Arkansas brought a five-bass limit to the scale Thursday weighing 18 pounds, 10 ounces to win the Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats at Lake Dardanelle and earn the top payout of $40,000. Over the three days of competition King weighed in 15 bass totaling 55-3 to earn the win by a 5-pound, 13-ounce margin over Texas’ Todd Castledine, who finished second with a three-day total of 49-6, good for $15,500.

“I was feeling good coming into this tournament because I have a lot of local knowledge on the fishery,” said King. “I know where the bass are at and what they’re doing. The only thing I was worried about was the weather. I knew this cold front was coming but thank goodness the weatherman was wrong on the predictions. When we looked at the forecast, it was supposed to be 38 degrees on the final day, but when we woke up it was 50 degrees, which made a huge difference in the bite.

“They called for early storms and a cold front on the second day of the event, but when we woke up that morning, it was 76 degrees, and the storms hadn’t hit yet.”

Despite all the anticipated weather that was late coming to fruition, King said the event ended up being “the perfect storm” for him.

“Everything aligned just right for me in this event,” said King. “It was warm two days prior to practice and the first two days of the event, but then the cold front hit and made it tough for a lot of the anglers. Thankfully, my local knowledge paid off for me when the conditions did change.”

King said he’s a big sight-fisherman and spent most of his time upriver in the Spadra Creek region, targeting spawning fish on beds.

“Probably 97% of my fish came from me looking at them on beds,” said King. “I was throwing a watermelon red flake-colored Yum Dinger, a ¼-ounce War Eagle Spinnerbait and a 3/8-ounce Booyah Swim’n Jig on a Randall Tharp Money Maker ARK Rod with 15-pound Seaguar Line.”

The Clarksville pro said he’d finished 2nd on the Toyota Series four times over the last 10 years or so and was due for a win.

“It feels amazing, and it was so great having all of my family here with me,” said King. “I’ve lived here and fished this lake my whole life and everyone has always considered me the ‘King of Dardanelle’, so it feels good to finally solidify that with a win on my home lake.”

The top 10 pros on Lake Dardanelle finished:

1st:           Zach King, Clarksville, Ark., 15 bass, 55-3, $40,000
2nd:          Todd Castledine, Nacogdoches, Texas, 15 bass, 49-6, $15,500
3rd:          Erick Hurst, Clarksville, Ark., 15 bass, 49-6, $13,000
4th:           Kirk Smith, Edmond, Okla., 15 bass, 47-15, $10,200
5th:           Dillon Harrell, New Haney, Texas, 15 bass, 46-1, $9,000
6th:           Cole Breeden, Lebanon, Mo., 15 bass, 45-14, $8,300
7th:           Matt Baker, Glenwood, Ark., 15 bass, 44-5, $7,000
8th:           Keith Combs, Huntington, Texas, 15 bass, 43-3, $6,000
9th:           Jeff Lugar, Princeton, Texas, 15 bass, 41-13, $5,000
10th:        Steve Lopez, Oconomowoc, Wis., 15 bass, 40-12, $4,000
Complete results can be found at

Pro Derick Maschmeier of Azle, Texas won the $500 Day 1 Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division Tuesday with a bass weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces. On Wednesday, pro Evan Barnes of Dardanelle, Arkansas earned the $500 Berkley Big Bass prize after bringing a 5-pound, 12-ounce bass to the scale.

Hurst took home an extra $1,000 as the highest finishing Phoenix MLF Bonus member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $35,000 per event in each Toyota Series tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF Bonus contingency program can be found at

Robert Chavers of Knoxville, Arkansas went wire-to-wire to win the Strike King Co-angler Division Thursday with a three-day total of 13 bass weighing 35 pounds, 10 ounces. Chavers took home the top prize package worth $33,500, including a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard motor.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers on Lake Dardanelle finished:

1st:           Robert Chavers, Knoxville, Ark., 13 bass, 35-10, Phoenix 518 Pro boat w/115-hp Mercury outboard
2nd:          Carter Wijangco, Naperville, Ill., 13 bass, 34-8, $5,000
3rd:          Brennan Cole, Altheimer, Ark., 15 bass, 33-10, $4,000
4th:           Scott Parsons, Rogers, Ark., 15 bass, 31-2, $3,500
5th:           Will Lancett, Jacksonville, Ark., 12 bass, 30-5, $3,000
6th:           Cody McEntire, Walnut Ridge, Ark., 12 bass, 29-14, $2,500
7th:           Garrett Wilson, Willis, Texas, 13 bass, 29-12, 13 bass, $2,000
8th:           Mark King, Gurdon, Ark., 12 bass, 29-9, $1,750
9th:           Alan Bernicky, Joliet, Ill., 11 bass, 29-2, $1,850
10th:        Charles Williams, Clarksville, Ark., 13 bass, 28-13, $1,250
Pat Leonard of Springfield, Missouri was the Berkley Big Bass $150 award winner in the Strike King co-angler division, Tuesday, with a 5-pound, 11-ounce bass, while Wednesday’s $150 award went to Bobby Hix of Gladewater, Texas, with a 5-pound, 7-ounce fish.

With two of three regular-season events in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division now complete, pro Todd Castledine of Nacogdoches, Texas leads the Southwestern Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 508 points, while Justin Swayze of Gurdon, Arkansas leads the Strike King Co-angler Division AOY race with 508 points.

The Toyota Series at Lake Dardanelle, hosted by Russellville Advertising and Promotions, was the second of three regular-season events for the Toyota Series Southwestern Division. The next event for Toyota Series anglers will be the Toyota Series at the California Delta Presented by Psycho Tuna, April 19-21, in Bethel Island, California. For a complete schedule of events, visit

The 2023 Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats consists of six divisions – Central, Northern, Plains, Southern, Southwestern and the Western Division Presented by Tackle Warehouse – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International and Wild Card divisions. Anglers who fish in any of the six divisions or the Wild Card division and finish in the top 25 will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series Championship for a shot at winning up to $235,000 and a qualification to REDCREST 2024. The winning Strike King co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard. The 2023 Toyota Series Championship will be held Nov. 2-4 on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, and is hosted by

Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Toyota Series include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Black Rifle Coffee Company, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Fox Rent a Car, General Tire, Gill, Grundéns, Lew’s, Lowrance, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Next Gen Lithium, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Wiley X and YETI.

For complete details and updated information visit For regular Toyota Series updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the MLF5 social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.