Georgia’s Hart Earns First Career MLF Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event at Lake Hartwell

Salem’s Yarborough Tops Strike King Co-Angler Division

ANDERSON, S.C. (March 11, 2024) – Boater Will Hart of Danielsville, Georgia, caught a five-bass limit weighing 21 pounds, 8 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Hartwell . Hosted by Visit Anderson, the tournament was the first event of the season for the BFL South Carolina Division. Hart earned $11,266, including the lucrative $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus, for his victory.

Hart caught all of his fish on deep points using his Garmin LiveScope and a Damiki rig. The rig consisted of a Damiki Armor Shad with a Greenfish Bryan New Bad Little Shad Swimbait Head.

“They were out a little bit deeper in 30 to 35 feet,” he said, “just staged up getting ready to start moving up (to spawn) with the water temp rising like it is.

“It started off slow,” Hart added. “I had two fish at like 9 or 10 o’clock, and then I caught the 7-10 (Berkley Big Bass for the day) at like 10:30. Then I knew I had to just slow down. It was a grind. I caught a bunch of little fish, but it was a grind to get a decent bite.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Will Hart, Danielsville, Ga., five bass, 21-8, $11,266 (includes $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
2nd:       Kevin Chandler, New London, N.C., five bass, 20-13, $1,883
3rd:       Joe Anders, Easley, S.C., five bass, 19-12, $1,256
4th:        Dylan Akins, Flowery Branch, Ga., five bass, 18-13, $879
5th:        Cole Wilson, Hartwell, Ga., five bass, 18-9, $753
6th:        Bradley Day, Anderson, S.C., five bass, 17-6, $690
7th:        Brendan Smith, Lavonia, Ga., five bass, 17-4, $628
8th:        Justin Raines, Easley, S.C., five bass, 17-2, $865
9th:        Lane Clark, Anderson, S.C., five bass, 17-0, $502
10th:     Tallis Morrison, Royston, Ga., five bass, 16-14, $439

Complete results can be found at

Hart caught a bass that weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $500.

Mark Yarborough of Salem, South Carolina, won the Strike King co-angler division and $1,878 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 16 pounds, 5 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

1st:        Mark Yarborough, Salem, S.C., five bass, 16-5, $1,878
2nd:       Kodell Keels, Columbia, S.C., five bass, 14-12, $1,184
3rd:       Moldon Jordan, Andrews, S.C., five bass, 14-1, $627
4th:        Michael Gauldin, Stokesdale, N.C., five bass, 14-0, $438
5th:        Mark Lee, Gastonia, N.C., five bass, 13-0, $360
5th:        David Cooper, Rushville, N.Y., five bass, 13-0, $360
7th:        Todd Huntley, Inman, S.C., five bass, 12-13, $313
8th:        Rodney Tapp, Inman, S.C., five bass, 11-10, $382
9th:        Danny Bickley, Chapin, S.C., five bass, 11-6, $250
10th:     Ross Doolittle, Greenwood, S.C., five bass, 11-5, $219

Kodell Keels of Columbia, South Carolina, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $245, catching a bass that weighed in at 4 pounds, 8 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

The next event for BFL South Carolina Division anglers will be held April 6, at Santee Cooper Lakes in Summerton, South Carolina. To register for the event as a boater or a co-angler, visit or call (270)-252-1000.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five tournament winners of each qualifying event, will qualify for the Oct. 3-5 BFL Regional tournament on Kerr Lake in Henderson, North Carolina. Boaters will fish for a top award of $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Suzuki outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will compete for a top award of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Suzuki outboard.

The 2024 Phoenix BFL Presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 events throughout the season, five qualifying tournaments in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five qualifying event winners, will advance to one of six BFL 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 BFL All-American.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 7Brew, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, BUBBA, E3, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, General Tire, GSM Outdoors, Lew’s, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Suzuki, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota and YETI.

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 FacebookInstagram, 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, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network and on demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered 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 17 countries. 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.