Govreau Gets “Skinny” for Victory at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event at the Arkansas River

Ledbetter Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (April 3, 2023) – Boater Brett Govreau of House Springs, Missouri, caught a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds even Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on the Arkansas River. The tournament was the second event of the season for the BFL Okie Division. Govreau earned $6,046 for his victory.

“I had a terrible practice,” said Govreau. “I caught five keeper bites in 2½ days.”

Govreau knew he had to change up his approach to the river if he wanted to have any success on tournament day. He decided not to lock through, stayed within eight miles of takeoff and relied on prior experience on the river to pursue his limit.

“I had a spot I had fished back in 2015, and I could have won an Okie Division tournament then, but I lost three big ones off the bank,” Govreau said. “So, this morning I decided to start there because of my history on the spot. I ended up catching every fish off of that bank with a spinnerbait.”

Govreau said he caught only five keepers during the competition – and those by 9 a.m. – as he shared “skinny” water with 11 other tournament boats. Govreau credits his spinnerbait approach to being his competitive edge.

“They were on cover,” Govreau said. “Not just around it. They were in it. I threw it like a soft plastic – under limbs with precise casts. I would roll cast it under limbs of laydowns where the laydown met the bank. As soon as it hit the water, I turned the handle twice and they were on it. I would say every fish came out of eight to 12 inches of water. When they bit it, it would wake the surface like a topwater bite.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Brett Govreau, House Springs, Mo., five bass, 19-0, $6,046
2nd:       Dale Hightower, Mannford, Okla., five bass, 18-8, $2,523
3rd:       Shonn Goodwin, Moore, Okla., five bass, 17-0, $1,902
4th:        Chris Jones, Bokoshe, Okla., five bass, 16-14, $1,177
5th:        Nic Conger, Fort Smith, Ark., five bass, 16-0, $1,009
6th:        Cameron Dahlem, Gans, Okla., five bass, 15-15, $925
7th:        Chad Morrow, Weatherford, Okla., five bass, 15-11, $841
8th:        Brett King, Kinta, Okla., five bass, 15-9, $757
9th:        Rodney Copeland, Sallisaw, Okla., five bass, 15-8, $673
10th:     Kirk Smith, Edmond, Okla., four bass, 14-8, $789

Complete results can be found at

Caleb Black of McAlester, Oklahoma, caught a largemouth that weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $770.

Wes Ledbetter of Coweta, Oklahoma, won the Strike King co-angler division and a total of $2,523 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 14 pounds, 2 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

1st:        Wes Ledbetter, Coweta, Okla., five bass, 14-2, $2,523
2nd:       Adam O’Connell, Conway, Ark., five bass, 13-15, $1,262
3rd:       Cody Holcomb, Owasso, Okla., four bass, 13-0, $715
3rd:       Cody Torkleson, Sand Springs, Okla., five bass, 13-0, $715
5th:        Porky Roberts, Morris, Okla., five bass, 11-10, $705
6th:        Jered Grooms, Ada, Okla., four bass, 10-15, $613
7th:        Cole Findley, Forsyth, Mo., four bass, 10-12, $399
7th:        Justin Newell, Muskogee, Okla., two bass, 10-12, $399
9th:        Shane McGlothlin, Anadarko, Okla., four bass, 9-6, $336
10th:     Leroy Dee Sheperd, Mountain View, Okla., three bass, 9-1, $294

Rick Blosser of Tulsa, Oklahoma, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $385, catching a largemouth that weighed in at 7 pounds, 7 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After two events, Justin Barbour of Tulsa, Oklahoma, leads the BFL Okie Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 487 points, while Wes Ledbetter of Coweta, Oklahoma, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 486 points.

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. 19-21 BFL Regional tournament on Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri. Boaters will fish 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 compete for a top award of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The 2023 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. The 2023 All-American event will take place May 31-June 2, on Lake Hartwell in Seneca, South Carolina. The event is hosted by Visit Oconee SC.

Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, General Tire, Grundéns, Gill, Lew’s, Lowrance, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Mystik Lubricants, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X 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 Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.