Johnson Claims Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event Title on Wheeler Lake

Lamon Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

DECATUR, Ala. (April 11, 2022) – Boater James Johnson of Trinity, Alabama, caught five bass Sunday weighing 24 pounds, 2 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Wheeler Lake. The tournament, hosted by Decatur Morgan County Tourism, was the third event for the Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division. Johnson earned $4,963 for his victory.

“For the past couple of weeks my fish had been staying out on the river channel,” Johnson said. “I had several shell beds that they were on, but I couldn’t get them to bite. I threw a shaky-head rig just to try to get a bite, and I caught one close to 3 pounds, and then one that was 6 pounds, 12 ounces, so I just didn’t put the shaky-head down.”

Johnson said he caught 14 fish – all keepers – on flats near Decatur during the course of the tournament, which Johnson described as “very slow.” His biggest five, however, provided him with a sought-after win.

“I’ve had four or five top top-five finishes in BFL and Toyota Series tournaments, but I never could get the win,” Johnson said.

“I don’t typically get nervous at the scales, but during weigh-in I went out to the parking lot and stayed away from the stage,” Johnson continued. “I kind of knew I had a chance. And I ended up finally getting that trophy that says ‘Champion.’ To get this win was special to me.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st:        James Johnson, Trinity, Ala., five bass, 24-2, $4,963
2nd:       Mickey Beck, Lebanon, Tenn., five bass, 20-0, $1,981
3rd:       Casey Martin, Brownsboro, Ala., five bass, 19-8, $1,322
4th:        Chad Hall, Cullman, Ala., five bass, 19-2, $925
5th:        Chris Webb, Decatur, Ala., five bass, 18-6, $793
6th:        Hunter Brewer, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., five bass, 18-4, $927
7th:        Brad Vice, Tanner, Ala., five bass, 17-12, $660
8th:        Mason Smith, Danville, Ala., five bass, 17-10, $594
9th:        Lavoyd Lemmond, Decatur, Ala., five bass, 17-5, $528
10th:     Shawn Diehl, Harvest, Ala., five bass, 16-12, $462

Complete results can be found at

Mitchell Gowen of Decatur, Ala., had a largemouth that weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $535.

Paul Lamon of Trinity, Alabama, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,248 Sunday after catching five bass weighing 18 pounds, 10 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:

1st:        Paul Lamon, Trinity, Ala., five bass, 18-10, $2,248
2nd:       Alex Gault, Flintville, Tenn., five bass, 15-10, $991
3rd:       Jason Bladow, Cullman, Ala., five bass, 15-2, $662
4th:        Briar Terry, Moulton, Ala., four bass, 13-9, $462
5th:        Justin Stephenson, Jasper, Ala., five bass, 13-7, $396
6th:        Chase Owens, Elkmont, Ala., five bass, 12-6, $363
7th:        Bradley Mealer, Columbia, Tenn., five bass, 11-15, $330
8th:        Donald Cawthon, Auburn, Ala., five bass, 11-14, $297
9th:        Jerry Armstrong, Shelbyville, Tenn., five bass, 11-13, $264
10th:     Matt Cameron, Southside, Ala., five bass, 10-15, $231

Lamon caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 7 pounds even. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $267.

After three events, Mickey Beck of Lebanon, Tennessee, leads the Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 739 points, while Craig Johnson of Trinity, Alabama, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 716 points.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 6-8 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lake Murray in Prosperity, South Carolina. 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 2022 All-American will be held June 2-4 at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.

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.