Moll Grinds Out Victory at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event at Kentucky/Barkley Lakes

Bivins Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. (March 27, 2023) – Boater Sam Moll of Hershey, Pennsylvania, caught a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 15 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Kentucky and Barkley lakes . The tournament, hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau, was the second event of the season for the BFL LBL Division. Moll earned $4,806 for his victory.

“I started out at my best spot pretty close to the ramp because on the Tennessee River the morning bite is pretty good,” said Moll. “I caught a 5-pounder on my ninth or tenth cast. Then things started to slow down from there.”

Moll said recent rains had muddied a lot of his fishable water, so he relocated to find clean water and added a couple of 3-pound bass to his livewell. Another relocation produced two 4-pounders and a 5-pounder. Moll said his fish came on an Alabama rig as well as a swimbait. He relied heavily on his Garmin LiveScope to target fish.

“There wasn’t a lot of current, so the fish were really hard to catch,” Moll said. “I would see them down there and would just hit them in the face and eventually get them to bite.”

Moll also won the March 4 BFL event on Kentucky/Barkley Lakes. While he said felt like he was on good fish to have a chance to win in the earlier March tournament, he didn’t know what to expect for this event because he thought the lack of current would make fishing very tough. He said he caught only 12 bass during the course of the day.

“I was fishing for big fish, so it worked out,” Moll said. “I didn’t catch a lot, but I caught the right ones.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Sam Moll, Hershey, Penn., five bass, 22-15, $4,806
2nd:       Stephen Barga, Benton, Ky., five bass, 22-1, $2,403
3rd:       Clint Knight, Lewisburg, Ky., five bass, 17-3, $1,805
4th:        David Young, Mayfield, Ky., five bass, 15-5, $1,121
5th:        Drew Boggs, Lebanon, Tenn., five bass, 14-7, $1,461 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
6th:        Joe Johnson, Clarksville, Tenn., five bass, 13-5, $881
7th:        Marty Sisk, Evansville, Ind., five bass, 12-10, $801
8th:        Dan Shoraga, West Frankfort, Ill., four bass, 12-9, $721
9th:        Tyler Brown, Elsberry, Mo., four bass, 12-6, $641
10th:     Levi Kohl, Edinburg, Ill., five bass, 12-5, $561

Complete results can be found at

Dustin Vaal of Farmington, Kentucky, caught a bass that weighed 5 pounds, 13 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $725.

Bo Bivins of Evansville, Indiana, won the Strike King co-angler division and $2,360 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 13 pounds, 8 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

1st:        Bo Bivins, Evansville, Ind., five bass, 13-8, $2,360
2nd:       Cayman Wilhelmus, Boonville, Ind., three bass, 10-7, $1,180
3rd:       Ron Robinson, Pittsburg, Ill., five bass, 10-0, $787
4th:        Don Shaffer, Odin, Ill., four bass, 8-15, $551
5th:        Anthony Bell Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio, four bass, 8-4, $472
6th:        Philip Wright, Bedford, Ky., three bass, 7-15, $433
7th:        Marcus Mann, Benton, Ky., three bass, 7-14, $393
8th:        Cody Oliver, Kokomo, Ind., three bass, 7-10, $354
9th:        Todd Haynes, Philpot, Ky., two bass, 7-6, $515
10th:     Mike Westfall, Norris City, Ill., two bass, 6-14, $425

Greg Warren of Rosiclare, Illinois, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $347, catching a bass that weighed in at 5 pounds, 8 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After two events, Sam Moll of Hershey, Pennsylvania, leads the BFL LBL Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 500 points, while Bo Bivins of Evansville, Indiana, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 489 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.