Townsville’s Purcell Throws Spinnerbait to Post First Career Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event at Kerr Lake

Timberlake’s Hinger Tops Strike King Co-Angler Division

HENDERSON, N.C. (April 15, 2024) – Boater Tyler Purcell of Townsville, North Carolina, caught a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 11 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Kerr Lake . Hosted by the Vance County Tourism Development Authority, the tournament was the second event of the season for the BFL North Carolina Division. Purcell earned $3,545 for his victory.

Purcell made the weather work to his advantage for the win at Kerr.

“I think most of them are prespawn,” he said. “It (the winning pattern) was pretty much running windy points, throwing a spinnerbait.

“(The key was) just being in the wind as much as you can take it. The more wind the better.”

While Kerr has spotted bass and largemouth, Purcell weighed all largemouths for his victory. He said he enjoyed a consistent bite and culled several times throughout the day. Two key midday fish really sealed his victory.

“At around 12 o’clock, I was heading up the lake,” Purcell recalled. “The waves were so bad at the dam I ended up turning around. I had a decent limit. I hit a point and caught a 3 1/2-pounder on a Jackall DoooN spinnerbait. After that, I sat down and tied on a big swimbait, and I told my co-angler if I get a bite, it’s gonna be a good one. And, literally, first cast, I had a 4-plus-pounder bite.

“I want to thank my dad and the Good Lord for a blessed day.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Tyler Purcell, Townsville, N.C., five bass, 16-11, $3,545
2nd:      Michael Wilson, Burnsville, N.C., five bass, 16-7, $2,273 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
3rd:       David G. Williams, Newton, N.C., 16-0, $1,181
4th:        Shawn Hammack, Gasburg, Va., five bass, 15-9, $1,272
5th:        Bradford Beavers, Summerville, S.C., five bass, 15-7, $709
6th:        Scott Hamrick, Denver, N.C., five bass, 15-2, $650
7th:        Tyler Trent, Nathalie, Va., five bass, 14-8, $591
8th:        Bryson Peed, Clarksville, Va., five bass, 13-14, $532
9th:        David Wright, Lexington, N.C., five bass, 13-12, $473
10th:     Lucas Murphy, West Columbia, S.C., five bass, 13-8, $414

Complete results can be found at

Shawn Hammack of Gasburg, Virginia, caught a bass that weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $445.

Jason Hinger of Timberlake, North Carolina, won the Strike King co-angler division and $2,323 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 13 pounds, 7 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

1st:        Jason Hinger, Timberlake, N.C., five bass, 13-7, $2,323
2nd:       Alex Moss, Lambsburg, Va., five bass, 12-4, $886
3rd:       Tony Toombs, Drakes Branch, Va., five bass, 12-2, $591
4th:        Russell Nicewander, Bluefield, W.Va., five bass, 12-1, $414
5th:        Dale Surrett, Midland, N.C., four bass, 11-6, $355
6th:        Christopher Davis, Roanoke Rapids, N.C., four bass, 11-1, $547
7th:        Travis Ruff, Connelly Springs, N.C., five bass, 10-7, $295
8th:        Hunter Alexander, China Grove, N.C., five bass, 10-3, $266
9th:        Chad Cleckner, Spring Lake, N.C., five bass, 10-1, $236
10th:     Lemar Shore, Raleigh, N.C., four bass, 9-11, $207

Christopher Davis of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $222, catching a bass that weighed in at 5 pounds, 3 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After two events, David Williams of Newton, North Carolina, leads the Fishing Clash North Carolina Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 485 points, while Hunter Alexander of China Grove, North Carolina, leads the Fishing Clash North Carolina Division Co-Angler of the Year race with 490 points.

The next event for BFL North Carolina Division anglers will be held May 4, at Kerr Lake in Henderson, North 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. 10-12 BFL Regional tournament on Santee Cooper Lakes in Clarendon County, South 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.