Wagoner’s Eli Brumnett Posts Second Career Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event at Lake Eufaula

Wagoner’s Lane Tops Strike King Co-Angler Division

EUFAULA, Okla. (March 18, 2024) – Boater Eli Brumnett of Wagoner, Oklahoma, caught a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 15 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Eufaula . Hosted by Vision Eufaula, the tournament was the second event of the season for the BFL Okie Division. Brumnett earned $11,046, including the lucrative $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus, for his victory.

For Brumnett, one of the keys to his win was following the mudline on Eufaula – the result of heavy rains earlier in the week.

“I think they (the fish) relate to it,” the 25-year-old plumber said. “I’ve always followed the mudline. I never go past it. I feel like that mudline pushes those fish out, and I’ve just always followed it. And I seem to get a better-quality bite on it.”

In practice, he caught a 6 1/2-pounder off a dock near the mudline midway back in a creek, but he knew the muddy runoff would continue advancing out toward the main lake.

“I ended up starting there (the creek where he practiced) along with about 30 other boats,” he said. “I caught one 5-pounder and couldn’t get another bite. So I ran to another spot, and I basically just followed the mudline out. Those fish were sitting right on the mudline. I had one more spot and caught all my weight in one spot on a jig and an A-rig.”

According to Brumnett, who competes in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine and the Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats, the second spot was right at the mouth of a creek. It was actually not the exact spot he had planned to fish. When he got to his target area, there were two boats already sitting there. So, he slid over to a nearby spot and wound up catching a 4-pounder within a few casts.

For the next three and a half hours, he worked back and forth along a 40-yard stretch, fishing just 2 to 5 feet deep.
Brumnett caught fish on a homemade football jig with a Living Rubber skirt and a Stealth Lures Stealth Rig – an umbrella rig – with Keitech 3.8 Swing Impact FAT Swimbaits in the crystal shad color.

“At first, I was throwing 1/16-ounce heads on my A-rig,” he said. “I noticed I got a lot of followers, and whenever I started to speed it up those fish would react to it a lot better and bite. So then I switched to 1/8-ounce heads. I was throwing it up in that shallower water and I was burning it back. I was keeping my bait 6 to 8 inches under the water’s surface.”

Having the right equipment also was key. Brumnett used his Garmin LiveScope system, not to spot and catch fish, but to make sure his bait was staying off the bottom in the shallow water. Plus, he credited his batteries as an important part of his success.

“(I relied on my) PowerHouse Lithium batteries for keeping me going on that three-and-a-half-hour-long stretch. I left all my graphs on all day and never had to sleep ’em.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Eli Brumnett, Wagoner, Okla., five bass, 19-15, $11,046 (includes $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
2nd:       Jeff Edwards, Sand Springs, Okla., five bass, 19-3, $2,578
3rd:       Justin Phillips, Checotah, Okla., five bass, 17-9, $1,348
4th:        Brett Brumnett, Wagoner, Okla., five bass, 16-12, $944
5th:        Shawn Mote, Ardmore, Okla., five bass, 15-14, $809
6th:        Kollin Crawford, Broken Bow, Okla., five bass, 15-4, $742
7th:        Chris M. Jones, Bokoshe, Okla., five bass, 15-3, $640
7th:        Bradley Sullivan, Shawnee, Okla., five bass, 15-3, $640
9th:        Wesley Bissett, Broken Arrow, Okla., five bass, 14-15, $539
10th:     Camden Kozikoski, Edmond, Okla., five bass, 14-4, $772

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Jeff Edwards of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, caught a bass that weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $555.

Kaleb O’Brien of Wagoner, Oklahoma, won the Strike King co-angler division and $2,023 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 18 pounds, 2 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

1st:        Kaleb O’Brien, Wagoner, Okla., five bass, 18-2, $2,023
2nd:       J.R. Pickett, Rose Hill, Kan., four bass, 12-8, $1,011
3rd:       Bruce Jordan, Muldrow, Okla., four bass, 11-1, $674
4th:        Brandon Pickett, Sherman, Texas, five bass, 10-11, $472
5th:        Justin Nobles, Owasso, Okla., five bass, 10-8, $405
6th:        Dennis Buck, Joplin, Mo., four bass, 9-11, $371
7th:        Marco Flores, Topeka, Kan., three bass, 9-9, $337
8th:        Wes Ledbetter, Coweta, Okla., five bass, 9-4, $303
9th:        Paul Rider, Oklahoma City, Okla., three bass, 9-3, $270
10th:     Brianna Batton, Norman, Okla., three bass, 8-13, $236

Paul Lane of Wagoner, Oklahoma, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $277, catching a bass that weighed in at 5 pounds, 15 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After two events, Shawn Mote of Ardmore, Oklahoma, leads the Fishing Clash Okie Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 493 points, while Alan Hill of Ada, Oklahoma, leads the Fishing Clash Okie Division Strike King Co-Angler of the Year race with 479 points.

The next event for BFL Okie Division anglers will be held April 27, at Fort Gibson Lake in Wagoner, Oklahoma. To register for the event as a boater or a co-angler, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com 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. 17-19 BFL Regional tournament on Wright Patman Lake in Texarkana, Texas. 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 MajorLeagueFishing.com. 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.