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Wieda takes home win in Phoenix Bass Fishing League event on Ohio River-Tanners Creek

Ohio’s Sykes heads Strike King co-angler division

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. (May 20, 2024) – Boater Sean Wieda of Alexandria, Kentucky, caught a limit of five bass weighing 9 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) presented by TH Marine on the Ohio River at Tanners Creek. The tournament was the first event of the season for the BFL Buckeye Division. Wieda earned $4,279 for his victory.

For Wieda, this was a big “final” moment: winning a BFL event on his home waters.

“I’ve been fishing here for 25 years and I’ve come close to winning a lot,” he said. “I have several seconds and thirds. Spring is my favorite time of year. The water was high and the fish were spawning. The biggest key for me was that I was fishing for spawns that couldn’t be seen. A lot of people try to catch the ones on the bank, and what I do is try to find where the males are and back out in front of them in about 2 or 3 feet of water, which is deep water for the river. “

Wieda calls this technique “blind fishing.” He says often the females will be a hair further in, out of sight. Making repeated casts in front of visible beds and understanding how to trigger bites are the keys to Wieda’s approach.

“Most of my fish were caught on a soft plastic I call a Wieda Bug,” he said, “and my biggest fish was caught on an Ark Z-Series (Z-Alpha) square bill.

“The (fish I caught in the) squarebill was also spawning,” Wieda added. “Sometimes you can get them to react to something like that. That fish was 2 or 3 feet from shore and I couldn’t see it or anything, but I saw the male up there and ran the crankbait over there four or five times.”

When fishing soft plastics, Wieda used a 7-foot, 6-inch Ark Randall Tharp Series rod with the Ark Gravity 8 reel.

Wieda, owner of Wieda’s Marine, a Phoenix Boats dealership, also expressed his sincere thanks to his support team.

“Thank you to my crew at Wieda’s Marine,” he said. “Not only do they serve customers all over the United States, but they also take great care of me and allow me to go fishing. I’ve been fishing for them (BFL) for years. It was good to finally win here. I’ve had other wins, but I’ve never won there on my home water, so it was very special. I’m excited.”

The top 10 sailors finished the tournament:

1st: Sean Wieda, Alexandria, Ky., low five, 9-4, $4,279
2nd: Nick Leonard, Amelia, Ohio, low five, 8-7, $2,140
3rd: Mark Dove, North Vernon, Indiana, low five, 8-3, $1,212
3rd: Kevin Spivey, Hamilton, Ohio, three bass, 8-3, $1,817
5th: Jason Steele, Hamilton, Ohio, low five, 7-12, $856
6th: Michael Nesbitt, St. Paris, Ohio, low five, 7-9, $749
6th: Roger Hahn, Fairfield, Ohio, low five, 7-9, $1,049
8th: Chad McCarty, Tipp City, Ohio, low five, 7-7, $642
9th: Chris Martinkovic, Hamilton, Ohio, five under, 7-2, $571
Tenth: William (Bill) Spivey, Middletown, Ohio, low five, 7-0, $499

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Kevin Spivey of Hamilton, Ohio, caught a bass weighing 3 pounds, 8 ounces and earned the $605 Berkley Big Bass Boater Award.

Ryan Sykes of Fairfield, Ohio, won the Strike King co-angler division and $2,140 on Saturday after landing five bass on the scale that totaled 6 pounds, 7 ounces.

Strike King’s Top 10 Fishing Buddies Finished:

1st: Ryan Sykes, Fairfield, Ohio, low five, 6-7, $2,140
2nd: Landen Wisener, Russells Point, Ohio, four bass, 5-8, $1,070
3rd: Brian Blinn, Troy, Ohio, three bass, 5-7, $712
4th: Aaron Napier, Franklin, Ohio, four bass, 4-15, $499
5th: James Jeffers III, Athens, Ohio, four bass, 4-10, $510
5th: Douglas Shope, Arcanum, Ohio, four bass, 4-10, $410
7th: Jesse Foster, Franklin, Ohio, four unders, 4-7, $357
8th: Andrew Worrall, Burlington, Ky., four bass, 4-6, $321
9th: Rob Webber, Elyria, Ohio, three bass, 4-5, $285
10th: Brent Jones, Okeana, Ohio, three bass, 4-4, $250

Chad McQueen of Fairfield, Ohio, earned the $302 co-angler Berkley Big Bass Award, catching a bass weighing 3 pounds, 4 ounces, the biggest co-angler catch of the day.

The next event for BFL Buckeye Division anglers will be held June 8 at Mosquito Lake in Cortland, Ohio. To register for the event as a boater or fishing buddy, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com or call (270)-252-1000.

The region’s top 45 boaters and fishing buddies based on points standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will qualify for the BFL regional tournament Oct. 3-5 at Kerr Lake in Henderson, North Carolina. Boaters will compete for a top prize of $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower, $10,000 Mercury or Suzuki outboard, while fishing buddies will compete for a top prize of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Suzuki outboard.

The 2024 Phoenix BFL presented by TH Marine is a 24-division circuit dedicated to weekend anglers, with 128 events throughout the season, five qualifying tournaments in each division. The top 45 Strike King boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five qualifying event winners, will advance to one of six BFL regional tournaments where they will compete to finish in the top six, which will then qualify them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing: the BFL All-American.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 Phoenix MLF Bass Fishing League presented by TH 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, REDCON1, Strike King, Suzuki, Tackle Warehouse, TH Marine, Toyota, WIX Filters and YETI.

For complete details and up-to-date tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media channels on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.