Oxford man wins MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League tournament

Published 1:32 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Boater Blake Hodge of Oxford caught a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 6 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Grenada Lake.

Hosted by the Grenada Tourism Commission, the tournament was the second event of the season for the BFL Mississippi Division.

Hodge earned $9,813, including the lucrative $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus, for his victory.

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Heavy rains ahead of the tournament had Grenada’s water well out of its banks when the BFL kicked off. Hodge followed the rising water into newly flooded fields of grass.

“I practiced a couple of days last week and found a couple of grass flats and was just targeting bass that was on hard or clean spots inside flat pieces of the bank,” he said. “I had three spots that I could put the nose of my boat in and make the same cast over and over.”

Hodge caught fish from as shallow as 6 inches of water by trolling his boat up as far as he could go and then bombing long casts. His key bait was an SPRO Bronzeye Frog, which produced a pair of keepers that Hodge brought to weigh in.

“You had to work that area for probably 30 to 45 minutes until you made one of them bite,” he added.

Once he exhausted the frog pattern, Hodge made an adjustment and ran new water – mostly deeper post-spawn areas where he was able to get bit throwing a BOOYAH Covert Spinnerbait with orange and gold blades.

Even though the high water had Hodge questioning whether he’d even be able to catch a keeper coming into the tournament, he wound up landing six fish and culling up to win by almost 6 pounds.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

  • 1st: Blake Hodge, Oxford, Miss., five bass, 17-6, $9,813 (includes $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
  • 2nd: Barrett Saunders, Hammond, La., five bass, 11-10, $1,274
  • 3rd: Dakota Fleming, Oak Grove, La., five bass, 10-5, $848
  • 4th: Dakota Shaw, Millport, Ala., four bass, 9-11, $594
  • 5th: Scott Whitehead, Columbus, Miss., five bass, 8-11, $810
  • 6th: Tim McDaniel, Grenada, Miss., four bass, 8-10, $467
  • 7th: Jeff Johnston, Marion, Ark., four bass, 8-1, $425
  • 8th: Clint Pegg, Caledonia, Miss., four bass, 6-12, $507
  • 9th: Kenneth Underwood, Columbus, Miss., three bass, 6-6, $340
  • 10th: Chris Jones, Senatobia, Miss., three bass, 5-15, $297

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Hodge’s limit included a bass that weighed 6 pounds, 3 ounces and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $265.