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Tournament News Powered By Lake Drive Marine

Arjay’s Report

Scott and Carrigan Carpenter - 1st Place

A big bass helped lift Scott and Carrigan Carpenter to the Arjay’s Classic title held on Muskegon Lake last weekend.

The Carpenters had five bass weighing 17.94 pounds and included big bass of the tournament, a 5.14-pound largemouth. They pocketed $1,400 for first and another $150 for having the biggest bass.

They caught their fish in marinas where they fished around boat slips. They threw 1/4-ounce Strike King Bitsy Bugs (black/blue) with a Zoom Z Hog Jr trailer (junebug) and a ½-ounce Outkast Stealth Feider jig (black/blue) with a Zoom Z Craw Jr. (junebug) trailer.

The winners sat in 7 to 12 feet and fished vegetation around sea walls and in front of boat slips.

John Miller and Robbie Gibson - 2nd Place

Tim and Daisy Tucker - 3rd Place

John Miller and Robbie Gibson were second ($1,200) with five weighing 14.14 pounds while Tim and Daisy Tucker were third ($1,000) with a 13.78-pound limit.

MLF Report

Major League Fishing (MLF) announced details for the 2023 Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E., which kicks off its regular season in late-January at Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas, and runs through late-September when it wraps up at the Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri.

Offering the biggest payouts for the lowest entry fees of any national tournament trail, the Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. gives anglers the opportunity to fish close to home for incredible awards and advancement to the nationally televised Toyota Series Championship where pros compete for up to $235,000, including a $35,000 Phoenix MLF Bonus, and co-anglers compete for a $33,500 Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat powered by a 115 HP Mercury.

New in 2023, the winning pro at the Toyota Series Championship will also qualify for REDCREST 2024 – the Bass Pro Tour Championship – for the chance to win $300,000.

The 2023 Toyota Series Championship will be hosted by ExploreBranson.com, November 2-4, at Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri. The championship field will feature the top 25 pros and co-anglers from each of the six U.S. Toyota Series divisions and the Wild Card division (up from 12 Wild Card division anglers in 2022) plus tournament winners; the highest finishing boater and co-angler from each of the six Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine Regionals and the TBF from the All-American; the top three teams from the College Fishing National Championship; the High School Fishing National Champions; the TBF National Champions; and up to two pros from each MLF International country.

Arjay’s Report

Arjay's Season Award Winners

Arjay’s Weekday Tournament Circuit held its awards banquet at the Tackle Shack last week to honor its top finishers of the season.

Pictured above are those anglers who received plaques.

Gary Butcher and Scott Smith were crowned Anglers of Year Champions while Justin and Hunter Kosmerick finished second.

Third place went to Jeremiah Yoder and Timothy Eicher.

Big Bass of the year went to John Miller and Robbie Gibson for a 4.5 pounder.

Details of Arjay’s Classic held at Muskegon Lake last weekend will be posted in the next day or so.

BASS Report

Bass boats leaving harbor

The St. Croix Bassmaster Opens presented by Mossy Oak Fishing have grown exponentially in popularity over the past few years. But the buzz has never been louder than it’s been since the announcement of the new Opens EQ (Elite Qualifiers) format in July — and now B.A.S.S. has officially announced where all of the excitement will take place in 2023.

On Tuesday, B.A.S.S. unveiled a slate of nine Opens — three each in three divisions — covering eight states from March into late October. Anglers fishing all nine events will be vying for an invitation to the Bassmaster Elite Series. The Top 9 anglers in the Bassmaster Opens Elite Qualifiers standings will earn an invitation to join the prestigious Bassmaster Elite Series in 2024. Individual event winners — including those who only fish one, three-event division — will be eligible for a berth in the 2024 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic.

“We’re so excited about this new format,” said Executive Director of Tournaments Hank Weldon, who oversees the Bassmaster Opens. “With the Opens EQ format, there is a clear path forward for those who want to make fishing a full-time career and prepare as much as possible while progressing toward the Elites. Those anglers’ abilities will be tested throughout the year on a variety of fisheries and prepare them for the cross-country rigors of the Elite Series. At the same time, those who only fish three events in one division will still be fishing for a dream chance to compete in the Bassmaster Classic.

“That excitement, plus the great fisheries we have on our schedule, will make 2023 so much fun for anglers and fans of the sport.”

Division 1 will serve as the starting point for the Opens season with an event March 2-4 on world-famous Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Ala. Known as the “Bass Fishing Capital of the World” and the hometown of late fishing industry legend Tom Mann, the brushpile-laden Chattahoochee River fishery has hosted 17 major B.A.S.S. events since 1968.

The organization hadn’t visited Eufaula since 2006 before returning in the summer of 2020 for an Elite Series event that was won by Tennessee pro Buddy Gross. It was one of the first professional bass fishing events televised live.

MLF Report

Major League Fishing (MLF) announced its schedule, rules and entry dates for the 2023 MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI and 2023 High School Fishing Presented by Favorite Fishing seasons.

Both circuits include advancement opportunities to compete in the 2023 Toyota Series Championship, and for college anglers, enhanced payouts with a shot to compete against the world’s best pros for a $300,000 top prize at REDCREST 2024. 

The winning team at the 2023 Abu Garcia College Fishing National Championship Presented by Lowrance will receive $43,500, including a $33,500 Phoenix 518 Pro powered by a 115-horsepower Mercury and $10,000. The winning team also advances to the 2023 Toyota Series Championship to compete as pros for a shot at winning as much as $235,000. The highest finishing team member at the Toyota Series Championship advances to REDCREST 2024. The runner-up at the 2023 College Fishing National Championship will receive a $33,500 Phoenix 518 Pro powered by Mercury. The team will also advance to the 2023 Toyota Series Championship to compete as pros. Third place at the 2023 National Championship will receive $4,000 and advance to the 2023 Toyota Series Championship to compete as co-anglers for the chance to win a $33,500 Phoenix 518 Pro powered by a 115-horsepower Mercury. Fourth and fifth place will receive $3,000 and $2,000, respectively, with sixth through 10th receiving $1,000 each.