Martin Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament at Harris Chain

March 27, 2023
BFL News Archive

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. (March 27, 2023) – Boater T.J. Martin of Claremore, Oklahoma, caught a five-bass limit weighing 26 pounds, 2 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake of the Ozarks. The tournament was the second event of the season for the BFL Ozark Division. Martin earned $14,000, including the lucrative $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus, for his victory.

“I started out mid-lake fishing piles in 8 to 10 feet of water with an Alabama rig,” said Martin. “The first fish I caught was a 3½-pounder. The second was a 6-10. Then I ended up finishing out my limit before I decided to run again.”

Martin said he culled a few fish after relocating but decided to go back to the general area where he had filled his limit. He added a 4½-pounder and a 5-pounder and filled out his final weigh bag by 1 p.m.

Martin said he was confident in his weight and wanted to work his way back to weigh-in early, and is glad he did, as he encountered motor problems on his way back during the 35-minute run. He made it to weigh-in with minutes to spare.

Martin, who also competes in Toyota Series events, said he fishes Lake of the Ozarks during the early part of every year.

“Lake of the Ozarks sets up for me a lot like my home lake – Grand Lake,” said Martin. “I spend my winters and springs on Grand; I spend a lot of time there. And Lake of the Ozarks, to me, is just a bigger Grand Lake.

“This feels awesome to win here,” Martin added. “I was in shock when I caught my last 5-pounder and culled a 3-pounder. I couldn’t believe the weight I had. It was unbelievable – truly a blessed day.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

                1st:        T.J. Martin, Claremore, Okla., five bass, 26-2, $14,000 (includes $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
                2nd:       Joe Wieberg, Freeburg, Mo., five bass, 19-6, $3,000
                3rd:       Brandon Ackerson, Afton, Okla., five bass, 18-4, $2,000
                4th:        Tyler Stuart, Fenton, Mo., five bass, 18-3, $1,400
                5th:        David Brand, Dittmer, Mo., five bass, 18-1, $1,200
                6th:        Lawson Hibdon, Versailles, Mo., five bass, 17-15, $1,050
                6th:        Kyle Kitts, Joplin, Mo., five bass, 17-15, $1,050
                8th:        Kyle Dowdy, Sunrise Beach, Mo., five bass, 16-11, $850
                8th:        Scott Hill, Fair Grove, Mo., five bass, 16-11, $850
                10th:     James Dill, Sunrise Beach, Mo., five bass, 16-3, $700

Jared Mataczynski of Wausau, Wis., caught a bass that weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces, and earned the Big Bass Boater award of $1,000. Jeremy White of Dittmer, Missouri, won the co-angler division and a total of $3,000 Saturday, after bringing three bass to the scale that totaled 13 pounds, 13 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers finished:

                1st:        Jeremy White, Dittmer, Mo., three bass, 13-13, $3,000
                2nd:       Charlie Knight, Lebanon, Mo., four bass, 10-8, $1,250
                2nd:       Jake Hutton, Cornell, Ill., five bass, 10-8, $1,250
                4th:        Scott Shinn, Topeka, Kan., three bass, 10-6, $700
                5th:        Michael Sanderson, Eureka, Mo., three bass, 8-15, $600
                6th:        Jeff Moss, Oronogo, Mo, three bass, 8-14, $1,100
                7th:        Brayden Schaben, Westphalia, Mo., three bass, 8-13, $500
                8th:        Michael Mulberry, Galena, Mo., three bass, 8-11, $450
                9th:        Charles Coleman, Reeds Spring, Mo., four bass, 8-4, $400
                10th:     Tim Sisco, Fair Grove, Mo., two bass, 8-0, $850

Tim Sisco of Fair Grove, Missouri, earned the  Big Bass co-angler award of $500, catching a bass that weighed in at 6 pounds, 1 ounce – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After two events, T.J. Martin of Claremore, Oklahoma, leads the BFL Ozark Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 489 points, while Adler Odle of Willow Springs, Missouri, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 480 points.