Murphy Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament at Lake Murray

May 15, 2023
BFL News Archive

PROSPERITY, S.C. (May 15, 2023) – Boater Lucas Murphy of West Columbia, South Carolina, caught a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 5 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake Murray. The tournament was the fourth event of the season for the BFL South Carolina Division. Murphy earned $4,839 for his victory.

“I live pretty close to Murray, but I have been busy with work and hadn’t been there since March,” said Murphy. “I finally got out on Friday afternoon and found some stuff going on.

“I started off the morning by stopping on a community hole, and I threw a buzzbait out and caught a 6-pounder,” Murphy added. “That kind of got the day rolling.”

Murphy said he switched to a deep-summer pattern in the mid lake – using his forward-facing sonar to target fish on brushpiles, wood and rock with a drop-shot rig. Murphy said he caught a number of fish on a Strike King KVD Perfect Plastic Caffeine Shad. He estimated that he had 10 to 20 quality bites during the tournament.

“When I had two fish, I told my co-angler, ‘These 2-pound fish aren’t going to do anything for me,’” Murphy said. “I went out a little deeper and was just looking for three more good bites. It’s a lot easier to do when you have a big one in the livewell.

“I just stuck with it, and it wasn’t until 1:30 when I finally hooked another 4½-pounder, and that was it,” Murphy added. “That was the winning fish, as they say.”

Murphy, who moved from Michigan to South Carolina 2½ years ago, said he has spent a lot of time on the water to learn Lake Murray since his relocation.

“I’ve tried to learn a lot and make progress very quickly,” Murphy said. “It feels good to finally win one of the bigger events here.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

                1st:        Lucas Murphy, West Columbia, S.C., five bass, 23-5, $4,839
                2nd:       Kameron Harbin, Abbeville, S.C., five bass, 22-0, $3,149
                3rd:       Tanner Schultz, Lexington, S.C., five bass, 19-14, $1,614
                4th:        Christopher Chavis, Guyton, Ga., five bass, 18-14, $1,349
                5th:        Larry Moss, Prosperity, S.C., five bass, 17-12, $927
                5th:        Carson Orellana, Mooresville, N.C., five bass, 17-12, $927
                7th:        John Ray, Columbia, S.C., five bass, 17-11, $806
                8th:        Greg Rikard, Leesville, S.C., five bass, 17-8, $1,976 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
                9th:        Chris Marshall, Forest City, N.C., four bass, 17-7, $645
                10th:     Derek Cummings, Denver, N.C., five bass, 17-4, $565

Kameron Harbin of Abbeville, South Carolina, caught a largemouth that weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $730. Wesley Trotter of Monroe, North Carolina, won the co-angler division and a total of $2,403 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 19 pounds, 10 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers finished:

                1st:        Wesley Trotter of Monroe, N.C., five bass, 19-10, $2,403
                2nd:       Billy Nicholson, Greenwood, S.C., five bass, 15-3, $1,201
                3rd:       Thomas Pennell III, Boiling Springs, S.C., five bass, 15-2, $806
                4th:        Richie Dixon, Greer, S.C., four bass, 14-9, $561
                5th:        Michael Smith, Piedmont, S.C., five bass, 14-4, $481
                6th:        Johnny Barfield, Hartsville, S.C., five bass, 14-1, $441
                7th:        Wesley Mullins, Guyton, Ga., five bass, 13-7, $400
                8th:        John Joyce II, Inman, S.C., five bass, 13-5, $360
                9th:        Harold Addison II, Columbia, S.C., five bass, 13-0, $870
                10th:     Samuel Jones, Fuquay Varina, N.C., five bass, 12-12, $280

Brian Ruppe of Irmo, South Carolina, earned the Big Bass co-angler award of $362, catching a bass that weighed in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After four events, Greg Rikard of Leesville, South Carolina, leads the BFL South Carolina Presented by Mystik Lubricants Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 933 points, while Stephen Sprouse of Pauline, South Carolina, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 937 points.