Bateman Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament on the Ohio River at Rocky Point

July 10, 2023
BFL News Archive

CANNELTON, Ind. (July 10, 2023) – Boater Scott Bateman of Jasper, Indiana, caught a five-bass limit weighing 10 pounds, 2 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on the Ohio River-Rocky Point. The tournament was the fourth event of the season for the BFL Hoosier Division. Bateman earned $3,966 for his victory.

“I thought about staying close to takeoff, but I didn’t want to play bumper boats all day, so I made a long run and caught some short fish right off the bat,” said Bateman. “Then it got really slow.”

Bateman said he decided to roam around and check out new fishing spots and finally came to the conclusion that the bass weren’t in the mood for the fast-moving baits he was throwing in the backs of creeks. He moved closer to the mouths of creeks and slowed down his approach. He said he believes fish from the main river had moved into the mouths of the creeks, and he found three 100-foot stretches that held quality fish.

“I made the switch around 11:30 when it started raining,” Bateman said. “I think the rain really helped. During the rain and after the rain – about an hour and a half window – is when I caught all my fish.”

Bateman said he caught 15 fish during the rainy period, including eight keepers. He targeted wood, including wood that usually wasn’t covered by the higher water level. A black/blue/green-pumpkin jig was his bait of choice for the wood structure.

The Rocky Point win is Bateman’s third career BFL win – second win on the Ohio River. His first win on the river came out of Tanner’s Creek in 2019.

“Winning a BFL is always good,” Bateman said. “It’s freaking awesome. They are extremely hard to win.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

                1st:        Scott Bateman, Jasper, Ind., five bass, 10-2, $3,966
                2nd:       Chris Wilkinson, Farmersburg, Ind., five bass, 7-15, $1,883
                3rd:       Todd Hensley, New Albany, Ind., four bass, 7-8, $1,556
                4th:        Tony Eckler, Lebanon, Tenn., five bass, 7-1, $879
                5th:        Braxton Munson, Anderson, Ind., five bass, 6-11, $753
                6th:        Dave Wood, Charlestown, Ind, three bass, 6-10, $1,690 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
                7th:        Aaron Sisk, Evansville, Ind., five bass, 5-12, $628
                8th:        Thomas Foster, Terre Haute, Ind., five bass, 5-9, $785
                9th:        Chris Myers, Madison, Ind., five bass, 5-4, $470
                9th:        Mark Dove, North Vernon, Ind., four bass, 5-4, $470

Dave Wood of Charlestown, Indiana, caught a bass that weighed 3 pounds, 11 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $500. Rob Campbell of Martinsville, Indiana, won the Strike King co-angler division and a total of $2,133 Saturday, after bringing two bass to the scale that totaled 4 pounds, 11 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

                1st:        Rob Campbell, Martinsville, Ind., two bass, 4-11, $2,133
                2nd:       Jacob Parks, Noblesville, Ind., four bass, 4-9, $942
                3rd:       Brian Liming, Dillsboro, Ind., two bass, 4-4, $627
                4th:        Greg Roberts, Columbus, Ind., three bass, 3-13, $439
                5th:        Derrik Cornett, Austin, Ind., two bass, 3-7, $377
                6th:        Greg Marshall, Paris, Ky., three bass, 3-5, $345
                7th:        Allen Dozier, Aurora, Ill., two bass, 3-3, $314
                8th:        Aaron Thomas, Plainfield, Ind., two bass, 3-0, $282
                9th:        Tanner McCartney, Fishers, Ind., two bass, 2-15, $251
                10th:     Nickolas Myers, Zionsville, Ind., two bass, 2-13, $220

Campbell also earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $250, catching a bass that weighed in at 3 pounds, 6 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After four events, Travis Spivey of Union, Kentucky, leads the BFL Hoosier Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 959 points, while Jacob Parks of Noblesville, Indiana, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 959 points.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five tournament winners of each qualifying event, will qualify for the Oct. 19-21 BFL Regional tournament on Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri. Boaters will fish for a top award of $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will compete for a top award of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The 2023 Phoenix BFL Presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 events throughout the season, five qualifying tournaments in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five qualifying event winners, will advance to one of six BFL Regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American.

Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, General Tire, Grundéns, Gill, Lew’s, Lowrance, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Mystik Lubricants, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X and YETI.