Koski Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament on Ross Barnett

March 6, 2023
Bass Fishing League (BFL) News

BRANDON, Miss. (March 6, 2023) – Boater Chuck Koski of Madison, Mississippi, caught a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 7 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Tournament on Ross Barnett Reservoir. The tournament was the first event of the season for the BFL Mississippi Division. Koski earned $4,804 for his victory. Koski said low water and muddy conditions on Ross Barnett forced him to search for better backwater bites. He slowed down his approach and targeted stumps and grass in shallow water with soft-plastic lizards and craw worms to boat his bag.

“I had two little pockets that I idled probably 45 minutes in and out to get to,” Koski said. “But then I found fish and caught them in 1½ to 2 feet of water. The trolling motor was churning mud all day long.”

Koski said he had four fish at 11 a.m. and relocated up river to another backwater hole, where he caught his fifth keeper and managed to cull once to add to his total weight.

“It wasn’t a great day of fishing,” Koski said. “The bites I got were good ones. This is the first BFL tournament I’ve fished in five or six years, so this win was a nice surprise.

“I never thought I had a chance to win this,” Koski added. “I was just hoping to be in the top five. I’ve had my feelings hurt many times coming to weigh-in with bigger bags than this on this lake this time of year. I feel like I never have enough on this lake.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

                1st:        Chuck Koski, Madison, Miss., five bass, 18-7, $4,804
                2nd:       Michael Aycock, Petal, Miss., five bass, 17-3, $1,902
                3rd:       Steven McCrea, Vancleave, Miss., five bass, 16-8, $1,267
                4th:        Terry Whittington, Laurel, Miss., five bass, 13-13, $888
                5th:        Johnny Simmons, Oxford, Miss., four bass, 13-6, $761
                6th:        Hayze Hutzel, Flowood, Miss., five bass, 13-3, $697
                7th:        Teddy Cranford, Collins, Miss., five bass, 12-14, $834
                8th:        Corey Sullivan, Brandon, Miss., four bass, 12-0, $507
                8th:        Marc Gatwood, Hattiesburg, Miss., five bass, 12-0, $507
                8th:        Ivy Bradshaw, Brandon, Miss, four bass, 12-0, $507

Dakota Fleming of Oak Grove, Louisiana, caught a largemouth that weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $505. Reggie Thornton of Columbus, Mississippi, won the Strike King co-angler division and $1,902 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 15 pounds, 9 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

                1st:        Reggie Thornton, Columbus, Miss., five bass, 15-9, $1,902
                2nd:       Tanner Peavy, Sumrall, Miss., two bass, 12-13, $1,203
                3rd:       Kevin Wisnoski, Canton, Miss, three bass, 11-5, $634
                4th:        Hunter Averett, Carriere, Miss., four bass, 11-1, $444
                5th:        Chase Fernandez, Mobile, Ala., four bass, 10-6, $380
                6th:        Austin Waldrup, Ellisville, Miss., four bass, 9-7, $349
                7th:        Ansel Davis, Tylertown, Miss., three bass, 8-13, $317
                8th:        David Wheat, Philadelphia, Miss., three bass, 7-11, $285
                9th:        Jimmy Hughes, Bartlett, Tenn., two bass, 6-14, $254
                10th:     Clay Chancellor, Louisville, Miss., three bass, 6-5, $222

Tanner Peavy of Sumrall, Mississippi, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $252, catching a largemouth that weighed in at 7 pounds, 9 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.