Bowling Wins Bass Fishing League Super Tournament on Watts Bar

September 12, 2022
Bass Fishing League (BFL) News

SPRING CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 12, 2022) – Boater Jonathan Bowling of Harriman, Tennessee, caught eight bass weighing 31 pounds, 14 ounces, to win the two-day MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League tournament on Watts Bar in Spring City, Tennessee. The tournament was the fifth and final regular-season event for the Bass Fishing League Volunteer Division. Bowling earned $5,817 for his victory.

“I had a good practice and located some very big largemouth between six and eight pounds,” Bowling said. “I executed my pattern and plan, and everything just fell into place. I didn’t lose any big fish. I only caught four fish both days, but they were big for the most part – I caught one nearly seven pounds yesterday and three over five pounds today.”

Bowling said he locked through to Lake Chickamauga for the event to fish the main channel and submerged vegetation in four to six feet of water. Bowling employed a variety of baits to catch his bass, including jointed swimbaits as well as a punch rig, a popper and a frog.

“I had to scramble and make an adjustment on Sunday, because the cloud cover affected the fish Saturday, and the fish didn’t bite exactly like they did in practice, so I had to make adjustments,” Bowling said. “So, I went a bit deeper. On Saturday I was fishing grass in two to four feet of water.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st:          Jonathan Bowling, Harriman, Tenn., eight bass, 31-14, $5,817
2nd:        Chase Henley, Kingston, Tenn., 10 bass, 26-1, $3,609 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF5 contingency bonus)
3rd:        Jimmy Neece Jr., Bristol, Tenn., nine bass, 25-6, $1,939
4th:         Brian Hatfield, Spring City, Tenn., eight bass, 24-6, $1,357
5th:         Jack Daniel Williams, Kingsport, Tenn., 10 bass, 24-4, $1,935
6th:         Chris Frazier, Afton, Tenn., 10 bass, 21-10, $1,266
7th:         Dale Pelfrey, Rockwood, Tenn., seven bass, 20-6, $970
8th:         Michael Delvisco, Dandridge, Tenn., seven bass, 16-2, $1,173
9th:         Casey Majni, Knoxville, Tenn., seven bass, 15-7, $776
10th:      Bud McKelvey, Knoxville, Tenn., six bass, 14-9, $679

Complete results can be found at

Jack Daniel Williams of Kingsport, Tennessee, caught a bass weighing 7 pounds, 8 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – to earn the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $772. Blake Bailey of Rutledge, Tennessee, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $2,909 Sunday after catching a two-day total of three bass weighing 11 pounds, 8 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:

1st:          Blake Bailey, Rutledge, Tenn., three bass, 11-8, $2,909
2nd:        Gerrit Goins, Charleston, Tenn., three bass, 10-14, $1,840
3rd:        Chris Hamby, Harriman, Tenn., four bass, 8-11, $970
4th:         Thomas Doc Legassie, Kingsport, Tenn., four bass, 7-15, $679
5th:         Matt Brown, Harriman, Tenn., four bass, 7-11, $582
6th:         Craig Jones, Knoxville, Tenn., three bass, 7-4, $1,033
7th:         Shane Bowman, Caryville, Tenn., four bass, 7-3, $485
8th:         James Roten, West Jefferson, N.C., two bass, 5-15, $436
9th:         Steve Simmons, Dalton, Ga., four bass, 5-14, $388
10th:      Caden Mullins, Norton, Va., two bass, 5-10, $339

Gerrit Goins of Charleston, Tennessee, caught the largest bass in the Strike King Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 3 pounds, 15 ounces. The catch earned him the Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $386.