Lithia’s Rocamora Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Toho
Illinois’ Schild Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division
KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Boater Garrett Rocamora of Lithia, Florida, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 8 ounces, to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Toho. The event, hosted by Experience Kissimmee and the Kissimmee Sports Commission, was the season-opener for the Bass Fishing League Gator Division Presented by Revital Outdoors. Rocamora earned $7,000 for his victory.
“Last week I fished another big event and did decent. Then I worked all week and didn’t have any practice but wanted to go at it again with the same strategy,” said Rocamora, who earned his first career victory in MLF competition. “I spend a lot of time fishing here – these are my home waters, and this is my favorite place in the world to fish.
“I went straight to the lock and locked through to Lake Kissimmee,” Rocamora said. “I fished the north end, targeting a couple of shallow hydrilla flats that are normal prespawn staging areas. I threw a black-and-blue 3/8-ounce Z-Man ChatterBait Jack Hammer with a Gambler Little EZ and a 13 Fishing Loco Special jerkbait.”
Rocamora said he had a “milk run” of hydrilla flats that he targeted, making seven or eight different stops before noon. He spent the afternoon casting pads with a Gambler Fat Ace, and said he also boated two solid 3¾-pound keepers on a 3/8-ounce Outkast Tackle RTX Flipping Jig with a Gambler Little EZ.
The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Garrett Rocamora, Lithia, Fla., five bass, 18-8, $7,000
2nd: Cody Bertrand, Dyer, Ind., five bass, 18-6, $3,000
3rd: Arnie Lane, Lakeland, Fla., five bass, 18-2, $2,000
4th: Robert Pigue, Sorrento, Fla., five bass, 17-11, $2,400
5th: Chris Neau, Gretna, La., five bass, 17-5, $1,200
6th: Max Moneuse, Longboat Key, Fla., five bass, 17-3, $1,100
7th: Raymond Trudeau, Saint Cloud, Fla., five bass, 16-12, $1,000
8th: Austin Schroeder, Zephyrhills, Fla., five bass, 15-13, $900
9th: Karlis Dipaul, Okeechobee, Fla, five bass, 15-10, $800
10th: Jonathan Semento, Okahumpka, Fla., five bass, 15-5, $1,200 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Bonus)
Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Pigue boated an 11-pound, 9-ounce giant that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the day’s Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $1,000.
Gary Schild of Mundelein, Illinois, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $3,000 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 16 pounds, 1 ounce.
The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:
1st: Gary Schild, Mundelein, Ill., five bass, 16-1, $3,000
2nd: Giovanni Pena, Davenport, Fla., five bass, 15-3, $1,500
3rd: Ernie Thompson, Anthony, Fla., five bass, 15-1, $1,000
4th: James Staton, Sorrento, Fla., five bass, 14-14, $700
5th: Luis Lindstedt, Melbourne, Fla., five bass, 12-13, $600
6th: Mack Traynor, Hanover, Minn., four bass, 12-3, $550
7th: David Dimauro, Longwood, Fla., five bass, 12-1, $500
8th: Chris Westhelle, Sanford, Fla., five bass, 11-0, $450
9th: Adam Sangster, Sanford, Fla., four bass, 10-12, $400
10th: Bobby McMullin, Pevely, Mo., four bass, 10-11, $350
Anthony Cruz of Mount Dora, Florida, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 8 pounds even. The catch earned him the day’s Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $250.
The Top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each Gator Division Presented by Revital Outdoors qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 6-8 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lake Murray in Prosperity, South Carolina. Boaters will compete 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 fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.
The 2022 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The Top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Regional Championships 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 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American. The 2022 All-American will be held June 2-4 at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.
The Top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the MLF Toyota Series, the pathway to the MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.
Proud sponsors of the 2022 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, AFTCO, A.R.E. Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Gary Yamamoto Baits, General Tire, Lew’s, Lowrance, Lucas Oil, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Revital Outdoors, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X, YETI and Yo-Zuri.
For complete details and updated tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
FULLY Republished DIRECT FROM MLF: