Hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners, the tournament was the first event of the season for Toyota Series Northern Division anglers, featuring the region’s best bass-fishing pros and Strike King co-anglers casting for a top prize of up to $75,000, including the lucrative $35,000 Phoenix MLF Bonus.
After pulling in 14 pounds, 11-ounces early on Day One, Linsinbigler said he decided to save his fish and go look for bigger fish, a decision he instantly regretted after seeing the 20-pound plus bags at the top of the leaderboard following the weigh-in.
“I really didn’t think it was going to take that much weight to be in the top 25, so once I had over 14 pounds, I laid off my fish and started looking for new and better fish,” Linsinbigler said. “I’d only caught one fish over four pounds, but I figured I would probably need some bigger ones.
“They grew up a little on Day Two and I hit a new area that I’d found in practice,” Linsinbigler continued. “That helped my bag a bit, but I was still only catching 3-pounders.”
Linsinbigler said he caught most of his fish on grass flats out of three major creeks throughout the event – Mattawoman, Chicamuxen and Quantico – throwing a ChatterBait, a frog and a swim jig.
“Those are really the only three baits I was catching those quality bites on, so I just stuck with them,” he said. “Most of the pressure was inside the grass flats, so I stayed outside and fished the outside corners so I could have the areas all to myself.”
Linsinbigler said he was excited to be in the Top 10 going into Day 3 but had no grand aspirations of winning the event at that point.
“Going into the final day, I knew I was going to do good in points, but I felt like the deficit I had was pretty insurmountable,” Linsinbigler said. “There were three guys in front of me that had over 6 pounds on me, and I didn’t expect those guys on top to struggle because they had done so good the first two days.
“I got back to one of my spots on Day 3 – still by myself in my area – and caught a 4 ½-pounder and two more that were right at 4 pounds,” Linsinbigler continued. “That was huge because I’d only caught one other 4-pounder throughout the rest of the week.”
Those three 4-pound bass and two more added up to the winning limit of 20 pounds, 14 ounces – by far the heaviest bag of the day – leading Linsinbigler to his first big win.
“This is actually my first year to fish the Toyota Series as a pro and only my second tournament as a pro, so this win is absolutely amazing,” Linsinbigler said. “I’ve fished tournaments for over 10 years, so this is something I’ve worked toward for a long time.
“I do want to eventually go pro, and this win solidifies the fact that I can compete at this level.”
The top 10 pros on the Potomac River finished:
2nd: Robert Henderson of King George, Va., 15 bass, 52-0, $18,000
3rd: Rod Mackinnon III of Middletown, N.Y., 15 bass, 50-14, $13,250
4th: Martin Villa of Charlottesville, Va., 15 bass, 48-7, $10,750
5th: Tristan McCormick of Burns, Tenn., 15 bass, 47-13, $9,750
6th: Wil Dieffenbauch of Morgantown, W.V., 15 bass, 45-12, $8,375
7th: Spencer Shuffield of Hot Springs, Ark., 15 bass, 45-11, $7,300
8th: Christian Greico of Tampa, Fla., 15 bass, 45-5, $6,300
9th: Marshall Robinson of Landrum, S.C., 15 bass, 45-2, $5,300
10th: Tommy Dickerson of Orange, Texas, 15 bass, 45-0, $4,200`
Henderson took home an extra $1,000 as the highest finishing Phoenix MLF Bonus member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $35,000 per event in each Toyota Series tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
Carter Wijangco of Naperville, Illinois won the Strike King Co-angler Division Saturday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 41 pounds, 7 ounces. Wijangco took home the top prize package of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard motor.
The top 10 Strike King co-anglers on the Potomac River finished:
2nd: David Williams of Fredericksburg, Va., 15 bass, 41-0, $5,925
3rd: James Roten of West Jefferson, N.C., 15 bass, 40-11, $4,300
4th: Robert Wedding of Welcome, Md., 15 bass, 39-1, $3,650
5th: Michael Duarte of Baltimore, Md., 15 bass, 38-14, $3,150
6th: Nicholas Veselka of Fishers, Ind., 15 bass, 38-6, $2,650
7th: Andrew Peters of Stafford, Va., 15 bass, 38-5, $2,150
8th: Justin Thompson of Marshall, Va., 15 bass, 37-2, $1,825
9th: Robert Griswold of Lincolnton, N.C., 15 bass, 36-14, $1,530
10th: Tom Rufenacht of Bel Air, Md., 14 bass, 36-2, $1,290
The 2022 Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. consists of six divisions – Central, Northern, Plains, Southern, Southwestern and Western – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International and Wild Card divisions. Anglers who fish in any of the six divisions and finish in the top 25 – or the top 12 from the Wild Card division – will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. Championship for a shot at winning up to $235,000 cash. The winning Strike King co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard. The 2022 Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. Championship will be held Nov. 3-5 on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama, and is hosted by Marshall County Tourism and Sports.
Proud sponsors of the 2022 MLF Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. 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, Outlaw Ordinance, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X and YETI.
For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the MLF Toyota Series on the MLF5 social media outlets at Facebook , Instagram and YouTube.
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Major League Fishing (MLF) is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, producing more than 250 events annually at some of the most prestigious fisheries in the world, while broadcasting to America’s living rooms on CBS, the Discovery Channel, the Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, the World Fishing Network, and on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with offices in Benton, Kentucky, the MLF roster of bass anglers includes the world’s top pros and more than 30,000 competitors in all 50 states and 13 countries. In 2019, MLF expanded its portfolio of catch, weigh, and immediately release events to include the sport’s strongest five-biggest-fish format tournament circuits. Since its founding in 2011, MLF has advanced the sport of competitive fishing through its premier television broadcasts and livestreams and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bass through research, education, fisheries enhancement and fish care.
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