DAYTON, Tenn. (May 23, 2021) – Toyota Series angler Jordan Hartman of Benton, Kentucky brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces to win the three-day Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. at Lake Chickamauga Presented by Googan Baits in Dayton, Tennessee. Hartman’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 51-13 earned him the win by a 12-ounce margin over second-place angler Seth Davis of Harrison, Tennessee and earned Hartman the top payout of $51,500 in the third and final tournament of the 2021 Toyota Series Central Division Presented by Neat Companies.
Hartman said Chickamauga in the summer suits him perfectly and was a great place to take home his first MLF win.
“I got to catch them exactly how I wanted to,” said Hartman, who is a Murray State graduate and just 24 years old. “I love fishing offshore. If I can be off the bank, I’m going to do it. I ledge fished the whole time. I spent every hour of practice looking at those screens. I committed to offshore and never went to the bank one time.
“I found about 30 schools, but there were only approximately five of them that would bite consistently,” continued Hartman. “I knew all 30 of them had potential, but you take into consideration the boats, and you can probably cut about half of those off. So, it was tough.”
With the boat traffic, fishing pressure, lack of current and negative mood of many of the offshore bass, Hartman was really the only pro in the entire Top 10 that stayed offshore exclusively.
“I had one area that I caught almost everything I’ve weighed on,” said Hartman. “It was a little high spot with some shells up there – I actually wasn’t even scanning it, I was just pulling up and fishing. There was one cast on this spot that I was catching almost every fish on. You had to bring it over the shells, and as soon as it fell off, they were sitting right on the back side.”
While Hartman did much of his damage on his shallow ledge, which topped out at about 9-feet deep, he also caught fish as deep as 28 feet on the 10XD and ran at least a half dozen places each day of the event. One of his final fish, which may have given him the edge over Davis, was actually caught on a Strike King Sexy Spoon.
“I pulled up on this spot where I hadn’t had a bite all week,” said Hartman. “I also hadn’t had a bite on a spoon all week – I almost put that spoon in the box Friday night. But I pulled it out, threw it out there, and I didn’t even do anything. It just went slack. Everything just went my way this week – when you’re going to win, you’re going to win, and everything just clicked for me in this event.”
The top 10 pros on Lake Chickamauga finished:
1st: Jordan Hartman of Benton, Ky., 15 bass, 51-13, $51,500
2nd: Seth Davis of Harrison, Tenn., 15 bass, 51-01, $21,250
3rd: Miles Burghoff of Soddy-Daisy, Tenn., 15 bass, 48-01, $14,450
4th: Tommy Brown of Louisville, Tenn., 15 bass, 46-11, $12,250
5th: Jeff Dyer of Oak Hill, Ohio, 15 bass, 45-11, $11,250
6th: Cody Nichols of Fayette, Ala., 14 bass, 45-2, $9,125
7th: Joseph Webster of Winfield, Ala., 15 bass, 44-15, $7,900
8th: Andrew Nordbye of Guntersville, Ala., 13 bass, 44-4, $6,900
9th: Cody Harrison of Muscle Shoals, Ala., 14 bass, 44-1, $5,900
10th: Jeff McLain of Columbus, Miss., 15 bass, 41-3, $4,650
Jeff McLain of Columbus, Mississippi took home an additional $150 for the Day One Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division, with a bass weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces. Mike Casada of Stearns, Kentucky won the Day Two Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division, bringing a 7-pound, 9-ounce bass to the scale.
Seth Davis of Harrison, Tennessee took home an extra $1,000 as the highest finishing Phoenix MLF BIG5 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 BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
Michael Miller of Greenville, South Carolina won the Strike King Co-angler Division Saturday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 34 pounds, 12 ounces. Miller 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 Lake Chickamauga finished:
2nd: Sieg Taylor of Navarre Beach, Fla., eight bass, 31-2, $6,125
3rd: Jeremy Nash of Cookeville, Tenn., 14 bass, 30-7, $4,900
4th: Chris Graham of Blue Ridge, Ga., 13 bass, 28-11, $3,950
5th: Terry Ezzell of Russellville, Ala., 11 bass, 28-3, $3,450
6th: Ronald Young of New Braunfels, Texas, 11 bass, 26-13, $2,950
7th: Sam Howell of Somerville, Tenn., 11 bass, 26-12, $2,450
8th: Kenneth Heckel of Santa Claus, Ind., 13 bass, 25-5, $1,975
9th: Shawn Burton of Frankfurt, Ind., 10 bass, 24-6, $1,590
10th: Tim Kellam of Crittendon, Ky., 10 bass, 23-5, $1,350
The Toyota Series at Lake Chickamauga was Presented by Googan Baits and was hosted by Fish Dayton and the Rhea Economic & Tourism Council. It was the third and final regular-season tournament in 2021 for Central Division anglers. The next event for Toyota Series anglers will take place on July 15-17 – the Toyota Series at Lake Champlain Presented in Plattsburgh, New York. For a complete schedule, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.
The 2021 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 division. Anglers who fish all three qualifiers in any of the eight divisions and finish in the top 25 will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series presented by A.R.E. Championship for a shot at winning $235,000 cash, including a $35,000 Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus for qualified anglers. The winning Strike King co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard.
The 2021 Toyota Series Championship presented by A.R.E. will be held Oct. 28-30 on Pickwick Lake in Counce, Tennessee, and is hosted by the Hardin County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Toyota Series presented by A.R.E. on the MLF BIG5’s social media outlets at Facebook , Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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MLF BIG5 is part of MLF, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization. It provides anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across five tournament circuits featuring a five-biggest-fish format. Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with offices in Benton, Kentucky, MLF and its partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Zimbabwe.
MLF tournaments are broadcast on Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, World Fishing Network, MyOutdoorTV, Discovery and CBS Sports while MLF Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros to the world’s most avid bass anglers.