Early Bite Leads To Lanier BFL Win For Paul Marks

Dawsonville’s Pfrogner tops co-angler division in the two-day event.

MLF Press Release | September 2, 2023

Image for Cummings’ Marks rides early bite to win two-day Phoenix Bass Fishing League Super Tournament on Lake Lanier Presented by Harrison Oil Company

Boater Paul Marks, of Cumming, and Strike-King co-angler Chris Pfrogner, of Dawsonville.

Boater Paul Marks, of Cumming, caught six bass weighing 25-lbs., 7-ozs. to win the two-day MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Lanier Presented by Harrison Oil Company. The tournament, which featured a three-bass daily limit, was the fifth and final regular-season event for the Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division Presented by Mystik Lubricants. Marks earned $13,871 for his victory, including the lucrative $7,000 Phoenix MLF contingency bonus.

After Marks ended his first day of competition in second place, he said Day 2 didn’t start off like he had hoped.

“I had a flat tire on my truck Sunday morning, and then I got pulled over on the way to the ramp,” Marks said. “I didn’t get a ticket, though. And then I ran all the way down the lake to the south end, and then when I left my first spot, I slung an ear on my prop. So, I had to change the prop out. After I got all of that out of the way, I caught all my fish within 30 minutes.”

Marks said the early bite was key for him, and on both days, he caught his large fish early. When the big bite turned off for him mid-morning, he still caught fish, but he was unable to cull the rest of the day.

Marks said he targeted bass in 20 to 50 feet of water near Browns Bridge on a Damiki rig with a Picasso Speed Drop Jig Head with a small minnow-imitating plastic bait.

“Sunday, I caught a 5-pounder right after I caught a 4 1/2-pounder and a 3 1/2-pounder, and I kind of thought it was over at that point,” Marks said. “I fished my heart out the rest of the day.”

The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

  • 1st:          Paul Marks, Cumming, Ga., six bass, 25-7, $13,871 includes $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
  • 2nd:        Mikey Bart, Flowery Branch, Ga., six bass, 23-15, $3,436
  • 3rd:        Ty Overmyer, Dawsonville, Ga., six bass, 23-12, $2,290
  • 4th:         Emil Wagner, Marietta, Ga., six bass, 23-11, $1,903
  • 5th:         Dalton Tankersley, Copperhill, Tenn., six bass, 23-2, $1,374
  • 6th:         Roger Vinson, Oakwood, Ga., six bass, 22-13, $1,260
  • 7th:         Caz Anderson, Haysville, N.C., six bass, 21-12, $1,145
  • 8th:         Weston Parker, Mansfield, Ga., six bass, 21-5, $1,031
  • 9th:         Matthew O’Connell, Brooks, Ga., six bass, 21-3, $1,166
  • 10th:      Wesley Griner, Cumming, Ga., six bass, 21-2, $802

Complete results can be found at

Kevin Black, of Cumming, had a bass that weighed 5-lbs., 6-ozs. that was the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $1,012.

Chris Pfrogner, of Dawsonville, won the Strike King Co-angler Division and $3,436 Sunday after catching a two-day total of six bass weighing 17-lbs., 12-ozs.

The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers were:

  • 1st:          Chris Pfrogner, Dawsonville, Ga., six bass, 17-12, $3,436
  • 2nd:        Zachary Archer, Cumming, Ga., five bass, 14-5, $1,718
  • 3rd:        Tyler Mangum, Canton, Ga., five bass, 13-14, $1,145
  • 4th:         Scott Sayasing, Grantville, Ga., five bass, 13-13, $1,308
  • 5th:         Cliff Humphreys, Candler, N.C., five bass, 13-11, $687
  • 6th:         Harold Grizzle, Gainesville, Ga., six bass, 13-8, $630
  • 7th:         Demetrice Collins, Thomson, Ga., four bass, 11-11, $573
  • 8th:         Greg Glouse, Liberty, S,C., four bass, 11-6, $715
  • 9th:         Jake Staley, Cumming, Ga., four bass, 11-0, $458
  • 10th:      Ben Brisbois, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 10-14, $401

Scott Sayasing, of Grantville, caught the largest bass in the Strike King Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 5-lbs., 11-ozs. The catch earned him the Berkley Big Bass Co-angler award of $506.

With the regular season now complete, boater Matthew O’Connell, of Brooks, won the 2023 Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division Presented by Mystik Lubricants Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with a five-event total of 1,305 points to earn the $1,000 boater AOY award. Tyler Mangum, of Canton, won the 2023 Strike King Co-Angler Bulldog Division Presented by Mystik Lubricants AOY race with 1,296 points and earned the $500 Strike King Co-angler of the Year award.

Now, the top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the division based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will advance to compete in the Oct. 19-21 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lake Norman in Huntersville, North Carolina. Boaters will fish 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 compete for a top award of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The 2023 Phoenix BFL Presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 events throughout the season, five qualifying tournaments in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five qualifying event winners, will advance to one of six BFL Regional tournaments 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 BFL All-American.

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 Invitationals and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.

Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, General Tire, Grundéns, Gill, Lew’s, Lowrance, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Mystik Lubricants, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X and YETI.

For complete details and updated tournament information, visit For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at FacebookInstagram and YouTube.

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