Pro Hunter Baughman wins MLF Toyota Series at Truman Lake
Baughman moved into the top five on Day 2 before bringing the biggest bag of the tournament to the stage on the final day to solidify the biggest win of his career.
“I’m tickled about this win,” Baughman said. “I’ve been doing this for a long time at this level and I’ve fished nationally with another league for two years, but I’ve never won anything outside of a statewide tournament. I’m just absolutely beside myself.”
Having never fished Truman Lake before, Baughman said he leaned heavily on the 100-plus waypoints he logged during three days of practice. He targeted bass in offshore brush and rock piles, ranging from 5 to 15 feet in depth.
“Everyone else was graphing, but when I’d find several piles, I’d go 700 or 800 yards graphing with the LiveScope and find little stumps no one was seeing on their side imaging,” Baughman continued. “I might catch one on every tenth stump, but it would be a good one.”
Baughman said he caught the majority of his weight from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. every day and caught all his fish on a ¾-ounce Brazalo football jig and a 5/16-ounce Brazolo finesse jig.
Baughman, who lost both of his legs below the knees, his left hand and digits on his right hand to bacterial meningitis as an infant, said he counts the win as another huge blessing and an additional opportunity to show others that with hard work, they can do anything they put their mind to.
“God is so good and has just blessed me in my life,” Baughman said. “I got sick at 9 months old, and the doctors said I wouldn’t make it, so to just be here is amazing – and to have the ability to catch some fish every once in a while on top of it, is just awesome.”
The top 10 pros on Truman Lake finished:
2nd: Brad Jelinek of Lincoln, Mo., 15 bass, 47-0, $13,566
3rd: Brock Reinkemeyer of Warsaw, Mo., 15 bass, 46-8, $9,729
4th: Kyle Schutta of Forest Lake, Minn., 15 bass, 46-1, $8,107
5th: Michael Harlin of Sunrise Beach, Mo., 15 bass, 39-1, $7,697
6th: B.J. Miller of Adams, Neb., 14 bass, 38-3, $6,486
7th: Drew Gill of Mount Carmel, Ill., 15 bass, 36-0, $5,675
8th: Nicky Parsons of West Fork, Ark., 15 bass, 35-8, $4,864
9th: Chris Bridges of Clinton, Mo., 14 bass, 35-7, $4,554
10th: Greg Proffitt of Kansas City, Mo., 14 bass, $3,243
Pros Travis Harriman of Memphis, Missouri won the $500 Day One Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division Thursday, bringing a bass weighing 5 pounds even to the scale. Brandon Orton of Memphis, Missouri won Friday’s $500 Berkley Big Bass award, bringing a 4-pound, 9-ounce bass to the scale.
Jelinek 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.
Dewey Larson of Fayetteville, Arkansas won the Strike King Co-angler Division Saturday with a three-day total of 10 bass weighing 23 pounds, 8 ounces. Larson 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 Truman Lake finished:
2nd: Will Lancett of Jacksonville, Ark., nine bass, 18-1, $4,104
3rd: Tate Brumnett of Wagoner, Okla., seven bass, 16-0, $3,284
4th: Troy Karafa of Racine, Wis., six bass, 15-8, $3,073
5th: Jeff Moss of Oronogo, Mo., six bass, 14-10, $2,813
6th: Kit Lueg of Stillwell, Kan., five bass, 13-14, $2,052
7th: Bob Keeth of Dixon, Mo., five bass, 13-12, $1,642
8th: Tom Shewey of Climax Springs, Mo., five bass, 13-10, $1,587
9th: Steve Duncan of Amarillo, Texas, five bass, 13-10, $1,231
10th: Kevin Hesson of Seneca, Pa., six bass, 13-8, $1,026
The Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. at Truman Lake was hosted by the Sedalia Convention and Visitors Bureau and Benton County Tourism and Recreation. It was the third and final tournament in the Plains Division. The next event for Toyota Series anglers will take place on Sept. 22-24 – the Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E on the St. Lawrence River Presented by BoatLogix in Massena, New York, hosted by the Town of Massena. For a complete schedule, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.
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 MLF’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, 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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