Desoto County Sports

Hernando’s Walker wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event

Photo: John Walker of Hernando (Courtesy photo)

Boater John Walker of Hernando caught a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 9 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Ross Barnett Reservoir. Hosted by Visit Ridgeland, the tournament was the first event of the season for the BFL Mississippi Division. Walker earned $3,418 for his victory.

Walker had no prior experience to lean on when building a game plan at Ross Barnett. The only day he’d ever spent fishing there was the day before the tournament, when he practiced with a co-angler, and the duo never scratched out a bite.

“All I knew to do was whatever was the opposite of what I did Friday,” Walker joked. “With the wind and everything and not being familiar with that upper lake and all the timber, I went right around the corner of the marina. I just kind of got on a deal where some fish were setting up.”

Walker had a limit of 10 to 12 pounds early, and it got better from there.

“Once that sun came out some bigger fish moved up, and I caught a 5-2 and a 4-pounder just flipping a black and blue (Zoom) Z Craw Jr. and a Zoom Speed Worm on a shaky head on the rocks,” he said. “I was kind of swimming it off the rocks, and they were hammering it. That’s all. I got lucky.”

Luck might have been a factor, but to Walker’s credit, he eventually got dialed in on a couple of key spots where small chunk rock was mixed with gravel or mud and the slope was slightly flatter than the nearby riprap. In the afternoon, new fish moved up to these spots from deeper water.

“Once I kind of figured out what was going on, we were scrambling the last hour and a half,” he said. “I managed to cull a couple more times during the last hour.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st: John Walker, Hernando, Miss., five fish, 16-9, $3,418
2nd: Jed Farlow, Madison, Miss., five fish, 15-1, $1,709
3rd: John Anderson, Bay Springs, Miss., five fish, 13-15, $1,438
4th: Jonathan Williams, Moss Point, Miss., five fish, 13-9, $798
5th: Hayze Hutzel, Flowood, Miss., four fish, 13-5, $684
6th: Ramey Harrell, Lena, Miss., five fish, 13-0, $627
7th: Barrett Saunders, Hammond, La., five fish, 12-8, $1,070 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
8th: Noel Allen Jr., Brandon, Miss., four fish, 11-15, $513
9th: Corey Sullivan, Brandon, Miss., five fish, 11-10, $456
10th: Dave Woodfin, Kosciusko, Miss., five fish, 11-6, $399

Complete results can be found at