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Mansfield resident wins pro bass fishing tournament
Three other area residents in top 10 in professional bass competitions on Lake Sinclair
Aaron Batson
Aaron Batson of Mansfield won the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine tournament on Lake Sinclair near Milledgeville Saturday. (Special | Major League Fishing)

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – A Mansfield fisherman was the winner and three other area residents finished in the top 10 Saturday in two Major League Fishing (MLF) affiliated tournaments on Lake Sinclair.

Aaron Batson of Mansfield was the top finisher in the Boater group of the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine tournament by catching five bass weighing 20 pounds even. Batson earned $5,057 for his victory, according to Major League Fishing.

Larry Cason of Newborn caught five bass weighing 13 pounds, 7 ounces, to finish eighth in the Boater Group and earn $758.

In the Strike King Co-Angler group, Donald Peppers of Good Hope finished sixth and Chandler White of Covington finished seventh.

Peppers caught five bass weighing 9 pounds, 6 ounces, and won $464. White caught five bass weighing 9 pounds, 5 ounces and earned $421.

The tournaments were the second event of the season for the Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division. 

Batson said, “I started out fishing water willow, but I knew it had been getting pounded, so I changed it up and started looking for deeper seawalls. 

“I started with a Trixter Custom Baits jig and a Dock Hopper, looking for deeper seawalls. I stayed in the mid-lake area and worked that jig and a Zoom Ol’ Monster worm.

“I definitely did all my work in the first two hours of the day,” Batson added. “I caught a pretty good limit of 21 pounds or so early on.”

Batson said he changed tactics and worked shell beds and fished a frog in very shallow water in the back of a creek later in the day, but credited the jig with his win.

“I felt pretty good about this tournament after I caught my limit,” Batson said. “The fishing’s been tough here, and it’s been taking a good bag.

“There are some big sticks that fish the Bulldog Division,” Batson added. “It feels great to get my first win.”

The Top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 6-8 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lake Murray in Prosperity, South Carolina. 

Boaters will compete 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 fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The 2022 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. 

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