Jemison’s Davenport ties for win at MLF event at Lake Mitchell

Published 1:02 pm Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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By Major League Fishing

CLANTON, Ala. — Boaters Robbie Robinson of Mobile, Alabama, and Blake Davenport of Jemison, Alabama, each caught five-bass limits weighing 14 pounds, 10 ounces, Saturday to tie for the win at the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Mitchell. The tournament was the second event of the season for the BFL Bama Division. Robinson earned $2,964 for his share of the win, which includes the Berkley Big Bass prize of $425 for catching a bass that weighed 6-7. Davenport’s share was $2,539.

Interestingly, both anglers caught their fish throwing swimbaits. But they weren’t fishing the same pattern.

“Most of mine were postspawn, and I caught them offshore,” said Davenport. “There were a few prespawn too. I caught most of them off one spot that was up the river, on a swimbait.”

Davenport said the fish were schooled up in about 10 to 12 feet of water and relating to current.

He fished his swimbait on a 1/2-ounce Crusher Lures Legendary Swimbait Head and was able to land a limit in a quick flurry midmorning.

“It was like a 30-minute span and it was all over,” Davenport said.

Robinson pulled out a secret homemade swimbait he’s been making and using for years. The tournament veteran rigged the swimbait on a discontinued 8/0 hook that he carefully weighted with lead. He made long casts and waked the swimbait along and through the edge of some fresh green grass in about 2 feet of water.

The best grass beds were in pockets off the main lake. According to Robinson, the water dropped during pre-tournament week, which likely caused bass to vacate the grass. But then it came back up a foot on Friday, drawing the fish back into his areas.

“These fish have never seen it in their life,” he said about his homemade swimbait. “And it comes swimming through the top of the grass, and they literally lose their mind. I’ve had them hit it and come out of the water like yellowfin tuna.”

He figures he caught about five limits’ worth of 2-pound bass throughout the day. When he wasn’t fishing the swimbait, Robinson also caught some off beds, but the spawners weren’t big enough to help his limit.

His best keeper produced a memorable moment.

“When that big fish rolled up and ate that swimbait, I about had a stroke,” he said. “I stuck her and looked around at my co-angler and said, ‘Dude, you’re gonna have to get the net for this one.’ That’s the only time I asked for the net all day.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:
1st: Robbie Robinson, Mobile, Ala., five bass, 14-10, $2,964
1st: Blake Davenport, Jemison, Ala., five bass, 14-10, $2,539
3rd: James Willoughby, Gulfport, Miss., five bass, 13-8, $1,129
4th: Jake Childers, Hamilton, Ala., five bass, 13-3, $790
5th: Steven Ingram, Tallassee, Ala., five bass, 12-15, $677
6th: Hunter Dubose, Andalusia, Ala., five bass, 12-6, $621
7th: Morgan Brown, Spanish Fort, Ala., five bass, 12-4, $564
8th: Chad Hall, Cullman, Ala., five bass, 11-13, $451
8th: Kyle Dorsett, Springville, Ala., five bass, 11-13, $451
8th: Cole Williams, Jacksons Gap, Ala., five bass, 11-13, $451

Complete results can be found at