The Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats is set to return to Marbury, Maryland, and the Potomac River from Sept. 21-23 or the third and final event in the Toyota Series Northern Division Presented by Rabid Baits – the Toyota Series at the Potomac River Presented by Rabid Baits.
The three-day tournament, hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners, will feature a roster of the region’s best bass-fishing pros and Strike King co-anglers competing for a top prize of up to $100,000 in the pro division and a new Phoenix 518 Pro boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard motor in the co-angler division.
“I feel like we’ll see some big bags in this tournament but putting it together for three days in a row is going to be the biggest challenge,” said MLF pro Martin Villa of Charlottesville, Virginia, who has two Top-10 finishes – including a fourth-place showing last year – at the Potomac River. “From everything that I’ve been hearing, the fishing is going to be a little bit tougher on the river this year.
“This time of year it always toughens up, but this year we’ve had a lot of late summer heat and we haven’t had much rain, so the river has high salinity,” Villa said. “This means that some of the grass will really be blooming out, and some of it will already be dying off. I don’t think you’re going to be able to win this tournament one way, or off of one spot.”
Villa said that he expects he’ll be using his Douglas Bladed Swimjig rod and his Douglas Punching rods extensively, as swimjigs and punching baits will be strong players. He also mentioned that he will have a couple of topwater baits tied on, including a frog.
“It’s going to be a pretty standard September tournament on the Potomac… just a little bit tougher,” Villa said. “If a guy can catch 13 to 14 pounds a day, he’ll do very well. I think if someone can catch 45 pounds over three days, they’ll walk away with it.”
Anglers will launch at 7 a.m. ET each day from Smallwood State Park, located at 2750 Sweden Point Road in Marbury. Weigh-ins will also be held at the State Park and will begin at 3 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend and encouraged to follow the event online through the “MLF Live” weigh-in broadcasts and daily coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
In Toyota Series regular-season competition, payouts are based on the number of participants competing in the event, scaling up for every 20 boats over 160 and scaling down for every boat below 160. With a 160-boat field, pros fish for a top prize of $40,000, plus an extra $35,000 if Phoenix MLF Bonus qualified. Strike King co-anglers cast for the top prize of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard (valued at $33,500). With a 260-boat field, pros fish for a top award of $65,000, plus an extra $35,000 if Phoenix MLF Bonus qualified. Strike King co-anglers cast for the top prize of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard (valued at $33,500) plus $5,000 cash.
The 2023 Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats consists of six divisions – Central, Northern Division Presented by Rabid Baits, Plains, Southern, Southwestern and the Western Division Presented by Tackle Warehouse – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International and Wild Card divisions. Anglers who fish in any of the six divisions or the Wild Card division and finish in the top 25 will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series Championship for a shot at winning up to $235,000 and a qualification to REDCREST 2024. The winning Strike King co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard. The 2023 Toyota Series Championship will be held Nov. 2-4 on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, and is hosted by ExploreBranson.com.
Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Toyota Series include: 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Black Rifle Coffee Company, E3, Favorite Fishing, Fox Rent a Car, General Tire, Gill, Grundéns, Lew’s, Lowrance, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Next Gen Lithium, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Wiley X and YETI.
For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Toyota Series updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the MLF5 social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.