2023 MLF Toyota Series Finalized
2023 MLF Toyota Series Schedule
One of the best proving grounds in tournament bass fishing has its schedule finalized for the 2023 season. Major League Fishing (MLF), the world’s largest tournament bass fishing organization, has a full schedule across six different divisions. The 2023 Toyota Series presented by A.R.E kicks off in late January on Sam Rayburn and finishes up in early November on Table Rock for the Championship.
This tournament series has the lowest entry fees and largest payouts of any national trail. Anglers across the country are given the opportunity to fish close to home with events scheduled across the country. With a win-and-you’re-in approach to the championship, there is always a chance at qualifying for the final event where anglers will compete for up to $235,000.
Central Division Lakes
Lake Guntersville - February 16-18
Holding the title as the largest body of water in Alabama, Lake Guntersville is well known in the tournament bass fishing world as being a world class fishery. With over 60,000 acres of water and stretching 75 miles from the Nickajack Dam to Guntersville Dam, there is no shortage of options for anglers to catch fish. This lake is on the upswing where 20+ pound bags will be needed to place in the front of the packs and there is always the chance for a 7+ pound fish to cross the stage!
Lewis Smith Lake - March 21-23
Another great fishery in the state of Alabama is Lewis Smith Lake where spotted bass are the primary species that get walked across tournament stages. This man-made reservoir consists of steep drops and deep ledges. Generally known for its clear blue water, this time of year presents its challenges when rising water levels can cause murky scenarios.
Lake Chickamauga - April 25-27
Moving north to Tennessee, Lake Chickamauga is a popular destination for tournament anglers alike. It’s known for its diversity, proving many challenges and fishing conditions for anglers to discover. Anglers can find themselves on offshore ledges that hold big bass or up tight to cover in the back of a feeder creek looking for aggressive bites. When fishing Chickamauga, there is always a chance of landing a giant!
Northern Division Lakes
Lake Champlain - June 22-24
Lake Champlain is one of the staple big bass fisheries and well known tournament hotspot that sits on the border of New York and Vermont. With roughly 120 miles to fish north to south and both smallmouth and largemouth being a factor, there is no shortage of techniques used. When anglers show up on tournament day, look for a consistent bag of smallmouths with the hopes of a few kicker largemouth in the mix.
St. Lawrence River - August 10-12
The St. Lawrence river is a vast river system that is full of trophy smallmouth that sits on the US/Canada border. With takeoffs in Massena, anglers will have the option to fish the heavier current areas or head west toward the mouth of the river that connects with lake Ontario. Long runs and big water are common for this venue and it will surely add to the excitement of anglers reeling in the fish of a lifetime.
Potomac River - September 21-23
For those anglers not familiar with tidal waters, the Potomac river can be extremely challenging. With its proximity to the Chesapeake Bay, anglers will have to time their spots right as tidal fluctuations have a huge impact on how fish relate to cover. If they get the timing right, fast and furious stretches are what every angler is shooting for.
Plains Division Lakes
Grand Lake - March 16-18
Grand Lake is located in North East Oklahoma and is loaded with fish and cover! The key for anglers will be finding a pattern. It can be overwhelming with the amount of structure available, like the many boat docks that line the 60 miles of lake. Taking note of subtle pieces of information will not only help fill a limit, but can land them quality bites throughout the day.
Kentucky/Barkley Lake - April 20-22
Located on the Western side of Kentucky and into Tennessee, Kentucky and Barkley lakes combined have over 200,000 acres of fishable water. Success can be found by breaking the lakes down into smaller sections and really understanding the specific section an angler decides to hone in on. The asian carp population has populated a lot of the talks around the lake over the last few years but that doesn't mean there aren't opportunities for a big bag!
Lake of the Ozarks - September 28-30
Located in central Missouri, Lake of the Ozarks is a large man-made highland reservoir that runs roughly 91 miles long. This time of year will have fish in many different stages and you will see anglers choosing techniques that they have the most confidence in. With steep bluff walls and an abundance of cover, it will be interesting to see which patterns produce the most weight over a several day tournament.
Southern Division Lakes
Harris Chain of Lakes - February 1-3
There is no shortage of fishing spots on the Harris Chain which consists of many lakes attached via canals. Expect to see a good number of anglers fishing in Lake Harris where a healthy population of bass are known to live. Adjustments will need to be made frequently as changing weather conditions during this time of year can have a big impact on fish behavior and movement.
Lake Okeechobee - March 30 - April 1
The big “O” is the largest freshwater lake in the state of Florida and has approximately 730 square miles of surface area. Anglers will need to bring the heavy rods out for this one as picking apart thick vegetation will be the ticket to getting big bites. With its sheer size, anglers will need to key in on specific areas and pick through them efficiently.
Lake Eufaula - May 11-13
Sitting on the Alabama/Georgia border, Lake Eufaula has a ton of diversity. From shallow pockets and cuts on the northern end to deep channel swings to the south, anglers will have their pick on how they want to catch them. With around 45,000 acres of fishable water, expect to see long rungs and a multitude of patterns at play for the top finishers.
Southwestern Division Lakes
Sam Rayburn Reservoir - January 25-27 and May 18-20
Complexity comes to mind on Sam Rayburn for its unlimited options for catching fish. Deep offshore brush piles, creak channels, shallow timber, hydrilla, milfoil,.... The list can go on and on. Finding what is working on any given day will be key to consistently putting together a good bag for three days in a row. This time of year will have the fish up shallower coming in and out of the spawn. Shallow water techniques will be a staple come tournament days.
Lake Dardanelle - April 4-6
Located in western Arkansas, Lake Dardanelle is a man-made lake along the Arkansas River. It consists of over 34,000 acres of fishable water and is no stranger in the professional bass fishing scene with many high caliber tournaments held there over the years.
Western Division Lakes
Lake Havasu - February 2-4
At 45 miles long along the Colorado River, Lake Havasu has it all. Tons of man-made habitat and excellent fish management over the years has made this dessert oasis a big bass factory. It truly is unique in that there is both shallow and deep water present and a multitude of structures present that allow for many different techniques to be successful.
California Delta - March 15-17 and April 19-21
The California Delta is a vast network of waterways located in the central valley of California. With a sprawling 1,100 miles of habitat, anglers will find that they have plenty of room to find their own fish. Tides will be a factor and conditions/current can change on a minute by minute basis. Big bags are a guarantee and there is always the possibility of a double digit fish being put on the scales.
Table Rock Lake - November 2-4
With a little over 500 miles of shoreline, this Ozark reservoir is a popular destination for recreational and tournament fishermen alike. Located in the southwest corner of Missouri, this is a man-made reservoir along the white river. This is one of the few places where smallmouth, largemouth, and spotted bass could show up on stage. During this time of year, bass can almost certainly be feeding up for winter where locating baitfish could be the ticket to getting those big bites.
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