Camdenton angler wins Toyota Series Major League Fishing event on Oklahoma's Grand Lake

Charity Muehlenweg, Major League Fishing
Camdenton angler Andy Newcomb celebrates his win at a Major League Fishing event on Grand Lake in Oklahoma.

Toyota Series angler Andy Newcomb of Camdenton brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 11 ounces to win the three-day Toyota Series presented by A.R.E. at Grand Lake presented by Fenwick in Grove, Oklahoma.

Newcomb’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 52-13 earned him the win by a 11-ounce margin over second place angler Chris Jones of Bokoshe, Oklahoma, and earned Newcomb the top payout of $76,500, including a lucrative $35,500 Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus, in the second tournament of the 2021 Toyota Series Plains Division.

After finishing second in the first Toyota Series Plains Division event at Lake of the Ozarks back in March, Newcomb dropped 17 pounds, 13 ounces on day one of the event to sit in ninth place. He backed it up on day two with 19-5 to take the lead, followed by 15-11 on day three to earn his first career Toyota Series win.

“It’s incredible,” Newcomb said of his win. “Just the fact that I was able to edge out Chris (Jones) is incredible – Chris is the man. Eric Olliverson is another buddy of mine that catches them everywhere. To beat those guys… I’ve worked hard at it and I’ve never felt I was truly at that level.

"So, to win one feels really, really good," Newcomb continued.

“Thursday, I caught all of my fish off of chunky gravel and my good ones came halfway back in pockets. If I went back further I could only catch small keepers, and towards the main lake I couldn’t catch anything.”

With no wind, warmer temperatures and clear skies on day two, Newcomb said he tried to force his “chunky gravel” pattern, but to no avail.

“I tried for a long time to make that pattern from day one work,” he said. “Finally, I rolled up to a bluff and I thought that it looked like a place I could catch one.

“I threw out there and had one hit it and that changed my whole tournament. Even though I didn’t land it, that fish biting made me think, ‘There’s fish here.’ I went a little further down and had another bite and told my co-angler we were going to camp there. In the last hour-and-a-half of the day, they turned on. I went from nine pounds to over 19 in a hurry.”

Newcomb said as far as baits go, he stuck with Grand Lake staples ­– a jig and a spinnerbait.

“In cleaner water, I was either throwing a BOOYAH Covert Spinnerbait with a small, gold Colorado blade and a bigger, silver willow blade or a chartreuse  War Eagle spinnerbait – I swapped the painted blades out for smaller willow blades so I could fish it a little faster, which made the fish swallow it instead of just biting it.”

Newcomb said he also added a BioSpawn ExoSwim (Feider shad) to his spinnerbait for extra bulk and dyed the tail chartreuse. He threw his blades on a 7-foot, 4-inch Daiwa Tatula Elite vibrating jig rod with a  Daiwa Tatula reel, spooled with 17-pound-test Vicious Pro Elite fluorocarbon line.

A ½-ounce Apex Tackle Company Dirk’s Jig got a key bite on day two, but did all of the heavy lifting on the final day. He put a Zoom Ultravibe Speed Craw on the back and pitched it to any rock or wood he could along the bank. His jig tackle consisted of a 7-foot, 1-inch Tatula Elite rod, with the same Tatula reel as the spinnerbait and he ran 20-pound Vicious Pro Elite fluorocarbon on it.

“It’s a very small jig, with just a few strands of skirt,” Newcomb said. “Color didn’t seem to matter. If you got it in front of one they would bite, but they just ate funny. I think I weighed every fish today on the jig and most everything the first two days on a spinnerbait.”

With the trophy in hand, Newcomb said he’s happy that his fish-to-win mentality finally paid off on the big stage and he’s hoping it may lead to an even bigger stage soon.

“At the end of the day, whether I win or lose, I know I did everything I could to win,” he said. “Sometimes it doesn’t work out, but when it does, boy it feels really, really good.”

The top 10 pros on Grand Lake finished:

1st: Andy Newcomb of Camdenton, Mo., 15 bass, 52-13, $76,500

2nd: Chris M. Jones of Bokoshe, Okla., 15 bass, 52-2, $15,500

3rd: Kyle Minke of Lindstrom, Minn., 15 bass, 51-15, $12,000

4th: Joey Cantrell of Whitesboro, Texas, 15 bass, 51-8, $10,000

5th: T.J. Martin of Claremore, Okla., 15 bass, 49-4, $9,000

6th: Brent Algeo of Ozark, Mo., 15 bass, 48-12, $8,000

7th: James Watson of Lampe, Mo., 15 bass, 48-9, $7,150

8th: Eric Olliverson of Lampe, Mo., 15 bass, 48-0, $6,000

9th: Kyle Weisenburger of Columbus Grove, Ohio, 15 bass, 46-8, $5,000

10th: Toby Hartsell of Afton, Okla., 45-13, $4,000

A complete list of results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Pro James Watson of Lampe, Missouri took home an additional $150 for the day one Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division, with a bass weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounces. Nathen Luce of Claremore, Oklahoma won the day two Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division, bringing an 6-pound, 11-ounce bass to the scale.

Newcomb added an extra $35,000 to his winnings as the highest finishing Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $35,000 per event in each Toyota Series tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

Derek Felton of Willard, Missouri won the Strike King Co-angler Division Saturday with a three-day total of 14 bass weighing 37 pounds, 6 ounces. Felton took home the top prize package of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard motor.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers on Grand Lake finished:

1st: Derek Felton of Thayer, Mo., 14 bass, 37-6, Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat w/115-hp outboard

2nd: Matt Krekovich of Granite City, Ill., 13 bass, 36-3, $4,969

3rd: Andrew Brandstrom of White Bear Lake, Minn., 12 bass, 35-12, $3,975

4th: Tate Brumnett of Wagoner, Okla., 14 bass, 35-12, $3,478

5th: Rob Crane of Fairview Heights, Ill., 14 bass, 33-13, $2,981

6th: Josh Klinghagen of Kokomo, Ind., 13 bass, 32-0, $2,484

7th: John Hoyer of Orono, Minn., 12 bass, 31-13, $1,987

8th: Todd Adamitis of Glen Carbon, Ill, 12 bass, 31-11, $1,739

9th: Dennis Young of Olathe, Kan., 10 bass, 30-9, $1,491

10th: Joey Bohannon of Rogers, Ark., 10 bass, 26-7, $1,242

In the Strike King co-angler division, the $100 day one Berkley Big Bass award winner was John Bowdre of Hernando, Mississippi, with a 6-pound bass, 8-ounce bass, while the $99 Day 2 award went to Felton with a 6-pound, 14-ounce bass.

The Toyota Series at Grand Lake was presented by Fenwick and was hosted by the City of Grove. It was the second of three regular-season tournaments in 2021 for Plains Division anglers. The next event for Toyota Series anglers will take place on April 28-30 – the Toyota Series at Sam Rayburn presented by Berkley in Brookeland, Texas. For a complete schedule, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The 2021 Toyota Series presented by A.R.E. consists of six divisions – Central, Northern, Plains, Southern, Southwestern and Western – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International division. Anglers who fish all three qualifiers in any of the eight divisions and finish in the top 25 will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series presented by A.R.E. Championship for a shot at winning $235,000 cash, including a $35,000 Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus for qualified anglers. The winning Strike King co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The 2021 Toyota Series Championship presented by A.R.E. will be held Oct. 28-30 on Pickwick Lake in Counce, Tennessee, and is hosted by the Hardin County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Toyota Series presented by A.R.E. on the MLF BIG5’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and  YouTube.