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Local angler wins big on Lake Lanier
Dawsonville native Jason Johnson after winning the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League tournament presented by T-H Marine at Lake Lanier on Feb. 3. - photo by For the Dawson County News

Dawson County angler Jason Johnson picked up the first win of his professional career on Feb. 3 in the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Lake Lanier. Johnson’s winning stringer of five bass weighed in at 19 pounds and 1 ounce to net him the tournament’s top prize of $6,596 and the newly installed FLW Phoenix Bonus award of $7,000, for a total cash winnings of $13,596.

“I’ve been close in the Bass Fishing League events several time, and it feels great to finally get a win,” says Johnson, who earned his first victory after eight prior top-10 finishes in FLW competition. “It’s even sweeter with the new Phoenix contingency award. It made for a really good payday.”

Fishing along Buford Dam on the lake’s southern end, Johnson targeted timberlines in 35 to 50 feet of water. Of the 12 fish that struck his lures, Johnson put nine in the boat, including three keepers, on a hologram dawn colored Zoom Z3 original worm. His final two keepers came courtesy of a Georgia Blade ½-ounce green-pumpkin-colored jig and a ½-ounce SpotSticker Underspin with an albino-colored ZoomFluke Jr.

“It was pretty much Lanier staples – a shaky head and drop-shot,” he says. “I’ve fished quite a few local tournaments over the past couple of weekends and I just got lucky that the fish have been there every week and are staying in their wintertime patterns.”

Hosted by the Gainesville Convention and Visitors Bureau, the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Lake Lanier was the first of five qualifying events in the Bulldog division.

As one of the five qualifying event winners, Johnson has secured his spot in the Oct. 16 to 18 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lake Cherokee in Jefferson City, Tenn., hosted by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. There he will compete with 49 other anglers for a grand prize package valued at over $60,000 and includes a new 18-foot Phoenix bass boat powered by a 200HP outboard motor.

“I’m signed up for all of the Savannah River Division events as well,” Johnson said in a press release. “I’m looking forward to fishing at Lake Keowee next weekend and I’m going to try my best to qualify for that BFL Regional tournament on Lanier in October.” For complete details and updated information visit For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.