Kyle Hall Caps Off 2022 With MLF Toyota Series Championship Win
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When we last spoke with Kyle Hall, he had just caught a 16.1 pound largemouth on O.H. Ivie. Hall’s catch was one in a string of impressive Texas lunkers, including those caught by Brodey Davis and Robert Bandy.
At the conclusion of that interview, Hall noted that his goal was to catch the Granbury (Texas) Lake record largemouth, surpassing the fishery’s 11.4 pound benchmark.
Fast forward eight months, however, and Hall’s most recent bass fishing accomplishment is considerably more impressive and, almost assuredly, more profitable.
2022 MLF Toyota Series Championship Review
For most anglers, catching a “break-the-internet” caliber fish would be the feather in their year’s cap.
As 2022 winds down, however, Hall had room for one more monumental addition to his young-but-growing fishing legacy.
On Saturday, November 5, Hall secured a victory at Major League Fishing’s Toyota Series Championship on Guntersville Lake, Alabama, capping off a three-day, fifteen-fish total of 59-01. His final day’s five-fish bag weighed in at 20-08 with a five-pound kicker.
Even without the bag’s biggest fish, Hall finished nearly six full pounds ahead of Marshall Robinson, the event’s runner-up, who record 53-04 across his fifteen fish. Drew Gill pulled 52-06 across his fifteen for a respectable third place finish.
The remaining top-ten finishers included:
- 4th: Matte Wieteha (48-09)
- 5th: Scout Echols (47-04)
- 6th: Matt Becker (47-01)
- 7th: Cole Breeden (46-06)
- 8th: Todd Castledine (41-12)
- 9th: Donny Bass (39-09)
- 10th: Seth Davis (32-06)
Gill brought home $35,000 and Robinson $40,000. Hall, between his MLF winnings and both Phoenix and Mercury bonuses, secured $237,500.
Persistence is Key: Qualifying for Guntersville
After landing his O.H. Ivie giant early this year, Hall notes that his fortunes briefly changed. He struggled on the pro circuit and redirected his attention toward smallmouth fishing in the north.
In August, Hall secured victory on New York’s Lake Champlain, narrowly edging out runner-up Jon Canada by one ounce and third-place Dakota Ebare by four ounces.
After a second-place finish on a Toyota Series event on Champlain in August, Hall headed to the St. Lawrence River and finished 115th.
The 2020 Pro Circuit Polaris Rookie of the Year notes that he simply had to fish that event to have the minimum number required for November’s Toyota Series Championship on Guntersville.
“It cost a lot of money and fuel. Spent one day of practice, but I did it just so I could fish Toyota on Guntersville,” Hall states.
Having spent much of the year perfecting his use of fishing with Garmin’s Livescope, Hall believed that he could effectively target fish on Alabama’s most renowned lake during the fall. Hall made a point to “shout out” the brand and has spoken in the past about how much time and effort is required to master the technology.
Securing Victory on Guntersville
After two days of fishing, Kyle Hall was in the running to secure his biggest tournament victory to date. Even during the final day, however, Hall put pressure on himself to continue performing at a high level.
“I had it won about 12:00 (p.m.) with 14 pounds but had no idea,” Hall notes. “I had 17 pounds around 2:00. Still didn’t think I had it won. I felt I needed 20 (pounds) to have a shot at it, because (the other anglers) were catching them better than I thought they would.”
Hall secured a five-pound kicker to round out the day but wasn’t sure that he would be able to reach the top of the podium despite holding over 20 pounds in the bag. He notes that other anglers regularly discuss weights and anticipate results at the dock, and it quickly dawned that he was sitting on a winning haul.
“There were around five people who came up and said ‘you’ve already got this thing won,'” Hall states. Despite their assurance, gratification would be delayed. “I had to wait about an hour, maybe an hour and a half, to weigh my fish in and get it finalized.”
Post-Victory: What Comes Next for Kyle Hall
Two days after the biggest victory of his young career, the reality of Hall’s accomplishments is still settling.
“It really didn’t hit me until yesterday,” Hall notes. “I got home yesterday morning, drove through the night, and I was driving home on adrenaline. It hit me after I woke up that I won that much money, having no idea what to do with it, or what would come.”
While he is still processing the victory, Hall is aware that his status within the fishing industry is likely to change.
“I’ve already had several more people than usual reach out for sponsorships,” he states. “I’m still trying to figure out what to do with almost $250,000 dollars as a 25-year-old. It’s pretty hard.”
Riding his success, Hall plans to revisit the lake that put him on the radar earlier this year.
“It’s back to Ivie, chasing giant bass all winters, hopefully taking a few clients out and getting them on double digits,” Hall notes. “I love seeing them doing it, maybe even more than I love catching them myself. That’s what I’ll be doing this winter.”
As for 2023, Hall has his sights set on an even bigger and brighter stage.
“I’ll be fishing MLF invitations next year to qualify for the Bass Pro tour. I want to be on the biggest stage with the biggest names.”
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