MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING NEWS

Jacob Wheeler Catches 7½-Pound Largemouth to Earn $50K, Final 10 Set for Championship Round at General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops

RALEIGH, N.C. (April 13, 2021) – One fish. $50,000. Pro Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tennessee, boated a 7-pound, 8-ounce, largemouth Tuesday afternoon on Shearon Harris Reservoir, the largest fish of the day, to win $50,000 at the Major League Fishing (MLF) General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops in Raleigh, North Carolina. Wheeler finished the day in 2nd place and punched his ticket straight to Wednesday’s final-day Championship Round.

“50 g’s, heck yeah, that is unreal,” Wheeler said in his post-game interview. “That will be a fish that I remember for the rest of my life. I was cruising down the bank and when I saw that fish, I literally stopped and was like ‘Whoa, that’s a $50,000 bass.’ It took me about 45 minutes trying to figure out how to catch her, and it was pretty dang awesome when I did.”

Wheeler caught the big bass on a Googan Baits Lunker Log, although he credited a different bait as being his key for the day.

“The (Googan) Bandito Bug was the big player for me today and I caught several of my fish doing that,” Wheeler said. “But, I also caught a couple, including the big ‘un, on the Lunker Log.

“I got really close to winning here two years ago, and I’d love to try to take home the title and get a little pay back on this lake this time around. So far, after today, it’s treating me pretty solid. Shearon Harris… I love you.”
 

Joining Wheeler in the Championship Round will be pro Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tennessee, who won Tuesday’s Knockout Round with 15 bass weighing 46 pounds, 11 ounces.

“It was a great day for me, and well beyond my expectations,” said Morgan. “It was pretty simple fishing – just looking for spawning fish. They were up super-shallow, right around the bank. Weed clumps, trees, logs – whatever they could get around.

“I caught them on just a couple of baits,” Morgan continued. “I threw a ½-ounce Strike King Thunder Cricket with a chartreuse and white-colored Zoom Swimmer on the back. I also caught them flipping a Zoom Brush Hog and a Zoom Z-Craw . Some of the fish were actually feeding – those ones I’d catch on the Cricket. The bass that I caught flipping were primarily all spawning.”

Morgan fished the Thunder Cricket on a 7-foot, 2-inch medium-heavy Favorite Fishing Big Sexy casting rod, paired with a Lew’s 6:3:1 reel and spooled with 16-pound fluorocarbon line. For his flipping setup, he Texas-rigged the creature baits and threw them on a Favorite Fishing Pro Series The GOAT rod paired with an 8:3:1 Lew’s Flipping and Pitching reel and 20-pound fluorocarbon line.

Wednesday’s Championship Round will feature Qualifying Round winners Fletcher Shryock and Bryan Thrift, along with the top eight anglers from Tuesday’s Knockout Round, competing in a final-day shootout for the top prize of $100,000. In addition to the tournament purse, a $100,000 Big Bass Bonus will be awarded to the angler that lands the single biggest fish on the final day.

The top eight pros from the Knockout Round that advanced to Wednesday’s final-day Championship Round on Shearon Harris Reservoir are:

  1st:          Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 46-11
  2nd:         Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., 13 bass, 41-6
  3rd:         Alton Jones, Woodway, Texas, 13 bass, 39-6
  4th:         Ish Monroe, Oakdale, Calif., 12 bass, 36-15
  5th:         Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa., 10 bass, 35-8
  6th:         Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., nine bass, 30-3
  7th:         Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 29-13
  8th:         Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, nine bass, 29-13

Eliminated from competition after the Knockout Round on Shearon Harris Reservoir are:

  9th:         Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., eight bass, 27-7, $4,000
  10th:       Cliff Pace, Petal, Miss., eight bass, 27-0, $4,000
  11th:       Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., seven bass, 24-5, $4,000
  12th:       Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark., seven bass, 19-15, $4,000
  13th:       Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., seven bass, 17-9, $4,000
  14th:       Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., four bass, 15-5, $4,000
  15th:       Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala., four bass, 13-5, $4,000
  16th:       Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala., three bass, 8-12, $4,000
  17th:       Boyd Duckett, Guntersville, Ala., three bass, 6-12, $4,000
  18th:       Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark., one bass, 2-15, $4,000

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

Overall, there were 143 bass weighing 453 pounds even caught by the 18 pros on Tuesday, which included one 7-pounder, one 6-pounders and seven 5-pounders caught from Shearon Harris Reservoir.

The MLF General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops is hosted by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance.

The 20 Anglers in Group A competed in their two-day qualifying round on Jordan Lake on Friday and Sunday – the 20 anglers in Group B on Falls Lake on Saturday and Monday. The anglers that finished in 2nd through 10th place from both groups advanced to Tuesday’s Knockout Round on Shearon Harris, while the winner of each group advanced directly to Wednesday’s Championship Round on Shearon Harris. In Wednesday’s final-day Championship Round, weights are zeroed and the highest one-day total wins.

Find Out How Takahiro Omori Won the 2021 MLF USAA Patriot Cup Presented by Berkley

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (May 10, 2021) – Major League Fishing (MLF) pro Takahiro Omori of Tokyo, Japan, caught 16 bass totaling 35 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the Championship Round of the 2021 MLF USAA Patriot Cup Presented by Berkley in Kissimmee, Florida, which premiered Saturday on the Outdoor Channel. The win was the second MLF Cup win in as many years for the Japanese pro, who also claimed the 2020 Wiley X Summit Cup Presented by B&W Trailer Hitches Title at Lake of the Ozarks.

Omori said that he did the bulk of his damage on two baits – an unnamed 1.5 squarebill crankbait and a vibrating jig with a swimbait trailer. He fished boat docks, around the bank and in pockets in 3- to 5-feet of water.

“I love shallow-cranking, and I was thinking the conditions were perfect for me,” Omori said. “The 1.5 did it for me. It’s my most trusted bait right now.

“In the final period I come into the back of the creek where the wind was blowing, and I said if this doesn’t happen right here, I’m done. But, it did.”

With two Cup wins under his belt, the veteran Japanese angler now knows that he can excel at the MLF catch, weigh, immediate-release format.

“I wasn’t that good in the beginning. It took me seven years to really understand this format, but now that I do, I love it,” Omori went on to say.

The final eight anglers at the 2021 USAA Patriot Cup Presented by Berkley in Kissimmee, Florida, finished:

                1st:          Takahiro Omori, Tokyo, Japan, 16 bass, 35-11
                2nd:         Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Calif., 15 bass, 33-8
                3rd:         Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 26-9
                4th:         Jesse Wiggins, Addison, Ala., 10 bass, 23-7
                5th:         Terry Scroggins, Palatka, Fla., 12 bass, 22-1
                6th:         John Murray, Spring City, Tenn., 11 bass, 19-8
                7th:         Mike Iaconelli, Runnemede, N.J., nine bass, 16-14
                8th:         Mark Rose, Wynne, Ala., nine bass, 15-1

Complete results along with photos from the event can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Wiggins caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day – a nice 8-pound, 9-ounce largemouth that came on a finesse worm.

Overall, there were 97 bass weighing 192 pounds, 11 ounces caught by the final eight pros during the Championship Round of competition on Lake Bellalago.

The 2021 21 USAA Patriot Cup Presented by Berkley was hosted by Experience Kissimmee and premiered on the Outdoor Channel as six, two-hour original episodes each Saturday afternoon debuting on April 3, 2021, and running through May 8, 2021.

All six episodes of the event are available for viewing on the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) streaming app.

The event was shot over six days in November 2020, in Kissimmee and featured 28 MLF pro anglers competing on three different fisheries across the region, including John’s Lake, Lake Toho and Lake Bellalago. The fisheries are unknown to the anglers – they do not learn where they are competing until they arrive to the launch ramp each morning of competition.

Bobby Lane Wins Knockout Round at Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour – Berkley Stage Two Presented by Mercury at Lake Travis

AUSTIN, Texas (May 4, 2021) – Berkley pro “Big Fish” Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Florida, caught 14 bass Tuesday totaling 28 pounds, 1 ounce to win the Knockout Round and advance to the final day of competition at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour Berkley Stage Two at Lake Travis Presented by Mercury event in Austin, Texas. The final 10 anglers are now set, and competition will resume Wednesday morning with the Championship Round. Weights are zeroed, and the angler that catches the most weight will win the top prize of $100,000.

The six-day tournament, hosted by the Austin Sports Commission, featured 80 of the top professional anglers from around the world competing for a purse of $805,000, including a top cash prize of $100,000 to the winner.

The top eight pros from Tuesday’s Knockout Round that will compete in Wednesday’s Championship Round on Lake Travis are:

  1st:        Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., 14 bass, 28-1
  2nd:       Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., seven bass, 24-11
  3rd:       Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 11 bass, 24-2
  4th:       Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C., nine bass, 18-11
  5th:       Mark Daniels Jr., Tuskegee, Ala., 10 bass, 18-2
  6th:       Cody Meyer, Star, Idaho, eight bass, 17-7
  7th:       Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark., six bass, 17-3
  8th:       John Cox, DeBary, Fla., nine bass, 16-10

They’ll be joined by Qualifying Round Winners:

  Group A: Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan.
  Group B: Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla.

Full results for the entire field can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

“Man, am I excited to be going to my second straight Championship Round in Texas,” said Lane, who finished in 10th place at the season-opening Bass Pro Tour event at Sam Rayburn Reservoir. “Last year it seemed like I finished in 11th and 12th place all year long, but this is a new year and Bobby Lane is heading to his second straight Championship Round.”

Lane said he caught his fish Tuesday fishing the outside of marinas, mainly targeting docks and rocks.

“The key to my success so far this week has been my equipment,” Lane said. “I’m using the new (Abu Garcia) Veritas, 7-foot, medium, and this rod has been absolutely phenomenal. I love it. I’m fishing a wacky-rigged Berkley PowerBait (MaxScent) General worm (green-pumpkin) with a size 1 hook and a nail weight right in the head.

“I’ve got 10-pound braided line and I’m using an 8-pound-test Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon leader,” Lane continued. “I’m using a very long leader – around 14-foot. Fishing here on Lake Travis you’re going to break off, you’re going to get hung on the cables and you’re going to have to re-tie quite often. The longer leader allows me to re-tie more quickly and efficiently.”

Second-place angler Academy pro Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tennessee, was much more optimistic after his day on the water, Tuesday, than he was after only boating two fish in Monday’s Qualifying Round.

“It was a good morning, and a really tough afternoon – just as it has been the last few days – but we got it done and I’m so thankful for those quality bites this morning,” Wheeler said. “If I can get at least 10 keeper bites tomorrow, I think I’ll have a shot at this thing. I’m going to have to generate some big bites, though, so we’ll see what happens. I’m looking forward to going to the Championship Round. This feels good after yesterday’s struggles, so I’m ready to get after it tomorrow.”

Third-place pro Brent Ehrler of Redlands, California, also made the Championship Round in his second-straight event after a ninth-place showing at the General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event last month.

“I left a fair amount of water today that I didn’t fish, so I’ve still got some stuff left to fish tomorrow,” Ehrler said. “I got kind of lucky today. I had a couple of key bites that really helped me get to where I’m at right now – over that 20-pound mark. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get those again tomorrow; they were kind of single fish. I found an area that had a few fish that had moved up – I’d already fished it earlier in the week – but a few more had moved up. I don’t think I can go back and catch those fish again. I’m going to have to bob and weave by the minute tomorrow, and hopefully I’ll have a chance at winning this thing.”

Rounding out the top 40 finishers were:

  11th:     Mike McClelland, Blue Eye, Mo., eight bass, 16-4, $10,000
  12th:     David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., nine bass, 16-2, $10,000
  13th:     Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., seven bass, 15-5, $10,000
  14th:     Russ Lane, Prattville, Ala., seven bass, 14-10, $10,000
  15th:     Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Calif., seven bass, 14-10, $10,000
  16th:     Alton Jones, Woodway, Texas, three bass, 13-8, $10,000
  17th:     Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., seven bass, 13-4, $10,000
  18th:     Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., seven bass, 12-15, $10,000
  19th:     Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C., five bass, 12-12, $10,000
  20th:     Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., four bass, 12-5, $10,000
  21st:     Alton Jones Jr., Waco, Texas, six bass, 11-15, $10,000
  22nd:    Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., four bass, 11-10, $10,000
  23rd:    Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 9-14, $10,000
  24th:     Takahiro Omori, Tokyo, Japan, four bass, 9-6, $10,000
  25th:     Jesse Wiggins, Addison, Ala., five bass, 9-1, $10,000
  26th:     Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., five bass, 8-14, $10,000
  27th:     Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa., three bass, 8-9, $10,000
  28th:     David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn., four bass, 8-7, $10,000
  29th:     Fred Roumbanis, Russellville, Ark., two bass, 8-5, $10,000
  30th:     Miles Burghoff, Soddy-Daisy, Tenn., five bass, 8-3, $10,000
  31st:     Fletcher Shryock, Guntersville, Ala., four bass, 7-9, $10,000
  32nd:    Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla., three bass, 5-10, $10,000
  33rd:    Gary Klein, Mingus, Texas, three bass, 5-0, $10,000
  34th:     Keith Poche, Pike Road, Ala., two bass, 4-14, $10,000
  35th:     James Watson, Lampe, Mo., two bass, 4-2, $10,000
  36th:     Tommy Biffle, Wagoner, Okla., one bass, 4-2, $10,000
  37th:     Ish Monroe, Oakdale, Calif., two bass, 4-0, $10,000
  38th:     Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La, two bass, 3-11, $10,000
  39th:     Roy Hawk, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., two bass, 3-8, $10,000
  40th:     Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala., zero bass, 0-0, $10,000

There were 202 bass weighing 443 pounds, 6 ounces caught by 37 pros Tuesday, which included one 6-pounder and six 5-pounders caught from Lake Travis.

Browning won the $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award on Tuesday, catching a 6-pound, 3-ounce largemouth in Period 2. Berkley will award $1,000 to the angler that weighs the biggest bass each day, and a $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the largest bass of the tournament.

The MLF Bass Pro Tour Berkley Stage Two at Lake Travis Presented by Mercury is hosted by the Austin Sports Commission.

The 40 Anglers in Group A competed in their two-day qualifying round on Friday and Sunday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Saturday and Monday. After the two-day Qualifying Round, the anglers that finished in 2nd through 20th place from both groups advanced to Tuesday’s Knockout Round, while the winner from each group advanced directly to Wednesday’s Championship Round. In the Knockout Round, the weights were zeroed and the remaining 38 anglers competed to finish in the top 8 to advance to the Championship Round. Tomorrow, in the final day Championship Round, weights are zeroed and the highest one-day total wins. Full breakdown of the format can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.  

The final 10 anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. CT Wednesday from Mansfield Dam Park, located at 4370 Mansfield Dam Park Road in Austin. The General Tire Takeout will also be held at the park beginning at 3:15 p.m.

HOTTEST NEW LURES FOR 2020

The Bass Pro Tour features a field of 76 of the top professional anglers in the world – joined at each event by 4 pros that qualify from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit – competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, competing for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2022 championship.

The MLF NOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action from the final day of competition from 7 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. CT. MLF NOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Television coverage of the Bass Pro Tour Berkley Stage Two at Lake Travis Presented by Mercury will be showcased across two two-hour episodes, premiering at 7 a.m. ET, Sept. 11 on the Discovery Channel. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on the Discovery Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel. Each two-hour long reality-based episode goes in-depth to break down each day of competition.

Alton Jones Wins MLF General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops – Fellow Texas pro Jeff Sprague Catches 5-pound, 3-ounce Fish to Earn $100,000 Big Bass Bonus


RALEIGH, N.C. (April 14, 2021) – It was a sight-fishing clinic on Shearon Harris Reservoir in Raleigh on Wednesday, and pro Alton Jones of Woodway, Texas, was the professor. The Texas angler boated 12 bass weighing 45 pounds, 9 ounces to dominate the final-day Championship Round and win the top prize of $100,000 at the Major League Fishing (MLF) General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops in North Carolina. Jones won by a 15-pound, 5-ounce margin over pro Jeff Sprague of Point, Texas, who caught eight bass totaling 30-4. Sprague, however, was not disappointed in his finish as he earned the top Big Bass Bonus of $100,000 with a 5-pound, 3-ounce largemouth.

Just 23 minutes into Period 2, Jones caught a 3-pound, 3-ounce bass to move into the top position on the leaderboard and he never relinquished it. The tall Texan showed MLF NOW! viewers why he has long been considered one of the top sight-fishing anglers in the game.

“This feels so, so good. It’s been a while since I’ve won a Tour-level event like this, and it was a very special day,” said an emotional Jones when he came off of the water. “After my practice time, I knew that I had found several key areas that had the potential to be really special for this event, if I could just make the final rounds.

“When we did our morning ride-through this morning and I got on the trolling motor, I found about 10 3-pounders in my first pass through the cove, and I thought to myself, ‘you know what, this could actually happen.’ I didn’t know if they were going to bite, but if they did I was going to have a chance. And sure enough, here I am. I still can’t believe that I’m the Heavy Hitters Champion.”

Jones saw the majority of the fish that he caught on Wednesday on beds, and managed to boat a dozen keepers flipping an “old-school” Texas-rigged Canyon Plastics Gitzit tube (green-pumpkin with purple and black metal flake).

“I really like throwing a tube during the spawn – it’s a bait that will catch a 2-pounder, a 3-pounder, but it will also catch a 10-pounder,” Jones said. “So, it’s good bait to fish for numbers and size. My Kistler rods were also very important – I used a Kistler Z Bone. That rod is super-light, super-sensitive, and super-strong and helped me out a lot today.”

Jones also shared some of his sight-fishing prowess with the crowd gathered at the takeout ramp.

“Every fish that I caught today was an individual,” Jones said. “I had to figure out what each fish was doing, and how to work that particular fish. That’s one of the things that I love about sight fishing – you treat every fish as an individual. What makes one fish hot, the other fish will ignore. So, it’s kind of a thinking man’s game. It’s a stealthy game, because you can see them, but they can also see you. I try to hide from the fish, and I’ve got a few other little tricks that I like to pull and today, it all worked out for me.”

Second-place angler Jeff Sprague was also emotional and exhausted after a long week of competition.

“I scratched by every day this week,” Sprague said. “The first day at Lake Jordan was great – I caught so many fish and had a phenomenal day. The second day, we literally scratched by and barely made it into the Knockout Round. Then, in the Knockout Round, to tie for the last position in and to get through via a tiebreaker. And now, on Championship Day, to catch the big bass and win 100 grand and finish second overall, this has just been a stellar week.”

The top 10 pros from the General Tire Heavy Hitters event in Raleigh, North Carolina, finished:

  1st:          Alton Jones, Woodway, Texas, 12 bass, 45-9, $100,000
  2nd:         Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, eight bass, 30-4, $25,000 + $100,000 Berkley Big Bass Bonus
  3rd:         Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., seven bass, 26-8, $20,000 + $50,000 Berkley Big Bass Bonus
  4th:         Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., six bass, 22-12, $18,000
  5th:         Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., six bass, 22-8, $15,000
  6th:         Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., five bass, 18-7, $14,500
  7th:         Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa., five bass, 17-15, $13,500 + $25,000 Berkley Big Bass Bonus
  8th:         Fletcher Shryock, Guntersville, Ala., four bass, 14-2, $12,500 + $25,000 Berkley Big Bass Bonus
  9th:         Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., three bass, 9-14, $11,000
  10th:       Ish Monroe, Oakdale, Calif., one bass, 3-11, $8,000

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

Overall, there were 57 bass weighing 211 pounds, 10 ounces, caught by the final 10 pros on Wednesday, which included two 5-pounders, 13 4-pounders, and 42 3-pounders caught from Shearon Harris Reservoir.

The MLF General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops was hosted by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance.

Television coverage of the General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops will be showcased across six two-hour episodes, premiering at 7 a.m. ET, July 17 on the Discovery Channel. A one-hour special episode of MLF Inside Heavy Hitters will also air on CBS in late 2021. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on the Discovery Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel. Each two-hour long reality-based episode goes in-depth to break down each day of competition.

Jacob Wheeler Catches 7½-Pound Largemouth to Earn $50K, Final 10 Set for Championship Round at General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops

RALEIGH, N.C. (April 13, 2021) – One fish. $50,000. Pro Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tennessee, boated a 7-pound, 8-ounce, largemouth Tuesday afternoon on Shearon Harris Reservoir, the largest fish of the day, to win $50,000 at the Major League Fishing (MLF) General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops in Raleigh, North Carolina. Wheeler finished the day in 2nd place and punched his ticket straight to Wednesday’s final-day Championship Round.

“50 g’s, heck yeah, that is unreal,” Wheeler said in his post-game interview. “That will be a fish that I remember for the rest of my life. I was cruising down the bank and when I saw that fish, I literally stopped and was like ‘Whoa, that’s a $50,000 bass.’ It took me about 45 minutes trying to figure out how to catch her, and it was pretty dang awesome when I did.”

Wheeler caught the big bass on a Googan Baits Lunker Log, although he credited a different bait as being his key for the day.

“The (Googan) Bandito Bug was the big player for me today and I caught several of my fish doing that,” Wheeler said. “But, I also caught a couple, including the big ‘un, on the Lunker Log.

“I got really close to winning here two years ago, and I’d love to try to take home the title and get a little pay back on this lake this time around. So far, after today, it’s treating me pretty solid. Shearon Harris… I love you.”
 

Joining Wheeler in the Championship Round will be pro Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tennessee, who won Tuesday’s Knockout Round with 15 bass weighing 46 pounds, 11 ounces.

“It was a great day for me, and well beyond my expectations,” said Morgan. “It was pretty simple fishing – just looking for spawning fish. They were up super-shallow, right around the bank. Weed clumps, trees, logs – whatever they could get around.

“I caught them on just a couple of baits,” Morgan continued. “I threw a ½-ounce Strike King Thunder Cricket with a chartreuse and white-colored Zoom Swimmer on the back. I also caught them flipping a Zoom Brush Hog and a Zoom Z-Craw . Some of the fish were actually feeding – those ones I’d catch on the Cricket. The bass that I caught flipping were primarily all spawning.”

Morgan fished the Thunder Cricket on a 7-foot, 2-inch medium-heavy Favorite Fishing Big Sexy casting rod, paired with a Lew’s 6:3:1 reel and spooled with 16-pound fluorocarbon line. For his flipping setup, he Texas-rigged the creature baits and threw them on a Favorite Fishing Pro Series The GOAT rod paired with an 8:3:1 Lew’s Flipping and Pitching reel and 20-pound fluorocarbon line.

Wednesday’s Championship Round will feature Qualifying Round winners Fletcher Shryock and Bryan Thrift, along with the top eight anglers from Tuesday’s Knockout Round, competing in a final-day shootout for the top prize of $100,000. In addition to the tournament purse, a $100,000 Big Bass Bonus will be awarded to the angler that lands the single biggest fish on the final day.

The top eight pros from the Knockout Round that advanced to Wednesday’s final-day Championship Round on Shearon Harris Reservoir are:

  1st:          Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 46-11
  2nd:         Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., 13 bass, 41-6
  3rd:         Alton Jones, Woodway, Texas, 13 bass, 39-6
  4th:         Ish Monroe, Oakdale, Calif., 12 bass, 36-15
  5th:         Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa., 10 bass, 35-8
  6th:         Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., nine bass, 30-3
  7th:         Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 29-13
  8th:         Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, nine bass, 29-13

Eliminated from competition after the Knockout Round on Shearon Harris Reservoir are:

  9th:         Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., eight bass, 27-7, $4,000
  10th:       Cliff Pace, Petal, Miss., eight bass, 27-0, $4,000
  11th:       Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., seven bass, 24-5, $4,000
  12th:       Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark., seven bass, 19-15, $4,000
  13th:       Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., seven bass, 17-9, $4,000
  14th:       Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., four bass, 15-5, $4,000
  15th:       Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala., four bass, 13-5, $4,000
  16th:       Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala., three bass, 8-12, $4,000
  17th:       Boyd Duckett, Guntersville, Ala., three bass, 6-12, $4,000
  18th:       Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark., one bass, 2-15, $4,000

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

Overall, there were 143 bass weighing 453 pounds even caught by the 18 pros on Tuesday, which included one 7-pounder, one 6-pounders and seven 5-pounders caught from Shearon Harris Reservoir.

The MLF General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops is hosted by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance.

The 20 Anglers in Group A competed in their two-day qualifying round on Jordan Lake on Friday and Sunday – the 20 anglers in Group B on Falls Lake on Saturday and Monday. The anglers that finished in 2nd through 10th place from both groups advanced to Tuesday’s Knockout Round on Shearon Harris, while the winner of each group advanced directly to Wednesday’s Championship Round on Shearon Harris. In Wednesday’s final-day Championship Round, weights are zeroed and the highest one-day total wins.

BREAKING NEWS!!! – Major League Fishing Prohibits Berkley PowerBait MaxScent in Bass Pro Tour Competition

TULSA, Okla. (March 31, 2021) – Major League Fishing (MLF), the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today a rule change to Bass Pro Tour Rule No. 7 regarding Tackle and Equipment, which addresses the usage of Berkley PowerBait MaxScent baits on the MLF Bass Pro Tour. Effective immediately, anglers that compete on the Bass Pro Tour are prohibited from using any Berkley PowerBait MaxScent product, both in practice and competition.

“MLF has studied the use of the Berkley PowerBait MaxScent since its launch in 2018, and we’ve made the decision to no longer permit its usage on the Bass Pro Tour,” Aaron Beshears, MLF Bass Pro Tour Director said. “The ban applies only to Berkley PowerBait MaxScent baits. At this time, original Berkley PowerBait and Berkley Gulp! baits are not included in this restriction.

“The bait has simply evolved to a point that it provides an unfair competitive advantage to Bass Pro Tour anglers that cannot use the product – whether through limited availability or competing sponsorship restrictions,” Beshears continued. “That said, Berkley PowerBait MaxScent baits will still be permitted in our MLF BIG5 tournament circuits. This decision is consistent with the wishes of the majority of our Bass Pro Tour anglers.”

Berkley remains a sponsor of MLF and the Bass Pro Tour, and MLF is currently in discussions with the company and its stakeholders regarding this decision.

For further clarification on the elimination of Berkley PowerBait MaxScent from Bass Pro Tour competition, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

“We are proud to be an angler-driven league and to continue to support our anglers and their livelihood with this decision,” said Boyd Duckett, MLF co-founder and President of the Professional Bass Tour Anglers’ Association (PBTAA). “The Alabama Rig was banned in 2013 for similar reasons and we believe this is the next crucial step to creating a level playing field and ensuring no one angler or group of anglers has an unfair advantage over the rest of the field.

“Since 2012, we have prided ourselves on listening to our anglers, providing them with excellent tournaments on premium fisheries and a game that can be played and won by any competitor. We believe the game must continue to evolve as well in order to preserve the integrity of the sport.”

The Berkley PowerBait MaxScent products which are now prohibited from usage on the Bass Pro Tour are:

  • PowerBait MaxScent Creature Hawg
  • PowerBait MaxScent Critter Hawg
  • PowerBait MaxScent D-Worm
  • PowerBait MaxScent Flat Worm
  • PowerBait MaxScent Flatnose Jerk Shad
  • PowerBait MaxScent Flatnose Minnow
  • PowerBait MaxScent Hit Worm
  • PowerBait MaxScent Hit Worm Magnum
  • PowerBait MaxScent Kingtail
  • PowerBait MaxScent Lizard
  • PowerBait MaxScent Lunch Worm
  • PowerBait MaxScent Meaty Chunk
  • PowerBait MaxScent Power Chunk
  • PowerBait MaxScent The General

The 2021 Bass Pro Tour features a field of 76 of the top professional anglers in the world – joined at each event by 4 pros that qualify from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit – competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, competing for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2022 championship. The next event for Bass Pro Tour anglers will be the 2021 General Tire Heavy Hitters Event, held April 9-14 at Falls Lake, Jordan Lake & Shearon Harris Reservoir in Raleigh, North Carolina.

APRIL FOOLS COURTESY OF MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING!!!

DeFoe Wins Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour Toro Stage One at Sam Rayburn Reservoir Presented by Power-Pole

JASPER, Texas (March 26, 2021) –In one of the craziest endings to a tournament in Major League Fishing (MLF) history, pro Ott DeFoe of Blaine, Tennessee, caught two key fish late in the day to overtake Spokane, Washington’s Luke Clausen and win the Bass Pro Tour Toro Stage One at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Power-Pole with a final day total of 13 bass weighing 30 pounds, 2 ounces

The ending was crazy because of the area that DeFoe had been fishing in – a secluded spot way up the Angelina River on the north end of Sam Rayburn. Cellular coverage was extremely spotty, so when Defoe boated a back-to-back 2-12 and a 2-13 with about 20 minutes left in the event to overtake Clausen, it didn’t register on the SCORETRACKER leaderboard until very near the end of competition. His first bass – the 2-12 – tied him with Clausen, and the 2-13 earned him the victory by that margin.

“I just love fishing this time of year,” said DeFoe, who earned his second career Bass Pro Tour victory – both in Texas. “The end of the day was a bit of disaster due to the area that I was in… the service was bad, but the fishing was really good.”

DeFoe said that he found his area on the first day of practice and committed to fishing it for the entire event.

“The very first day of practice I spent up there and got a fair number of bites, and I liked what I saw,” DeFoe said. “I spent the second day of practice down the lake and saw how much boat traffic there was, and there wasn’t much traffic up on the north end, so that is where I committed to. I ended up fishing there every single day.

“I had one really key little spot that there were so many bass in, and really just going through a rotation of baits is what worked for me this week,” DeFoe continued. “My key baits were a squarebill crankbait; I caught some fish on a Rapala DT4, another homemade squarebill crankbait that will eventually be in the OG line from Rapala, a Bass Pro Magnum Fin-Eke Worm ended up being a big player for me, and a Bass Pro Wacky Stik worm was also a big deal.

“I give all of the thanks to God – he gets all of the credit for everything,” DeFoe went on to say. “I just love this time of year – the Easter season is upon us and I am so excited for next week. This week has been incredible, though, and I just can’t believe it. All I can say is God Bless Texas!”

Clausen lost an estimated 5- or 6-pounder in Period 1 that ended up being the difference maker for him.

“I’ll be thinking about the one that I lost for a long time,” Clausen said. “I knew today when it happened, that fish, if I didn’t win it was going to hurt me pretty dang bad. And it did.

“I really don’t know that I could have done anything different today, other than land that fish,” Clausen continued. “I didn’t have a lot figured out, and I knew it was going to be one of those kind of deals where I knew it was just going to be about me going fishing. I could catch them on a ChatterBait and on a stickbait, and other than that it was just grinding it out. I did what I thought I needed to do at the right times and got some of the right bites, but obviously it was not enough.”

The top 10 pros at the Bass Pro Tour Toro Stage One at Sam Rayburn Reservoir finished:

  1st:        Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., 13 bass, 30-2, $100,000
  2nd:       Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., nine bass, 27-5, $45,000
  3rd:       Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., nine bass, 26-8, $38,000
  4th:        Tommy Biffle, Wagoner, Okla., nine bass, 20-3, $32,000
  5th:        Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., six bass, 20-0, $30,000
  6th:        Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark., six bass, 19-1, $26,000
  7th:        Cliff Crochet, Pierre Part, La., five bass, 14-1, $23,000
  8th:        Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, three bass, 8-3, $21,000
  9th:        Cliff Pace, Petal, Miss., two bass, 4-14, $19,000
  10th:     Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., one bass, 4-2, $16,000

Full results for the entire field can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

There were 63 bass weighing 174 pounds, 7 ounces caught by the final 10 pros Friday.

Clausen won Friday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award, weighing in a 5-pound, 3-ounce largemouth that bit his wacky-rigged worm just 20 minutes into Period 3. Connell won the $3,000 Berkley Big Bass award for the largest bass of the event with his 9-pound, 5-ounce bass that he weighed in on Day 1 of competition.

Television coverage of the Bass Pro Tour Toro Stage One at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Power-Pole will be showcased across two two-hour episodes, premiering at 7 a.m. ET, Aug. 28 on the Discovery Channel. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on the Discovery Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel. Each two-hour long reality-based episode goes in-depth to break down each day of competition.

The MLF Bass Pro Tour Toro Stage One at Sam Rayburn Reservoir Presented by Power-Pole was hosted by the Jasper County Development District and the Jasper/Lake Sam Rayburn Chamber of Commerce.

The 2021 Bass Pro Tour features a field of 76 of the top professional anglers in the world – joined at each event by 4 pros that qualify from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit – competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, competing for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2022 championship. The next event for Bass Pro Tour anglers will be the 2021 General Tire Heavy Hitters Event, held April 9-14 at Falls Lake, Jordan Lake & Shearon Harris Reservoir in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The MLF NOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action each day of competition from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MLF NOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com. and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Spohrer Wins Qualifying Group B of Major League Fishing’s Toro Stage One at Sam Rayburn Reservoir Presented by Power-Pole

JASPER, Texas (March 24, 2021) – Pro Gerald Spohrer of Gonzales, Louisiana, boated eight scorable bass Wednesday weighing 23 pounds, 14 ounces to win the two-day Qualifying Group B round at the Toro Stage One at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Power-Pole . Spohrer’s two-day total of 15 bass weighing 50 pounds even earned him the victory by a 2-pound, 1-ounce margin and advances him directly into Friday’s final-day Championship Round of competition. The six-day tournament is being filmed for television broadcast on the Discovery Channel and the Outdoor Channel later this year and live-streamed online.

Pro Randall Tharp of Port Saint Joe, Florida, caught a two-day total of 16 bass weighing 47-15 to end the round in second place, and Japanese pro Shinichi Fukae finished the round in third place with a two-day total of 15 bass weighing 43-13.

The remaining 38 anglers – 19 from Group A and 19 from Group B – will now compete Thursday in the Knockout Round, where weights are zeroed, and the anglers compete to finish in the top eight to advance to Championship Friday. Friday’s Championship Round will feature Group A winner Ott DeFoe, Group B winner Spohrer, and the top eight anglers from the Knockout Round competing in a final-day shootout for the top prize of $100,000.

“This is my first round that I’ve won with Major League Fishing, and it’s overwhelming the joy that I have right now,” Spohrer said. “Duking it out with my buddy, Randall Tharp, right at the end was exciting, and to get to do it right here, on Sam Rayburn, is a big deal to me.”

Spohrer credited his equipment as being the key to his success – the same 7-foot Quantum Smoke heavy-action casting rod paired with a Quantum Smoke 8:1 reel and spooled with 50-pound-test Seaguar Smackdown braided line (stealth gray) has caught every one of his fish this week.

“I’ve been a one-trick pony the last two days,” Spohrer said. “If you’ve been watching the live stream, you probably saw how deep I was getting my swimjig into the wood and dragging those fish out of there. It’s all worked out for me and I can’t tell you how happy I am.

“Now I get a day off and I’m going to get ready for the Championship Round,” Spohrer went on to say. “There will only be 10 of us, so I start the year automatically with a top-10 finish and now I’ve got a real legitimate chance to compete for that red trophy. I can’t wait.”

Despite his second-place finish, Tharp was very happy to see his good friend win and advance directly to the Championship Round.

“That’s why I’ve always loved tournament fishing – when it comes down to the last second, the last cast, and having the opportunity like I did,” Tharp said. “My hat’s off to Gerald. I hope I made him sweat a little bit, because I sure had a good time this afternoon. I had my opportunities.”

Tharp said that he relied on just two rods Wednesday, and likely would only use two in the Knockout Round as well.

“Basically, I’m just flipping bushes and trees, and anything in front of me,” the Florida pro said. “I threw a Zoom Z-Hog with a 5/16-ounce weight and a straight shank flipping hook. Later in the day I picked up a little frog and that baby was awful good to me today. The average bite on the frog was way better than the flipping bite. I’m probably going to keep those two rods in my hand all day tomorrow and go to work and hopefully make the Championship Round.”

An emotional Jeff Kriet of Ardmore, Oklahoma, was the last man in, finishing the day in 20th place.

“Thank God, man. It has been such a stressful day,” Kriet said. “I needed this. I’ve been sucking, and I haven’t been catching them. Last year, in the first two tournaments of the year, I finished like dead last. I only made a couple of cuts last year. I need a good year, badly. This gives me confidence and that’s important, because I’d lost all confidence. I was literally thinking I might have to hang this stuff up. I know it’s not like I won the tournament today, but making the cut really means a lot to me. It’s not easy to do. And it’s some positive momentum. I’m tickled that I get to come back out here, tomorrow.”

Kriet credited two baits – a wacky-rigged Big Bite Baits Trick Stick and a Big Bite Baits Methiolate Floating Worm – for his success in the Qualifying Round.

The top 20 pros from Qualifying Group B that now advance to Thursday’s Knockout Round on Sam Rayburn Reservoir are:

1st:        Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., 15 bass, 50-0 (ADVANCES DIRECTLY TO CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND)
2nd:       Randall Tharp, Port Saint Joe, Fla., 16 bass, 47-15
3rd:       Shinichi Fukae, Osaka, Japan, 15 bass, 43-13
4th:        Mark Daniels Jr., Tuskegee, Ala., 15 bass, 42-0
5th:        Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 12 bass, 41-9
6th:        Brandon Coulter, Knoxville, Tenn., 13 bass, 37-8
7th:        Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., 11 bass, 36-12
8th:        Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark., 15 bass, 34-8
9th:        Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif., nine bass, 32-3
10th:     Tommy Biffle, Wagoner, Okla., 11 bass, 32-2
11th:     Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, 12 bass, 31-0
12th:     Matt Becker, Finleyville, Pa., 10 bass, 30-9
13th:     Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., 11 bass, 30-5
14th:     Greg Vinson, Wetumpka, Ala., 12 bass, 29-6
15th:     Takahiro Omori, Tokyo, Japan, 12 bass, 29-1
16th:     Alton Jones Jr., Waco, Texas, 11 bass, 28-5
17th:     Timmy Horton, Muscle Shoals, Ala., 11 bass, 27-2
18th:     Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark., nine bass, 26-0
19th:     Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan., 10 bass, 24-11
20th:     Jeff Kriet, Ardmore, Okla., 11 bass, 23-6

Full results for the field can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Overall Wednesday, there were 194 bass weighing 543 pounds, 13 ounces caught by 39 pros, which included two 7-pounders, three 6-pounders and three 5-pounders caught from Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

Lucas won the $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award on Wednesday, catching a 7-pound, 14-ounce largemouth which bit a swimbait in Period 2. Berkley will award $1,000 to the angler that weighs the biggest bass each day, and a $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the largest bass of the tournament.

The MLF Bass Pro Tour Toro Stage One at Sam Rayburn Reservoir Presented by Power-Pole is hosted by the Jasper County Development District and the Jasper/Lake Sam Rayburn Chamber of Commerce.

The 40 Anglers in Group A competed in their two-day qualifying round on Sunday and Tuesday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Monday and Wednesday. With both groups two-day Qualifying Round complete, the anglers that finished in 2nd through 20th place from both groups now advance to Thursday’s Knockout Round, while the winner from each group advances directly to Friday’s Championship Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed and the remaining 38 anglers compete to finish in the top 8 to advance to the Championship Round. In the final day Championship Round, weights are zeroed and the highest one-day total wins. Full breakdown of the format can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.  

Attendance is limited to competing anglers, essential staff and media covering the event only. Fans are encouraged to follow the event online through the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com

The 2021 Bass Pro Tour features a field of 76 of the top professional anglers in the world – joined at each event by 4 pros that qualify from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit – competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, competing for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2022 championship.

The MLF NOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action each day of competition from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MLF NOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com. and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Television coverage of the Bass Pro Tour Toro Stage One at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Power-Pole will be showcased across two two-hour episodes, premiering at 7 a.m. ET, Aug. 28 on the Discovery Channel. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on the Discovery Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel. Each two-hour long reality-based episode goes in-depth to break down each day of competition.

DeFoe Cruises to Win Qualifying Group A of Major League Fishing’s Toro Stage One at Sam Rayburn Reservoir Presented by Power-Pole

ASPER, Texas (March 23, 2021) – Pro Ott DeFoe of Blaine, Tennessee, caught 14 bass Tuesday totaling 34 pounds, 4 ounces to vault to the top of the leaderboard and win the two-day Qualifying Group A round at the Toro Stage One at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Power-Pole . DeFoe’s two-day total of 25 bass weighing 59 pounds, 11 ounces earned him the win by a 9½-pound margin and now advances him directly into the Championship Round of competition, set for Friday. The six-day tournament is being live-streamed online and filmed for television broadcast on the Discovery Channel and the Outdoor Channel later this year.

Alabama’s Dustin Connell, the reigning REDCREST Champion, caught a two-day total of 16 bass weighing 50-3 to finish the round in second place, while day one leader Spencer Shuffield of Hot Springs, Arkansas, boated a two-day total of 13 bass weighing 41-10 to end the round in third place.

The top 20 anglers from Group A will now enjoy an off day, while the 40 anglers in Qualifying Group B will complete their two-day Qualifying Round of competition on Wednesday. The Knockout Round, featuring 38 anglers competing to finish in the top eight, will take place on Thursday. Friday’s Championship Round will feature DeFoe, Wednesday’s Group B winner, and the top eight anglers from the Knockout Round competing in a final-day shootout for the top prize of $100,000.

“It’s such a huge relief to win and not have to come back out here to compete in the Knockout Round,” DeFoe said. “And now, I don’t have to beat my fish up again and the way I’ve been fishing that is a huge, huge plus. I can let those fish rest and don’t have to try to catch them two days in a row. I only have to come back out when it really matters, so I’m very excited about that.”

DeFoe got off to a fast start, catching eight scorable bass in Period 1, but his day slowed immensely in the final two periods with just two scorable bass in Period 2 and a three-fish flurry right around 3:30 p.m. in the final period. He said that he caught his fish on five different moving baits.

“What worked for me on Sunday morning worked again for me this morning, and that got me off to a really solid start,” DeFoe said. “The midday deal was a lot harder for me today. I spent a lot of the final period looking and I finally hit a place that was good and caught the three scorable fish really quick in the final period. I might have figured a little something out, and that could be a difference maker for me in the end.”

DeFoe plans to return to the same areas during Friday’s Championship Round and said he hopes it will have enough to earn him his second Texas victory on the Bass Pro Tour in two seasons.

“I’m all in on where I’m at,” DeFoe went on to say. “I’m incredibly excited to get back out there – equally as excited as I was last year for the final day on Lake Athens.”

Other than DeFoe’s 34-pound day, Spring City, Tennessee’s Wesley Strader had the second-highest weight on the day, catching six bass totaling 28 pounds, 15 ounces – including a 8-9 and a 6-1. Strader’s two-day total of 10 bass for 39-5 landed him in fifth place.

“We had a really fun day today,” the Tennessee pro said. “Hopefully things keep improving and we can expand a little bit on what we had going this morning. I’m looking forward to spending tomorrow regrouping and getting retied and everything ready to go for the Knockout Round.”

Although DeFoe’s 9½-pound margin of victory didn’t really lend much dramatics at the top of the leaderboard, the race to finish above the Toro Cut Line inside the top 20 proved very intense. Pro Brett Hite of Phoenix, Arizona, boated a 3-pound, 3-ouncer, with less than 10 minutes remaining in Period 3 to move into the Cut Line and knock out Texan Alton Jones, who finished in 21st place.

“Wow, that was intense. That, right there, is what Major League Fishing is all about – fish hard right to the end and never give up,” Hite said. “I had a rough day, and I worked my butt off. I had a real tough morning, but made the decision to make a long run at the end of the second period into the third period and it ended up being the right call. That’s one of the biggest things out here – you have to go with your gut and trust that you are making the right decision. Today, it paid off, and I’m really looking forward to getting back out here on Thursday.”

The top 20 pros from Qualifying Group A that now advance to Thursday’s Knockout Round on Sam Rayburn Reservoir are:

  1st:        Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., 25 bass, 59-11 (ADVANCES DIRECTLY TO CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND)
  2nd:       Dustin Connell. Clanton, Ala., 16 bass, 50-3
  3rd:       Spencer Shuffield, Hot Springs, Ark., 13 bass, 41-10
  4th:        Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 10 bass, 39-5
  5th:        Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich., 12 bass, 34-2
  6th:        Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., 10 bass, 31-12
  7th:        Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 13 bass, 30-15
  8th:        Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., nine bass, 30-9
  9th:        Ish Monroe, Oakdale, Calif., nine bass, 30-7
  10th:     Cliff Crochet, Pierre Part, La., 10 bass, 30-1
  11th:     Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 12 bass, 29-4
  12th:     Cliff Pace, Petal, Miss., six bass, 28-0
  13th:     Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 11 bass, 27-9
  14th:     Marty Robinson, Lyman, S.C., 10 bass, 26-10
  15th:     Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., nine bass, 26-2
  16th:     Fletcher Shryock, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 25-15
  17th:     Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla., six bass, 25-10
  18th:     Jason Lambert, Michie, Tenn., eight bass, 25-1
  19th:     Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., eight bass, 23-0
  20th:     Fred Roumbanis, Russellville, Ark., eight bass, 22-0

Full results for the field can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Overall, there were 149 bass weighing 434 pounds, 13 ounces caught by 38 pros Tuesday, which included two 8-pounders, two 7-pounders, two 6-pounders and six 5-pounders caught from Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

Pace won Tuesday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award, weighing in an 8-pound, 11-ounce largemouth which bit a jerkbait in Period 1. Berkley will award $1,000 to the angler that weighs the biggest bass each day, and a $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the largest bass of the tournament.

The MLF Bass Pro Tour Toro Stage One at Sam Rayburn Reservoir Presented by Power-Pole is hosted by the Jasper County Development District and the Jasper/Lake Sam Rayburn Chamber of Commerce.

The 40 Anglers in Group A competed in their two-day qualifying round on Sunday and Tuesday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Monday and Wednesday. After each two-day qualifying round is complete, the anglers that finish in 2nd through 20th place from both groups advance to Thursday’s Knockout Round, while the the winner of each group advances directly to Friday’s Championship Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed and the remaining 38 anglers compete to finish in the top 8 to advance to the Championship Round. In the final day Championship Round, weights are zeroed and the highest one-day total wins. Full breakdown of the format can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.  

Shuffield Leads Group A & Davis Leads Qualifying Group B of Major League Fishing’s Toro Stage One at Sam Rayburn Reservoir Presented by Power-Pole

JASPER, Texas (March 21, 2021) – Fishing in his first career Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour event, Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit angler Spencer Shuffield of Hot Springs, Arkansas, wasted no time in making an immediate impact. Shuffield boated nine scorable bass Sunday totaling 29 pounds, 12 ounces to jump out to the early lead in the Group A Qualifying Round at the Toro Stage 1 at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Power-Pole . The six-day competition, which awards a top cash prize of $100,000 to the winner, is being live-streamed online and filmed for television broadcast on the Discovery Channel and the Outdoor Channel later this year.

Just 1-ounce behind Shuffield in second place on the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard is a red-hot Dustin Connell, of Clanton, Alabama, the reigning REDCREST champion who caught 10 bass totaling 29-11. Bass fishing superstar Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Michigan, sits in third place, just 2 pounds back of Shuffield with 10 bass weighing 27-12.

The 40 anglers in Group A will now enjoy a day off Monday, while the 40 anglers in Group B will begin their first day of competition. Group A resumes competition on Tuesday.

“I’m really excited about it,” Shuffield said when asked about leading after day one in his first Bass Pro Tour event. “I got on a little something today that I didn’t know was happening, but it’s a way that I really like to catch them. Everything that I’m catching is postspawn, and the way things are looking I think they’re just going to continue coming to me, more and more.”

Shuffield said that he caught all of his fish on two different baits Sunday – a Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerkbait 110 Deep and a drop-shot rig.

“In practice I was catching 50 to 70 fish a day, but today I probably caught around 30,” Shuffield said. “I caught a lot of 1-12 to 1-15 (pound) fish, today. But, all in all, I’m satisfied. Of course, I’d like to have a 5-, 6- or 7-pound cushion over second – one ounce isn’t even really leading – but I’ll take it for my first day.”

Like Shuffield, most of the anglers near the top of the leaderboard were also throwing a jerkbait at certain points of the day, including Connell and VanDam.

“I caught a lot of fish on a jerkbait, today,” Connell said. “These fish are kind of staging up right now. It got pretty slow for me later in the day, so I was kind of bouncing around and practicing in the third period. I found a little zone that I like, so I’ve just been trying to expand on that a little bit.”

VanDam spent a lot of the day looking for schools of bass that were grouped up but didn’t have any luck, and spent the day picking off stragglers.

“I wasn’t really sure how it was going to happen, today, but it ended up being a solid day,” VanDam said. “I caught some good fish in practice, but I couldn’t find the big concentrations of them, and that’s the way it was today. One here, one there. I caught a few good ones and just mixed it up to keep myself in the hunt all day long.”

VanDam credited a Pro Blue-colored Strike King KVD jerkbait as being his key bait for most of the day, but he did also boat a few scorable bass with a gold-colored jerkbait as well.

“I’m just going to grind it out and fish the migration routes where these fish are coming into these big spawning basins – fishing points and ditches.”

The top 20 pros in Group A after Day 1 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir are:
1st:          Spencer Shuffield, Hot Springs, Ark., nine bass, 29-12
2nd:         Dustin Connell. Clanton, Ala., 10 bass, 29-11
3rd:         Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich., 10 bass, 27-12
4th:         Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., 11 bass, 25-7
5th:         Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla., five bass, 23-9
6th:         Jason Lambert, Michie, Tenn., six bass, 20-10
7th:         Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., five bass, 18-3
8th:         Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., seven bass, 17-1
9th:         Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., seven bass, 17-1
10th:       Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., six bass, 16-8
11th:       Marty Robinson, Lyman, S.C., four bass, 14-5
12th:       Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., six bass, 14-2
13th:       Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., five bass, 13-13
14th:       Fletcher Shryock, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 13-9
15th:       Scott Suggs, Alexander, Ark., five bass, 13-6
16th:       Bradley Roy, Lancaster, Ky., four bass, 12-15
17th:       Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., five bass, 12-11
18th:       David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn., five bass, 12-4
19th:       Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., four bass, 12-0
20th:       Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., four bass, 10-6

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

Overall, there were 155 bass weighing 439 pounds caught by 36 pros on Sunday, which included one 9-pounder, one 8-pounder, one 7-pounder and four 6-pounders caught from Sam Rayburn.

Connell won Sunday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award, weighing in a 9-pound, 5-ounce largemouth on the jerkbait during Period 2. Berkley will award $1,000 to the angler that weighs the biggest bass each day, and a $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the largest bass of the tournament.

DAY 2 Arkansas Veteran Jumps out to Early Lead after Day 1 for Qualifying Group B with 10 Bass in First Period Flurry

JASPER, Texas (March 22, 2021) – For Major League Fishing (MLF) fans following the MLF Now!® live stream, it looked like pro Mark Davis was having a very tough day on the water. Mid-way through the second period, the Mount Ida, Arkansas, veteran had yet to weigh a single fish and he remained at the bottom of the leaderboard without a scorable bass. Then, all of a sudden, Davis returned to an area that had cellular service and the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard lit up.

In actuality, Davis had a fantastic morning, boating 10 bass in the first period and jumping out to a big lead on day 1 of Qualifying Group B at the Toro Stage One at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Power-Pole. It just happened to be in an area that did not have cellular coverage, and therefore his SCORETRACKER updates were unable to send. When all was said and done, Davis caught a total of 12 bass weighing 28 pounds, 2 ounces, Monday to gain the early lead after Group B’s day 1, midway through their two-day Qualifying Round.

Pro Gerald Spohrer of Gonzales, Louisiana, sits comfortably in second place, just two pounds back of Davis with seven bass totaling 26-2. Brent Ehrler of Redlands, California, finished the day in third place with seven bass for 22-2, six pounds behind the leader. The six-day event awards a top cash prize of $100,000 to the winner and is being live-streamed online and filmed for television broadcast on the Discovery Channel and the Outdoor Channel later this year.

The 40 anglers in Group B will now enjoy an off day on Tuesday, while the 40 anglers in Qualifying Group A will complete their two-day Qualifying Round of competition. Group B will resume competition on Wednesday.

“I caught my fish this morning on a Strike King Red Eye Shad,” Davis said. “I had found this area in practice and I knew that the fish were there. I went in there this morning and started fishing shallow and there wasn’t much going on, then I saw a couple of them come up and bust, way out off of the bank.

“The trick was that I had to cast it out and let the bait sink, then kind of pump it,” Davis said. “It took a cadence with that lure to get them to bite. They wouldn’t just bite it on my cast and retrieve. You had to pump it, you had to work it out and kind of feel it around in the grass.”

Davis said that he threw the Red Eye Shad on a Lew’s KVD Composite Cranking rod paired with a Lew’s Hyper Mag reel, spooled with 15-pound test line.

“The fish were really biting it good – just swallowing it,” Davis said. “But, when it was over, it was done. I mean, it was done. I went to a Carolina rig and was able to catch a few more, but they were small. The shad were there and when the fish were ready to feed, they’ll feed. They’ll probably feed again later this afternoon.”

Spohrer did not have as fast of a start to the morning as Davis did, but his bite managed to be a bit more consistent throughout the entire day.

“The way my morning started, it wasn’t looking good,” the Louisiana pro said. “I had an area that I thought I was going to be my best spot where I’d get the most bites, and I didn’t get anything. I just kept my head down and kept fishing, swimming a jig all day and covering water. I figured out a little deal around the cypress trees, and it proved to be a good method for me.

“The fish are moving around, but I think I have a good feel for what they are doing and it should keep getting better and better for me. Hopefully I can get back out here on Wednesday and try to win the round to advance to Championship Friday,” Spohrer went on to say.

“It ended up being a brutal day for me,” said third-place angler Ehrler. “It started off really well – I felt like I was getting in a groove – then I went the entire second period without catching anything. Then with just an hour left in the third period I finally caught one more 3-pounder. So really, after the first period, I sucked pretty much all day. I’ve got some decisions to make here before Wednesday because I’m just really not comfortable. Hopefully I can change some things up and advance.”

The top 20 pros from Qualifying Group B after Day 1 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir are:
1st:          Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark., 12 bass, 28-2
2nd:         Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., seven bass, 26-2
3rd:         Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., seven bass, 22-2
4th:         Brandon Coulter, Knoxville, Tenn., seven bass, 21-4
5th:         Mark Daniels Jr., Tuskegee, Ala., seven bass, 19-2
6th:         Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif., six bass, 18-10
7th:         Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark., six bass, 17-11
8th:         Matt Becker, Finleyville, Pa., five bass, 17-1
9th:         Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan., seven bass, 16-10
10th:       Randall Tharp, Port Saint Joe, Fla., six bass, 16-3
11th:       Tommy Biffle, Wagoner, Okla., five bass, 15-8
12th:       Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, six bass, 15-5
13th:       Terry Scroggins, San Mateo, Fla., three bass, 13-15
14th:       Cody Meyer, Star, Idaho, five bass, 13-8
15th:       David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., five bass, 12-11
16th:       Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala., four bass, 12-3
17th:       Randy Howell, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 11-10
18th:       Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C., four bass, 11-9
19th:       Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., five bass, 11-8
20th:       Jeff Kriet, Ardmore, Okla., five bass, 10-13

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

Overall, there were 167 bass weighing 457 pounds, 11 ounces caught by 39 pros on Monday, which included two 7-pounders and six 5-pounders caught from Sam Rayburn.

Scroggins won Monday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award, weighing in a 7-pound, 9-ounce largemouth which bit on a bladed swimjig right at the end of Period 3. Berkley will award $1,000 to the angler that weighs the biggest bass each day, and a $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the largest bass of the tournament.

The MLF Bass Pro Tour Toro Stage 1 at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Power-Pole is hosted by the Jasper County Development District and the Jasper/Lake Sam Rayburn Chamber of Commerce.

The 40 Anglers in Group A compete in their two-day qualifying round on Sunday and Tuesday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Monday and Wednesday. After each two-day qualifying round is complete, the anglers that finish in 2nd through 20th place from both groups advance to Thursday’s Knockout Round, while the the winner of each group advances directly to Friday’s Championship Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed and the remaining 38 anglers compete to finish in the top 8 to advance to the Championship Round. In the final day Championship Round, weights are zeroed and the highest one-day total wins. Full breakdown of the format can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.  

Thrift Wins Qualifying Round at REDCREST 2021 Presented by Old Wisconsin Sausage on Lake Eufaula

EUFAULA, Ala. (Feb. 23, 2021) – Pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, weighed in 15 bass totaling 50 pounds, 4 ounces over the first two days of competition to win the two-day Qualifying Round at REDCREST 2021, the Bass Pro Tour championship at Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Alabama. The five-day competition features a field of 40 of the best anglers in the world from the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour competing for a top cash prize of $300,000.

The field is now cut to 20, and weights are zeroed as competition moves into the Knockout Round. A field of 10 anglers (Group A) will compete on Wednesday and the remaining 10 anglers (Group B) will compete Thursday. The top five anglers from each day advance to the fifth and final day of competition, Championship Friday.

Lake Eufaula was a bit tougher for anglers on Tuesday, however quite a few anglers, including Thrift, spent most of the day practicing and searching for new areas to fish during the upcoming Knockout Round.

“I didn’t catch a lot of fish today – only two scorable bass – but it was a fun day because I eliminated a lot of water,” Thrift said. “That’s pretty much all we got accomplished today, but that’s just a part of it. Sometimes that’s almost as good as finding the winning hole, because now I’ve got a great idea of what not to do when I get back out there, and that’s definitely a plus.

“It feels great to be leading in my very first REDCREST, but I’ve still got some work left to do,” Thrift said. “You can’t win if you don’t make it to the Championship Round. I’m looking forward to getting back out there and seeing what we can do.”

Reigning REDCREST champion, Oklahoma’s Edwin Evers, had a great day Tuesday, catching eight bass weighing 22 pounds, 4 ounces – the largest weight of the day – to vault from 25th place to inside the Toro Top 20 Cut and end the day in 8th place.

“I caught the largest weight of the day, and I know that doesn’t mean a lot to some of the guys that laid off their fish, but it gives me a lot of confidence going into the Knockout Round,” Evers said. “The majority of my fish today came on a Berkley PowerBait Power Hog. I’m learning more and putting more pieces of the puzzle together each day and I can’t wait to get back out there and compete in the Knockout Round.”

The top 20 pros that made the cut and will advance in competition at Lake Eufaula are:1st:           Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 50-4
2nd:          Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C., 12 bass, 39-7
3rd:          Zack Birge of Blanchard, Okla., 10 bass, 36-3
4th:           Ott DeFoe of Blaine, Tenn., 10 bass, 33-8
5th:           Takahiro Omori of Tokyo, Japan, 10 bass, 33-2
6th:           Stephen Browning of Hot Springs, Ark., 11 bass, 31-1
7th:           Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., nine bass, 31-1
8th:           Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., 11 bass, 30-0
9th:           Alton Jones Jr. of Waco, Texas, 10 bass, 29-7
10th:        Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., nine bass, 28-12
11th:        David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., eight bass, 28-7
12th:        Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., 10 bass, 27-4
13th:        Randall Tharp of Port St. Joe, Fla., eight bass, 27-0
14th:        Mark Davis of Mount Ida, Ark., seven bass, 26-8
15th:        Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn., eight bass, 26-4
16th:        Brent Chapman of Lake Quivira, Kan., nine bass, 26-3
17th:        Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala., six bass, 23-5
18th:        Fred Roumbanis of Russellville, Ark., nine bass, 23-3
19th:        Dustin Connell of Clanton, Ala., seven bass, 22-15
20th:        Michael Neal of Dayton, Tenn., eight bass, 20-10
Full results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Overall, there were 105 bass weighing 101 pounds, 3 ounces caught by 35 pros on Tuesday, which included eight 5-pounders and eight 4-pounders caught.

Fletcher Shryock of Guntersville, Alabama, won Tuesday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award, weighing in a 5-pound, 14-ounce largemouth during Period 1. Berkley will award $1,000 to the angler that weighs the biggest bass each day, and a $7,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the largest bass of the tournament.

The 10 anglers that will compete in the Group A Knockout Round on Wednesday are:

Zack Birge of Blanchard, Okla.
Stephen Browning of Hot Springs, Ark.
Dustin Connell of Clanton, Ala.
Mark Davis of Mount Ida, Ark.
David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va.
Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C.
Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn.
Fred Roumbanis of Russellville, Ark.
Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn.
Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich.
The 10 anglers that will compete in the Group B Knockout Round on Thursday are:Brent Chapman of Lake Quivira, Kan.
Ott DeFoe of Blaine, Tenn.
Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla.
Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C.
Alton Jones Jr. of Waco, Texas
Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala.
Michael Neal of Dayton, Tenn.
Takahiro Omori of Tokyo, Japan
Randall Tharp of Port St. Joe, Fla.
Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C.
REDCREST 2021 Presented by Old Wisconsin Sausage, the Bass Pro Tour championship at Lake Eufaula, is hosted by the Eufaula Barbour County Chamber of Commerce.

All 40 Anglers competed on Day 1 (Monday) and 2 (Tuesday) of the event. Now, the field is cut to just the top 20 based on two-day total cumulative weight. The remaining 20 anglers are split into two groups – 10 compete on Day 3 (Wednesday) and 10 compete on Day 4 (Thursday). The top five anglers from each group based on total single-day weight will advance to the fifth and final day of competition (Friday), where weights are zeroed and the angler that catches the highest total weight on the final day will be crowned the REDCREST 2021 champion.

Attendance is limited to competing anglers, essential staff and media covering the event only. Fans are encouraged to follow the event online through the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com

The 2020 Bass Pro Tour featured a field of 80 of the top professional anglers in the world competing in a COVID-shortened five regular-season tournaments around the country. The top 40 anglers in the Angler of the Year (AOY) standings after the five events qualified to compete in Bass Pro Shops REDCREST 2021 presented by Old Wisconsin Sausage.

The MLF NOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action each day of competition from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MLF NOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com. and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Television coverage of REDCREST 2021 presented by Old Wisconsin Sausage, the Bass Pro Tour championship, will be showcased across two two-hour episodes, premiering at 7 a.m. ET, July 3 on the Discovery Channel. A one-hour special episode of MLF Inside the REDCREST will premiere at 2 p.m. ET, Sunday, July 18 on CBS. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on the Discovery Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel. Each two-hour long reality-based episode goes in-depth to break down each day of competition.

Florida’s Panzironi Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League on Harris Chain

LEESBURG, Fla. (Jan. 11, 2021) – Eric Panzironi of Longwood, Florida, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 24 pounds, 12 ounces to win the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Harris Chain of Lakes in Leesburg, Florida. Panzironi earned $6,000 for his victory. 

“I stayed on Harris all day, which was a short run for me but it worked out nicely,” said Panzironi. “I caught all my fish on a black-colored Zoom Magnum Trick Worm in 10 to 12 feet of mostly dirty water.

“The real key to the victory was the Garmin LiveScope. I caught every single one of my fish directly beneath my boat and I could see them all. I dropped down to them and they’d eat it – it was amazing.”

Panzaroni said he was excited to walk away with a win at the first tournament of the year for the Gator division.

“It’s awesome – I love it,” he said. “To start off 2021 with a win at my first event – I definitely have no regrets.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament as follows:

            1st:       Eric Panzironi of  Longwood, Fla., five bass, 24-12, $6,000

            2nd:      Peter Thliveros of Saint Augustine, Fla., five bass, 22-7, $3,000

            3rd:       Joshua Parry of Saint Johns, Fla., five bass, 20-11, $3,000

            4th:       Jonathan Semento of Okahumpka, Fla., five bass, 19-8, $1,900 (includes $500 Phoenix Bonus)

            5th:       Tyler Sheppard of Jacksonville, Fla., five bass, 19-7, $1,200

            6th:       Grady Johnson of Saint Cloud, Fla., five bass, 18-7, $1,100

            7th:       Bill Troyer of Sarasota, Fla., five bass, 17-11, $1,000

            8th:       Robert Crosnoe of Inverness, Fla., five bass, 17-10, $900

            9th:       Grady Maynard of Umatilla, Fla., five bass, 17-4, $800

            10th:     McCoy (Simon) Borja of Fruitland Park, Fla., five bass, 16-9, $700

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Parry also caught the largest bass in the Boater Division, a 10-pound, 2-ounce largemouth, which was good for the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $1,000.

Semento took home an extra $500 as the highest finishing Phoenix MLF BIG5 Contingency Bonus member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

Mike Garrett of Pensacola, Florida, won the Co-angler Division and $3,000 Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 3 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers finished as follows:

            1st:       Mike Garrett of Pensacola, Fla., five bass, 22-3, $3,000

            2nd:      Shaun Ireland of Lake Worth, Fla., five bass, 17-4, $1,500

            3rd:       Aymon Wilcox of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., five bass, 17-3, $1,000

            4th:       Justin Brown of Frostproof, Fla., five bass, 16-6, $900

            5th:       Bradley Phillips of Alachua, Fla., five bass, 15-11, $600

            6th:       Justin Bun of Lake Alfred, Fla., five bass, 15-0, $550

            7th:       Joshua Dunn of Mulberry, Fla., five bass, 14-7, $500

            8th:       Jason Cooper of Shelbyville, Tenn., five bass, 14-0, $450

            9th:       Bobby McMullin of Pevely, Mo., five bass, 13-12, $400

            10th:     Jake Stines of Plant City, Fla., five bass, 12-8, $350

Luke Cocke of Valdosta, Georgia caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 8 pounds, 2 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $500.

The 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the Harris Chain of Lakes was hosted by Visit Lake County, FL.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the Gator Division based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 21-23 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on the St. Johns River in Palatka, Florida, hosted by the Putnam County Tourist Development Council. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury s outboard.

The 2021 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.

Texas’ Mundy Smashes at 2021 Season Kickoff of Phoenix Bass Fishing League on Sam Rayburn: Weighs in Fourth-Largest Five-Fish Limit in MLF History

BROOKELAND, Texas (Jan. 4, 2021) – Derek Mundy of Broaddus, Texas, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing a staggering 40 pounds, 10 ounces to win the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine season opener at Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas. Mundy earned $7,000 for his victory. 

Mundy said he found his fish in practice but didn’t realize just how good his spot was going to be.

“You can’t look on the graph and see 40 pounds, but I knew I could have a good bag if they bit,” Mundy said. “It’s not guaranteed you’re going to roll up to your first spot and catch 30, much less 40.

“I caught the first four on a big crankbait and they busted up a bit,” Mundy said. “Then I pulled out a jig and caught the last one. I caught those five, all on the first stop, in about 20 minutes.”

Fishing a Strike King 8XD and a ¾-ounce V&M The Flatline Pacemaker Football Jig, Mundy said he did all of his damage in about 17 feet of water, in the mid-lake region.

After catching five giants, including a 11-pound, 10-ounce largemouth, Mundy said he felt he could relax.

“I took it easy and went to some Plan B stuff to try to get my co-angler on fish, but it never worked out – the wind got up pretty bad in the afternoon,” he admitted.

Weighing his fish as soon as he was allowed, Mundy said he was content to wait for the weigh-in to conclude before collecting his check.

“It’s the biggest bag I’ve ever caught,” said Mundy, who makes his living working on oil pipelines. “It felt good. I didn’t realize they were that big until I was checking on them to make sure they were doing alright in the livewell, but even then, I didn’t realize I had 40 pounds.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament as follows:
 1st:  Derek Mundy of Broaddus, Texas, five bass, 40-10, $7,0002nd:  Cameron Mattison of Bossier City, La., five bass, 28-6, $3,000
3rd:  Tommy Loving of Cypress, Texas, five bass, 22-14, $2,000
4th:  Wyatt Frankens of Corrigan, Texas, five bass, 17-11, $1,400
5th:  Jimmy Hickman of Shreveport, La., five bass, 17-8, $1,200
6th:  Cannon Bird of Marshall, Texas, five bass, 16–6, $1,100
7th:  Chris McCall of Woodville, Texas, five bass, 15-15, $1,000
8th:  Richard Ballard of Sulphur, La., five bass, 15-12, $1,400
9th:  Dicky Newberry of Houston, Texas, five bass, 15-0, $800
10th:  Bobby Vice of Orange, Texas, five bass, 14-11, $665
10th:  Travis Franks of Lake Charles, La., five bass, 14–11, $665
 Mundy’s 11-pound, 10-ounce largemouth was also good for the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $1,000.

Ballard took home an extra $500 as the highest finishing Phoenix MLF BIG5 Contingency Bonus member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

Michael Petras of Biloxi, Mississippi, won the Co-angler Division and $3,000 Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds even.

The top 10 co-anglers finished as follows:
1st:  Michael Petras of Biloxi, Miss., five bass, 16-0, $3,000
2nd:  Shane Stoddard of Hot Springs, Ark., four bass, 15-4, $2,000
3rd:  Michael Horne of Dodson, La., five bass, 14-10, $1,000
4th:  Carson Dillinger of Bloomburg, Texas, five bass, 12-70
5th:   Tracy Hawkins of Corsicana, Texas, three bass, 11-15, $600
6th:   Julio Garza of Houston, Texas, five bass, 11-5, $550
7th:   Steve Lee of Benton, Ark., five bass, 11-2, $500
8th:   Daniel Bryant of LaFayette, La., five bass, 10-10, $450
9th:  Ryker Holmes of Arlington, Texas, five bass, 10-7, $400
10th:  John Webb of Fort Smith, Ark., four bass, 10-4, $332
10th:  Greg Boik of College Station, Texas, five bass, 10-4, $332
Stoddard caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 9 pounds, 15 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $500.

The 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Sam Rayburn Reservoir was hosted by the Jasper County Development District.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the Cowboy Division based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 21-23 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lake Ouachita in Mount Ida, Arkansas hosted by Visit Hot Springs. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury s outboard.

The 2021 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.

The 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American will be held June 3-5 at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee and hosted by the Jefferson County Department of Tourism. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.

BREAKING NEWS – Major League Fishing Announces REDCREST 2021 Shift to this Texas Lake

MLF Moves Championship Tournament to Proven Big-Fish Factory, REDCREST 2022 to Remain in Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. (Dec. 22, 2020) – Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today that REDCREST 2021, the MLF Bass Pro Tour Championship, has been shifted to Lake Palestine in Flint, Texas. Originally scheduled to be held Feb. 23-27, 2021 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the dates have also shifted slightly to Feb. 21-25. REDCREST 2021 will showcase the top 40 Bass Pro Tour anglers from the 2020 season competing for the prestigious REDCREST title and the top prize of $300,000.

The decision to move the event was made after numerous Bass Pro Tour anglers suggested a new fishery location for the championship tournament after MLF announced the cancellation of the Outdoor Sports Expo in Tulsa in late November. With no Expo taking place, MLF officials agreed to shift the event to Lake Palestine, an 18-mile long Texas reservoir known for its tremendous bass-fishing and the numerous 10-plus-pound largemouth that live throughout the lake. The fishery is known for annually producing multiple bass that are recognized by the Texas Parks and Wildlife’s popular Toyota ShareLunker program.

CHECK OUT ALL THE NEWEST GEAR FROM ICAST

“Grand Lake is an awesome fishery, but when we found out that MLF was open to the consideration of shifting REDCREST 2021, it was something that most of us were really excited about,” said Ott DeFoe, who won the Bass Pro Tour Stage Three event on Texas’ Lake Fork last season and will be making his second REDCREST appearance. “When we found out that we were moving to Lake Palestine, it was even better. Texas certainly has a special place in my heart. REDCREST 2021 is going to be a tremendous way to kick off the season and a really fun tournament for the fans to follow. We’re going to see some absolute giants caught in this one – we’re hitting it just right – and we will likely see quite a few records broken there.”

In addition to the opportunity to feature the Championship event on an exciting fishery, the shift also made sense logistically, according to MLF Senior Director of Events & Partnerships Michael Mulone.

“It makes sense, from a business standpoint, to shift to Lake Palestine and save Tulsa and Grand Lake for REDCREST 2022,” Mulone said. “Grand Lake is a championship fishery, but when we postponed the Expo in Tulsa we realized that we could do a better job of highlighting Grand Lake with the Expo component. The fact that this will be our inaugural Expo, in the home of Major League Fishing, we want to ensure we are doing everything possible to not dilute the event in any way. We truly want to blow it out of the water next year and fully expect it to be the biggest show in town. We are grateful to our partners with the City of Grove, the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce and VisitTulsa that gave their blessings to shift the REDCREST 2021 tournament. We expect Lake Palestine and REDCREST 2021 to produce one of the most exciting tournaments in our company’s history.”

MLF announced in November that Tulsa and Grand Lake of the Cherokees will host REDCREST 2022, with the River Spirit Expo Square set to host the inaugural REDCREST 2022 Outdoor Sports Expo on March 25-27, 2022. Those dates remain unchanged.

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Jordan Lee Wins 2020 General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops – Alabama Superstar Catches 2-Pounder in Final Minutes to Overtake Casey Ashley in Dramatic Finale, Earns Johnny Morris Award and Top Payout of $100,000

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (Nov. 16, 2020) – The 29-year-old Alabama superstar did it again. Major League Fishing (MLF) pro Jordan Lee of Cullman, Alabama, caught 37 bass totaling 69 pounds, 4 ounces, to narrowly edge out South Carolina’s Casey Ashley and win the 2020 General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and the top prize of $100,000.

It was a nail-biting finale that came down to the wire in the final day Championship Round that aired Saturday on Discovery. Lee caught his last fish – a 2-pound, 2-ounce largemouth – with just 14 minutes to spare in the final period, overtaking Ashley, who had put together a frantic 17 bass third-period rally to move to the top of the leaderboard. Lee’s last fish came on a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent The General worm.

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“Oh man, what a feeling,” said Lee, who was the 2020 Bass Pro Tour Angler of the Year, winner of the inaugural Heavy Hitters tournament in February, and now the 2020 General Tire World Champion. “Casey was just killing it right there at the end. It seemed like every time I caught one, he would catch two. It was gut-wrenching. I was listening to him bumping up the SCORETRACKER® and he just kept coming and I couldn’t do anything about it. I just had to keep my head down and focus on every single bite. That last fish turned out to be the difference maker. We fished all day long and I won by less than a pound. Unreal.”

Lee started out his day on Spider Lake targeting largemouth with a vibrating jig and a swimjig, before mixing in a frog and eventually the Berkley The General worm (black and black-and-blue) as the day progressed. He keyed on the shallow reeds and lily pads on the 1,392-acre lake.

“It was mostly a fun day of flipping and frogging, and that is what I love to do,” Lee said. “I mixed up a couple of different baits to start with, but the swim jig really got me started. It clued me in that the fish were around the reeds and the pads, and then I started catching some good ones.”

Lee led after Period 1 of competition and had a near 20-pound lead into Period 2 before his bite slowed in Period 3. Meanwhile, Ashley’s pattern caught fire. Ashley took the lead with 40 minutes remaining in the event, and the two anglers battled back and forth before Lee’s last-minute heroics clinched the victory.

“We were so close, I pretty much knew that whoever caught the last scorable bass was going to win,” said Lee. “As the clock ticked down, I kept expecting my boat official to tell me that Casey had caught one at the very end to take it, but luckily for me that didn’t happen.

“To win this event is just the best feeling in the world,” Lee went on to say. “MLF puts us out in the middle of nowhere – down dirt roads, places we’ve never fished before. I love that part of this game. It’s a level playing field, and to come away with a win against this bunch of guys – they’re the best in the world. This has been a special, special week. Nothing comes easy in this sport and I don’t take it for granted. I’ve had a great year. I’m fishing with confidence and I hope I can keep the good vibes going next season.”

The final six anglers at the 2020 General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops in Grand Rapids, Minnesota finished:

                1st:          Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala., 37 bass, 69-4
                2nd:         Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., 35 bass, 68-5
                3rd:         Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., 28 bass, 48-2
                4th:         Takahiro Omori of Tokyo, Japan, 29 bass, 46-10
                5th:         Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., 20 bass, 43-6
                6th:         Cody Meyer of Star, Idaho, 10 bass, 21-10

Complete results and photos from the event can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Meyer caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day – a 5-pound, 2-ounce largemouth at the end of Period One that came on an unnamed finesse worm.

Overall, there were 159 bass weighing 297 pounds, 5 ounces caught by the final six pros during the Championship Round of competition on Spider Lake.

The 2020 General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops was hosted by Visit Grand Rapids and premiered on the Discovery Channel as six, two-hour original episodes debuting on Oct. 10, 2020, and running through Nov. 14, 2020. The event, shot over six days in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, showcased 16 MLF pro anglers culminating the 2020 Cup season and competing for the top prize of $100,000.

Takahiro Omori Wins Day 3 Elimination Round at General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops

Japanese pro Catches Two-Day total of 98 Pounds, 7 Ounces to Win Elimination Round, Joins Montgomery, Lee and Ashley in Sudden Death Round

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (Oct. 26, 2020) – Pro Takahiro Omori of Tokyo, Japan, caught 55 largemouth totaling 84 pounds, 3 ounces, on Lake Pokegama to win the Elimination Round 1 at the General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Omori’s two-day cumulative total of 63 bass for 98-7 advanced the Japanese pro to the Sudden Death Round of competition in the six-day championship tournament, airing on Discovery, that showcases 16 of the best bass anglers from around the world competing for a top prize of $100,000.

Blacksburg, South Carolina’s Andy Montgomery was the first angler to advance into the Sudden Death Round after his victory in the day 1 Shotgun Round. He is now joined by Omori, along with pros Jordan Lee of Cullman, Alabama (57 bass, 96-3) and Casey Ashley of Donalds, South Carolina (51 bass, 88-13) as the four anglers advancing from Group 1. The Sudden Death Round episode is set to premiere in two weeks, Nov. 7.

“In the morning we had a lot of wind and rain, and it was cold. I really didn’t expect the fish to bite that good,” said Omori, who has career earnings of more than $2.7 million. “I went to my first spot and they started biting, right away. I caught something like 47 pounds in the first period – the most fish I’ve ever caught in a single period.

“After my first day, I was way down in the standings. But, after that first period, I realized I had a good chance to make it in to the top three,” Omori continued. “So, I stayed in that one general area – in the back end of a creek – for all three periods.”

Omori said that his key bait throughout the day was a  Z-Man Evergreen ChatterBait Jack Hammer, with a Z-Man RaZor ShadZ trailer (green-pumpkin), estimating that 90% of his fish came on that.

“The lake we were on today, Lake Pokegama, was amazing,” Omori said. “The lake and the conditions fit my fishing style really good, so I was really happy that they chose this lake.”

Looking ahead to the Sudden Death Round, Omori said that he will be ready to go, no matter what fishery tournament officials select as competition waters.

“I just focus on my fishing,” Omori said. “Usually, I’m a largemouth guy. I’m not saying that I hate smallmouth, but I definitely prefer to target largemouth. So, hopefully for the Sudden Death, we fish a lake with a bunch of largemouth. I’ll have both setups rigged up, and do whatever it takes.”

The four anglers advancing to the Sudden Death Round from (Group 1) are:

                1st:          Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C., 19 bass, 42-6 *Shotgun Round 1 Winner*
                2nd:         Takahiro Omori of Tokyo, Japan, 63 bass, 98-7 *Elimination Round Winner*
                3rd:          Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala., 57 bass, 96-3
                4th:          Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., 51 bass, 88-13

Eliminated from competition in the 2020 General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops were:

                5th:          Greg Vinson of Wetumpka, Ala., 42 bass, 83-3
                6th:          Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala., 27 bass, 65-15
                7th:          Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., 35 bass, 62-4
                8th:          Bobby Lane of Lakeland,  Fla., 22 bass, 39-2

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Complete results and photos from the day can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Martens caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day – a 4-pound, 7-ounce smallmouth that came offshore on a crankbait.

Overall, there were 221 bass weighing 368 pounds, 5 ounces caught by the seven pros on the day three Elimination Round of competition on Lake Pokegama.

The 2020 Major League Fishing General Tire World Championship in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, is hosted by Visit Grand Rapids.

In MLF General Tire World Championship competition, the full field of 16 pro anglers is split into two groups of eight – Group 1 and Group 2. Group 1 competed in a Shotgun Round on day one, Group 2 on day two, with the winners of each day advancing directly to the Sudden Death Round. The remaining seven anglers from each group carried their total weight on to the Elimination Round. The three anglers from each group’s Elimination Round with the highest cumulative two-day weight will advance to the Sudden Death Round – eight anglers total.

During the Sudden Death round, the eight anglers that advanced from the Shotgun and Elimination Rounds compete to become one of the first six to reach a qualifying weight – determined by MLF officials. The top six anglers then advance to the final Championship Round – where weights are zeroed and the highest total weight at the end of competition wins and will be declared World Champion.

Next week’s episode of the General Tire World Championship will feature Group 2 competing in their Elimination Round – Edwin Evers, Jared Lintner, Michael Neal, Jacob Powroznik, Mark Rose, Jeff Sprague and Jacob Wheeler – competing on Lake Wabana.

The General Tire World Championship, hosted by Visit Grand Rapids, will air on the Discovery Channel as six, two-hour original episodes each Saturday morning debuting on Oct. 10, 2020, and running through Nov. 14, airing from 7 to 9 a.m. EDT. The full television schedule can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com/tv-schedule.

Meyer Coasts to Victory after Shattering Records on Day 2 Shotgun Round at General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (Oct. 19, 2020) – Major League Fishing (MLF) pro Cody Meyer of Auburn, California, had a pretty special day on Lake Pokegama that premiered Saturday morning on Discovery. The California pro caught 68 largemouth bass weighing 123 pounds, 12 ounces to win Shotgun Round 2 of competition at the General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Meyer now advances directly into the Sudden Death Round of competition in the six-day championship tournament that showcases 16 of the best bass anglers from around the world competing for a top prize of $100,000.

Meyer’s final tally of 68 bass weighing 123-12 smashed previous MLF Cup records – it was the most fish caught in a single day of competition, and also the largest single-day weight in MLF Cup history.

In the post-game press conference, Meyer said it was one of the most special days in his career.

“I really wasn’t expecting to have that kind of a day,” Meyer said. “It ended up being one of the best days that I have ever had in my career, and the most fun that I’ve had fishing in a long time. To come out on top, with the anglers that were in this group, is really special.  It was such an awesome day – all day long I felt like I could call my shot.”

Meyer found most of his success fishing main-lake docks with every fish he caught coming on a wacky-rigged Yamamoto Senko (green-pumpkin and purple). He fished it on a 7-foot, 4-inch Daiwa Tatula Elite rod paired with a Daiwa Exist reel, using 10-pound braided line with a 10-pound fluorocarbon leader.

“I really though someone was going to win the day by flipping, but the docks were so loaded with fish. Every single dock had 2, 3, 4, even five fish on them. I caught 68 fish, which was incredible. But, I also lost around a dozen. It was by far the most fish and the most weight I have every caught in any MLF event.

“The key that I figured out was the sand,” Meyer continued. “The docks had to be really shallow, with deep water nearby. The fish got shallower and shallower as the day progressed, and if the docks were on sand there was fish on every single one of them.”

With his win, Meyer now advances directly into the Sudden Death Round, a day that many anglers call the most stressful day of fishing they experience.

“I’m definitely confident on the fisheries up here in Minnesota, and I’m having a lot of fun,” Meyer said. “But now I need to get ready for Sudden Death, which is 100% the most stressful day that you can have in bass fishing. There is never any down time, and you have to catch them fast. I went through eight or nine bags of baits today, and I’m definitely going to need to find some more before we fish Sudden Death.”

The standings after Saturday’s airing of the Day Two Shotgun Round (Group 2) are:

                1st:          Cody Meyer of Auburn, Calif., 68 bass, 123-12
                2nd:         Jeff Sprague of Point, Texas, 67 bass, 105-4
                3rd:         Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., 47 bass, 94-13
                4th:         Mark Rose of Wynne, Ark., 52 bass, 84-0
                5th:         Jared Lintner of Arroyo Grande, Calif., 48 bass, 76-11
                6th:         Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., 45 bass, 72-14
                7th:         Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn., 42 bass, 70-4
                8th:         Michael Neal of Dayton, Tenn., 35 bass, 54-14

Complete results and photos from the day can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

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Lintner caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day – a 4-pound, 5-ounce largemouth that bit a jig on the docks.

Overall, there were 404 bass weighing 1,171 pounds, 8 ounces caught by the eight pros on day two of competition on Lake Pokegama.

The 2020 Major League Fishing General Tire World Championship in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, is hosted by Visit Grand Rapids.

In MLF General Tire World Championship competition, the full field of 16 pro anglers is split into two groups of eight – Group 1 and Group 2. Group 1 competed in a Shotgun Round on day one, Group 2 on day two, with the winners of each day advancing directly to the Sudden Death Round. Now, the remaining seven anglers from each group carry their total weight on to the Elimination Round. The three anglers from each group’s Elimination Round with the highest cumulative two-day weight will advance to the Sudden Death Round – eight anglers total.

During the Sudden Death round, the eight anglers that advanced from the Shotgun and Elimination Rounds compete to become one of the first six to reach a qualifying weight – determined by MLF officials. The top six anglers then advance to the final Championship Round – where weights are zeroed and the highest total weight at the end of competition wins and will be declared World Champion.

Next week’s episode of the General Tire World Championship will feature Group 1 competing in their Elimination Round  – Casey Ashley, Brent Ehrler, Bobby Lane, Jordan Lee, Aaron Martens, Takahiro Omori and Greg Vinson – competing on Lake Pokegama.

The General Tire World Championship, hosted by Visit Grand Rapids, will air on the Discovery Channel as six, two-hour original episodes each Saturday morning starting Oct. 10, 2020, and running through Nov. 14, airing from 7 to 9 a.m. EDT. The full television schedule can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com/tv-schedule.

About Major League Fishing
Founded in 2011, Major League Fishing (MLF) brings the high-intensity sport of competitive bass fishing into America’s living rooms on Outdoor Channel, Discovery, CBS, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network, Sportsman Channel, and on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). According to Nielsen ratings, Major League Fishing remains the number one series on Outdoor Channel for five years and MLF premiered as the number one outdoor show in their time slot on Discovery in 2019. 

In 2019 MLF acquired FLW, which expands their portfolio to include the world’s largest grassroots-fishing organization, including the strongest five-biggest-fish format professional bass fishing tour, the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, as well as the Toyota Series, Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine, Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI, and High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing.

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Montgomery Wins Day One Shotgun Round at General Tire World Championship on Discovery

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (Oct. 12, 2020) – Pro Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, South Carolina, caught 19 bass totaling 42 pounds, 6 ounces to win the opening Shotgun Round of competition at the General Tire World Championship in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. For the win, Montgomery now advances directly into the Sudden Death Round of competition in the six-day championship bass tournament that showcases 16 of the best bass anglers from around the world competing for a top prize of $100,000.

The opening day of competition on Discovery showcased the eight competing anglers in Group 1 fishing on Northern Minnesota’s Lake Wabana. Montgomery had a big third-period rally, catching 10 bass for 23-12 in the final period to surpass Greg Vinson and Jordan Lee and earn the win by a narrow 1-pound, 4-ounce margin.

“For once, on a tournament day, everything played out just like I hoped it would,” Montgomery said in his post-game press conference. “I wanted to put the heat on the docks early, before others got a chance to fish them. I was able to do that and caught all of the largemouth that I could. I also knew coming into this that I was going to have to catch smallmouth somehow. I went a little while before I caught one, but once I finally did my confidence went through the roof because I caught it shallow, and it was a pattern that I could run across the lake.

“I mainly threw a lot of moving baits,” Montgomery continued. “I thought I’d maybe catch them deep on a drop-shot rig, but the wind took that away. So, I bounced back and forth throughout the day – from the docks out to the underwater islands, then back to the docks, then back to the islands. Timing was extremely important, and it was really good for me today.”

Montgomery said that he caught his largemouth on the docks with a Strike King Tour Grade Skipping Jig with a matching Rage Bug trailer. When fishing for smallmouth on the offshore islands, he threw a small Strike King Thunder Cricket vibrating jig and an unnamed swimbait.

“The third period was very important, and I felt like I had a really good gameplan,” Montgomery said. “I had the smallmouth pattern established, but I also had some docks in my mind that I had watched another competitor fish, but I felt like I could still catch some fish off of them. So, I re-fished those and caught a few key fish and then when they were done I didn’t try to force it – I went back offshore to the smallmouth.”

Montgomery now becomes the first angler to advance directly into the Sudden Death Round, a feat that he is proud of, but according to him there is still a lot of work left to be done.

“There is just something about this World Championship… I’ve fished a lot of big tournaments before. FLW Cups, Classics, I’ve fished them all. But there is something about this event, I just want to win it so badly. That is the only reason I’m here,” Montgomery went on to say.

The standings after Saturday’s airing of the Day One Shotgun Round (Group 1) are:

                1st:          Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C., 19 bass, 42-6
                2nd:         Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala., 23 bass, 41-2
                3rd:         Greg Vinson of Wetumpka, Ala., 14 bass, 39-12
                4th:         Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala., 11 bass, 28-9
                5th:         Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., seven bass, 14-11
                6th:         Takahiro Omori of Tokyo, Japan, eight bass, 14-4
                7th:         Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., seven bass, 13-7
                8th:         Bobby Lane of Lakeland,  Fla., five bass, 10-1

Complete results and photos from the day can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Montgomery also caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day, a 4-pound, 2-ounce largemouth.

Overall, there were 94 bass weighing 204 pounds, 4 ounces caught by the eight pros on day one of competition on Wabana Lake.

The 2020 Major League Fishing General Tire World Championship in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, is hosted by Visit Grand Rapids.

In MLF General Tire World Championship competition, the full field of 16 pro anglers is split into two groups of eight – Group 1 and Group 2. Group 1 competes in a Shotgun Round on day one, Group 2 on day two, with the winners of each day advancing directly to the Sudden Death Round. The remaining seven anglers from each group carry their total weight on to the Elimination Round competition. The three anglers from each group with the highest cumulative two-day weight will advance to the Sudden Death Round – eight anglers total.

During the Sudden Death round, the eight anglers that advanced from the Shotgun and Elimination Rounds compete to become one of the first six to reach a qualifying weight – determined by MLF officials. The top six anglers then advance to the final Championship Round – where weights are zeroed and the highest total weight at the end of competition wins and will be declared World Champion.

Next week’s episode of the General Tire World Championship will feature Group 2 – Michael Neal, Edwin Evers, Jacob Wheeler, Mark Rose, Jeff Sprague, Jared Lintner, Cody Meyer and Jacob Powroznik – competing on Pokegama Lake.

The General Tire World Championship, hosted by Visit Grand Rapids, will air on the Discovery Channel as six, two-hour original episodes each Saturday morning starting Oct. 10, 2020, and running through Nov. 14, airing from 7 to 9 a.m. EDT. The full television schedule can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com/tv-schedule.

BREAKING NEWS – Major League Fishing and FLW Unify as One Brand

TULSA, Okla. (Sept. 29, 2020) – To further elevate the sport of tournament bass fishing and align multiple circuits as one company, Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today its unification with Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) as one brand, transitioning all FLW brand assets to MLF. 

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, Toyota Series, Phoenix Bass Fishing League, Abu Garcia College Fishing and High School Fishing will all carry the MLF logo and continue the five-biggest-fish format. A new website that builds on the existing sites, streamlines tournament entry, provides cutting-edge gear and tactics advice, and better highlights participating anglers is set to be unveiled in early 2021.

“Merging the FLW brand under the Major League Fishing umbrella is the next logical step in our company’s evolution, which now includes a broader reach than any of us thought possible in our formative years,” MLF BIG5 Executive Vice President and General Manager Kathy Fennel said. “The key to our success lies not in a name, but in our unwavering focus on providing the best possible tournaments for anglers, fans, hosts and sponsors – our family. Uniting with MLF under a single brand makes the whole greater than the sum of the pieces. The letters may be different, but the people and the values will remain the same.”

The FLW organization now known as “Major League Fishing BIG5” began life as Operation Bass. Founded on the shores of Kentucky Lake in 1979 by Mike Whitaker, a teacher and football coach turned electronics salesman, Operation Bass grew from humble beginnings to become the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization with five circuits and more than 300 events in 11 countries offering $21 million in awards.

Operation Bass was purchased by Minneapolis businessman Irwin L. Jacobs in 1996 and renamed FLW Outdoors in 2001 to honor Forrest L. Wood and the principles he embodied. While those principles still guide the company, FLW became Fishing League Worldwide in 2014 to set the stage for international growth, which now includes bass tournaments in Canada, China, Italy, Mexico, Namibia, Korea, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Zimbabwe.

Fishing League Worldwide was acquired by Major League Fishing in November 2019. The acquisition was the most significant brand merger in competitive bass fishing history, linking an innovative tour and original, award-winning programming featuring the top professional anglers in the world to the extensive grassroots organization that serves tens of thousands of competitive anglers from high school and college students to weekenders and tour pros.

“The unrivaled television audience paired with unmatched tournament activation, MLF Bass Fishing magazine, a combined social media following in excess of one million fans, the sport’s most comprehensive live on-the-water coverage, and two of the sport’s top websites united under a single brand was a natural progression as the two organizations combine,” said Don Rucks, MLF Executive Vice President and General Manager.

To delineate between the Major League Fishing format of catch-weigh-immediate release competition, the five-biggest-fish tournament circuits will operate as the Major League Fishing BIG5 and will capitalize on MLF’s incredible reach on Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, World Fishing Network, Discovery, CBS and MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).

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New logo art will be provided to business partners, sponsors and anglers. The company expects that the changeover to the new name, logo and website will be completed by Q1 of 2021.

About Major League Fishing
Founded in 2011, Major League Fishing (MLF) brings the high-intensity sport of competitive bass fishing into America’s living rooms on Outdoor Channel, Discovery, CBS, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network, Sportsman Channel, and on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). According to Nielsen ratings, Major League Fishing remains the number one series on Outdoor Channel for five years and MLF premiered as the number one outdoor show in their time slot on Discovery in 2019. 

In 2019 MLF acquired FLW, which expands their portfolio to include the world’s largest grassroots-fishing organization, including the strongest five-biggest-fish format professional bass fishing tour, the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, as well as the Toyota Series, Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine, Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI, and High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing.

Pace Passes Poche to Win Auto-Berth to Friday’s Championship:

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 13, 2020 (Sturgeon Bay, Wisc.) Major League Fishing (MLF) Pro Cliff Pace won Covercraft Stage Five presented by Abu Garcia Group B Qualifying Round to advance directly to the Championship, joining Group A winner Justin Lucas in one of ten spots. With half the field eliminated, 38 anglers begin Tuesday’s Knockout Round at zero weight to compete over the remaining eight spots in Wednesday’s Championship Round. The 2020 Bass Pro Tour Seasons Points Championship may come down to Tuesday’s Knockout Round with Jordan Lee, Jacob Wheeler, and Ott DeFoe all battling to advance. Competition resumes Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. CT on MLFNOW!
MLF Pro Stephen Browning caught the Berkley Big Bass of the Day and hung on to 20th place to advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round. Photo credit: Phoenix Moore/Major League Fishing
40-year-old Pace caught 107 pounds, nine ounces to climb from seventh place after Day One (Saturday) and win with a two-day total of 174 pounds on 58 bass. Pace advances directly into Wednesday’s Championship Round joining Justin Lucas who won Group A Qualifying Round on Sunday. The HIGH-SEAS Pro said it wasn’t easy this week and he’s grateful for a day off (Tuesday). 
 
“I’m one happy man!” said Pace shortly after MLF Official Mike David confirmed his victory on SCORETRACKER®. “I’m tickled to death to have won today because everything here is such a variable. You don’t know what Mother Nature is going to do and everything can fall out of place. A win today means that I don’t have to compete tomorrow and maybe capitalize on a great event in Wisconsin on Wednesday.” 
 
Pace caught nearly all 58 bass over two days with a wacky worm in clear water – both 20, 25-feet deep and shallow. His told fans that a consistent, long cast was a key to his victory. A Mississippi-resident, Pace won the final Stage of the 2019 Bass Pro Tour in Neenah, Wisconsin last July
 
Keith Poche started out slow with zero scorable catches in the first three hours of competition and ultimately ended the day with 53 pounds and a two-day total of 165 pounds, 11 ounces. Jordan Lee and Mike Iaconelli led the field at different points in the day before ultimately being out paced by Pace as well. 
 
Stephen Browning caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day weighing in at five pounds, one ounce. His two-day total of 82 pounds, 10 ounces was enough to maintain a 20th place finish and secure a spot in Tuesday’s Knockout Round. After finishing Day One in the top 20, Britt Myers and Adrian Avena fell below the Elimination Line in 21st and 26th places respectively making room for Matt Lee and Ish Monroe to advance. After only scoring 12 pounds, 13 ounces on Day One (Saturday), Jared Lintner made the biggest gain of the day by scoring an additional 119 pounds, five ounces to finish in sixth with a two-day total of 132 pounds, two ounces. 
 
The Top Ten of Qualifying Group B finished as follows:
 PlaceAnglerTwo-Day Total Two-Day TotalLargest Fish over Two-Day Round1Cliff Pace174-00584-142Keith Poche165-11624-033Jordan Lee155-04554-104Mike Iaconelli144-05494-085Bobby Lane132-09434-095Jared Lintner132-02444-047Cody Meyer122-11414-078Jason Christie116-01424-019Alton Jones112-05424-0310Bradley Roy109-06394-09 
 
20 anglers fell below the Elimination Line ending their respective 2020 Bass Pro Tour seasons, including Chris Lane, Zack Birge, and Brent Ehrler who had all won Qualifying Rounds in previous 2020 Bass Pro Tour stops. For complete results, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com, Bass Pro Tour, Results.
 
The competition continues Tuesday when the 38 qualifiers take to the water for the Covercraft Stage Five presented by Abu Garcia Knockout Round, including current Season Points contenders Jordan Lee (276), Jacob Wheeler (267), Ott DeFoe (264), and Jeff Sprague (249).  Each angler earns Points (80-1) awarded by finishing place (1-80) at each Stage of the Bass Pro Tour. The Pro with the most points at the end of the season earns the title of “Bass Pro Tour Points Champion.” With Fletcher Shryock and Michael Neal eliminated and the remaining four battling out for one of eight spots remaining in Wednesday’s Championship Round, Tuesday’s competition may be the most consequential of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour season.  
 
Pending no weather delays, the Knockout Round begins at Sawyer Park Boat Launch, Sturgeon Bay, Wisc., 6:15 a.m. CT when the field reports to pick-up their MLF Official and camera operators before trailering to the ramp of his choice. With lines in at 8:00 a.m. CT, the competition consists of three, 150-minute periods. 
 
 

Major League Fishing Moves Stage Five from Lake Champlain

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 15, 2020 (Tulsa, Okla.) Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today that Bass Pro Tour Stage Five presented by Covercraft will not take place on Lake Champlain as previously announced. Earlier today Vermont Governor Phil Scott amended and reinstated Executive Order 01-20, which states that visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Due to previously scheduled events, MLF pros and League staff cannot accommodate that order and will move the July event. 
 

Subject to a successful connectivity survey to support SCORETRACKER® and MLFNOW!production, MLF will move final Stage of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. The dates remain the same, July 10-15, 2020. Exact fisheries will be shared with competitors as determined by the Tournament Director and MLF Production teams based on the pending site survey. 
 

“While we are disappointed that we cannot have the final Stage of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour on Lake Champlain as originally planned, we understand the situation and look forward to the opportunity to showcase Vermont in the future.” said Michael Mulone, Major League Fishing Sr. Director of Events. “We appreciate Destination Sturgeon Bay helping us pull together an outstanding event under an abbreviated timeline.”

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