HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (June 26, 2023) – Despite the dreary, overcast weather and changing conditions, Berkley pro Jordan Lee of Cullman, Alabama , maintained the pace he set for the Group A field Monday, weighing in five bass totaling 23 pounds, 11 ounces to win the Group A Qualifying Round at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour General Tire Stage Six at Lake St. Clair Presented by John Deere Utility Vehicles . Lee’s two-day total of 46-3 earned him the Qualifying Round win by a 4-pound, 8-ounce margin over second-place pro Spencer Shuffield of Hot Springs, Arkansas, who maintained his second-place position with a two-day total of 10 scorable bass weighing 41-11.
Period 3 marked big changes for several anglers, shaking up the playing field as pros vied for big fish to move across the Toro cutline and advance to Wednesday’s Knockout Round. The biggest moves came from Wynne, Arkansas’ Mark Rose, who started the day in 17th place and dropped down to 28th before going on a third-period flurry to finish out the day in ninth. North Carolina’s Bryan Thrift also moved into the top 20 during the final period, while Takahiro Omori and Josh Butler dropped below the cutline and were eliminated from the competition.
The top 20 advancing anglers from Group A will now have an off day from competition Tuesday, while the 40 anglers competing in Qualifying Group B will complete their two-day Qualifying Round. The top 20 anglers from each group advance to Wednesday’s Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed, and the remaining 40 anglers compete to finish in the top 10 to advance to the Championship Round on Thursday. In the final day Championship Round, weight carries over from the Knockout Round and the angler with the heaviest two-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.
“The past two competition days have been unbelievable, and I feel really blessed,” said Lee. “Since we couldn’t practice on the Canadian side of Lake St. Clair, I came over here on a whim, just gambling. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but it’s been a great experience.
“I caught a lot of small fish this morning but found a school of big fish late in the day, so I’m excited about moving on to the Knockout Round. These smallmouth are notorious for moving, but I’m not going into panic mode if they move. I just plan to move around and see what else we can find.”
Two hefty smallmouth – weighing 5-11 and 5-2 – anchored Lee’s 23-pound, 11-ounce total on Monday.
“The [Berkley] MaxScent always plays for smallmouth, and this week has been no different,” said Lee. “I’m throwing a drop-shot rig with a 5-inch Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Flatnose Jerk Shad on my signature 6-foot, 10-inch super finesse Abu Garcia Jordan Lee Spinning Rod, using 6-pound Berkley x5 Braid and an 8-pound Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon Leader. These fish are out a little deeper and have been feeding on perch, so they seem to like this bigger bait.”
The top 20 pros in Group A that now advance to Wednesday’s Knockout Round on Lake St. Clair are:
1st: Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala., 10 bass, 46-3
2nd: Spencer Shuffield, Hot Springs, Ark., 10 bass, 41-11
3rd: Matt Becker, Ten Mile, Tenn., 10 bass, 41-3
4th: Greg Vinson, Wetumpka, Ala., 10 bass, 40-4
5th: Terry Scroggins, San Mateo, Fla., 10 bass, 38-6
6th: Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 10 bass, 38-3
7th: Cody Meyer, Star, Idaho, 10 bass, 37-13
8th: Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan., 10 bass, 37-10
9th: Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., 10 bass, 37-7
10th: Alton Jones Jr., Waco, Texas, 10 bass, 37-3
11th: Ryan Salzman, Huntsville, Ala., 10 bass, 37-2
12th: Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 36-13
13th: James Watson, Lampe, Mo., 10 bass, 36-10
14th: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 36-7
15th: David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 10 bass, 36-6
16th: Marty Robinson, Lyman, S.C., 10 bass, 35-7
17th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 35-6
18th: Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, 10 bass, 34-10
19th: Jonathon VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich., 10 bass, 34-9
20th: Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., 10 bass, 34-7
Eliminated from competition are:
21st: Josh Butler, Hayden, Ala., 10 bass, 34-0
22nd: Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C., 10 bass, 33-12
23rd: Britt Myers, Lake Wylie, S.C., 10 bass, 33-9
24th: Kelly Jordon, Flint, Texas, 10 bass, 33-7
25th: Takahiro Omori, Tokyo, Japan, 10 bass, 33-2
26th: Boyd Duckett, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 32-14
27th: Randall Tharp, Port St. Joe, Fla., 10 bass, 32-10
28th: Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 10 bass, 32-2
29th: Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C., 10 bass, 31-15
30th: Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., 10 bass, 31-13
31st: Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 10 bass, 31-11
32nd: Fletcher Shryock, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 31-2
33rd: Cliff Crochet, Pierre Part, La., 10 bass, 30-5
34th: Timmy Horton, Muscle Shoals, Ala., 10 bass, 29-5
35th: David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn., 10 bass, 28-13
36th: Roy Hawk, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 10 bass, 28-7
37th: Dave Lefebre, Erie, Penn., nine bass, 26-5
38th: Randy Howell, Guntersville, Ala., eight bass, 25-12
39th: Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 25-9
40th: Mitch Crane, Columbus, Miss., five bass, 12-8
A complete list of results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Lee earned Monday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award with a smallmouth weighing 5 pounds, 11 ounces that he caught in Period 2 on a drop-shot rig. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass each day, and another $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass of the tournament.
The six-day event, hosted by the Detroit Sports Commission, Macomb County and Lake St. Clair Metroparks, showcases 80 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing for a purse of more than $805,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable Angler of the Year (AOY) points in hopes of qualifying for the General Tire Heavy Hitters All-Star event and REDCREST 2024, the Bass Pro Tour championship.
Anglers will launch each day at 7:20 a.m. ET from Lake St. Clair Metropark, located at 31300 Metro Parkway in Harrison Township. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will be held at the Metropark, beginning at 4 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch and takeout events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLFNOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
On Championship Thursday, June 29, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., MLF will welcome fans of all ages to celebrate the top 10 and crown the General Tire Stage Six at Lake St. Clair Champion at the Watch Party and Trophy Presentation. The final 10 Championship Round Bass Pro Tour anglers will be on hand at the trophy celebration to meet and greet fans, sign autographs and take selfies.
The General Tire Stage Six at Lake St. Clair Presented by John Deere Utility Vehicles features anglers competing using the MLF catch, weigh, immediate-release format, with each angler’s five (5) heaviest bass per day tallied as their day’s weight. Anglers strive to catch their heaviest five fish each day, while also feeling the pressure and intensity of the live scoring SCORETRACKER® leaderboard. Minimum weights are determined individually for each competition waters that the Bass Pro Tour visits, based on the productivity, bass population and anticipated average size of fish in each fishery.
The 2023 MLF Bass Pro Tour features a field of 80 of the top professional anglers in the world competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, fishing for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and REDCREST 2024, the Bass Pro Tour championship, held March 13-17, 2024, on Lay Lake in Birmingham, Alabama.
The MLFNOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action live on all six days of competition from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET. MLFNOW!® will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.
Television coverage of the General Tire Stage Six at Lake St. Clair Presented by John Deere Utility Vehicles Championship Round will air as a two-hour episode starting at 7 a.m. ET, on Saturday, November 4 on the Discovery Channel. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on Discovery, with re-airings on the Outdoor Channel.
Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Bass Pro Tour include: 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, Ark Fishing, ATG by Wrangler, B&W Trailer Hitches, Bally Bet, Bass Cat Boats, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, Daiwa, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Ferguson, Fox Rent A Car, General Tire, Grundéns, Humminbird, Lowrance, Minn Kota, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Power-Pole, Rapala, Star tron, T-H Marine, TORO, Toyota, U.S. Air Force, Yellowstone Bourbon, Yo-Zuri and Zoom Baits.