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MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING NEWS

Russ Lane Dominates Opening Day at Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour B&W Trailer Hitches Stage Four at Lake Chickamauga Presented by ATG by Wrangler

DAYTON, Tenn. (June 4, 2021) – It was the best opening day of the season at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour B&W Trailer Hitches Stage Four Presented by ATG by Wrangler at Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, Tennessee. The 40 pros in Group A caught a single-day total of 271 bass weighing 806 pounds, 10 ounces, Thursday – the heaviest weight caught on any Day 1 so far this season.

B&W Trailer Hitches pro Russ Lane of Prattville, Alabama, was firmly in control of the Group A leaderboard after Day 1 concluded, catching 23 bass totaling 70 pounds,12 ounces, to grab the early lead in the two-day Group A Qualifying Round. The six-day event, hosted by Fish Dayton and the Rhea Economic & Tourism Council, features 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.

Lane will bring a 21-pound, 6-ounce, lead into Sunday’s second day of competition for Group A. Berkley pro Jordan Lee of Cullman, Alabama, the reigning Bass Pro Tour Angler of the Year (AOY),  caught 13 bass weighing 49-6 to end the day in second place. Michie, Tennessee’s Jason Lambert sits in third place after a 34-pound third period rally, just 1-ounce behind Lee with at total of 17 bass weighing 49-5.

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

“Man, what a day,” said Lane in his post-game interview from the water. “It is so much fun out here when things go right, and they really did today. I’ve got around a 20-pound lead and that is rare territory for me. I’m just enjoying the moment right now and I cannot wait to get back out here again for Day 2.”

Lane said that he mainly targeted Chickamauga’s offshore hydrilla beds and grass flats.

“I’m around them. There are a lot of good ones under the hydrilla, I just have to cover a lot of water,” Lane continued. “I caught them on a ¾-ounce ChatterBait with a little Big Bite (Baits) (Kamikaze) Swimon trailer with the tails cut down to make it have a little less action so the bait would get down deeper. I had 16-pound-test Sunline Sniper line spooled on a 7:1 (Shimano) Curado reel, and that setup has been doing some work today.”

Reigning AOY Jordan Lee has struggled so far this season and has not made it out of the Qualifying Rounds. But, after a productive day Thursday, it looks like the 30-year-old Alabamian may have broken out of his slump.

“It was a really good day for me,” Lee said. “I made some good decisions and things were just going right for me this morning. I haven’t made a cut yet this year, so to get off to a good start today feels really good.

“I caught some nice ones early and then just kept the ball rolling, picking up a few here and there all day. I mixed in a lot of different summertime, Tennessee River, ledge baits – cranking, a hair jig, and a Berkley (Havoc) Bottom Hopper. These fish here get a lot of pressure, so it was important to get off to a good start. Now, we’ll regroup and get after them again on Sunday.”

The top 20 pros in Group A after Day 1 on Lake Chickamauga are:

1st:           Russ Lane, Prattville, Ala., 23 bass, 70-12
2nd:          Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala., 13 bass, 49-6
3rd:          Jason Lambert, Michie, Tenn., 17 bass, 49-5
4th:           Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 17 bass, 44-8
5th:           Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., 11 bass, 38-14
6th:           Matt Becker, Finleyville, Pa., eight bass, 31-11
7th:           Matt Lee, Cullman, Ala., 10 bass, 29-12
8th:           Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., nine bass, 27-5
9th:           Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., eight bass, 26-2
10th:        Alton Jones, Lorena, Texas, nine bass, 23-5
11th:        Roy Hawk, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., eight bass, 22-13
12th:        Cliff Pace, Petal, Miss., eight bass, 21-10
13th:        Jesse Wiggins, Addison, Ala., seven bass, 21-4
14th:        Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., eight bass, 20-8
15th:        Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., seven bass, 20-4
16th:        Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., five bass, 20-4
17th:        Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., seven bass, 19-5
18th:        Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., six bass, 19-4
19th:        Scott Suggs, Alexander, Ark., five bass, 18-13
20th:        Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif., seven bass, 18-12

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

Tommy Biffle of Wagoner, Oklahoma, won Friday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award, weighing in an 8-pound, 7-ounce largemouth on a Carolina rig during Period 1. Berkley will award $1,000 to the angler who 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 B&W Trailer Hitches Stage Four at Lake Chickamauga Presented by ATG by Wrangler is hosted by Fish Dayton and the Rhea Economic & Tourism Council.

The 40 Anglers in Group A compete in their two-day qualifying round on Lake Chickamauga on Friday and Sunday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Saturday and Monday. After each two-day qualifying round is complete, the anglers that finish in 2nd through 20th place from both groups advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round, while the winner of each group advances directly to Wednesday’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 the top prize of $100,000.

Anglers will take off from the Dayton Boat Dock, located at 175 Lakeshore St., in Dayton, at 6:30 a.m. ET each day of competition. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will also be held at the Dayton Boat Dock, beginning at 3:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all takeoff and takeout ceremonies and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

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.

Matt Lee Dominates Opening Day at MLF Bass Pro Tour Toyota Stage Six at Lake Champlain Presented by Googan Baits

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Aug. 5, 2021) – Normally on the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour when an angler breaks the 100-pound mark in a single day of competition, it’s done with a large school or two of smallmouth bass. Thursday, at the Toyota Stage Six at Lake Champlain Presented by Googan Baits in Plattburgh, New York, pro Matt Lee did it with largemouth.

Lee dominated Day 1 of the Group A Qualifying Round, catching 40 bass totaling 103 pounds, 5 ounces to give him a massive 55-pound, 6-ounce lead in Group A – the largest Day 1 lead ever held in Bass Pro Tour history. The six-day event, hosted by the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau and the City of Plattsburgh, features 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.

Behind Lee, in second place, is Berkley pro John Cox of DeBary, Florida, who boated 18 bass totaling 47-15. Rounding out the top three was General Tire pro Britt Myers of Lake Wylie, South Carolina, who caught 18 bass for 45-12 to end the day in third.

The 34 anglers in Group A will now have the day off on Friday, while the 39 anglers in Group B will begin their first day of competition. Group A will resume competition on Saturday.

“We still have a lot of derby ahead of us, but today was sick,” Lee said in his post-game interview. “I have bass hand. Not even bass thumb – bass hand. It was unreal.”

Lee said that he tried to target smallmouth early in the day, but when that plan fizzled he tried some of his largemouth areas and ran into what looks like the potential motherlode.

“I hit like four smallmouth places this morning and I could see them, but I couldn’t get them to bite,” the Cullman, Alabama pro said. “I figured they had to be biting a topwater somewhere, so I ran around to a largemouth place that I had fished before and caught a 3-10, and when I was reeling it in there were like 10 with it. So, I sat right there in that 100- to 150-foot section of grass and flipped up 100 pounds worth of bass.”

Lee said that he used just two setups on the day – his first bass came on a Lucky Craft Gunfish, and the rest came on a Texas-rigged Yamamoto Senko.

“I stayed in that same 75-yard stretch for five hours,” Lee said. “I went through some worms. The color didn’t even matter. I was just flipping hydrilla in 12- to 15-feet, and it was juice money. I had so much fun. I’ve got one more day to go to win the round and I’m just going to put the hammer down and hopefully advance straight into the Championship Round.”

Third-place angler Britt Myers chose another route to catch his 18 bass, mainly targeting smallmouth, although he did catch four largemouth as well.  

“To be honest, Champlain was a little bit tougher than I thought it was going to be,” Myers said. “I thought I’d have to catch 30 pounds just to be in the hunt for the Knockout Round, but I’ve almost solidified that today. If I can catch a few more fish on Saturday, I’m very confident that I’ll make it in.

“The Duckett Baits swimbait was the key for me today – the 3.5-inch Real Thing Shad. I’ve been looking for an opportunity to use it and today when it was overcast, they really liked that swimbait. At the end of the day I also caught a few on a special little secret bait that I’ve got in my pocket for Day 2. So I’m looking forward to getting back out there.”

The top 20 pros in Group A after Day 1 on Lake Champlain are:

1st:          Matt Lee, Cullman, Ala., 40 bass, 103-5
2nd:         John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 18 bass, 47-15
3rd:         Britt Myers, Lake Wylie, S.C., 18 bass, 45-12
4th:         Scott Suggs, Alexander, Ark., 12 bass, 44-6
5th:         Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C., 16 bass, 42-4
6th:         Takahiro Omori, Tokyo, Japan, 14 bass, 40-8
7th:         Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla., 13 bass, 39-15
8th:         Shin Fukae, Osaka, Japan, 13 bass, 39-11
9th:         Aaron Martens, Leeds, Ala., 14 bass, 38-10
10th:       Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa., 12 bass, 37-5
11th:       James Elam, Tulsa, Okla., 12 bass, 36-12
12th:       Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., 10 bass, 31-14
13th:       Jason Lambert, Michie, Tenn., 12 bass, 31-13
14th:       Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., 10 bass, 30-9
15th:       Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., eight bass, 25-15
16th:       Jacopo Gallelli, Florence, Italy, eight bass, 24-8
17th:       Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Calif., nine bass, 23-14
18th:       Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan., seven bass, 22-4
19th:       Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., eight bass, 22-0
20th:       Cliff Pace, Petal, Miss., seven bass, 19-13

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

Overall, there were 308 bass weighing 884 pounds, 3 ounces caught by the 34 pros on Thursday.
DeFoe won Thursday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award, weighing in a 6-pound, 13-ounce largemouth bass on a worm during Period 1. Berkley will award $1,000 to the angler who 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 Toyota Stage Six at Lake Champlain Presented by Googan Baits is hosted by the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau and the City of Plattsburgh.

MLF announced Wednesday that the normal 80-angler Bass Pro Tour field would be reduced to 73 for this event, as seven anglers withdrew from competition for undisclosed reasons. After consulting with the MLF Angler Advisory Board, a slight change was made to the Qualifying Round Toro Cut Lines due to the unbalanced angler groupings.

The 34 Anglers in Group A compete in their two-day qualifying round on Lake Champlain on Thursday and Saturday – the 39 anglers in Group B on Friday and Sunday. After each two-day qualifying round is complete, the anglers that finish in 2nd through 17th place from Group A (50% of field) and 2nd through 20th place from Group B (50% of field) advance to Monday’s Knockout Round, while the winner of each group advances directly to Tuesday’s Championship Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed and the remaining 35 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 the top prize of $100,000.

Anglers will take off from the Plattsburgh City Marina, located at 2 Dock St., in Plattsburgh, at 8 a.m. ET each day of competition. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will also be held at the Launch Ramp, beginning at 5 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all takeoff and takeout ceremonies and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

MLF officials have divided the lake into two zones in which anglers will compete – Zone A (north end of lake) and Zone B (south end of lake – Ticonderoga area). Anglers choosing to fish in Zone B must go through the normal takeoff procedure at the Plattsburgh Boat Launch and then trailer to a public ramp within Zone B. Anglers will depart the Boat Launch at 8 a.m., and competition will start with “lines in” at 9 a.m. 

The Toyota Stage Six at Lake Champlain Presented by Googan Baits features anglers competing with a 2-pound minimum weight requirement for a bass to be deemed scorable. 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 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 on all six days of competition from 8:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET. MLF NOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Television coverage of the Toyota Stage Six at Lake Champlain Presented by Googan Baits will premiere at 7 a.m. ET, Nov. 6 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.

Statement from MLF Executive Vice President Don Rucks

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Aug. 4, 2021) – The following statement was released today by Major League Fishing  (MLF) Executive Vice President & General Manager Don Rucks regarding the Toyota Stage Six at Lake Champlain Presented by Googan Baits event that starts Thursday:

Good afternoon –

We have had some unique circumstances this week for our Bass Pro Tour Toyota Stage Six event at Lake Champlain.

At this time, the following anglers will not be participating in competition on Lake Champlain this week:

Luke Clausen
Dustin Connell
Mark Daniels Jr.
Anthony Gagliardi
Randy Howell
Chris Lane
Fletcher Shryock

Due to privacy protocols, we are unable to divulge the exact reasonings for each angler’s absence. We do look forward to welcoming all of them back for the upcoming Carparts.com Stage Seven at Lake St. Clair Presented by Covercraft next month, Sept. 10-15.

Because the angler starting groups were set going into Stage Five, and now flipped for Stage Six, we will not be changing the starting groups. If an angler is unable to fish, for any reason, that group will simply be smaller. All other rules will remain the same this week – the two group winners will advance directly to the Championship Round, while the top 19 from each group will compete in the Day 5 Knockout Round to determine who fishes in the final 10 on Championship Tuesday.

As a result of this situation, and after consulting with our Bass Pro Tour angler advisory board, MLF has made the decision to allow each angler to drop one (1) event from this year in the following manner:

  • We will finish the 2021 season with the current points system and crown our 2021 Angler of the Year (AOY).
  • After the 2021 season has ended and the AOY has been crowned, each angler will drop one (1) 2021 BPT event of his choosing.
  • After everyone has dropped the event of their choosing, a new 2021 points structure based on each angler’s remaining six (6) events will be used for angler requalification, REDCREST 2022 qualification, and the 2022 General Tire Heavy Hitters event qualification.

We believe this is ultimately the fairest solution for all of our Bass Pro Tour competitors across the board.

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome back Bass Pro Tour angler Aaron Martens, who has made the trip to Plattsburgh, New York and will be competing on Lake Champlain this week. His ongoing health battles have been well-documented, and we are thrilled that Aaron is feeling well enough to compete this week. It truly shows his grit, toughness, and love for the sport that we all admire him for.

We look forward to a fantastic event on the water this week at Lake Champlain. Don’t forget to tune in to the MLF NOW! livestream each day from 8:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET. 

Sincerely,

Don Rucks
Executive Vice President & General Manager, MLF

Mossy Oak Expands Major League Fishing Sponsorship with Multi-Year Deal to Remain Exclusive Camo Sponsor

TULSA, Okla. (July 15, 2021) – Major League Fishing (MLF), the world’s premier tournament-fishing organization, and Mossy Oak, the West Point, Mississippi-based leading branded camouflage and outdoor lifestyle company, announced a new multi-year sponsorship expansion ensuring the company will remain the exclusive camo sponsor of Major League Fishing through 2024. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Major League Fishing is thrilled to expand our relationship with Mossy Oak,” said MLF President and CEO Jim Wilburn. “Their commitment to our anglers, fans and the sport of professional bass fishing has been consistent since 2018 and their innovative and realistic camouflage patterns are a huge hit with anglers, hunters and outdoorsmen alike. To partner with an organization that shares the same love and passion for fishing and the outdoors as we do is very special.”

Mossy Oak will be showcased at all MLF-sanctioned tournaments and outdoor activations, and the brand will also be seen across numerous MLF media platforms, including prominent display in the MLF Cup events and the Bass Pro Tour Heavy Hitters All-Star event, at MajorLeagueFishing.com, MLF Bass Fishing Magazine and the “MLF NOW!” livestream, which broadcasts during every Bass Pro Tour and Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event for a total of more than 600 hours of live-streamed content.

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“We are very excited about our expanded partnership with Major League Fishing,” said Mossy Oak Chief Sales Officer Chris Paradise. “Our ultimate goal is to connect with our loyal and growing Mossy Oak fishing consumer and customers via the strongest and most authentic reach possible.  Major League Fishing and their leading, broad-based media platform delivers on that expectation greatly. As the Official and Exclusive pattern of Major League Fishing, we are honored and energized to continue bringing the Mossy Oak Fishing Brand to anglers everywhere.”

Mossy Oak’s logo will also remain prominently located on the wrapped trucks, boats, and jerseys of its sponsored MLF anglers. This list includes the current Bass Pro Tour Angler of the Year (AOY) leader Ott DeFoe, brothers Jordan and Matt Lee, professional bass-fishing’s all-time leading money winner Kevin VanDam, and Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit anglers Ramie Colson Jr., and Brian Latimer.

For more information about MLF, their tournaments and sponsors, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. To learn more about Mossy Oak, visit MossyOak.com.

About Mossy Oak
Established in 1986, Haas Outdoors Inc. is headquartered in West Point, Miss., and is home to Mossy Oak. For more than 30 years, Mossy Oak has been a leading outdoor lifestyle brand specializing in developing and marketing modern camouflage designs for hunters and outdoors enthusiasts. The Mossy Oak Brand and patterns can be found on a multitude of products worldwide. Haas Outdoors Inc. is the parent company of Mossy Oak, BioLogic, Capture Productions, MOOSE Media, Nativ Nurseries, Nativ Living, GameKeepers, GameKeepers Kennels, Mossy Oak Properties, and Mossy Oak G.O. Mossy Oak is the official camouflage of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, and Mack’s Prairie Wings and the official pattern of MLF.

Major League Fishing’s Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Set to Premiere on This Week on Sportsman Channel and Outdoor Channel

TULSA, Okla. (July 6, 2021) – The 26th season of the Major League Fishing (MLF) Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers is set to premiere with a two-hour episode Wednesday, July 7, at 10 a.m. ET on the Sportsman Channel and re-air on Sunday, July 11, at 7 a.m. ET on the Outdoor Channel.

The 2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers features a roster of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals competing across six regular-season events, each with a top award of up to $135,000. The field also competes for valuable points to qualify for the 2021 Tackle Warehouse TITLE Presented by Mercury – the Pro Circuit Championship.

The first two-hour episode of the Pro Circuit will showcase the 13 Fishing Stop 1 at Lake Okeechobee event in Clewiston, Florida. Episodes will premiere Wednesdays at 10 a.m. ET on the Sportsman Channel and re-air that same week on Sundays at 7 a.m. ET on the Outdoor Channel. The schedule will culminate with six new episodes of the Tackle Warehouse TITLE, the Pro Circuit Championship event, airing from October through mid-December.

The complete air schedule for the 2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Sportsman Channel and Outdoor Channel is:

– July 7                   13 Fishing Stop 1 at Lake Okeechobee – Sportsman Channel
– July 11                 13 Fishing Stop 1 at Lake Okeechobee – Outdoor Channel
– July 14                 Covercraft Stop 2 at Lewis Smith Lake – Sportsman Channel
– July 18                 Covercraft Stop 2 at Lewis Smith Lake – Outdoor Channel
– July 21                 Googan Baits Stop 3 at Lake Murray Presented by Favorite Fishing – Sportsman Channel
– July 25                 Googan Baits Stop 3 at Lake Murray Presented by Favorite Fishing – Outdoor Channel
– Aug. 18                Grundens Stop 4 at Lake Eufaula Presented by A.R.E. – Sportsman Channel
– Aug. 22                Grundens Stop 4 at Lake Eufaula Presented by A.R.E. – Outdoor Channel
– Aug. 25                Federal Ammunition Stop 5 at Potomac River Presented by Lucas Oil – Sportsman Channel
– Aug. 29                Federal Ammunition Stop 5 at Potomac River Presented by Lucas Oil – Outdoor Channel
– Sept. 1                 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Stop 6 at St. Lawrence River Presented by Googan Baits– Sportsman Channel
– Sept. 5                 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Stop 6 at St. Lawrence River Presented by Googan Baits– Outdoor Channel
– Oct. 6                   Tackle Warehouse TITLE at Mississippi River Presented by Mercury Day 1 – Sportsman Channel
– Oct. 10                 Tackle Warehouse TITLE at Mississippi River Presented by Mercury Day 1 – Outdoor Channel
– Oct. 13                 Tackle Warehouse TITLE at Mississippi River Presented by Mercury Day 2 – Sportsman Channel
– Oct. 17                Tackle Warehouse TITLE at Mississippi River Presented by Mercury Day 2 – Outdoor Channel
– Oct. 20                 Tackle Warehouse TITLE at Mississippi River Presented by Mercury Day 3– Sportsman Channel
– Oct. 24                 Tackle Warehouse TITLE at Mississippi River Presented by Mercury Day 3 – Outdoor Channel
– Oct. 27                Tackle Warehouse TITLE at Mississippi River Presented by Mercury Day 4 – Sportsman Channel
– Oct. 31                 Tackle Warehouse TITLE at Mississippi River Presented by Mercury Day 4 – Outdoor Channel
– Nov. 3                  Tackle Warehouse TITLE at Mississippi River Presented by Mercury Day 5 – Sportsman Channel
– Nov. 7                  Tackle Warehouse TITLE at Mississippi River Presented by Mercury Day 5 – Outdoor Channel
– Nov. 10               Tackle Warehouse TITLE at Mississippi River Presented by Mercury Day 6 – Sportsman Channel
– Nov. 14               Tackle Warehouse TITLE at Mississippi River Presented by Mercury Day 6 – Outdoor Channel

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About MLF BIG5
MLF BIG5 is part of MLF, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization. It provides anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across five tournament circuits featuring a five-biggest-fish format. Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with offices in Benton, Kentucky, MLF and its partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Zimbabwe.

MLF tournaments are broadcast on Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, World Fishing Network, MyOutdoorTV, Discovery and CBS Sports while MLF Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros to the world’s most avid bass anglers.

CarParts.com Named Title Sponsor of Stage Seven, Exclusive Auto Parts Retailer of Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour

TULSA, Okla. (June 22, 2021) – Major League Fishing (MLF), the world’s premier tournament-fishing organization, and CarParts.com (NASDAQ: PRTS), an industry leading technology-driven eCommerce company that simplifies the way drivers shop for automotive parts, announced a new partnership designating CarParts.com as the Exclusive Auto Parts Retailer of the MLF Bass Pro Tour and the Title Sponsor of the MLF Bass Pro Tour CarParts.com Stage Seven Presented by Covercraft at Lake St. Clair, scheduled for Sept. 10-15 in St. Clair Shores, Michigan.

“We are very pleased to announce our latest sponsorship agreement with CarParts.com, an industry-leading brand and a highly-regarded company that perfectly aligns with Major League Fishing,” MLF President and CEO Jim Wilburn said. “The reach of MLF provides our sponsors an appealing platform to showcase their brands. Our fans and anglers have shown tremendous loyalty to our sponsors’ products and we are confident that CarParts.com will find this sponsorship extremely beneficial.”

CarParts.com will be prominently featured throughout the Bass Pro Tour Stage Seven event, including in-studio signage, graphic elements, and the opportunity to activate at the event in St. Clair Shores. In addition to the title sponsorship, MLF will work with CarParts.com to produce a series of custom content videos, showcasing MLF professional anglers who are auto enthusiasts as they perform their own automobile repairs and maintenance.

“We are thrilled to join the MLF family as the Exclusive Auto Parts Retailer of this year’s Bass Pro Tour and to be the go-to parts solution for all fishing fans,” said CarParts.com Chief Marketing Officer Houman Akhavan. “This partnership will allow us to reach a core demographic of truck owners who enjoy working on their vehicles. Whether you’re towing to the lake or just packing up for a camping trip, we want to make sure our customers can spend more time enjoying the outdoors and less time worrying about the reliability of their vehicle.”

The MLF NOW!® livestream will showcase all six days of competition from the CarParts.com Stage Seven Presented by Covercraft at Lake St. Clair live on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app. Television coverage of the event will premiere at 7 a.m. ET, Nov. 13 on the Discovery Channel. New two-hour MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on the Discovery Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel.

With brand and factory-direct self-distribution, CarParts.com offers a wide selection of new, quality auto parts for car repair, maintenance, and collision as well as accessories. Paired with their online vehicle selector, fast shipping, and satisfaction guarantee, CarParts.com ensures that drivers can get what they need, when they need it. To share their mission with more and more drivers, CarParts.com has joined forces with a number of esteemed partners—including Front Row Motorsports and NASCAR Cup Series driver Michael McDowell, the Professional Fighters League, and Donut Media—and looks forward to helping MLF fans get from point A to point B with confidence as well.

For more information about MLF, their tournaments and sponsors, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. To learn more about CarParts.com, visit their website at CarParts.com.

About CarParts.com
With over 25 years of experience, and more than 50 million parts delivered, we’ve streamlined our website and sourcing network to better serve the way drivers get the parts they need. Utilizing the latest technologies and design principles, we’ve created an easy-to-use, mobile-friendly shopping experience that, alongside our own nationwide distribution network, cuts out the brick-and-mortar supply chain costs and provides quality parts at a budget-friendly price.

CarParts.com (NASDAQ: PRTS) is headquartered in Torrance, California.

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About Major League Fishing
Major League Fishing (MLF) is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, producing more than 250 events annually at some of the most prestigious fisheries in the world, while broadcasting to America’s living rooms on CBS, the Discovery Channel, the Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, the World Fishing Network, the Sportsman Channel and on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with offices in Benton, Kentucky, the MLF roster of bass anglers includes the world’s top pros and more than 30,000 competitors in all 50 states and 13 countries. In 2019 MLF acquired FLW and rebranded it as MLF BIG5, which expanded its portfolio of catch, weigh and immediate release events to include the sport’s strongest five-biggest-fish format tournament circuits. Since its founding in 2011, MLF has advanced the sport of competitive fishing through its premier television broadcasts and livestreams, and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bass through research, education, fisheries enhancement and fish care.

Major League Fishing – WE ARE Bass Fishing™

John Cox Tops Group B at Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour General Tire Stage Five at St. Lawrence River Presented by Berkley

MASSENA, N.Y. (June 28, 2021) – Berkley pro John Cox of DeBary, Florida, caught 23 scorable bass Monday weighing 75 pounds, 15 ounces to win the two-day Qualifying Group B round at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour General Tire Stage Five at the St. Lawrence River Presented by Berkley in Massena, New York. Cox’s two-day total of 54 bass weighing 175 pounds even earned him the victory by a 23-pound, 11-ounce margin and advances him directly into Wednesday’s final-day Championship Round of competition.

Phoenix Boats pro James Elam of Tulsa, Oklahoma caught a two-day total of 51 bass weighing 151-5 to end the round in second place, and Shelby, North Carolina pro Bryan Thrift finished the round in third place with a two-day total of 51 bass weighing 149-11.

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

“Oh my gosh, I feel like I won the tournament, just making it to the Championship Round,” said an excited Cox. “I’ve never won one of these rounds before, so this is a new experience for me. I’m really excited to be able to allow the fish to rest a little before the next round.

“Ten of us are going to compete for $100,000 on Wednesday – I don’t even know what to say. Not sure if I’m having a mild heart attack or if the red bull is just really kicking in,” continued Cox. “I caught a ton of fish today and found some exciting stuff in the third period that should help us out in the next round. On the last cast, there were probably 15 fish that came in when I shook that 4 pounder off. I can’t wait to get back out there – it’s going to be awesome.

“I’ve been using the new 7-foot, medium action Abu Garcia Fantasista Premier spinning rod – it bends perfectly and handles the fish on the light line. I’m throwing 8-pound, Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon, on the Abu Garcia REVO MGXtreme Spinning Reel. It has a super-smooth drag and allows me to fight the fish really well.”

Cox said his key baits came down to the Berkley Powerbait Maxscent The General Worm and the Berkley Powerbait Maxscent Hit Worm.

“I never even had these smaller Berkley General worm until a couple years ago because I figured the 5 inch was plenty small enough,” continued Cox. “They didn’t want the 5-inch today, but they ate this 4-inch one up really well.

“The Maxscent Hit Worm was an accidental win today. I had no idea it would work that well – I’d never heard of anyone catching smallmouth with it. I put it on to save some Flat Worms and they’ve just been killing it today.”

With a full day off, Cox said he plans to take his kids tubing down below the locks and is looking forward to enjoying the family time prior to Wednesday’s competition.

“This event has been awesome. I can’t wait to get back out there for the Championship Round,” said Cox. “This place is full of fish – it’s just been unreal.”

The top 20 pros in Qualifying Group B that now advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round on the St. Lawrence River are:

1st:           John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 54 bass, 175-0
2nd:          James Elam, Tulsa, Okla., 51 bass, 151-5
3rd:          Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 51 bass, 149-11
4th:           Terry Scroggins, San Mateo, Fla., 49 bass, 149-2
5th:           Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., 44 bass, 132-10
6th:           Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Calif., 41 bass, 127-1
7th:           Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala., 33 bass, 126-6
8th:           Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., 35 bass, 125-9
9th:           Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., 42 bass, 125-6
10th:        Britt Myers, Lake Wylie, S.C., 44 bass, 123-14
11th:        Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., 37 bass, 122-14
12th:        Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., 41 bass, 116-15
13th:        Fletcher Shryock, Guntersville, Ala., 37 bass, 114-15
14th:        John Murray, Spring City, Tenn., 38 bass, 110-11
15th:        Shin Fukae, Osaka, Japan, 29 bass, 104-12
16th:        David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn., 36 bass, 102-12
17th:        Matt Lee, Cullman, Ala., 32 bass, 100-0                                 
18th:        Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla., 31 bass, 96-9
19th:        Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 34 bass, 96-6
20th:        Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C., 34 bass, 94-14

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

Overall, there were 594 bass weighing 1,808 pounds, 8 ounces caught by the 39 pros on Monday.

Randall Tharp of Port St. Joe, Florida won Monday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award, weighing in a 6-pound, 6-ounce smallmouth bass on a ned rig during Period 3. Berkley will award $1,000 to the angler who weighs the biggest bass each day, and a $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the largest bass of the tournament.

The General Tire Stage Five at the St. Lawrence River Presented by Berkley features anglers competing with a 2-pound minimum weight requirement, meaning each bass caught must weigh at least 2 pounds for it to be deemed scorable. 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 MLF Bass Pro Tour General Tire Stage Five at the St. Lawrence River Presented by Berkley is hosted by the Town of Massena and Fish Massena.

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. With both groups two-day qualifying round now complete, the anglers that finish in 2nd through 20th place from both groups now advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round, while the winner of each group advances directly to Wednesday’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.

Anglers will take off from the Massena Intake Boat Launch Ramp, located on Route 13, in Massena, at 8:30 a.m. ET each day of competition. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will also be held at the Launch Ramp, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all takeoff and takeout ceremonies and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

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 on all six days of competition from 9:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. MLF NOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Television coverage of the General Tire Stage Five Presented by Berkley at the St. Lawrence River will be showcased across two two-hour episodes, premiering at 7 a.m. ET, Oct. 23 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.

About Major League Fishing
Major League Fishing (MLF) is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, producing more than 250 events annually at some of the most prestigious fisheries in the world, while broadcasting to America’s living rooms on CBS, the Discovery Channel, the Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, the World Fishing Network, the Sportsman Channel and on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with offices in Benton, Kentucky, the MLF roster of bass anglers includes the world’s top pros and more than 30,000 competitors in all 50 states and 13 countries. In 2019 MLF acquired FLW and rebranded it as MLF BIG5, which expanded its portfolio of catch, weigh and immediately release events to include the sport’s strongest five-biggest-fish format tournament circuits. Since its founding in 2011, MLF has advanced the sport of competitive fishing through its premier television broadcasts and livestreams, and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bass through research, education, fisheries enhancement and fish care.

Major League Fishing – WE ARE Bass Fishing™

Wheeler Wins Group A Qualifying Round at Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour General Tire Stage Five at St. Lawrence River Presented by Berkley

MASSENA, N.Y. (June 27, 2021) – After Friday’s record-setting pace, Sunday’s Qualifying Round finale was a much tougher, grueling day on the water for the 40 anglers in Group A at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour General Tire Stage Five at the St. Lawrence River Presented by Berkley in Massena, New York.

After battling the windy conditions, when the final bass was tallied on SCORETRACKER™ Academy Sports + Outdoors pro Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tennessee, coasted to victory in Group A, catching 66 bass totaling 222 pounds, 1 ounce – a new Bass Pro Tour record for the heaviest two-day Qualifying Round weight. The six-day event, hosted by the Town of Massena and Fish Massena, features 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.

Pro Brent Ehrler of Redlands, California, boated a two-day total of 59 bass totaling 190-13 to end the day in second place after starting in third. Berkley pro Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Alabama, caught 52 bass weighing 177-9 over two days to finish the round in third place. Toro pro Jeff Sprague of Point, Texas , ended the round in fourth place with a two-day total of 59 bass for 172-4. Rounding out the top five was Favorite Fishing pro Jonathon VanDam of Kalamazoo, Michigan, who caught the heaviest weight of the day Sunday – 25 bass for 77-15 – to finish with a two-day total of 54 bass for 172-4 and advance in fifth place.

The top 20 anglers from Group A will now enjoy an off-day Monday, while the 40 anglers in Qualifying Group B will complete their two-day Qualifying Round of competition. The Knockout Round, featuring 38 anglers competing to finish in the top eight, will take place on Tuesday. Wednesday’s Championship Round will feature Wheeler, Monday’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.

“To break another record just feels unbelievable,” said Wheeler. “I’ve been catching fish in all three phases of the spawn, this week. Some of the fish were set up and cruising – those are post-spawners. Some of them were actually sitting on the edges of those points, and those were pre-spawners. And then there are bass spawning on top of the points around the islands, and I’m just rotating through them.

“I rotated between a drop-shot rig, using a Rattlin’ Ned from Googan Baits called a Blue Penny, and then throwing the same bait but actually on a Ned rig,” Wheeler continued. “I threw them on my 7-foot medium action Signature Series Duckett rod on one and my 7-foot, 2-inch medium-heavy Signature Series Duckett rod on the other.
“I’m excited to qualify for the Championship Round and have another chance to take home a W,” Wheeler went on to say. “In the last event at Chickamauga I finished second, and I want nothing more than to tie my buddy Otter (Defoe) and win two events in one year.”

Ehrler also used the drop-shot rig Sunday, but credited his Daiwa Tatula LT reel and its faster gear ratio as being the key to his day.

“I caught them very similar today to how I did the first day – pitching and casting to light and dark spots on some of these main river reefs,” Ehrler said. “I’ve been drop-shotting a Roboworm with a Gamakatsu G Finesse Drop Shot hook and a 3/8-ounce Ark Tungsten sinker. The key was really my Daiwa Tatula LT reel, though.

“A lot of times today I would pitch into these light spots in the current and when the fish would bite they would move off and swim down the current very fast,” Ehrler continued. “My line would go slack, but luckily I was able to pick up a lot of line quickly with the LT and it’s faster gear ratio. That was really important in getting these fish in the boat today.”

The top 20 pros from Qualifying Group A that now advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round on the St. Lawrence River are:

1st:          Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., 66 bass, 222-1
2nd:         Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 59 bass, 190-13
3rd:         Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., 52 bass, 177-9
4th:         Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, 59 bass, 172-4
5th:         Jonathon VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich., 54 bass, 172-3
6th:         Alton Jones Jr., Waco, Texas, 56 bass, 168-12
7th:         Josh Bertrand, Queen Creek, Ariz., 49 bass, 161-4
8th:         Cody Meyer, Star, Idaho, 53 bass, 158-8
9th:         Bradley Roy, Lancaster, Ky., 46 bass, 145-12
10th:       Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., 41 bass, 138-10
11th:       Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 47 bass, 136-0
12th:       Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala., 37 bass, 128-10
13th:       Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif., 43 bass, 123-7
14th:       Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark., 41 bass, 120-8
15th:       Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 38 bass, 116-15
16th:       Ish Monroe, Oakdale, Calif., 33 bass, 115-7
17th:       David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 35 bass, 113-14
18th:       Alton Jones, Lorena, Texas, 35 bass, 113-6
19th:       Marty Robinson, Lyman, S.C., 35 bass, 107-10
20th:       Brandon Coulter, Knoxville, Tenn., 33 bass, 106-8

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

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Overall, there were 477 bass weighing 1,446 pounds, 9 ounces caught by the 40 pros on Sunday.

Jeff Kriet of Ardmore, Oklahoma, won Sunday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award, weighing in a 6-pound, 10-ounce smallmouth bass on a drop-shot rig during 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 General Tire Stage Five at the St. Lawrence River Presented by Berkley is hosted by the Town of Massena and Fish Massena.

The 40 Anglers in Group A competed in their two-day qualifying round on the St. Lawrence River on Friday and Sunday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Saturday and Monday. After each two-day qualifying round is complete, the anglers that finish in 2nd through 20th place from both groups advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round, while the winner of each group advances directly to Wednesday’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 the top prize of $100,000.

Anglers will take off from the Massena Intake Boat Launch Ramp, located on Route 13, in Massena, at 9 a.m. ET each day of competition. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will also be held at the Launch Ramp, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all takeoff and takeout ceremonies and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

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 on all six days of competition from 9:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. MLF NOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Television coverage of the Bass Pro Tour General Tire Stage Five Presented by Berkley at the St. Lawrence River will be showcased across two two-hour episodes, premiering at 7 a.m. ET, Oct. 23 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.

Jacob Wheeler Shatters Single-Day Weight Record at Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour General Tire Stage Five at St. Lawrence River Presented by Berkley

MASSENA, N.Y. (June 25, 2021) – The old saying “records were made to be broken” certainly held true for anglers Friday at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour General Tire Stage Five at the St. Lawrence River Presented by Berkley in Massena, New York, as nearly every major Bass Pro Tour record was shattered on an incredible day of fishing.

Academy Sports + Outdoors pro Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tennessee, grabbed the early lead in Group A, catching 47 bass totaling 165 pounds, 1 ounce – a new Bass Pro Tour record for the heaviest single-day weight. The six-day event, hosted by the Town of Massena and Fish Massena, features 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 former record of 141-9 held by Justin Lucas was also broken by the second- and third-place anglers Friday – Alton Jones Jr. of Waco, Texas, caught 49 bass weighing 147-10 to end the day in second place on the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard, and California pro Brent Ehrler caught 43 bass totaling 141-12, good for third.

Overall, there were 918 bass weighing 2,894 pounds, 8 ounces caught by the 40 pros on Friday –a new Bass Pro Tour record for the heaviest total weight caught in a single day of competition.
The 40 anglers in Group A will now enjoy a well-deserved day off on Saturday, while the 40 anglers in Group B will begin their first day of competition. Group A resumes competition on Sunday.

“Goodness, gracious, what a day of fishing. I can’t even express how unbelievable today was. My knees hurt, my back hurts, I feel like an old guy,” joked the 31-year-old Wheeler. “But the guys right behind me are dang good, and I know that I’m going to have to do that every single day I’m out here. I’m looking forward to getting back out on Sunday, but I’m also glad we get to chill and take a break tomorrow.”

Wheeler’s record-breaking day came down to just a couple of different baits.

“I caught a lot of fish on a pink Ned Bait, and a lot on a (Googan Baits) Blue Penny (Rattlin’ Ned Bait) on a Ned rig,” Wheeler said. “That was pretty much the deal for me, just switching it up between the Rattlin’ Ned and a couple of other different Ned baits. It was pretty typical smallmouth fishing, just not a typical day.”

Second-place angler Alton Jones Jr. relied on a drop-shot rig.

“That was such a fun day that I will never forget,” Jones said. “I caught 147 pounds and finished the day in second. I don’t even know what to say. Good job to Wheeler. But there is always another day, and I’ll be ready.

“I caught all of my fish on a drop-shot today,” Jones continued. “I used two different baits – the 3.8-inch Gee Crack Bellows Stick and a Gee Crack Revival Shad. I ran waypoint to waypoint and literally relied on my Garmin units. Every single place that I stopped today I had a fish marked on the bed. Some of them were gone, but a lot of them weren’t.”

Like Jones, third-place pro Brent Ehrler did the majority of his damage on a drop-shot rig, but he also added a few fish on a Ned rig.

“I knew the fishing was going to be pretty good, but man, they absolutely caught them today,” Ehrler said. “I caught them on a drop-shot rig, with the bulk of my damage coming on a rod that I designed for Daiwa – the Tatula Elite drop-shot rod – with a Tatula LT reel. I used a Roboworm with an Ark Tungsten weight, 12-pound Sunline Xplasma braided line to an 8-pound Sunline FC Sniper fluorocarbon leader. That’s really standard for me on all spinning outfits and I caught the bulk of them today on that.

“I also caught a few on a Ned rig using the same setup, just with a BOSS Ned head and a Roboworm NED Worm and that was it. I found some good fish in practice and just went back and fished those areas and it paid off today.”

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The top 20 pros in Group A after Day 1 on the St. Lawrence River are:

1st:          Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., 47 bass, 165-1
2nd:         Alton Jones Jr., Waco, Texas, 49 bass, 147-10
3rd:         Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 43 bass, 141-12
4th:         Josh Bertrand, Queen Creek, Ariz., 41 bass, 135-3
5th:         Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, 45 bass, 132-9
6th:         Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., 36 bass, 125-8
7th:         Cody Meyer, Star, Idaho, 40 bass, 121-11
8th:         Bradley Roy, Lancaster, Ky., 37 bass, 115-12
9th:         Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., 34 bass, 115-0
10th:       Jonathon VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich., 29 bass, 94-4
11th:       Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 30 bass, 86-6
12th:       David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 26 bass, 85-2
13th:       Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala., 25 bass, 84-4
14th:       Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif., 28 bass, 81-12
15th:       Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich., 23 bass, 78-7
16th:       Brandon Coulter, Knoxville, Tenn., 21 bass, 72-11
17th:       Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark., 25 bass, 70-15
18th:       Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 22 bass, 67-3
19th:       Roy Hawk, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 22 bass, 66-11
20th:       Greg Vinson, Wetumpka, Ala., 23 bass, 66-10

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

Lucas won Friday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award, weighing in a 6-pound, 13-ounce smallmouth bass on a Ned rig during Period 2. Berkley will award $1,000 to the angler who 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 General Tire Stage Five at the St. Lawrence River Presented by Berkley is hosted by the Town of Massena and Fish Massena.

The 40 Anglers in Group A compete in their two-day qualifying round on the St. Lawrence River on Friday and Sunday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Saturday and Monday. After each two-day qualifying round is complete, the anglers that finish in 2nd through 20th place from both groups advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round, while the winner of each group advances directly to Wednesday’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 the top prize of $100,000.

Anglers will take off from the Massena Intake Boat Launch Ramp, located on Route 13, in Massena, at 9 a.m. ET each day of competition. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will also be held at the Launch Ramp, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all takeoff and takeout ceremonies and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

As part of the event fans will also be treated to multiple community events throughout the week, hosted by Fish Massena. A Kid’s Fishing Derby with local area youth fishing alongside Bass Pro Tour anglers will take place on Saturday, June 26, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fobare’s Pond (Sandy Beach) on Coles Creek Road in Massena.

On Sunday, June 27, the Town of Massena will join the anglers at the Massena Intake Ramp for Fishin’ Church, hosted by Bass Pro Tour anglers Mark Rose and Edwin Evers along with Judy Van Kennan, Chaplain for the Massena Fire Department. A free breakfast will be provided. Also on Sunday, Louisville, New York, will host a VIP Golf Course Event featuring multiple Bass Pro Tour anglers from noon to 3 p.m. at The River Course at Louisville Landing. All activities are free and open to the public. For more information on the Stage Five Community Events hosted by Fish Massena, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

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 on all six days of competition from 9:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. MLF NOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Television coverage of the General Tire Stage Five Presented by Berkley at the St. Lawrence River will be showcased across two two-hour episodes, premiering at 7 a.m. ET, Oct. 23 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.

Major League Fishing Set to Visit St. Lawrence River for Bass Pro Tour General Tire Stage Five Presented by Berkley

MASSENA, N.Y. (June 21, 2021) – Major League Fishing’s (MLF) Bass Pro Tour is set to visit Massena, New York, and the St. Lawrence River, this week, June 25-30, for the General Tire Stage Five Presented by Berkley at the St. Lawrence River.

The six-day event, hosted by the Town of Massena and Fish Massena, will feature 80 of the best professional anglers in the world, including bass-fishing superstars like Kevin VanDamEdwin EversJordan Lee and Jacob Wheeler , fishing for a purse of more than $805,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable points in hopes of qualifying for REDCREST 2022, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

The tournament will be fished using MLF’s catch, weigh, immediate-release format, in which the anglers try to catch as much weight as they can each day, while also feeling the pressure and intensity of the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard. The tournament is being filmed for broadcast later this year on the Discovery Channel.

Although Massena and the St. Lawrence River has played host to one MLF Toyota Series tournament (2019), this event will mark the first time that the Bass Pro Tour has visited Massena and the St. Lawrence River. In the 2018 Toyota Series event, just two Bass Pro Tour anglers competed in that tournament – North Carolina’s Bryan Thrift, who finished 10th, and New Jersey’s Adrian Avena, who finished 12th.  

“This is going to be such a fun event – the St. Lawrence River is just a phenomenal fishery and it is loaded with a ton of bass in it,” said Avena, who has one career REDCREST appearance and more than $640,000 in career earnings. “The biggest thing about this event is that we’re going to see a lot of spawning smallmouth. I imagine we’ll see a lot of guys sight-fishing shallow, looking for bass on the beds.

“There are definitely certain zones of the river that are better than others,” Avena continued. “However, if a guy can get a zone to himself or find a little area that others seemed to overlook, that is going to be key to doing well in this tournament.”

Avena said that he expects a variety of baits to be thrown by tournament anglers, including drop-shot rigs, Ned rigs, hair jigs and small swimbaits. He also said that there still could be some prespawn fish caught, and if that is the case than he expects a jerkbait could come into play as well.

“With a 2-pound minimum, it really keeps the door open for the largemouth guys to do well, as well,” Avena said. “Traditionally in tournaments here you need to target the smallmouth, but I feel like this time of year, with the Bass Pro Tour format, it could allow a guy to really compete with strictly largemouth.

“The St. Lawrence River is widely known as a world-class smallmouth fishery, but we’re really going to show the world next week how great of a largemouth fishery it is as well,” Avena went on to say.

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As part of the event fans will also be treated to multiple community events throughout the week, hosted by Fish Massena. On Thursday, June 24, a Kick-off Concert in the Park featuring Northbound will take place at 6 p.m. at Massena Springs Park.  A Kid’s Fishing Derby with local area youth fishing alongside Bass Pro Tour anglers will take place on Saturday, June 26, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fobare’s Pond (Sandy Beach) on Coles Creek Road in Massena.

On Sunday, June 27, the Town of Massena will join the anglers at the Massena Intake Ramp for Fishin’ Church, hosted by Bass Pro Tour anglers Mark Rose and Edwin Evers along with Judy Van Kennan, Chaplain for the Massena Fire Department. A free breakfast will be provided. Also on Sunday, Louisville, New York, will host a VIP Golf Course Event featuring multiple Bass Pro Tour anglers from noon to 3 p.m. at The River Course at Louisville Landing. All activities are free and open to the public. For more information on the Stage Five Community Events hosted by Fish Massena, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Anglers will take off from the Massena Intake Boat Launch Ramp, located on Route 13, in Massena, at 9 a.m. ET each day of competition. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will also be held at the Launch Ramp, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all takeoff and takeout ceremonies and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The General Tire Stage Five Presented by Berkley at the St. Lawrence River will feature anglers competing with a 2-pound minimum weight requirement for a bass to be deemed scorable. 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 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 four pros from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit that will join the Bass Pro Tour to compete at the General Tire Stage Five Presented by Berkley at the St. Lawrence River are Jason Abram, Trevor Fitzgerald, Ryan Davidson and Mitch Crane. Those anglers qualified via their finishes in the fourth Pro Circuit event of the year – the Grundéns Stop 4 Presented by A.R.E. at Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Alabama.

The 40 Anglers in Group A compete in their two-day qualifying round on the St. Lawrence River on Friday and Sunday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Saturday and Monday. After each two-day qualifying round is complete, the anglers that finish in 2nd through 20th place from both groups advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round, while the winner of each group advances directly to Wednesday’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 the top prize of $100,000.

The MLF NOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action on all six days of competition from 9:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. MLF NOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Television coverage of the General Tire Stage Five Presented by Berkley at the St. Lawrence River will be showcased across two two-hour episodes, premiering at 7 a.m. ET, Oct. 23 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.

For complete details and updated information on Major League Fishing and the Bass Pro Tour, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitter,  Instagram, and  YouTube.

About Major League Fishing
Major League Fishing (MLF) is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, producing more than 250 events annually at some of the most prestigious fisheries in the world, while broadcasting to America’s living rooms on CBS, the Discovery Channel, the Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, the World Fishing Network, the Sportsman Channel and on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with offices in Benton, Kentucky, the MLF roster of bass anglers includes the world’s top pros and more than 30,000 competitors in all 50 states and 13 countries. In 2019 MLF acquired FLW and rebranded it as MLF BIG5, which expanded its portfolio of catch, weigh and immediate-release events to include the sport’s strongest five-biggest-fish format tournament circuits. Since its founding in 2011, MLF has advanced the sport of competitive fishing through its premier television broadcasts and livestreams, and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bass through research, education, fisheries enhancement and fish care.

Major League Fishing – WE ARE Bass Fishing™

Marty Robinson Wins 2021 MLF Wiley X Summit Cup Presented by B&W Trailer Hitches on Lake Murray

COLUMBIA, S.C. (June 21, 2021) – Major League Fishing (MLF) pro Marty Robinson of Lyman, South Carolina, caught 11 bass totaling 22 pounds, 15 ounces, to win the Championship Round of the 2021 MLF Wiley X Summit Cup Presented by B&W Trailer Hitches on Lake Murray, which premiered Saturday on the Outdoor Channel. It was the first MLF Cup win of Robinson’s career.

“It wasn’t pretty, but I got it done and I’ll take it however I can get it,” Robinson said in his post-game interview. “It’s still kind of a little surreal. I live about an hour and a half from here, so I’ve got a little bit of knowledge about Lake Murray. But I’ve seen it so many times before where you think you know what to do and try to fish that way and it can bite you. I really tried to fish this event open-minded and let the fish tell me what they were doing, and I think that was the biggest key in me getting it done.”

Robinson credited just two baits as being crucial to his success.

“The two baits that got it done for me this week was a homemade flat-side crankbait and a standard green pumpkin jig with a twin tail trailer on it,” Robinson said. “I threw the crankbait down the sloping gravel banks and wound it with a medium retrieve. Then, when I would come up around the boat docks with a little bit of cover on them, I’d reach for the green pumpkin jig and flip it in there and just work it through the cover as slow as possible.”

The final eight anglers at the 2021 Wiley X Summit Cup Presented by B&W Trailer Hitches on Lake Murray finished:

                1st:          Marty Robinson, Lyman, S.C., 11 bass, 22-15
                2nd:         Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., seven bass, 17-3
                3rd:         Mike McClelland, Blue Eye, Mo., five bass, 15-5
                4th:         Shinichi Fukae, Osaka, Japan, five bass, 14-10
                5th:         Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., seven bass, 13-1
                6th:         Bradley Roy, Lancaster, Ky., five bass, 12-13
                7th:         Justin Atkins, Florence, Ala., two bass, 5-13
                8th:         Jacob Powroznik, Prince George, Va., one bass, 3-6

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

Overall, there were 43 bass weighing 105 pounds, 2 ounces caught by the final eight pros during the Championship Round of competition on Lake Murray.

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Fukae caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day – a chunky 4-pound, 2-ounce largemouth that came on a shaky-head rig in Period 3.

The 2021 Wiley X Summit Cup Presented by B&W Trailer Hitches was hosted by Capital City/Lake Murray Country and premiered on the Outdoor Channel as six, two-hour original episodes each Saturday afternoon debuting on May 15, 2021, and running through June 19, 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 early February 2021, in Columbia and featured 30 MLF pro anglers competing in different areas each round on Lake Murray. The areas are unknown to the anglers – they do not learn where they are competing until they arrive to the launch ramp each morning of competition.

About Major League Fishing
Major League Fishing (MLF) is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, producing more than 250 events annually at some of the most prestigious fisheries in the world, while broadcasting to America’s living rooms on CBS, the Discovery Channel, the Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, the World Fishing Network, the Sportsman Channel and on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with offices in Benton, Kentucky, the MLF roster of bass anglers includes the world’s top pros and more than 30,000 competitors in all 50 states and 13 countries. In 2019 MLF acquired FLW and rebranded it as MLF BIG5, which expanded its portfolio of catch, weigh and immediately release events to include the sport’s strongest five-biggest-fish format tournament circuits. Since its founding in 2011, MLF has advanced the sport of competitive fishing through its premier television broadcasts and livestreams, and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bass through research, education, fisheries enhancement and fish care.

Major League Fishing – WE ARE Bass Fishing™

Russ Lane Dominates Opening Day at Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour B&W Trailer Hitches Stage Four at Lake Chickamauga Presented by ATG by Wrangler

DAYTON, Tenn. (June 4, 2021) – It was the best opening day of the season at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour B&W Trailer Hitches Stage Four Presented by ATG by Wrangler at Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, Tennessee. The 40 pros in Group A caught a single-day total of 271 bass weighing 806 pounds, 10 ounces, Thursday – the heaviest weight caught on any Day 1 so far this season.

B&W Trailer Hitches pro Russ Lane of Prattville, Alabama, was firmly in control of the Group A leaderboard after Day 1 concluded, catching 23 bass totaling 70 pounds,12 ounces, to grab the early lead in the two-day Group A Qualifying Round. The six-day event, hosted by Fish Dayton and the Rhea Economic & Tourism Council, features 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.

Lane will bring a 21-pound, 6-ounce, lead into Sunday’s second day of competition for Group A. Berkley pro Jordan Lee of Cullman, Alabama, the reigning Bass Pro Tour Angler of the Year (AOY),  caught 13 bass weighing 49-6 to end the day in second place. Michie, Tennessee’s Jason Lambert sits in third place after a 34-pound third period rally, just 1-ounce behind Lee with at total of 17 bass weighing 49-5.

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

“Man, what a day,” said Lane in his post-game interview from the water. “It is so much fun out here when things go right, and they really did today. I’ve got around a 20-pound lead and that is rare territory for me. I’m just enjoying the moment right now and I cannot wait to get back out here again for Day 2.”

Lane said that he mainly targeted Chickamauga’s offshore hydrilla beds and grass flats.

“I’m around them. There are a lot of good ones under the hydrilla, I just have to cover a lot of water,” Lane continued. “I caught them on a ¾-ounce ChatterBait with a little Big Bite (Baits) (Kamikaze) Swimon trailer with the tails cut down to make it have a little less action so the bait would get down deeper. I had 16-pound-test Sunline Sniper line spooled on a 7:1 (Shimano) Curado reel, and that setup has been doing some work today.”

Reigning AOY Jordan Lee has struggled so far this season and has not made it out of the Qualifying Rounds. But, after a productive day Thursday, it looks like the 30-year-old Alabamian may have broken out of his slump.

“It was a really good day for me,” Lee said. “I made some good decisions and things were just going right for me this morning. I haven’t made a cut yet this year, so to get off to a good start today feels really good.

“I caught some nice ones early and then just kept the ball rolling, picking up a few here and there all day. I mixed in a lot of different summertime, Tennessee River, ledge baits – cranking, a hair jig, and a Berkley (Havoc) Bottom Hopper. These fish here get a lot of pressure, so it was important to get off to a good start. Now, we’ll regroup and get after them again on Sunday.”

The top 20 pros in Group A after Day 1 on Lake Chickamauga are:

1st:           Russ Lane, Prattville, Ala., 23 bass, 70-12
2nd:          Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala., 13 bass, 49-6
3rd:          Jason Lambert, Michie, Tenn., 17 bass, 49-5
4th:           Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 17 bass, 44-8
5th:           Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., 11 bass, 38-14
6th:           Matt Becker, Finleyville, Pa., eight bass, 31-11
7th:           Matt Lee, Cullman, Ala., 10 bass, 29-12
8th:           Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., nine bass, 27-5
9th:           Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., eight bass, 26-2
10th:        Alton Jones, Lorena, Texas, nine bass, 23-5
11th:        Roy Hawk, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., eight bass, 22-13
12th:        Cliff Pace, Petal, Miss., eight bass, 21-10
13th:        Jesse Wiggins, Addison, Ala., seven bass, 21-4
14th:        Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., eight bass, 20-8
15th:        Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., seven bass, 20-4
16th:        Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., five bass, 20-4
17th:        Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., seven bass, 19-5
18th:        Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., six bass, 19-4
19th:        Scott Suggs, Alexander, Ark., five bass, 18-13
20th:        Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif., seven bass, 18-12

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

Tommy Biffle of Wagoner, Oklahoma, won Friday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award, weighing in an 8-pound, 7-ounce largemouth on a Carolina rig during Period 1. Berkley will award $1,000 to the angler who 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 B&W Trailer Hitches Stage Four at Lake Chickamauga Presented by ATG by Wrangler is hosted by Fish Dayton and the Rhea Economic & Tourism Council.

The 40 Anglers in Group A compete in their two-day qualifying round on Lake Chickamauga on Friday and Sunday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Saturday and Monday. After each two-day qualifying round is complete, the anglers that finish in 2nd through 20th place from both groups advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round, while the winner of each group advances directly to Wednesday’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 the top prize of $100,000.

Anglers will take off from the Dayton Boat Dock, located at 175 Lakeshore St., in Dayton, at 6:30 a.m. ET each day of competition. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will also be held at the Dayton Boat Dock, beginning at 3:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all takeoff and takeout ceremonies and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

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.

Want to Learn More About Major League Fishing?

Major League Fishing has been around for a while now and yet it is still so new to people. Every day, people are reaching out with questions and comments about the MLF. How about connecting with people who share the same passion for the MLF as you? Maybe a better place to connect with other tournament anglers? We have created just that environment for you to learn, grow, and connect with other fans and anglers dedicated to Major League Fishing.

A community of anglers and fans to share information and connect. There you will even find smaller sections designated for each of the Bass Fishing League (BFL) and Toyota Series regions. In the “GUIDES” section find your dedicated region to connect, network, and share. This will help tremendously with Pro-Anglers and Co-Anglers who are trying to link for regional tournaments.

Keeping up with the latest news and information is also easier. Posted daily you will find everything you need as we keep the breaking news coming directly to you.

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ABOUT MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING

Major League Fishing (MLF) is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, producing more than 250 events annually at some of the most prestigious fisheries in the world, while broadcasting to America’s living rooms on CBS, the Discovery Channel, the Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, the World Fishing Network, the Sportsman Channel and on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with offices in Benton, Kentucky, the MLF roster of bass anglers includes the world’s top pros and more than 30,000 competitors in all 50 states and 13 countries. In 2019 MLF acquired FLW and rebranded it as MLF BIG5, which expanded its portfolio of catch, weigh and immediate release events to include the sport’s strongest five-biggest-fish format tournament circuits. Since its founding in 2011, MLF has advanced the sport of competitive fishing through its premier television broadcasts and livestreams, and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bass through research, education, fisheries enhancement and fish care.

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Major League Fishing Returns to Lake Chickamauga for Bass Pro Tour B&W Trailer Hitches Stage Four Presented by Wrangler

DAYTON, Tenn. (May 28, 2021) – Major League Fishing (MLF) is set to return to Lake Chickamauga and Dayton, Tennessee, next week, June 4-9, for the B&W Trailer Hitches Stage Four Presented by Wrangler at Lake Chickamauga.

The six-day event, hosted by Fish Dayton and the Rhea Economic & Tourism Council, will feature 80 of the best professional anglers in the world, including local favorites like Dayton’s Andy Morgan and Michael Neal, Spring City’s Wesley Strader and John Murray, and Harrison’s Jacob Wheeler, fishing for a purse of more than $805,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable points in hopes of qualifying for REDCREST 2022, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

As part of the event, fans will also be treated to the Stage Four Hangout at Bass Pro Shops in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Friday, June 4 from 4 to 7 p.m., and on Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6 from Noon to 5 p.m. The free event includes the opportunity to interact with Bass Pro Tour anglers, enjoy activities and special fan-only giveaways provided by MLF sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities in fishing seminars. All activities are free and open to the public. For more information on the Stage Four Hangout hosted by Bass Pro Shops, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

“Rhea County is proud to host the top bass anglers in the world here on Lake Chickamauga, and we look forward to seeing the exciting Bass Pro Tour competition unfold. Our lakes are renowned for producing great largemouth bass, and we thank the TWRA for their stocking program that helped bring this about,” said Rhea County Executive George Thacker.

The tournament will be fished using MLF’s catch, weigh, immediate-release format, in which the anglers try to catch as much weight as they can each day, while also feeling the pressure and intensity of the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard. The tournament is being filmed for broadcast later this year on the Discovery Channel.

When the MLF Bass Pro Tour last visited Lake Chickamauga in 2019, hometown favorite Andy Morgan boated 34 bass weighing 80 pounds even in the Championship Round to win by more than 19 pounds and claim the $100,000 top prize.  Although Lake Chickamauga has played host to dozens of MLF BIG5 (previously FLW) tournaments over the years, 2021 will mark just the second time that the Bass Pro Tour has visited BassTown USA.

“This is going to be a fun event,” said Spring City’s Strader, who has more than $2 million in career earnings in MLF competition. “The lake has had a lot of pressure on it, but that’s pretty much everywhere because of COVID. But the numbers will still be really good – it should be a typical June offshore bite – and we’re still going to see some Chickamauga giants.”

Strader said the key to doing well will be having multiple different patterns in play.

“The key will be mixing things up,” Strader said. “I don’t think you’re going to be able to rely on one spot – you’ll need several areas. Bait selection and timing will be important, and also the water flow situation. If it rains a lot before the tournament or there is a lot of power usage, the water will be flowing and that would be good.

“I’ll definitely have a Zoom Superfluke on a scrounger head jig tied on,” Strader continued. “A Zoom Ol’ Monster worm, a crankbait like a (Strike King) 6XD, and maybe even a mid-depth PH Custom Lures Balsa Crankbait.”

Anglers will take off from the Dayton Boat Dock, located at 175 Lakeshore St., in Dayton, at 6:30 a.m. ET each day of competition. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will also be held at the Dayton Boat Dock, beginning at 3:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all takeoff and takeout ceremonies and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The B&W Trailer Hitches Stage Four Presented by Wrangler at Lake Chickamauga will feature anglers competing with a 2-pound minimum weight requirement for a bass to be deemed scorable. 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 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 four pros from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit that will join the Bass Pro Tour to compete at the B&W Trailer Hitches Stage Four Presented by Wrangler at Lake Chickamauga are Matt Becker, David Williams, Tai Au and Evan Barnes. Those anglers qualified via their finishes in the third Pro Circuit event of the year – the Googan Baits Stop 3 at Lake Murray in Columbia, South Carolina.

The 40 Anglers in Group A compete in their two-day qualifying round on Lake Chickamauga on Friday and Sunday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Saturday and Monday. After each two-day qualifying round is complete, the anglers that finish in 2nd through 20th place from both groups advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round, while the winner of each group advances directly to Wednesday’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 the top prize of $100,000.

The MLF NOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action on all six days of competition from 6:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CT. MLF NOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Television coverage of the B&W Trailer Hitches Stage Four Presented by Wrangler at Lake Chickamauga will be showcased across two two-hour episodes, premiering at 7 a.m. ET, Oct. 9 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.

Video Highlights – Bass Pro Tour | Stage Three – Harris Chain | Championship Round

Ott DeFoe Wins Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour – Favorite Fishing Stage Three Presented by Bass Cat Boats at Harris Chain

LEESBURG, Fla. (May 26, 2021) – The Tennessee river rat did it again. Only this time, for the first time in his illustrious career, he did it in Florida. General Tire pro Ott DeFoe of Blaine, Tennessee, caught 30 bass weighing 73 pounds, 14 ounces Wednesday to win the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour Favorite Fishing Stage Three Presented by Bass Cat Boats at the Harris Chain of Lakes in Leesburg, Florida, and earn the top prize of $100,000.

“This is surreal right now. After the way this week started, this doesn’t even make sense,” said DeFoe, who earned his third career victory on the Bass Pro Tour – second this season. “I give God all of the glory and credit for this win. My decision-making process took me to Lake Griffin the first day, but I had a terrible first day and had to completely change strategies.

“On Day 2, I stayed here on Harris and pulled up to start on a grass point that had a dock nearby that I could almost cast to. It was divine intervention that told me to start there – I ended up catching almost 40 pounds off of that dock. I truly give God all of the credit for that. Sometimes he closes a window to open a door, and that’s what happened for me that day.”

DeFoe ended up staying in that general area on the south end of Lake Harris, targeting grass and docks for the remainder of the event.

 “The area was really good, and you could work it in a lot of different places,” DeFoe said. “The big thing for me was not cranking my motor. Once I went into that stretch, I just put a bait in the water and I fished in and I fished out and really maximized my time. I ended up having two things going – a really, really shallow deal and a deal on the outside edges of the Kissimmee grass.”

DeFoe said he caught a number of scorable bass on a swimjig this week, but that his key bait was his signature series Rapala OG Slim Crankbait.

“It is so cool to win on a bait that I designed. I really thought it would happen at Lake Eufaula this year, but it ended up working well here and that is just a really cool deal for me,” DeFoe said. “The problem was that I was fishing a new color that’s coming out at ICAST and I only own six of them – and three are back at the house. I threw a couple of different colors this week – bream, hot copper green shad and regular copper green shad. The swimjig was a big deal and I caught a lot of fish on that, too, but that Slim was special – especially this afternoon.”

Going into the third and final period of competition Wednesday, DeFoe had a very slim lead, with Bobby Lane, Brent Chapman, Andy Montgomery, and Skeet Reese all looming and very much in contention. DeFoe mentioned to his cameraman that whoever caught the most fish in Period 3 would earn the victory. DeFoe then caught fire, catching 15 bass weighing 41 pounds, 6 ounces in the third period alone to run away from the pack.

“That third period was going to have to be my best period of the whole day, and I’m just so thankful that it was,” DeFoe went on to say. “That was a crazy end to this whole deal. This doesn’t happen often, so I am cherishing this moment.”

DeFoe earned the win by 27 pounds, 1 ounce – a new Bass Pro Tour record for largest margin of victory.

Finishing in second place for the second-consecutive event, after his runner-up finish to Jacob Wheeler at the Bass Pro Tour Stage Two at Lake Travis, was local favorite Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Florida, who remains firmly in control of the 2021 Bass Pro Tour Angler of the Year race.

“Bridesmaid again, second place,” Lane said in his post-game interview. “I got to spend all week in Harris and Little Harris just flipping grass, and it was so much fun. But Ott DeFoe just ran away with this one. It was an awesome ending for me. I caught a 2-pounder and a 4-pounder with literally 2½ minutes left to jump from fourth to second. I caught them all week on a Berkley Powerbait Power Hawg and a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent General . I kept everything simple – black and blue, with a ½-ounce Bass Addiction screw in weight with a (Berkley) Fusion 4/0 hook. “

The top 10 pros at the Bass Pro Tour Favorite Fishing Stage Three on the Harris Chain of Lakes finished:

  1st:        Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., 30 bass, 73-14, $100,000
  2nd:       Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., 22 bass, 46-13, $45,000
  3rd:       Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan., 21 bass, 45-7, $38,000
  4th:       Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C., 17 bass, 41-10, $32,000
  5th:       Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif., 14 bass, 37-15, $30,000
  6th:       Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 14 bass, 32-10, $26,000
  7th:       Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, 12 bass, 28-14, $23,000
  8th:       Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., eight bass, 27-14, $21,000
  9th:       Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., 12 bass, 26-10, $19,000
  10th:     Greg Vinson, Wetumpka, Ala., nine bass, 21-0, $16,000

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

Overall, there were 159 bass weighing 382 pounds, 11 ounces caught by the final 10 pros on Wednesday.

Hite won Wednesday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award, weighing a 6-pound, 6-ounce largemouth that came on his EverGreen Grass Ripper swimjig in Period 2. General Tire pro Britt Myers of Lake Wylie, South Carolina, won the $3,000 Berkley Big Bass award for the largest bass of the event with his 9½-pound largemouth that he weighed in on Day 1 of competition.

The MLF Bass Pro Tour Favorite Fishing Stage Three Presented by Bass Cat Boats at the Harris Chain of Lakes was hosted by Lake County. The six-day tournament 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.

Television coverage of the Bass Pro Tour Favorite Fishing Stage Three Presented by Bass Cat Boats at the Harris Chain of Lakes will be showcased across two two-hour episodes, premiering at 7 a.m. ET, Sept. 25 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 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 B&W Trailer Hitches Stage Four at Lake Chickamauga, June 4-9 in Dayton, Tennessee.

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS! – Bass Pro Tour | Stage Three – Harris Chain | Knockout Round

Brent Chapman Tops Knockout Round at Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour – Favorite Fishing Stage Three Presented by Bass Cat Boats at Harris Chain

LEESBURG, Fla. (May 25, 2021) – Toro pro Brent Chapman of Lake Quivira, Kansas, caught 23 bass weighing 51 pounds, 12 ounces Tuesday to win the Knockout Round and advance to the final-day Championship Round at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour Favorite Fishing Stage Three Presented by Bass Cat Boats at the Harris Chain of Lakes in Leesburg, Florida. The field has now been cut to the final 10 anglers, and competition will resume Wednesday morning with the anglers departing Leesburg’s Venetian Gardens Ski Beach at 6:30 a.m.

The six-day tournament, hosted by Lake County, 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 the Harris Chain of Lakes are:

  1st:        Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan., 23 bass, 51-12
  2nd:       Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., 18 bass, 46-0
  3rd:       Greg Vinson, Wetumpka, Ala., 16 bass, 38-0
  4th:       Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., 14 bass, 36-14
  5th:       Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif., 14 bass, 36-10
  6th:       Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C., 16 bass, 35-7
  7th:       Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 13 bass, 34-15
  8th:       Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, 14 bass, 29-2

They’ll be joined by Qualifying Round Winners:

  Group A: Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz.
  Group B: Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla.

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

“I knew it was going to be a special day for me when we had our 30-minute morning ride-around before lines in at 7 (a.m.),” Chapman said in his post-day interview. “The area where I wanted to sit down and start was an area that I had finished my day in on Sunday. When I pulled in there, there were birds everywhere feeding along the shoreline. There was a shad spawn going on, and when you see that many birds along the shore there are probably just as many bass under the water that you can’t see. It killed me to sit there and have to wait 20 minutes for lines in.

“Once we got going, it got going pretty quick,” Chapman continued. “But, the thing that was really crazy is that the birds dissipated pretty quickly and within 30 minutes the fishing went from really, really good to quite a bit tougher. It was interesting. You can learn a lot from the birds and I’m definitely going to be looking for as many more as I can possibly find tomorrow.”

Chapman said that he caught his fish Tuesday on just two key baits.

“Just like I’ve been doing all season, I’m fishing my strengths and sticking with the simple stuff,” the Kansas pro said. “I’m fishing a bladed jig – nothing fancy – just a shad color with chartreuse and white. And I’m throwing a big jig – 1-ounce – with a big chunk. When a good one bites, I want the upper hand so there is no sense in using anything lighter.

“Tomorrow, for me, is basically going to be that 1-2 punch,” Chapman went on to say. “I’ll have a couple of different colors of bladed jigs tied on and I’ll be flipping that big jig, and we’re going to go out and swing for the fences and see if we can’t bring home that big red trophy. It’s been a fantastic week. I just need it all to come together for me just one more day.”

Rounding out the top 40 finishers were:

  11th:     Paul Elias, Laurel, Miss., 11 bass, 26-12, $10,000
  12th:     Keith Poche, Pike Road, Ala., nine bass, 25-3, $10,000
  13th:     Spencer Shuffield, Hot Springs, Ark., 11 bass, 24-12, $10,000
  14th:     John Murray, Spring City, Tenn., 12 bass, 24-4, $10,000
  15th:     James Elam, Tulsa, Okla., eight bass, 24-4, $10,000
  16th:     Todd Faircloth, Jasper, Texas, nine bass, 24-1, $10,000
  17th:     Jesse Wiggins, Addison, Ala., 10 bass, 23-11, $10,000
  18th:     David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn., eight bass, 23-5, $10,000
  19th:     James Watson, Lampe, Mo., 10 bass, 21-15, $10,000
  20th:     Josh Bertrand, Queen Creek, Ariz., nine bass, 21-7, $10,000
  21st:     Alton Jones Jr., Waco, Texas, nine bass, 21-6, $10,000
  22nd:    Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark., nine bass, 20-8, $10,000
  23rd:    Jonathon VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich., nine bass, 20-6, $10,000
  24th:     Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 11 bass, 19-12, $10,000
  25th:     Kyle Hall, Granbury, Texas, 10 bass, 19-5, $10,000
  26th:     Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., seven bass, 15-12, $10,000
  27th:     Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala., eight bass, 15-11, $10,000
  28th:     Britt Myers, Lake Wylie, S.C., five bass, 14-0, $10,000
  29th:     Randall Tharp, Port Saint Joe, Fla., six bass, 13-9, $10,000
  30th:     Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., six bass, 13-4, $10,000
  31st:     Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark., four bass, 12-12, $10,000
  32nd:    Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala., six bass, 12-4, $10,000
  33rd:    Timmy Horton, Muscle Shoals, Ala., six bass, 12-3, $10,000
  34th:     John Cox, DeBary, Fla., four bass, 12-2, $10,000
  35th:     Fletcher Shryock, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 11-4, $10,000
  36th:     Boyd Duckett, Guntersville, Ala., three bass, 10-9, $10,000
  37th:     Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., four bass, 10-8, $10,000
  38th:     Mark Daniels Jr., Tuskegee, Ala., five bass, 8-13, $10,000
  39th:     Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., four bass, 8-4, $10,000
  40th:     Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., three bass, 5-4, $10,000

There were 349 bass weighing 825 pounds, 14 ounces caught by the 38 pros on Tuesday.

Elam won the $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award on Tuesday, catching an 8-pound, 14-ounce largemouth on a squarebill crankbait in Period 3. Berkley will award $1,000 to the angler who 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 Favorite Fishing Stage Three at the Harris Chain Presented by Bass Cat Boats is hosted by Lake County.

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 from the Venetian Gardens Ski Beach Boat Ramp, located at 201 E. Lake Harris Drive, in Leesburg, at 6:30 a.m. ET Wednesday. The General Tire Takeout and Championship Moment will also be held at the Ski Beach at the Venetian Gardens, beginning at 3:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend, but encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

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 on Wednesday from 6:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CT. MLF NOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Television coverage of the Bass Pro Tour Favorite Fishing Stage Three Presented by Bass Cat Boats at the Harris Chain of Lakes will be showcased across two two-hour episodes, premiering at 7 a.m. ET, Sept. 25 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.

Video Highlights!!! Bass Pro Tour | Stage Three – Harris Chain | Group B Qualifying Day 2

Bobby Lane Holds on To Win to Qualifying Group B at Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour – Favorite Fishing Stage Three Presented by Bass Cat Boats at Harris Chain

LEESBURG, Fla. (May 24, 2021) – Berkley pro Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Florida, boated 14 bass weighing 34 pounds, 2 ounces to hold off a hard-charging Ott DeFoe of Blaine, Tennessee, and win the two-day Qualifying Group B round at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour Favorite Fishing Stage Three Presented by Bass Cat Boats at the Harris Chain of Lakes in Leesburg, Florida. After Lane started the day with a 24-pound lead, DeFoe’s massive rally had him within 8 pounds of Lane’s lead early in the second period, but Lane pulled away in the third and earned the victory with a two-day total of 39 bass weighing 102 pounds, 6 ounces.

The six-day tournament, hosted by Lake County, features 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.

DeFoe caught a two-day total of 35 bass weighing 78-2 to end the round in second place, while General Tire pro Skeet Rese of Auburn, California, finished the round in third place with a two-day total of 22 bass weighing 60 pounds even.

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

“I really didn’t plan on fishing that hard today, but Ott DeFoe scared the living fire out of me,” Lane said in his post-game interview. “I had been planning to start practicing in the second round, but Ott was catching them so fast I knew it was only a matter of time before I was his next victim. We’re all competitors out here, though, and it doesn’t get much better than that. That was an awesome round.”

Lane said his key bait Monday was a black and blue-colored Berkley PowerBait MaxScent The General Worm, fished with a ½-ounce Flat Out Tungsten Screw In weight on a 7-foot, 6-inch heavy Abu Garcia Fantasista Premier rod with an Abu Garcia REVO IKE casting reel spooled with 50-pound Spiderwire Ultracast Braid line.

“That bait really got it done for me today,” Lane said. “I missed a lot of fish, but I think a lot of them were small. But none of that matters anymore because we’re moving on to the Championship Round. There will only be 10 of us left on Wednesday, and I’m so excited because I get to keep a flipping stick in my hand all day long. Let’s see if this Florida boy can get it done on one of his favorite lakes.”

DeFoe, meanwhile, overcame every negative fishing superstition that you can think of on his whirlwind day.

“I ate a banana in my boat this morning, and on my very first cast I missed one on a swimjig,” DeFoe said. “So, not only did I have a banana, but I had a bite on my first cast. I did miss it, but after that it was on, quick. I caught a couple of scorable bass, then I caught a really nice one, and then it just kept rolling after that.

“The morning was really unbelievable and set the tone for the day,” DeFoe continued. “On Saturday I went to Lake Griffin, but today I stayed close and was able to use the 30-minute ride-around period to actually look around. I graphed and idled and looked at some different stuff, and by the time the 30 minutes was close to being up, I had idled a stretch that had Kissimmee Grass, a few docks, and some baitfish flipping. I just figured that looked as good as anywhere to start. It ended up being pretty special.”

DeFoe said that he caught some fish on a swimjig and a topwater bait, but his key lure was a Rapala OG Slim Crankbait in a new color – bream – set to debut at ICAST in July.

“That bait has some chartreuse and green and blue and some brown, with a white belly – it’s just an excellent dirty-water color, and that’s what we’ve got out there right now with the algae bloom,” DeFoe said.

“There is definitely some fish left there that I didn’t catch, and I’m definitely going to start there tomorrow,” DeFoe went on to say. “But, what was interesting, the area I started in and I fished down through there… eventually I ran into Andy Montgomery, who was catching them this morning. Then a little bit later, (James) Watson runs by and he was catching them today. And Alton Jones came by, and he caught them today. That area of the lake, there was a lot of fish caught today. So I hope it can produce again tomorrow.”

The top 20 pros from Qualifying Group B that now advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round on the Harris Chain of Lakes are:

  1st:        Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., 39 bass, 102-6 – ADVANCES TO CHAMIONSHIP ROUND
  2nd:       Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., 35 bass, 78-2
  3rd:       Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif., 22 bass, 60-0
  4th:       David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn., 21 bass, 59-10
  5th:       Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark., 24 bass, 57-10
  6th:       Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., 25 bass, 57-4
  7th:       Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., 23 bass, 57-3
  8th:       Keith Poche, Pike Road, Ala., 21 bass, 54-8
  9th:       Fletcher Shryock, Guntersville, Ala., 18 bass, 48-3
  10th:     James Watson, Lampe, Mo., 19 bass, 47-10
  11th:     John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 15 bass, 47-9
  12th:     Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C., 19 bass, 47-0
  13th:     Spencer Shuffield, Hot Springs, Ark., 17 bass, 45-7
  14th:     Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 19 bass, 44-6
  15th:     Jesse Wiggins, Addison, Ala., 18 bass, 44-3
  16th:     Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 19 bass, 44-0
  17th:     Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala., 17 bass, 42-15
  18th:     Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., 18 bass, 41-12
  19th:     John Murray, Spring City, Tenn., 17 bass, 40-6
  20th:     Timmy Horton, Muscle Shoals, Ala., 14 bass, 39-14

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

Overall, there were 358 bass weighing 870 pounds, 4 ounces caught by the 40 pros on Monday.

Pro Aaron Martens of Leeds, Alabama, caught a 7-pound, 2-ounce largemouth on a creature craw in Period 2 to win Monday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award. 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 Favorite Fishing Stage Three at the Harris Chain Presented by Bass Cat Boats is hosted by Lake County.

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. With both groups two-day qualifying round now complete, the anglers that finish in 2nd through 20th place from both groups now advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round, while the the winner of each group advances directly to Wednesday’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.  

Anglers will take off from the Venetian Gardens Ski Beach Boat Ramp, located at 201 E. Lake Harris Drive, in Leesburg, at 6:30 a.m. ET each day of competition. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will also be held at the Gardens, beginning at 3:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend, but encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

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 on all six days of competition from 6:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CT. MLF NOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Television coverage of the Bass Pro Tour Favorite Fishing Stage Three Presented by Bass Cat Boats at the Harris Chain of Lakes will be showcased across two two-hour episodes, premiering at 7 a.m. ET, Sept. 25 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.

Wiley X Summit Cup Presented by B&W Trailer Hitches at Lake Murray Set to Premiere Saturday on Outdoor Channel

COLUMBIA, S.C. (May 11, 2021) – The Major League Fishing (MLF) 2021 Wiley X Summit Cup Presented by B&W Trailer Hitches is set to premiere with a two-hour episode this Saturday, May 15, at 2 p.m. ET on the Outdoor Channel. The event, shot over six days in early February at Lake Murray in Columbia, South Carolina, showcases 30 of the top pro anglers in the world competing in the final event of the 2021 MLF Cup season.

Lake Murray has played host to numerous major bass-fishing championship events, including the 2008, 2014 and 2017 FLW Cup Championships, and a 2018 MLF Challenge Select event – won by pro Keith Poche (competing in this event). The Wiley X Summit Cup presented by B&W Trailer Hitches will mark just the second time that MLF has visited the “Jewel of South Carolina.”

The first episode premiering Saturday will feature the anglers in Group 1 competing in their opening Elimination Round. Episode two will feature the anglers in Group 2; Episode three the anglers in Group 3. The top six finishers from each group’s Elimination Round advance to the two-day Sudden Death Round – episodes four and five – where nine anglers compete each day and try to finish in the top four. The sixth and final episode will feature the final eight anglers competing in the Championship Round to catch the most weight that they can to be crowned the 2021 Summit Cup Champion.

The anglers in Group 1 that compete this Saturday (May 15) on Day One of the 2021 Wiley X Summit Cup are:

  • Tommy Biffle of Wagoner, Okla.
  • Brent Chapman of Lake Quivira, Kan.
  • Brandon Coulter of Knoxville, Tenn.
  • James Elam of Tulsa, Okla.
  • Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn.
  • Bradley Roy of Lancaster, Ky.
  • Fletcher Shryock of Guntersville, Ala.
  • Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C.
  • Jonathon VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich.

The anglers in Group 2 that compete next Saturday (May 22) on Day Two of the 2021 Wiley X Summit Cup are:

  • Cliff Crochet of Pierre Part, La.
  • Shinichi Fukae of Osaka, Japan
  • Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla.
  • Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala.
  • Michael Neal of Dayton, Tenn.
  • Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va.
  • Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif.
  • Gerald Spohrer of Gonzales, La.
  • Jeff Sprague of Point, Texas
  • Greg Vinson of Wetumpka, Ala.

The anglers in Group 3 that compete in the final Elimination Round (May 29) on Day Three of the 2021 Wiley X Summit Cup are:

  • Justin Atkins of Florence, Ala.
  • Luke Clausen of Spokane, Wash.
  • Dustin Connell of Clanton, Ala.
  • Tim Horton of Muscle Shoals, Ala.
  • Alton Jones Jr. of Waco, Texas
  • Ish Monroe of Oakdale, Calif.
  • Takahiro Omori of Tokyo, Japan
  • Keith Poche of Pike Road, Ala.
  • Marty Robinson of Lyman, S.C.
  • Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich.

The 2021 Wiley X Summit Cup Presented by B&W Trailer Hitches was hosted by Capital City/Lake Murray Country. The event will air on the Outdoor Channel as six, two-hour original episodes each Saturday afternoon starting May 15, 2021, and running through June 19, airing from 2 to 4 p.m. ET. Each episode will be available for viewing on the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) streaming app on the Monday morning following each episode’s Saturday premiere.

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