Anglers Channel and Vexus® Partner on The Dream Rig Build

Columbia, SC (April 19, 2024) – Anglers Channel partnered with Vexus® Boats as the Official Boat of the Anglers Channel platform for 2024 and beyond and they are celebrating the partnership with the “AC Dream Rig Build”.  Anglers Channel has selected the all new Vexus AVX V2 product line as the perfect platform for this exciting project.

According to Danny Blandford, Business Development Manager for Anglers Channel, “I got some seat time in the all new AVX 2080 at the Revolution Tour Demo Rides on a rough Grand Lake during the Bassmaster Classic.  I was blown away by the performance on a cold and windy day.  The glass infused hybrids have a quiet, smooth, and dry ride that rivals fiberglass, with the hole shot and acceleration I’ve come to expect in performance aluminum boats.  The AVX2080 is just as impressive at rest.  The front deck is massive, with plenty of storage, and the platform was ultra-stable, even with two adults fishing from the bow.”

The AC Dream Rig will be powered by Anglers Channel longtime partner, Mercury® Marine.  The AVX 2080 is rated for a maximum horsepower of 200 and the 4.6 L V8 Mercury Pro XS is the perfect power plant for a Dream Rig Build.  It’ll be paired with the Next-Gen TorqueMaster Gear Case, making for industry-leading acceleration and top end speed.  In addition to being strong and fast, the Mercury Pro XS is also very fuel efficient at cruising speeds.  When coupled with the weight savings of the AVX 2080, the Dream Rig will be the perfect blend of efficiency and power when it’s called for.

As an added bonus, the Pro XS features low water pickups on the gearcase nosecone, making it the ideal choice for jack plate set ups.  The AC Dream Rig will include the TH Marine ATLAS® Hydraulic Jack Plate, providing 6 inches of setback, as well as 5 to 7 inches of vertical adjustment, providing optimal engine height for performance, as well as options for shallow water adjustments as needed.  TH Marine will also be the foot throttle of choice for the AC Dream Rig project, as the Hot FootTM has been the industry leader for over 20 years.  With the adjustable sliding base, it’ll ensure comfortable and safe operation for users of all sizes.

Blandford went on to add, “Pairing the Mercury Pro XS with the TH Marine ATLAS was a must have for a true Dream Rig for both the performance and functional aspects of this combo.  This boat will spend a lot of time in both rivers and backwaters and having the ability to quickly raise and lower the engine will be of huge benefit to its intended uses.  I wanted something that was rock solid and required little maintenance, and with the actuator in the plate and no lubrication required, this was the perfect choice.  I can’t wait to hear that V8 Mercury fire up in the mornings and I know it’ll be destined for the shallow backwaters I like to call home.”

The Vexus AC Dream Rig has started production and Anglers Channel will be providing updates and glimpses behind the scenes at Vexus as the Dream Rig makes it was through the Flippin, AR facility.  From the custom trailer to the boat itself, fans will be able to see the distinct features and proprietary designs that go into building The Most Advanced Fishing RigsTM.  Those currently in the market for a “Dream Rig” of their own can take advantage of the Vexus Dream Rig Sales Event now through May 15th.  The promotion includes a free custom boat cover and various rebates depending on the year and model chosen.  Visit Vexusboats.com for complete details.


Austin Bonjour Takes over Command at WON Bass Clear Lake Open, Nick Klein holds in Second Place

Damon Motley leads AAA division as Clear Lake fish are on the Move.

LAKEPORT, Calif. – April 18, 2024 –– While the mild breezes and warm temperatures at Clear Lake remained for day two of the 2024 WON Bass Ranger Boats Clear Lake Open presented by Mercury, those mild conditions may have played havoc with the leaderboard.  Ideally, stable conditions are the friend of a tournament angler, but when prespawn bass are looking towards spawning beds, a little change in weather can keep them from moving.

With 177 boats entered into the 2024 WON Bass Clear Lake Open, and a waxing moon four days from its peak full, either the pressure or the conditions seemed to throw a wrench into the plans of those who caught them best in the opening rounds.  While several of the anglers who were amongst the leaders on day one remained, the size of their creels were noticeably smaller.

While there were six bags over 30 pounds that came to the scales on day one, only Kurt Dove from Del Rio, Tex. managed to cross that threshold on day two.  Austin Bonjour, from Templeton, Calif. who stood in third place with 33.84 after day one saw his day two weight slip to 25.41 pounds.  However, his total weight of 59.25 pounds moved him into the lead ahead of day one leader Nick Klein from Oroville, Calif.  Klein posted a 21.64-pound limit to bring his total to 57.23 pounds, to finish the day in second place.

Bonjour said that he was two missed opportunities from having his second consecutive 30-pound-limit today.  “I had two six-plus pounders swing and miss my swimbait within sight of the boat today,” he said. “If I land those two fish, I don’t weigh the two four-pounders I weighed, and I’m at 30 pounds again today.”

He said that his bite slowed down overall, but that he felt like he would be able to reach what he needs to finish off the event tomorrow.  “I’m running a pattern all over the lake and having a late boat draw affected my ability to get into spots today, and I’m boat one tomorrow with a long day to fish,” he said.  “I really feel like I can get a couple of bigger bites to get me a long way towards 30 pounds, which is what I think I’ll need tomorrow to win – I feel pretty good about it.”

Klein also reported fewer bites on day two, and only being able to catch five keeper bites.  “I think the pressure on the lake and the moon phase have caused things to change more quickly than I thought it would,” he said.  “I’m going to try to start early and make the adjustments needed to win; I feel like everything is there, I just need to make the right decisions and execute.”

Sliding one spot into third place was Joe Mariani of Winters, Calif. who also saw his weight slip on day two.  His 22.18-pound limit on day two brought his total weight to 56.52 pounds to finish in third place for the day.  Sparks, Nev. pro John Hampel added a 22.94-pound limit on day two to move from sixth place to fourth place at day’s end.  The aforementioned Dove, who found himself in 59th place with a 19.54-pound day one, climbed all the way to fifth place with a total weight of 51.98 pounds.

Damon Motley, took the lead in the AAA division with a total weight of 56.23 pounds.  He added 25.86 pounds fishing with pro Brett Robbins from Solvang, Calif. to his day one weight of 30.37 pounds to take the lead on day two.  Second place went to Chase Harrel with 55.20, third place AAA went to David Oyler of Boulder City, Nev. with 52.14 pounds.  Fourth place in the AAA division was Nick Dulleck of Roseville, Calif. at 50.82 pounds and day one AAA leader Jiongbo (Bob) Zhang of Walnut Creek, Calif. rounded out the top five with 50.53 pounds.

The top 10 in each division are posted below: for complete standings, visit https://wonbassevents.com/pages/clear-lake-2024-pairings-results

 WON Bass Clear Lake Open 4/17 to 4/19/2024

 
                 

Place

Pro Day 2 Hometown

Fish

B/B

Day 1

Day 2

Pnlty

Total

1

Austin Bonjour Templeton, CA

10-10

7.86

33.84

25.41

 

59.25

2

Nick Klein Oroville, Ca

10-10

8.85

35.59

21.64

 

57.23

3

Joe Mariani Winters, CA

10-10

9.21

34.34

22.18

 

56.52

4

John Hampel Sparks, NV

10-10

 

30.37

22.94

 

53.31

5

Kurt Dove Del Rio, TX

10-10

7.50

19.54

32.44

 

51.98

6

Randy Pierson Oakdale, CA

10-10

7.41

27.46

22.63

 

50.09

7

Kyle Grover RCHO STA MARG, CA

10-10

8.22

26.99

22.01

 

49.00

8

Ian Boehm Desrt Hills AZ

10-10

7.23

24.44

24.02

 

48.46

9

Brett Robbins Solvang CA

10-10

 

22.35

25.86

 

48.21

10

Scooter Griffith Mesa, AZ

10-10

9.92

27.47

20.44

 

47.91

                 

Place

AAA Angler Day 2 Hometown

Fish

B/B

Day 1

Day 2

Pnlty

Total

1

Damon Motley Orange, CA

10-10

9.39

30.37

25.86

 

56.23

2

Chase Harrell San Jose, Ca

9-9

 

34.34

20.86

 

55.20

3

David Oyler Boulder City NV

10-10

 

26.73

25.41

 

52.14

4

Nick Dulleck Roseville CA

10-10

 

24.83

25.99

 

50.82

5

Jiongbo (Bob) Zhang Walnut Creek, CA

10-9

 

35.59

14.94

0.50

50.53

6

John Mcclellan Oroville CA

10-10

 

20.80

29.27

 

50.07

7

Chris Crawford Sacramento CA

10-10

 

17.23

32.44

 

49.67

8

Anthony Madrigal Auburn, CA

9-9

 

33.84

15.59

 

49.43

9

Dink Mendez Campbell CA

10-10

 

26.53

20.71

 

47.24

10

Tim Evans Oroville CA

10-10

 

22.06

24.17

 

46.23

The final day of the Clear Lake Open will commence at Safe Light Friday April 18, 2024, from Library Park in Lakeport, Calif. with the first flight due to return at 2:30 PM.  Daily Weigh-ins are streamed on Facebook.com/WONBassTournaments beginning at 3:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time.

The winner of the 2024 WON Bass Clear Lake Open will earn the Ranger Boats / Mercury Motor prize boat provided by Bass Pro Shops, and the Golden Tickets to the 2025 Bassmaster BASS Nation National Championship will be awarded to the top five Pro and AAA anglers and will further develop the season long competition to see who will receive guaranteed slots into the 2025 Bassmaster Opens Elite Qualifiers.

The 2024 WON Bass Western Opens Series of events Consisting of five events in California, Arizona and Nevada moves next to the California Open at Clear Lake April 17 to 19, 2024.  The series will culminate with the 2024 WON Bass U.S. Open at Lake Mohave in October.  The full schedule of the five event dates are as follows:

 Jan. 31–Feb. 2, Lake Shasta - Champion Nick Wood – 47.42 pounds

April 17-19, Clear Lake

May 15-17, Lake Havasu

Sept. 18-20, Lake Mead

Oct. 14-16, U.S. Open at Lake Mohave

For complete details to register or find results, look to wonbassevents.com and WONews.com to hear the latest news about the 2024 season and beyond and follow along at Facebook.com/WONBassTournaments.

 

The 2024 WON Bass Northern California Lake Shasta Open is brought to you by Bass Pro Shops, Ranger Boats, Mercury Marine, Nitro Boats, Triton Boats, Bridgford Foods, Phenix Rods, Yamamoto Baits, Bill Lewis Lures, Buckeye Lures, Steel Shad, Bioenno Power, SOG Knives, Cold Steel Knives, Gamma Line, Power Pole, Lowrance, Daiwa, AFTCO, Costa, Berkley, Abu Garcia, DD26 Fishing, Anderson Toyota, A&M Graphics, Anglers Marine and Signature Gates.

Local presenting sponsors are Clear Lake Outdoors and the City of Lakeport.  Daily takeoffs and weigh-ins will happen at Library Park in the City of Lakeport, California.


Erickson, Pontius edge Montevallo teammates for Bassmaster College Series win on Kentucky Lake

April 18, 2024

Erickson, Pontius edge Montevallo teammates for Bassmaster College Series win on Kentucky Lake

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PARIS, Tenn. — University of Montevallo (Ala.) anglers have had a great deal of success as a program, so it wasn’t a huge surprise that a pair of the school’s teams were the final two standing Thursday at the Strike King Bassmaster College Series at Kentucky Lake presented by Bass Pro Shops.

In the end, Blair Erickson and Jackson Pontius were on the right side of the balance, winning the tournament with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 42 pounds, 1 ounce. They edged Montevallo teammates Easton Fothergill and Nick Dumke, the defending Bassmaster College Series Team of the Year, who placed second with 10 bass totaling 41-5.

In all, 216 college tandems competed for a total of $18,400 in prize money for their respective schools. Erickson and Pontius split $5,500 for winning, while Fothergill and Dumke split $3,600 for finishing second.

Edging their high-profile teammates was a point of pride for the victorious 21-year-old juniors — Erickson a computer science major from Brainard, Minn., and Pontius, a Wilsonville, Ala., native studying business marketing. Both acknowledged that competing with the many other talented anglers at Montevallo puts them in a position to win whenever they compete.

“Iron sharpens iron,” Erickson said, his voice beginning to crack with emotion, even before he and Pontius weighed a 19-9 limit to push them past their teammates.

“(Competing with guys like Fothergill and Dumke) motivates you. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”

Pontius wholeheartedly agreed.

“We are so competitive,” he said. “All these guys (at Montevallo) are hammers…We have a big support team.”

Erickson and Pontius caught 22-8 on Day 1, grabbing the lead catching smallies off a shellbar only a few dozen yards from takeoff at Paris Landing Marina. They burned that spot, though, and only caught two bass there Thursday morning for about 7 pounds.

That’s when they decided to make a 20-mile run to mid-lake and a hotspot Erickson located during practice. When they arrived, however, Fothergill and Dumke were already fishing that location. They didn’t slink off to another spot, however, rather they fished within shouting distance of their teammates, locking in on a trio of 4-pounders they marked during practice.

“It only took a few casts, and we had the limit we needed,” Pontius said.

Still, it was a kicker fish that provided the margin of victory.

“We had 18 pounds, but we still had a 2-8 in the box,” Pontius said. “We couldn’t get rid of him, and it was almost 12 o’clock. So, we rolled up to where we started and on the last cast of the day, with five minutes to go until weigh-in, Blair got hung up on a rock and a 3-12 decides to eat his bait off the rock.”

“That was the fish that won it for us,” Pontius said.

Erickson used a pair of Untamed Tackle Shitake Mushroom Head jigs, one a 3/16-ounce lure and another that was 1/8-ounce. Pontius primarily threw a 3/16-ounce tube for his best bites. Both anglers favored green pumpkin lures speckled with orange and purple flakes.

“The bedding bass were finicky,” Erickson said. “I learned ice fishing (back home in Minnesota) that when they’re like that, you want to give them something with less resistance so it’s easier for them to get more of the lure. You need something lighter.”

Light lures, perhaps, but they were a recipe for a heavy victory.

“This means so much,” Pontius said. “This is our third tournament fishing together. To get a win and qualify for Nationals at the same time is an incredible thing.”

“This has been a dream since I was in eighth grade,” Erickson added. “It’s been a dream for both of us.”

Rounding out the Top 5 at Kentucky Lake are Dylan Fogerty and Hunter Filmore of Bethel University (Tenn.), third, 40-4; Banks Shaw and Nathan Reynolds of the University of North Alabama, fourth, 39-13; and Jack Hay and Eli Jaime of Southwestern Michigan College, fifth, 39-10.

This week’s event was the first B.A.S.S. tournament on Kentucky Lake since the Bassmaster High School National Championship was held here in 2020. After a few lean years, mainly due to an influx of invasive Asian carp, Kentucky Lake’s bass bite (especially the smallmouth) has rebounded tremendously.

It showed, with a total of 144 limits caught on Day 1 and another 125 on Day 2.

The teams of Sam Moll and Will Burch of Murray State (Ky.) University, and Quade Lobo and Nick Owens of Adrian College (Mich.), each weighed a 6-13 smallmouth on Day 1 to tie for the heaviest bass of the tournament.

The College Series stop at Kentucky Lake was the second of three events on the new Legends Trail, the first being held on South Carolina’s Lake Murray in January and the final tournament set for Michigan’s Saginaw Bay in June. Teams finishing in the top 10% of the field at any of the college events qualify for the Strike King Bassmaster College National Championship scheduled for Aug. 22-24 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, S.C.

The Henry County Tourism Authority hosted the derby on Kentucky Lake.

2024 Bassmaster College Series Title Sponsor: Strike King

2024 Bassmaster College Series Presenting Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops

2024 Bassmaster College Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2024 Bassmaster College Series Premier Sponsors: Dakota Lithium, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Progressive Insurance, Ranger Boats, Rapala, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha
2024 Bassmaster College Series Supporting Sponsors: AFTCO, Daiwa, Garmin, Lew's, Lowrance, Marathon, Triton Boats, VMC

2024 Bassmaster College Series Youth Sponsors: Seaguar, Shimano

 

About B.A.S.S.B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting-edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

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Connect with #Bassmaster on FacebookInstagramTwitter and TikTok.

Media Contact: Chad Gay, Communications Manager, 865-201-6458, cgay@bassmaster.com

2024 Strike King Bassmaster College Series at Kentucky Lake presented by Bass Pro Shops 4/17-4/18
Kentucky Lake, Paris  TN.
(BOATER) Standings Day 2

Angler                                       Club/School                       Pts

1.  Blair Erickson - Jackson Pontius             University of Montevallo            250
Day 1: 5   22-08     Day 2: 5   19-09   Total:  10  42-01
2.  Easton Fothergill - Nick Dumke               University of Montevallo            249
Day 1: 5   20-04     Day 2: 5   21-01   Total:  10  41-05
3.  Dylan Fogarty - Hunter Fillmore              Bethel University                   248
Day 1: 5   20-05     Day 2: 5   19-15   Total:  10  40-04
4.  Banks Shaw - Nathan Reynolds                 University of North Alabama         247
Day 1: 5   19-08     Day 2: 5   20-05   Total:  10  39-13
5.  Jack Hay - Eli Jaime                         Southwestern Michigan College       246
Day 1: 5   20-11     Day 2: 5   18-15   Total:  10  39-10
6.  Derek Rodriguez Jr. - Dalton Mollenkopf      Adrian College                      245
Day 1: 5   19-11     Day 2: 5   19-11   Total:  10  39-06
7.  Lane Stephens - Ethan Fields                 McKendree University                244
Day 1: 5   19-06     Day 2: 5   19-07   Total:  10  38-13
8.  Hayden Marbut -                              Auburn University                   243
Day 1: 5   17-12     Day 2: 5   20-13   Total:  10  38-09
9.  Adrian Urso - Corbin Templon                 Murray State University             242
Day 1: 5   18-10     Day 2: 5   19-03   Total:  10  37-13
10. Jerry Brumbaugh Jr. - Brady Pinwar           Adrian College                      241
Day 1: 5   17-00     Day 2: 5   20-10   Total:  10  37-10
11. Colby Carrier - Justin Frey                  Bethel University                   240
Day 1: 5   19-07     Day 2: 5   17-14   Total:  10  37-05
12. Dylan Akins - Chase Carey                    Emmanuel College                    239
Day 1: 5   19-13     Day 2: 5   17-04   Total:  10  37-01
13. Elliot Wielgopolski - Aaron Jagdfeld         Adrian College                      238
Day 1: 5   18-03     Day 2: 5   18-12   Total:  10  36-15
14. Tyler Leachman - Mark Bixler                 Murray State University             237
Day 1: 5   17-01     Day 2: 5   19-12   Total:  10  36-13
15. Owen Januszewski - Mitch Straffon            Adrian College                      236
Day 1: 5   15-12     Day 2: 5   20-12   Total:  10  36-08
16. Chase Milholen - Koltyn Harbin               Bethel University                   235
Day 1: 5   18-04     Day 2: 5   17-05   Total:  10  35-09
17. Jackson Kulijof - Aiden Clark                Murray State University             234
Day 1: 5   19-01     Day 2: 5   16-01   Total:  10  35-02
18. Carter Nutt - Dylan Nutt                     University of North Alabama         233
Day 1: 5   16-14     Day 2: 5   17-15   Total:  10  34-13
19. Hagan Marlin - Chris Fallon                  University of Montevallo            232
Day 1: 5   14-08     Day 2: 5   20-04   Total:  10  34-12
20. Hank Sturm - Matt Amosby                     Adrian College                      231
Day 1: 5   17-09     Day 2: 5   17-01   Total:  10  34-10
21. Lake Norsworthy - Calup Williams             Blue Mountain Christian Universi    230
Day 1: 5   16-05     Day 2: 5   17-15   Total:  10  34-04
22. Kai Barnett - Parker Welch                   McKendree University                229
Day 1: 5   16-14     Day 2: 5   17-06   Total:  10  34-04
23. Benjamin Travis - Brendin Simich             Auburn University                   228
Day 1: 5   17-11     Day 2: 5   16-04   Total:  10  33-15
24. Cy Lambert - Austin King                     University of North Alabama         227
Day 1: 5   16-08     Day 2: 5   17-05   Total:  10  33-13
25. Wyatt Pearman - Ridge Rutledge               Campbellsville University           226
Day 1: 5   15-10     Day 2: 5   18-01   Total:  10  33-11
26. Dalton Phelps - Gannon Stork                 Wabash Valley College               225
Day 1: 5   13-09     Day 2: 5   20-01   Total:  10  33-10
27. Peyton Rose - Brogan Gregg                   Wabash Valley College               224
Day 1: 5   16-13     Day 2: 5   16-12   Total:  10  33-09
28. Henry Vincent - Tommy Parker                 Adrian College                      223
Day 1: 5   17-12     Day 2: 5   15-10   Total:  10  33-06
29. Cameron Smith - Thomas Phillips              Ohio State University               222
Day 1: 5   16-10     Day 2: 5   16-11   Total:  10  33-05
30. Tyler Finley - Christopher Kistler           University of North Alabama         221
Day 1: 5   17-01     Day 2: 5   16-03   Total:  10  33-04
31. Collin Barnett - Sander Ludeman              Minnesota State University - Man    220
Day 1: 5   19-02     Day 2: 5   14-00   Total:  10  33-02
32. Andrew Howell - Jordan Pennington            University of Montevallo            219
Day 1: 5   18-13     Day 2: 5   14-05   Total:  10  33-02
33. Drake Sturgill - Beau Browning               University of Montevallo            218
Day 1: 5   19-10     Day 2: 5   12-15   Total:  10  32-09
34. Levi Seagraves - Scooter Ligon Jr            Emmanuel College                    217
Day 1: 5   14-08     Day 2: 5   18-01   Total:  10  32-09
35. Logan Plueger - Charlie Wright               University of Montevallo            216
Day 1: 5   16-13     Day 2: 5   15-08   Total:  10  32-05
36. Colton Odom - Tyler Madden                   Auburn University                   215
Day 1: 5   11-11     Day 2: 5   20-09   Total:  10  32-04
37. Luke Davis - Chance Schwartz                 University of Montevallo            214
Day 1: 5   16-09     Day 2: 5   15-02   Total:  10  31-11
38. Lucas Washburn - Braylon Eggerding           Adrian College                      213
Day 1: 5   17-07     Day 2: 5   14-03   Total:  10  31-10
39. Jonathon Garbacz - Owen Moss                 University of North Georgia         212
Day 1: 5   15-08     Day 2: 5   15-14   Total:  10  31-06
40. Brady Metzger - Mason Bohland                Purdue University                   211
Day 1: 5   15-12     Day 2: 5   15-08   Total:  10  31-04
41. Jack Mcillwain - Jake Krauth                 University of North Alabama         210
Day 1: 5   13-08     Day 2: 5   17-11   Total:  10  31-03
42. Braden Cox - Joel Berelsman                  Ohio State University               209
Day 1: 4   11-01     Day 2: 5   19-14   Total:   9  30-15
43. Hunter Russell - Benny Blank                 Wabash Valley College               208
Day 1: 5   18-07     Day 2: 5   12-04   Total:  10  30-11
44. Ethan Tedder - Hunter Brewer                 University of North Alabama         207
Day 1: 5   15-05     Day 2: 5   15-03   Total:  10  30-08
45. Blayner  Leeman - Cameron Dials              Kentucky Christian University       206
Day 1: 5   16-06     Day 2: 5   14-01   Total:  10  30-07
46. Tucker Dottley - Jordan Hampton              Bethel University                   205
Day 1: 5   13-11     Day 2: 5   16-10   Total:  10  30-05
47. Kyle Hopping - Colsyn Head                   McKendree University                204
Day 1: 5   16-04     Day 2: 5   13-12   Total:  10  30-00
48. Payton Sodervick - Adam Troyer               Indiana University                  203
Day 1: 5   14-13     Day 2: 5   15-02   Total:  10  29-15
49. Connor Westerman - Michael Mcnulty           West Virginia University            202
Day 1: 5   14-11     Day 2: 5   15-01   Total:  10  29-12
50. Ryan Olsen - Delaney Platt                   Southwestern Michigan College       201
Day 1: 5   16-07     Day 2: 5   13-04   Total:  10  29-11
51. Nick Seitz - Paxton Giem                     Adrian College                      200
Day 1: 5   16-09     Day 2: 5   13-01   Total:  10  29-10
52. Jacob Swanson - Zack Cooper                  University of Montevallo            199
Day 1: 5   14-03     Day 2: 5   15-07   Total:  10  29-10
53. Jonah Potts - Connor Lacy                    Murray State University             198
Day 1: 5   15-15     Day 2: 5   13-09   Total:  10  29-08
54. Brody Robison - Colton White                 University of Montevallo            197
Day 1: 5   16-05     Day 2: 5   13-01   Total:  10  29-06
55. Carson Calvert - Austin Thomas               University of North Alabama         196
Day 1: 5   13-01     Day 2: 5   16-03   Total:  10  29-04
56. Andrew Jones - Tyler Malone                  Southern Union State Community C    195
Day 1: 5   13-07     Day 2: 5   15-12   Total:  10  29-03
57. Zane Roberts - Elijah McDonald               University of North Alabama         194
Day 1: 5   15-06     Day 2: 5   13-13   Total:  10  29-03
58. Tomas Matual - Colton Hill                   McKendree University                193
Day 1: 5   14-02     Day 2: 5   14-15   Total:  10  29-01
59. Max Newkirk - Makenzie Shelton               Murray State University             192
Day 1: 5   12-03     Day 2: 5   16-12   Total:  10  28-15
60. Andrew Oswalt - Evan Mabrey                  University of Montevallo            191
Day 1: 5   13-01     Day 2: 5   15-08   Total:  10  28-09
61. Quade Lobo - Nick Owens                      Adrian College                      190
Day 1: 5   18-04     Day 2: 5   10-04   Total:  10  28-08
62. Peyton Harris - Dalton Head                  University of Montevallo            189
Day 1: 5   11-07     Day 2: 5   17-01   Total:  10  28-08
63. Will Hart - Logan Fisher                     Emmanuel College                    188
Day 1: 5   12-08     Day 2: 5   16-00   Total:  10  28-08
64. Chandler Pruett - Wes Bailey                 Blue Mountain Christian Universi    187
Day 1: 5   15-07     Day 2: 5   13-01   Total:  10  28-08
65. Nick Pemberton - Will Holloway               University of Montevallo            186
Day 1: 5   12-01     Day 2: 5   16-03   Total:  10  28-04
66. Harmon Marien - Maxwell Trotter              McKendree University                185
Day 1: 5   14-05     Day 2: 5   13-14   Total:  10  28-03
67. Brennan Berglund - Neal Braddy               University of Montevallo            184
Day 1: 5   15-02     Day 2: 5   12-12   Total:  10  27-14
68. Brenton Godwin - Hunter Odom                 University of Montevallo            183
Day 1: 5   19-03     Day 2: 3   08-10   Total:   8  27-13
69. Tyler Cory - Scott Sledge                    University of Montevallo            182
Day 1: 5   10-14     Day 2: 5   16-15   Total:  10  27-13
70. Reece Keeney - Brantley Anders               Kentucky Christian University       181
Day 1: 5   15-04     Day 2: 5   12-09   Total:  10  27-13
71. Jack Stephens - Jason Qualich                McKendree University                180
Day 1: 5   14-06     Day 2: 5   13-06   Total:  10  27-12
72. William Vickery - Hunter Starling            Georgia Southern University         179
Day 1: 5   11-12     Day 2: 5   15-15   Total:  10  27-11
73. Austin Marley - Jack Richardson              Georgia Southern University         178
Day 1: 5   16-10     Day 2: 5   11-00   Total:  10  27-10
74. Nick Redlin - Ben Redlin                     University of Wisconsin - Platte    177
Day 1: 5   13-05     Day 2: 5   14-03   Total:  10  27-08
75. Kobe Thompson - Cole Carr                    Adrian College                      176
Day 1: 5   12-11     Day 2: 5   14-12   Total:  10  27-07
76. Tyler Altizer - Landon Lawson                King University                     175
Day 1: 5   14-03     Day 2: 5   13-04   Total:  10  27-07
77. Harrison McCall - Cameron Yates              Lander University                   174
Day 1: 5   11-13     Day 2: 5   15-09   Total:  10  27-06
78. Jordan Bezold - Joe Bezold                   Nku Bassmasters Club                173
Day 1: 5   14-10     Day 2: 5   12-07   Total:  10  27-01
79. Chris Baker - Elijah Kelley                  Kentucky Christian University       172
Day 1: 5   15-02     Day 2: 5   11-14   Total:  10  27-00
80. James Willoughby - Phillip Herring           University of Montevallo            171
Day 1: 5   15-02     Day 2: 5   11-12   Total:  10  26-14
81. Carson Tucker - Kade MacDonald               University of Wisconsin - Whitew    170
Day 1: 5   17-11     Day 2: 3   09-02   Total:   8  26-13
82. Joseph Woods - Anthony Cicero IV             Bethel University                   169
Day 1: 5   14-03     Day 2: 5   12-10   Total:  10  26-13
83. Brock Blazier - Colby Joseph                 Campbellsville University           168
Day 1: 5   12-14     Day 2: 5   13-15   Total:  10  26-13
84. Logan East - Conner Giles                    Bryan College                       167
Day 1: 5   12-14     Day 2: 5   13-13   Total:  10  26-11
85. Harrison Terry - Zachary Bowen               Bethel University                   166
Day 1: 5   15-09     Day 2: 5   11-00   Total:  10  26-09
86. Hunter Petrovic - Kaiya Ziga                 Southwestern Michigan College       165
Day 1: 5   15-05     Day 2: 4   11-03   Total:   9  26-08
87. Hunter Sandschafer - Blake Beckmann          Wabash Valley College               164
Day 1: 5   11-13     Day 2: 5   14-04   Total:  10  26-01
88. Jake Thornbury - Lane Pohlman                Campbellsville University           163
Day 1: 5   14-15     Day 2: 5   11-01   Total:  10  26-00
89. Gus Dietrich - Jack Wilson                   University of Alabama               162
Day 1: 5   12-00     Day 2: 5   14-00   Total:  10  26-00
90. Jake Peck - Carty Shoen                      Auburn University                   161
Day 1: 4   12-09     Day 2: 5   13-06   Total:   9  25-15
91. Sam Moll - Will Burch                        Murray State University             160
Day 1: 5   17-09     Day 2: 3   07-15   Total:   8  25-08
92. TJ McKenzie - Will Wester                    Emmanuel College                    159
Day 1: 5   13-12     Day 2: 4   11-00   Total:   9  24-12
93. Carson Winn - Grady Mcclendon                University of North Alabama         158
Day 1: 5   11-00     Day 2: 5   13-09   Total:  10  24-09
94. Brooks Parker - Hudson Choquette             University of Montevallo            157
Day 1: 5   07-15     Day 2: 5   16-09   Total:  10  24-08
95. Hunter Palmer - Eli Stevenson                Bryan College                       156
Day 1: 5   12-03     Day 2: 5   12-04   Total:  10  24-07
96. Max Pierlott - Mike Pierlott                 UNC - Charlotte                     155
Day 1: 5   13-06     Day 2: 5   11-00   Total:  10  24-06
97. Branson Campbell - Hayden Short              Kentucky Christian University       154
Day 1: 5   11-11     Day 2: 5   12-11   Total:  10  24-06
98. Zach Pocos - Tucker Siminak                  McKendree University                153
Day 1: 5   12-06     Day 2: 4   11-15   Total:   9  24-05
99. Karsten Raney - Ben Sadler                   Campbellsville University           152
Day 1: 5   12-10     Day 2: 5   11-09   Total:  10  24-03
100. Bryce Dimauro - Tripp Berlinsky              Bryan College                       151
Day 1: 5   11-04     Day 2: 5   12-12   Total:  10  24-00
101. Joe Lutz - Jake Monti                        UNC - Charlotte                     150
Day 1: 5   13-06     Day 2: 4   10-05   Total:   9  23-11
102. Ben Brockwell - Will Rooker                  Kentucky Christian University       149
Day 1: 5   11-02     Day 2: 5   12-08   Total:  10  23-10
103. Allen Powe - Jonathan Combs                  Campbellsville University           148
Day 1: 5   11-09     Day 2: 5   11-15   Total:  10  23-08
104. Hayden Pirman - Luke Chaddock                West Virginia University            147
Day 1: 3   07-14     Day 2: 5   15-09   Total:   8  23-07
105. Emily Freeman - Charly Hutson                Murray State University             146
Day 1: 5   12-07     Day 2: 5   11-00   Total:  10  23-07
106. Nick Shoffner - Drake Page                   UNC - Charlotte                     145
Day 1: 5   12-15     Day 2: 4   10-05   Total:   9  23-04
107. Hunter Shelton - Colten Drawdy               Bethel University                   144
Day 1: 5   14-06     Day 2: 4   08-12   Total:   9  23-02
108. Nate Triplett - Holden Johnson               University of North Alabama         143
Day 1: 5   11-12     Day 2: 5   11-05   Total:  10  23-01
109. Max Heaton - Brooks Anderson                 Emmanuel College                    142
Day 1: 5   15-13     Day 2: 2   07-03   Total:   7  23-00
110. Easton Lindus - Seth Jenkins                 Emmanuel College                    141
Day 1: 3   07-06     Day 2: 4   15-10   Total:   7  23-00
111. Kaleb Brown - Cole Moulton                   Lander University                   140
Day 1: 5   13-03     Day 2: 5   09-12   Total:  10  22-15
112. Hayden Fry - Vance Roberts                   McKendree University                139
Day 1: 5   16-11     Day 2: 3   06-03   Total:   8  22-14
113. Chris McGregor - Preston Kolisek             University of North Alabama         138
Day 1: 3   06-07     Day 2: 5   15-12   Total:   8  22-03
114. Evan Sutton - Grant Olsen                    McKendree University                137
Day 1: 5   11-09     Day 2: 5   10-07   Total:  10  22-00
115. Spencer Grooms - Kyle Knoll                  Auburn University                   136
Day 1: 5   09-13     Day 2: 5   12-00   Total:  10  21-13
116. Turner Hart - Summer Dees                    Bryan College                       135
Day 1: 5   11-07     Day 2: 4   10-06   Total:   9  21-13
117. Jake Brown - Walker Brown                    University of North Alabama         134
Day 1: 5   10-03     Day 2: 4   11-09   Total:   9  21-12
118. Butler Cochran - Bryce Evans                 University of South Carolina        133
Day 1: 2   05-00     Day 2: 5   16-10   Total:   7  21-10
119. Harlan Thomas - Jack Thompson                Murray State University             132
Day 1: 5   15-06     Day 2: 2   06-03   Total:   7  21-09
120. Jackson Holbert - Joshua Hayes               University of North Alabama         131
Day 1: 5   12-09     Day 2: 3   08-12   Total:   8  21-05
121. Drew Bradstreet -                            Florida Gateway College             130
Day 1: 4   08-07     Day 2: 5   12-09   Total:   9  21-00
122. Riley Lawson - Joe Bob Burchett              Kentucky Christian University       129
Day 1: 5   14-12     Day 2: 2   05-15   Total:   7  20-11
123. Kyle Smith - Aaron Mills                     Kentucky Christian University       128
Day 1: 5   12-06     Day 2: 4   08-02   Total:   9  20-08
124. Evan Barker - Corey Yarish                   Campbellsville University           127
Day 1: 5   11-01     Day 2: 4   09-06   Total:   9  20-07
125. Coleman Self - David Gummow                  Bethel University                   126
Day 1: 3   07-02     Day 2: 5   13-00   Total:   8  20-02
126. Braden Thompson - Mason Gross                Wabash Valley College               125
Day 1: 2   07-11     Day 2: 5   12-07   Total:   7  20-02
127. Jake Kimbrough - Tyler Hill                  Blue Mountain Christian Universi    124
Day 1: 5   12-04     Day 2: 3   07-13   Total:   8  20-01
128. Dawson Woerner - Wyatt Cash                  Purdue University                   123
Day 1: 4   09-04     Day 2: 5   10-13   Total:   9  20-01
129. Caden Pearson - Nathan Kallstrand            Wabash Valley College               122
Day 1: 5   12-09     Day 2: 3   07-04   Total:   8  19-13
130. Dawson Burton - Ethan Burnette               Kentucky Christian University       121
Day 1: 5   15-12     Day 2: 2   03-14   Total:   7  19-10
131. Nathan Preston - Reece Tremaglio             Auburn University                   120
Day 1: 5   13-09     Day 2: 3   06-01   Total:   8  19-10
132. River Blanton - Brock Catlett                Campbellsville University           119
Day 1: 4   07-08     Day 2: 5   11-14   Total:   9  19-06
133. Mitch Johnson - Jonathan Fitch               Kentucky Christian University       118
Day 1: 4   09-09     Day 2: 5   09-10   Total:   9  19-03
134. Kyle Zainitzer - Brock Vogel                 University of North Alabama         117
Day 1: 3   06-08     Day 2: 5   12-08   Total:   8  19-00
135. Tyler Eggers - Dustin Swafford               Catawba Valley Community College    116
Day 1: 5   16-11     Day 2: 1   02-02   Total:   6  18-13
136. Jonathan Yazdi - James Yuska                 Indiana University                  115
Day 1: 5   11-15     Day 2: 3   06-14   Total:   8  18-13
137. Jake Hope - Alex Nesmith                     Murray State University             114
Day 1: 5   11-07     Day 2: 3   07-01   Total:   8  18-08
138. Daniel Schroeder - Jacob Autry               Murray State University             113
Day 1: 5   18-06     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   5  18-06
139. Owen Wheeler - Caleb Neu                     Bethel University                   112
Day 1: 2   05-00     Day 2: 5   13-05   Total:   7  18-05
140. Carter Doren - Brett Hill                    Campbellsville University           111
Day 1: 2   04-11     Day 2: 5   13-07   Total:   7  18-02
141. Thomas Smith - Kaleb Butts                   University of South Carolina - U    110
Day 1: 2   05-01     Day 2: 5   12-11   Total:   7  17-12
142. Hunter Barrow - Caleb Dugger                 King University                     109
Day 1: 2   04-06     Day 2: 5   13-04   Total:   7  17-10
143. Jack Carroll - Joseph Senn                   Bethel University                   108
Day 1: 5   12-03     Day 2: 2   05-06   Total:   7  17-09
144. Wes Newman Jr. - Holden Zinda                Liberty University                  107
Day 1: 5   12-04     Day 2: 2   05-00   Total:   7  17-04
145. Jeffrey Jones - Coleman Bingham              Bethel University                   106
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 5   17-01   Total:   5  17-01
146. Ryan Foster - Will Hornsby                   McKendree University                105
Day 1: 2   04-00     Day 2: 5   12-14   Total:   7  16-14
147. Blake Milligan - Carson Maddux               Auburn University                   104
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 5   16-13   Total:   5  16-13
148. William Brogan - Cole Bubenzer               Indiana University                  103
Day 1: 5   10-12     Day 2: 2   05-12   Total:   7  16-08
149. Jadon Spencer - Chase Martin                 Catawba Valley Community College    102
Day 1: 5   09-10     Day 2: 3   06-14   Total:   8  16-08
150. Josh Richardson - Logan Greeno                                                   101
Day 1: 3   05-08     Day 2: 5   10-08   Total:   8  16-00
151. TJ Davis - Dillan Mcglothern                 Webber International University     100
Day 1: 5   11-09     Day 2: 2   04-05   Total:   7  15-14
152. Gavyn Rapp - Ephraim Cretsinger              Adrian College                       99
Day 1: 5   09-15     Day 2: 3   05-08   Total:   8  15-07
153. Garrett Ring - Peyton Sorrow                 University of Montevallo             98
Day 1: 3   05-03     Day 2: 3   09-13   Total:   6  15-00
154. Jarrett Prunty - Chase Fleenor               Western Kentucky University          97
Day 1: 5   14-15     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   5  14-15
155. Jackson Smith - Sawyer Williams              Bethel University                    96
Day 1: 5   12-03     Day 2: 1   02-12   Total:   6  14-15
156. Will Gordon -                                Murray State University              95
Day 1: 5   14-13     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   5  14-13
157. Brendan Vinton - Jacob Vanscoik              Catawba Valley Community College     94
Day 1: 1   02-01     Day 2: 5   12-10   Total:   6  14-11
158. Billy Erdakos - Davis Klimczak               Southwestern Michigan College        93
Day 1: 3   07-03     Day 2: 4   07-04   Total:   7  14-07
159. Dylan Thomson - Trey Marco                   King University                      92
Day 1: 5   09-12     Day 2: 2   04-09   Total:   7  14-05
160. Dustin Weinberg - Sawyer Brady               Blue Mountain Christian Universi     91
Day 1: 5   12-01     Day 2: 1   02-02   Total:   6  14-03
161. Sam Hoesley - Malcolm Patton                 Auburn University                    90
Day 1: 1   01-12     Day 2: 4   12-04   Total:   5  14-00
162. Jaxson Freeman - Connor Hall                 McKendree University                 89
Day 1: 1   01-08     Day 2: 5   12-07   Total:   6  13-15
163. Carson Aarup - Matt Peine                    UNC - Charlotte                      88
Day 1: 1   02-01     Day 2: 5   11-12   Total:   6  13-13
164. Cole Hadlock - Braiden Koerber               Murray State University              87
Day 1: 5   13-07     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   5  13-07
165. Camden Lewis - TJ Edwards Jr                 Blue Mountain Christian Universi     86
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 5   13-05   Total:   5  13-05
166. Luke Dardeen - Connor Becker                 Wabash Valley College                85
Day 1: 5   13-03     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   5  13-03
167. Briggs Alavezos - Solomon Glenn              University of Montevallo             84
Day 1: 3   07-03     Day 2: 3   05-15   Total:   6  13-02
168. Bryson Hatcher - Matthew Dopp                Bryan College                        83
Day 1: 5   12-10     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   5  12-10
169. Carter Smith - Sam Ausbrooks                 Wabash Valley College                82
Day 1: 4   12-08     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   4  12-08
170. Cole Berry - Braci Ault                      Purdue University                    81
Day 1: 3   07-07     Day 2: 1   04-12   Total:   4  12-03
171. Dylan Bush - Tyler Hudson                    Western Kentucky University          80
Day 1: 5   11-11     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   5  11-11
171. Ethan Vue - Christian Vue                    UNC - Charlotte                      80
Day 1: 5   11-11     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   5  11-11
173. Tristen Dubbs - Parker Wilburn               Grace College                        78
Day 1: 5   11-09     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   5  11-09
174. William Travis - Caleb Griffin               Bryan College                        77
Day 1: 1   02-08     Day 2: 3   08-15   Total:   4  11-07
175. Gage Starks - Anthony Ethridge               Murray State University              76
Day 1: 2   03-10     Day 2: 4   07-13   Total:   6  11-07
176. Chase Loftus -                               University of Iowa                   75
Day 1: 5   11-04     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   5  11-04
177. Robert Richbourg - Cal Austin                Catawba Valley Community College     74
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 5   11-00   Total:   5  11-00
178. Sam Harvey - Jordan Brewer                   Auburn University                    73
Day 1: 1   05-03     Day 2: 2   05-11   Total:   3  10-14
179. Jacob Highley - William Copley               Kentucky Christian University        72
Day 1: 3   06-08     Day 2: 2   04-04   Total:   5  10-12
180. William Gully - Preston Barnett              Southern Union State Community C     71
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 5   10-11   Total:   5  10-11
181. Tanner Herndon -                             Bryan College                        70
Day 1: 2   05-14     Day 2: 2   04-12   Total:   4  10-10
182. Caleb Bridges - Jonathan Fann                Middle Tennessee State Universit     69
Day 1: 4   10-02     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   4  10-02
183. Campbell Coyle - Tanner Davis                University of Kentucky               68
Day 1: 4   09-12     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   4  09-12
184. Gavin Sheffer -                              Liberty University                   67
Day 1: 4   07-11     Day 2: 1   02-00   Total:   5  09-11
185. William Henry - Hunter Heckman               Purdue University                    66
Day 1: 5   09-08     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   5  09-08
186. Dade Vincent -                               Murray State University              65
Day 1: 4   09-06     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   4  09-06
187. Tyler Dubois - Grayden Scibilia              Bethel University                    64
Day 1: 3   07-10     Day 2: 1   01-09   Total:   4  09-03
188. Casey Cornelius - Zion Dunaway               Purdue University                    63
Day 1: 4   09-02     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   4  09-02
189. Aidan Kolb - Tanner Brockman                 Murray State University              62
Day 1: 4   08-13     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   4  08-13
190. Nickolas Illobre -                           Bethel University                    61
Day 1: 4   08-01     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   4  08-01
191. Lucas Thornton - Lucas Snyder                University of North Alabama          60
Day 1: 3   07-15     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   3  07-15
192. Nick Harenda - Nick Mallmann Conto           University of Wisconsin-Whitewat     59
Day 1: 4   07-11     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   4  07-11
193. Blake Bullock - John Mark Berry              Blue Mountain Christian Universi     58
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 2   07-09   Total:   2  07-09
194. Bryson Dotson - Kobi May                     Bryan College                        57
Day 1: 4   06-08     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   4  06-08
195. Luke Caylor - Joe Gollmer                    Indiana University                   56
Day 1: 2   03-05     Day 2: 1   02-06   Total:   3  05-11
196. Jaxson Smoak - Dylan Reid                    Georgia Southern University          55
Day 1: 3   05-08     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   3  05-08
197. Colin Chavers - Aiden Macks                  Southern Union State Community C     54
Day 1: 2   05-06     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   2  05-06
198. Nick Staub - Sam Schmitz                     University of North Alabama          53
Day 1: 1   02-05     Day 2: 1   02-14   Total:   2  05-03
199. Jacob Butts - Mark Kershaw-Klara             University of South Carolina - U     52
Day 1: 2   05-02     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   2  05-02
200. Ryan Thomas - Nathaniel Harper               University of Pikeville              51
Day 1: 2   04-08     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   2  04-08
201. Kolby Clark - Rees Williams                  University of North Alabama          50
Day 1: 2   03-11     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   2  03-11
202. Hampton Shull -                              Lander University                    49
Day 1: 1   02-15     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   1  02-15
203. Ty Reynolds -                                Murray State University              48
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 1   02-07   Total:   1  02-07
204. Clayton Cruze -                              Murray State University              47
Day 1: 4   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   4  00-00
205. Victor Alford - Christian Misciagna          Bryan College                         0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
205. Kyle Ashe - Bobby Beck JR                    University at Buffalo                 0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
205. Lynn Chitwood - Trevor Moore                 Virginia Tech                         0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
205. Ryan Daugherty - Brantley Barrentine         Campbellsville University             0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
205. Owen Day -                                   Morehead State University             0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
205. Allen Everett - Matthew Tomolonis            Murray State University               0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
205. Alex Geroulis - Harrison Bomba               Indiana University                    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
205. Gavin Grossman - Nicholas Jones              Indiana University                    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
205. Dylan Levin - Dalton DeFelice                Southwestern Michigan College         0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
205. Aaron Mcgill -                               Coastal Carolina University           0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
205. Kevin Palmer - Sydney Rice                   Pellissippi State Community Coll      0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
205. Alan Ter Molen - Luke Rosebrook              Grace College                         0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
BIG BASS OF TOURN
Sam Moll                 Hershey, PA         06-13          $0.00
Quade Lobo               Oroville, CA        06-13          $0.00
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1       144       866      2432-09
2       125       761      2212-09
----------------------------------
269      1627      4645-02


Sumrall smashes big limit for Day 1 lead at Bassmaster Elite Series event on St. Johns River

April 18, 2024

Sumrall smashes big limit for Day 1 lead at Bassmaster Elite Series event on St. Johns River 

 

Elite_eventLogo_2024_StJohnsRiver_ForDarkLightBackgrounds_HighRes.pngPALATKA, Fla. — A little bit of water can make big things happen. Leveraging that logic, Caleb Sumrall sacked up a massive Day 1 limit of 28 pounds, 8 ounces to lead the MAXAM Tire Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River.

“That was the best day of fishing in my life,” the pro from New Iberia, La., said. “I’m trying not to get too excited because I don’t know what’s left on my spot.”

Leading Cory Johnston of Otonabee, Canada, by 5-5, Sumrall said he fished in Salt Springs and focused on sight fishing for bedding bass. Notably, Sumrall had not initially intended to fish this area, largely due to his take-off order.

“I was boat 99 today, so I didn’t even start there because I figured it would be loaded with boats,” he said. “But when I got in there around 9 o’clock, there was just one boat in there. I rolled up in there and immediately got a bite, then got another bite. I culled about every hour.”

Typically, a late arrival on a key area relegates an angler to picking through the leftovers. Today, Sumrall benefitted from recent meteorological factors.

“What I think saved me was Wednesday’s practice was really windy,” he said. “I think the guys that were in there looking for fish couldn’t see them.

“The wind came in fluctuations today. I’m looking for the ones that are out a little farther. I think that was the key to catching a big bag.”

With an outgoing tide in the morning, Sumrall fared well by working with the falling water. His best action came in the afternoon, as he drew upon his Southern Louisiana tidal bass fishing know-how.

“I think the tide was key and I think a couple other guys that fished (in Salt Springs) didn’t key in on something specific,” Sumrall said. “Anytime you’re fishing for spawning fish on a tide, 6 inches (of water) over their head is a big deal.

“That can make them go to lock (onto the bed) and bite. There can be a window where those fish go to snapping. I really think that was key. From 11 to 2 is when I got some really good bites.”

Sumrall said he caught his bed fish by pitching a mix of Texas-rigged plastics. Patience, he said, was essential, but a couple of persnickety fish tested his resolve.

“I fished the slowest I’ve fished in my entire life,” he said. “I was just calm and in my zone and I got the bites.

“I worked on one fish for about two hours. Then, I switched to a Missile Baits 48 and on the first cast, I got her to eat it.

Sumrall said he’ll return to Salt Springs for Friday’s second round. He’s not sure what to expect, but the potential is too great to resist.

“I have to go back; it would be silly not to,” he said. “I have boat No. 5 (for Day 2) so I could be the first one in there. Today, I saw an 8-pounder and a 10.

“If the weather remains stable and the wind lays down, there’s the potential for a 35-pound bag — easily.”

Johnston is in second place with 23-3. Notwithstanding his well-documented northern prowess, which included a century belt for catching 100 pounds of smallmouth during his second-place finish at the 2022 Elite at the St. Lawrence River, Johnston said the St. Johns suits his background.

“I grew up fishing just like this — flipping reeds, flipping pads, flipping matted vegetation,” Johnston said of his youth, prior to smallmouth coming into prominence. “There were no smallmouth that played when I was younger, so I grew up fishing largemouth.”

Day 1 saw Johnston employing many of his early fishing lessons. His success required mobility and a diverse bait selection.

“I ran all over (the fishery) and checked a bunch of stuff,” he said. “I had a good bag by about 10 o’clock, so I ran back and covered a bunch of new water.”

Johnston said he got bit on reaction baits early and then switched to flipping later in the day. His targets varied from docks, to pads, to mats.

Wes Logan of Springville, Ala., is in third place with 22-0. Spending his day in the Little Lake George area, he fished various targets including shellbars, wood, pads and docks.

Catching his bass on mix of winding baits and flipping, Logan said the afternoon hours proved most productive.

“I lost some big fish earlier and I don’t know why they came off,” he said. “I don’t know if the sun helped, or maybe it was the tide changing, but later in the day, when they ate it, they ate it.

“I haven’t figured out the windows yet, but you can tell when they start biting. They’re really eating.”

Jake Whitaker of Hendersonville, N.C., is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 7-15.

Rookie Trey McKinney of Carbondale, Ill., leads the Progressive Insurance Bassmaster Angler of the Year race with 391 points. Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala., is in second with 347, followed by Cory Johnston with 334, Chris Johnston of Otonabee, Canada, with 324, and Tyler Williams of Belgrade, Maine, with 305.

McKinney also leads the race for Dakota Lithium Bassmaster Rookie of the Year.

Friday’s takeoff is scheduled for 7 a.m. ET at Palatka City Dock & Boat Ramp. The weigh-in will be held back at the ramp at 3 p.m., with only the Top 50 anglers advancing to Semifinal Saturday.

Bassmaster LIVE will be streaming on Bassmaster.com all four days and coverage will also be available on FS1 Saturday and Sunday.

The event is being hosted by the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce.

2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Bass Pro ShopsDakota Lithium, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Progressive Insurance, Ranger Boats, Rapala, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha
2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: AFTCO, Daiwa, Garmin, Lew's, Lowrance, Marathon, Triton Boats, VMC

 

About B.A.S.S.B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting-edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

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Connect with #Bassmaster on FacebookInstagramTwitter and TikTok.

Media Contact: Chad Gay, Communications Manager, 865-201-6458, cgay@bassmaster.com

 

2024 MAXAM Tire Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River 4/18-4/21
St. Johns River, Palatka  FL.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 1

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Caleb Sumrall          New Iberia, LA           5  28-08  103
Day 1: 5   28-08
2.  Cory Johnston          Otonabee CANADA          5  23-03  102
Day 1: 5   23-03
3.  Wes Logan              Springville, AL          5  22-00  101
Day 1: 5   22-00
4.  Matt Arey              Shelby, NC               5  21-00  100
Day 1: 5   21-00
4.  Caleb Kuphall          Mukwonago, WI            5  21-00  100
Day 1: 5   21-00
6.  Trey McKinney          Carbondale, IL           5  20-14   98
Day 1: 5   20-14
7.  Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY              5  20-13   97
Day 1: 5   20-13
8.  Jake Whitaker          Hendersonville, NC       5  20-06   96   $1,000.00
Day 1: 5   20-06
9.  Scott Canterbury       Odenville, AL            5  19-15   95
Day 1: 5   19-15
10. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA             5  19-05   94
Day 1: 5   19-05
11. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN           5  19-04   93
Day 1: 5   19-04
12. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL               5  19-04   92
Day 1: 5   19-04
13. Brandon Card           Salisbury, NC            5  19-01   91
Day 1: 5   19-01
14. Lee Livesay            Longview, TX             5  18-08   90
Day 1: 5   18-08
15. Bryan Schmitt          Deale, MD                5  18-07   89
Day 1: 5   18-07
16. Wesley Gore            Clanton, AL              5  17-15   88
Day 1: 5   17-15
17. Koby Kreiger           Alva, FL                 5  17-14   87
Day 1: 5   17-14
18. Jacob Foutz            Charleston, TN           5  17-11   86
Day 1: 5   17-11
19. Cooper Gallant         Bowmanville Ontario CAN  5  17-09   85
Day 1: 5   17-09
20. Ray Hanselman Jr       Del Rio, TX              5  17-06   84
Day 1: 5   17-06
21. Drew Benton            Panama City, FL          5  17-01   83
Day 1: 5   17-01
22. Kyle Norsetter         Cottage Grove, WI        5  16-14   82
Day 1: 5   16-14
23. Chris Johnston         Otonabee Ontario CANADA  5  16-09   81
Day 1: 5   16-09
24. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN         5  16-09   80
Day 1: 5   16-09
25. Todd Auten             Clover, SC               5  16-05   79
Day 1: 5   16-05
26. Alex Wetherell         Middletown, CT           5  16-04   78
Day 1: 5   16-04
27. Scott Martin           Clewiston, FL            5  16-02   77
Day 1: 5   16-02
28. Bob Downey             Detroit Lakes, MN        5  16-01   76
Day 1: 5   16-01
29. Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS         5  15-13   75
Day 1: 5   15-13
30. Justin Atkins          Florence, AL             5  15-12   74
Day 1: 5   15-12
30. Jamie Hartman          Newport, NY              5  15-12   74
Day 1: 5   15-12
32. Hunter Shryock         Ooltewah, TN             5  15-11   72
Day 1: 5   15-11
33. Chris Zaldain          Fort Worth, TX           5  15-02   71
Day 1: 5   15-02
34. Gregory DiPalma        Millville, NJ            5  15-00   70
Day 1: 5   15-00
35. Gerald Swindle         Guntersville, AL         4  14-13   69
Day 1: 4   14-13
36. Matty Wong             Honolulu, HI             5  14-08   68
Day 1: 5   14-08
37. Jonathan Kelley        Old Forge, PA            5  14-05   67
Day 1: 5   14-05
38. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT            5  14-03   66
Day 1: 5   14-03
38. Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID             5  14-03   66
Day 1: 5   14-03
40. Jordan Lee             Cullman, AL              5  14-02   64
Day 1: 5   14-02
40. Alex Redwine           Blue Ash, OH             5  14-02   64
Day 1: 5   14-02
42. Ed Loughran III        Richmond, VA             5  13-15   62
Day 1: 5   13-15
42. Kyle Welcher           Valley, AL               5  13-15   62
Day 1: 5   13-15
44. Ben Milliken           New Caney, TX            5  13-11   60
Day 1: 5   13-11
44. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ               5  13-11   60
Day 1: 5   13-11
46. Frank Talley           Belton, TX               5  13-10   58
Day 1: 5   13-10
47. Jacob Powroznik        North Prince George, VA  5  13-09   57
Day 1: 5   13-09
47. Matt Robertson         Kuttawa, KY              5  13-09   57
Day 1: 5   13-09
49. Luke Palmer            Coalgate, OK             5  13-08   55
Day 1: 5   13-08
50. John Cox               Debary, FL               5  13-07   54
Day 1: 5   13-07
50. Buddy Gross            Chattanooga, TN          5  13-07   54
Day 1: 5   13-07
52. Timothy Dube           Nashua , NH              5  13-06   52
Day 1: 5   13-06
52. Cody Huff              Ava, MO                  5  13-06   52
Day 1: 5   13-06
54. Marc Frazier           Newnan, GA               5  13-02   50
Day 1: 5   13-02
54. Clark Wendlandt        Leander, TX              5  13-02   50
Day 1: 5   13-02
56. Will Davis Jr          Sylacauga, AL            5  13-01   48
Day 1: 5   13-01
56. John Soukup            Sapulpa, OK              5  13-01   48
Day 1: 5   13-01
58. Stetson Blaylock       Benton, AR               5  12-15   46
Day 1: 5   12-15
58. Pat Schlapper          Eleva, WI                5  12-15   46
Day 1: 5   12-15
60. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL             5  12-14   44
Day 1: 5   12-14
60. Tyler Rivet            Raceland, LA             5  12-14   44
Day 1: 5   12-14
62. Kenta Kimura           Osaka OK JAPAN           5  12-13   42
Day 1: 5   12-13
63. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                  5  12-12   41
Day 1: 5   12-12
64. Derek Hudnall          Zachary, LA              5  12-08   40
Day 1: 5   12-08
65. Brandon Cobb           Greenwood, SC            5  12-07   39
Day 1: 5   12-07
66. Carl Jocumsen          Queensland TN AUSTRALIA  5  12-06   38
Day 1: 5   12-06
67. Jason Christie         Dry Creek, OK            5  12-01   37
Day 1: 5   12-01
67. Bryant Smith           Roseville, CA            5  12-01   37
Day 1: 5   12-01
69. Jay Przekurat          Plover, WI               5  11-15   35
Day 1: 5   11-15
70. Seth Feider            New Market, MN           5  11-14   34
Day 1: 5   11-14
70. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL          5  11-14   34
Day 1: 5   11-14
72. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX           5  11-12   32
Day 1: 5   11-12
73. Shane LeHew            Catawba, NC              5  11-10   31
Day 1: 5   11-10
74. Logan Latuso           Gonzales, LA             5  11-01   30
Day 1: 5   11-01
75. Clent Davis            Montevallo, AL           5  11-00   29
Day 1: 5   11-00
76. Robert Gee             Knoxville, TN            5  10-15   28
Day 1: 5   10-15
77. Drew Cook              Cairo, GA                5  10-14   27
Day 1: 5   10-14
78. John Garrett           Union City, TN           5  10-13   26
Day 1: 5   10-13
79. Kyle Patrick           Cooperstown, NY          5  10-12   25
Day 1: 5   10-12
80. Hank Cherry Jr         Lincolnton, NC           5  10-09   24
Day 1: 5   10-09
80. Logan Parks            Auburn, AL               5  10-09   24
Day 1: 5   10-09
82. Joey Cifuentes III     Clinton, AR              5  10-07   22
Day 1: 5   10-07
83. Patrick Walters        Eutawville, SC           5  10-06   21
Day 1: 5   10-06
84. Tyler Williams         Belgrade, ME             5  10-05   20
Day 1: 5   10-05
85. David Gaston           Sylacauga, AL            5  10-04   19
Day 1: 5   10-04
86. Joseph Webster         Hamilton, AL             5  09-14   18
Day 1: 5   09-14
87. Taku Ito               Dalton GA JAPAN          5  09-12   17
Day 1: 5   09-12
88. Chad Pipkens           Dewitt, MI               5  09-10   16
Day 1: 5   09-10
89. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA                5  09-08   15
Day 1: 5   09-08
90. Jason Williamson       Aiken, SC                5  09-01   14
Day 1: 5   09-01
91. Mike Huff              London, KY               5  08-15   13
Day 1: 5   08-15
92. Bryan New              Leesville, SC            5  08-14   12
Day 1: 5   08-14
92. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL              5  08-14   12
Day 1: 5   08-14
94. Cole Sands             Calhoun , TN             5  08-12   10
Day 1: 5   08-12
95. Brad Whatley           Bivins, TX               2  08-09    9
Day 1: 2   08-09
96. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ          5  08-05    8
Day 1: 5   08-05
97. KJ Queen               Catawba, NC              5  07-13    7
Day 1: 5   07-13
98. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN            5  07-11    6
Day 1: 5   07-11
99. Austin Felix           Eden Prairie, MN         5  06-13    5
Day 1: 5   06-13
100. Jeff Gustafson         Kenora, ON Ontario CANA  5  06-11    4
Day 1: 5   06-11
101. Kyoya Fujita           Yamanashi CA JAPAN       3  05-11    3
Day 1: 3   05-11
102. Justin Hamner          Northport, AL            5  05-09    2
Day 1: 5   05-09
103. JT Thompkins           Myrtle Beach, SC         2  04-06    1
Day 1: 2   04-06
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS
Day
1   Jake Whitaker            Hendersonville, NC  07-15      $1,000.00

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        99       506      1411-00
----------------------------------
99       506      1411-00


Lake Eufaula Readies for MLF Bass Pro Tour MillerTech Stage Four Presented by REDCON1

EUFAULA, Okla. (April 18, 2024) – The Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour is set to visit Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Oklahoma, April 30 – May 5, for the fourth event of the 2024 season – the MillerTech Stage Four at Lake Eufaula Presented by REDCON1.

The six-day tournament, hosted by Vision Eufaula, will feature a field of 79 professional anglers, including Ott DeFoe , back-to-back Angler of the Year (AOY) Jacob Wheeler, two-time REDCREST Champion Dustin Connell, reigning REDCREST Champion Bryan Thrift and Oklahoma superstars like Zack Birge of Blanchard, OklahomaJames Elam of Tulsa, Oklahoma and 2019 REDCREST and AOY champion Edwin Evers of Talala, Oklahoma. They’ll be competing for a purse of $659,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable Angler of the Year (AOY) points in hopes of qualifying for the General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and REDCREST 2025, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

“We are thrilled to welcome Major League Fishing to Eufaula, Oklahoma,” said Andrea Oldham, Community Development Director for the City of Eufaula. “We invite all anglers, staff and their families to experience our small town's unique charm and warm hospitality.”

The tournament will feature the MLF catch, weigh, immediate-release format, in which anglers 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 Discovery.

“Vision Eufaula is excited that Major League Fishing and the Bass Pro Tour is coming to Eufaula,” said Karen Weldin, President of Vision Eufaula. “As an organization dedicated to making Eufaula one of the best destination places in Oklahoma, we love that organizations like MLF agree that Lake Eufaula is a great place to fish and attract thousands of people to our city by their presence here.”

MillerTech pro Greg Vinson of Wetumpka, Alabama, who will be among the 79 anglers competing, said he feels like the timing of the event is spot on and this will be a tournament where the entire field will be able to fish their strengths.

“I’m really excited about this event and think the timing will make it interesting,” said Vinson. “It’s a new lake to me, but I started doing my homework as soon as it came out on the schedule. The first thing I noticed was that Lake Eufaula sets up for both shallow and deep-water fishing, especially this time of year. I expect the fish to be in late spawn, early post-spawn, which leaves the door wide open for a variety of techniques.”

Vinson said he expects to see anglers targeting offshore structure in the cleaner portions of the lake and utilizing shallow-water power-fishing techniques in the areas with more color.

“The quality of the fish should be really good,” said Vinson. “I also expect to see a good shad spawn in the morning and maybe even some bream starting to bed, which opens up those shallow-water techniques. Obviously topwater buzzbaits and spinnerbaits could be in play, as well as flipping and pitching around boat docks.

“In the deeper portions of the lake, I’ll be looking for some offshore structure,” Vinson continued. “I know Lake Eufaula has some good rock piles, humps, points, brush piles and even some natural timber in it. So, there are a lot of options for that offshore cover fishing as well.

“In typical five-fish tournaments, 18 to 20-plus-pounds is a good limit on Lake Eufaula, which sets us up to have to catch probably 25 pounds or more per day, just to make the cut, so it should be a good shootout.”

Local Bass Pro Shops pro Edwin Evers of Talala, Oklahoma, said Lake Eufaula has been fishing really good and had a lot of great spawning seasons over the past several years.

“It’s a monster lake, so being able to spread out on this fishery is going to be a lot of fun,” said Evers. “Anglers are liable to find an area and not ever see another boat the rest of the day.

“It typically takes 20-22 pounds to win most five-fish tournaments at Lake Eufaula,” Evers continued. “I don’t see it as being a big numbers event like we just had at Dale Hollow. I think if a guy can catch 10-15 scorable bass per day, he’ll be doing pretty well.”

Evers agreed that the event is hitting the fishery at an opportune time, when a variety of techniques will be in play.

“I think this will be a straight power-fishing event,” Evers explained. “I don’t think we’re going to see a lot of the jighead minnow-type stuff that we’ve been seeing. I think it’s going to be a lot of spinnerbaits, crankbaits, a jig – just your typical power-fishing type baits. There will probably be quite a bit of sight-fishing going on as well, so I think it will be a really fun tournament with plenty of options.”

Anglers will launch at 7:30 a.m. CT each day from the Peter’s Point-Nichols Point Boat Ramp, located on Dabbs Road in Eufaula. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will be held at the boat ramp, beginning at 4 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch and takeout events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLFNOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at  MajorLeagueFishing.com.

On Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. MLF welcomes fans of all ages to visit Peter’s Point-Nichols Point for the MLF Watch Party and Kids Fishing Derby. Fans can watch the pros live on the MLFNOW! big screen, enjoy free food, enter to win hourly giveaways and cheer on their favorite pros. The first 50 kids 14 and under will receive a free rod and reel from Pure Fishing each day. Additional fishing gear will be provided onsite for the fishing derby or kids can bring their own. The final 10 Championship Round Bass Pro Tour anglers will be on hand at the trophy celebration on Championship Sunday to meet and greet fans, sign autographs and take selfies.

The MillerTech Stage Four at Lake Eufaula Presented by REDCON1 will feature anglers competing with a 1-pound, 8-ounce minimum weight requirement for a bass to be deemed scorable. The MLF Fisheries Management Division determines minimum weights for each body of water 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 79 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2025 championship.

The 39 Anglers in Group A compete in their two-day Qualifying Round on Tuesday and Thursday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Wednesday and Friday. After each two-day Qualifying Round is complete, the anglers that finish first through 10th from both groups advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed, and the remaining 20 anglers compete to finish in the top 10 to advance to Sunday’s 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 MLFNOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action live on the final four days of competition from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT. MLFNOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Television coverage of the MillerTech Stage Four at Lake Eufaula Presented by REDCON1 Knockout Round will air as a two-hour episode starting at 7 a.m. ET, on Saturday, Oct. 12 on Discovery, with the Championship Round premiering on Oct. 19. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on Discovery, with re-airings on Outdoor Channel.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Bass Pro Tour include: Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, BUBBA, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, Garmin, General Tire, Humminbird, Lowrance, Mercury, MillerTech, Minn Kota, Mossy Oak Fishing, NITRO, Onyx, Plano, Power-Pole, Rapala, StarBrite, Suzuki, Toyota and U.S. Air Force.

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 FacebookX,  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, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network and on demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered 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 17 countries. 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.


Arey’s rollin with tides and lunker sticks

Team Toyota’s Matt Arey says he won’t allow the challenging tide-driven water level changes of the St. Johns River to dictate his day, but he did take time to look at tidal charts briefly on his Lowrance unit prior to Day 1 blast-off in Palatka.

“I’m not a guy who gets caught-up in chasing the ‘perfect tide’ up and down the river. First off, there’s never any certainty as to which tidal conditions are truly best, and secondly, it’s different every few miles,” says Arey.

For example, low tide here in Palatka was at 7:37 a.m. Thursday, but that didn’t have a ton to do with water levels where Arey made his first cast a few miles downriver. So, he likes to have a general knowledge of the tides, without letting them run him ragged mentally.

The North Carolina State grad has a very impressive tournament performance history on the St. Johns. He finished 15th at the Bassmaster Elite here in 2019 and followed that up with an even stronger 7th place finish in 2020, and simplicity is a huge part of his success.

“I’m not going to run around looking for the shad spawn like a lot of guys will this morning. I’m going to Texas rig a black and blue Lunkerhunt Trick Stick and hope to get 8 to 10 bites pitchin’ by about 10:00 a.m., then I’ll go looking for a big one on a spawning bed,” he says.

Arey describes the St. Johns as a “soft plastic pitcher’s paradise” and says he’s made a ton of money in Florida with the 5” Lunker Stick throughout his career. In fact, he says if you come bass fishing in Florida and you want to get a bite, you’d be wise to make sure you rig one up.

“If I can weigh-in 14-pounds today, I’ll be ecstatic!” exclaims Arey. “I’ll tell you this … fans can expect to see a lot of healthy bass here on the St. Johns compared to what we brought to the scales at the Harris Chain of Lakes last week. This should be a fun one,” says Arey.

With two Top 15 finishes to his credit, it’s certainly been a fun one in recent years for him, based largely on a strong mental focus that keeps tidal charts in proper perspective, and a simple ink-pen shaped piece of soft plastic tied to the end of his line.

 


Nick Klein Leads Day One of 2024 WON Bass Clear Lake Open, Joe Mariani in Second

Top Six places Eclipse 30 pounds, 55 limits over 20 pounds on California’s Famed Bass Factory.

LAKEPORT, Calif. – April 17, 2024 –– The conditions leading up to the 2024 Ranger Boats WON Bass Clear Lake Open presented by Mercury had become the conversation. Long range forecasts predicted warm and mild conditions, however the colder weather seemed to be hanging around, and one began to wonder if the forecasts were going to ring true.

As practice progressed it appeared that the forecasts for the 177 pros and their AAA anglers were going to come to fruition as if Nostradamus himself predicted them.  The field was blessed with Chamber of Commerce type weather with high skies, warm temperatures, no rain and very light breezes.  For a field expecting to target bedding bass as a part of their tactics, the conditions could not be better.

There was also a lot of discussion about the potential for a lot of heavy weights to be weighed in during the 2024 Clear Lake Open, and on the first day of the event, the field – and Clear Lake – did not disappoint.  Nick Klein, from Oroville, Calif. and his AAA partner Jiongbo (Bob) Zhang lead day one with 35.59 pounds.  He is followed by Winters, Calif. pro Joe Mariani who totaled 34.34 pounds with his AAA partner Chase Harrell of San Jose, Calif. finished the day in second place.

Third place for the day went Templeton, Calif. pro Austin Bonjour and his AAA Anthony Madrigal of Auburn Calif. with 33.84 pounds.  They were followed in fourth place by Turlock, Calif. pro Christian Ostrander and AAA Daniel Martinez of Murrieta, Calif. with 31.83 pounds, and pro Vance Hayes of Chico, Calif. and his AAA partner Mike Flores of San Diego, Calif. rounded out the top five with 31.17 pounds.

In all, there were six limits on the first day of the 2024 WON Bass Clear Lake Open that eclipsed the 30-pound mark and 55 five fish limits that eclipsed 20 pounds for the day.  With that many heavy weight limits touching the scales, one might assume that there were some individual big bass weighed in as well, and that would be correct.

Bill Brown of Grand Junction, Colo. Weighed a 9.93-pound largemouth that was the big bass on the pro side, and Damon Motley of Orange, Calif. brought a 9.39-pound monster to the scales that was big bass in the AAA Division.  Altogether, across both divisions, there were seven bass over 9 pounds that were weighed in, six more that topped 8 pounds, seven more that eclipsed 7 pounds and another seven bass that weighed greater than 6 pounds on day one.

The 27-year-old Klein, who is the son of Steve Klein, brother of Alex and nephew of Bass Fishing Hall of Famer Gary Klein, said that it was a good day.  “I had a limit that weighed 30 pounds by noon and was able to cull up five more pounds in the afternoon,” he said.  “I feel pretty good that I can have a good day tomorrow, but it’s spring and these fish can decide to move up any time.”

What may make him sleep a little easier overnight is that he is running through several different areas.  “I covered a lot of the lake today, and I caught them on several different baits, so hopefully I’ll be able to continue with similar results,” he said.  “All I can say is that today was a really fun day.”

Mariani, in contrast to Klein’s multitude of areas, caught his first limit of pre spawn fish by 8:30 AM – which topped 30 pounds – off of one spot.  “I have a little spot that I’ve had to myself so far, and it’s got good ones on it,” he said.  “I was able to leave them biting and catch the best bed fish I found at 10:30 to get my weight.  I thought she was seven pounds until I hooked her, and then I thought she was a ten pounder – she weighed 9.21.  I feel pretty good about tomorrow, if the fish on my early stuff are still there and don’t move toward the beds.”

Day Two of the Clear Lake Open will commence at Safe Light Friday April 18, 2024, from Library Park in Lakeport, Calif. with the first flight due to return at 2:30 PM.  Daily Weigh-ins are streamed on Facebook.com/WONBassTournaments beginning at 3:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time.

The winner of the 2024 WON Bass Clear Lake Open will earn the Ranger Boats / Mercury Motor prize boat provided by Bass Pro Shops, and the Golden Tickets to the 2025 Bassmaster BASS Nation National Championship will be awarded to the top five Pro and AAA anglers and will further develop the season long competition to see who will receive guaranteed slots into the 2025 Bassmaster Opens Elite Qualifiers.

The top 10 in each division are posted below: for complete standings, visit https://wonbassevents.com/pages/clear-lake-2024-pairings-results

WON Bass Clear Lake Open 4/17 to 4/19/2024

Place

Pro Day 1 Hometown

Fish

B/B

Day 1 Total

1

Nick Klein Oroville, Ca

5-5

8.85

35.59

2

Joe Mariani Winters, CA

5-5

9.21

34.34

3

Austin Bonjour Templeton, CA

5-5

7.86

33.84

4

Christian Ostrander Turlock, CA

5-5

31.83

5

Vance Hayes Chico, CA

5-5

9.29

31.17

6

John Hampel Sparks, NV

5-5

30.37

7

Julius Mazy Phoenix, AZ

5-5

8.62

28.50

8

Scooter Griffith Mesa, AZ

5-5

9.92

27.47

9

Randy Pierson Oakdale, CA

5-5

7.41

27.46

10

Kyle Grover RCHO STA MARG, CA

5-5

8.22

26.99

Place

AAA Angler Day 1 Hometown

Fish

B/B

Day 1 Total

1

Jiongbo (Bob) Zhang Walnut Creek, CA

5-5

35.59

2

Chase Harrell San Jose, Ca

5-5

34.34

3

Anthony Madrigal Auburn, CA

5-5

33.84

4

Daniel Martinez Murrieta, CA

5-5

9.30

31.83

5

Mike Flores San Diego, CA

5-5

31.17

6

Damon Motley Orange, CA

5-5

9.39

30.37

7

Joe Uribe, Sr. Havasu City, AZ

5-5

28.50

8

Frank Ortega Upland, CA

5-5

27.47

9

Thor Dusenberry Pheonix, CA

5-5

27.46

10

Larry Bonjour Santa Maria, CA

5-5

26.99

The 2024 WON Bass Western Opens Series of events Consisting of five events in California, Arizona and Nevada moves next to the California Open at Clear Lake April 17 to 19, 2024.  The series will culminate with the 2024 WON Bass U.S. Open at Lake Mohave in October.  The full schedule of the five event dates are as follows:

 Jan. 31–Feb. 2, Lake Shasta - Champion Nick Wood – 47.42 pounds

April 17-19, Clear Lake

May 15-17, Lake Havasu

Sept. 18-20, Lake Mead

Oct. 14-16, U.S. Open at Lake Mohave

For complete details to register or find results, look to wonbassevents.com and WONews.com to hear the latest news about the 2024 season and beyond and follow along at Facebook.com/WONBassTournaments.

The 2024 WON Bass Northern California Lake Shasta Open is brought to you by Bass Pro Shops, Ranger Boats, Mercury Marine, Nitro Boats, Triton Boats, Bridgford Foods, Phenix Rods, Yamamoto Baits, Bill Lewis Lures, Buckeye Lures, Steel Shad, Bioenno Power, SOG Knives, Cold Steel Knives, Gamma Line, Power Pole, Lowrance, Daiwa, AFTCO, Costa, Berkley, Abu Garcia, DD26 Fishing, Anderson Toyota, A&M Graphics, Anglers Marine and Signature Gates.

Local presenting sponsors are Clear Lake Outdoors and the City of Lakeport.  Daily takeoffs and weigh-ins will happen at Library Park in the City of Lakeport, California.


Montevallo’s Erickson and Pontius take lead in Bassmaster College Series event on Kentucky Lake

April 17, 2024

Montevallo’s Erickson and Pontius take lead in Bassmaster College Series event on Kentucky Lake

CollegeSeries_StrikeKing_BPSjm_4C.png

PARIS, Tenn. — Kentucky Lake looked very much like one of the nation’s legendary fisheries on Day 1 of the Strike King Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops.

Blair Erickson and Jackson Pontius of the University of Montevallo (Ala.) caught the heaviest bag on Wednesday, weighing five bass for a total of 22 pounds, 8 ounces. That was one of 145 limits caught by 216 teams entered in this two-day derby — a sure sign that Kentucky Lake has rebounded after enduring a few lean years due mainly to an influx of the invasive Asian carp.

This is the first B.A.S.S. event on the mammoth fishery since 2020 when the Bassmaster High School National Championship was held here. As was proved at that tournament, and again on Wednesday, the smallmouth bite is especially strong on Kentucky Lake.

“We caught a mix of smallmouth and largemouth today,” Erickson said, “but we wound up weighing five smallmouth bass.”

“We upgraded with a 4-14 smallmouth to finish the day,” Pontius said. “And we actually came in an hour early. It was a really good day.”

Fortune smiled early on the pair of 21-year-old juniors. They had 21 pounds in the livewell by 9 a.m., fishing current in anywhere from 4 to 13 feet of water. But the duo struggled to improve on that total until the kicker smallie later in the day.

Erickson said the overcast skies early on Wednesday helped their bite, but bright sun and warmer conditions as the morning wore on slowed things considerably.

Fishing pressure was also a factor, the Day 1 leaders said.

“The area we were in got pretty loaded,” Erickson said. “We burned that area to the ground today, but we have another tomorrow that’s hopefully as good.”

Pontius said he’s confident they can make a run for the tournament title on Thursday.

“I think we can catch 17 or 18 pounds tomorrow, at the worst,” he said. “And we should be able to get 20. That gives us a chance.”

Jack Hay and Eli Jaime of Southwestern Michigan College are in second place with 20-11. Rounding out the Top 5 after Day 1 are Dylan Fogerty and Hunter Fillmore of Bethel University (Tenn.), third, 20-5; Easton Fothergill and Nick Dumke of Montevallo, fourth, 20-4; and Dylan Akins and Chase Cary of Emmanuel College (Ga.), fifth,19-13.

Fothergill and Dumke were the Bassmaster College Series Team of the Year in 2023.

The teams of Sam Moll and Will Burch of Murray State (Ky.) University, and Quade Lobo and Nick Owens of Adrian College (Mich.), each weighed a 6-13 smallmouth on Wednesday to tie for the heaviest bass on Day 1.

This week’s College Series stop at Kentucky Lake is the second of three events on the new Legends Trail, the first being held on South Carolina’s Lake Murray in January and the final tournament set for Michigan’s Saginaw Bay in June. Teams finishing in the top 10% of the field at any of the college events will qualify for the Strike King Bassmaster College National Championship scheduled for Aug. 22-24 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, S.C.

The second and final day of competition on Kentucky Lake will begin at 6:30 a.m. CT. The closing weigh-in is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. Follow the action on Bassmaster.com.

The Henry County Tourism Authority is hosting the event.

2024 Bassmaster College Series Title Sponsor: Strike King

2024 Bassmaster College Series Presenting Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops

2024 Bassmaster College Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2024 Bassmaster College Series Premier Sponsors: Dakota Lithium, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Progressive Insurance, Ranger Boats, Rapala, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha
2024 Bassmaster College Series Supporting Sponsors: AFTCO, Daiwa, Garmin, Lew's, Lowrance, Marathon, Triton Boats, VMC

2024 Bassmaster College Series Youth Sponsors: Seaguar, Shimano

About B.A.S.S.B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting-edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

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Connect with #Bassmaster on FacebookInstagramTwitter and TikTok.

Media Contact: Chad Gay, Communications Manager, 865-201-6458, cgay@bassmaster.com

2024 Strike King Bassmaster College Series at Kentucky Lake presented by Bass Pro Shops 4/17-4/18
Kentucky Lake, Paris  TN.
(BOATER) Standings Day 1

Angler                                       Club/School                       Pts

1.  Blair Erickson - Jackson Pontius             University of Montevallo            250
Day 1: 5   22-08   Total:   5  22-08
2.  Jack Hay - Eli Jaime                         Southwestern Michigan College       249
Day 1: 5   20-11   Total:   5  20-11
3.  Dylan Fogarty - Hunter Fillmore              Bethel University                   248
Day 1: 5   20-05   Total:   5  20-05
4.  Easton Fothergill - Nick Dumke               University of Montevallo            247
Day 1: 5   20-04   Total:   5  20-04
5.  Dylan Akins - Chase Carey                    Emmanuel College                    246
Day 1: 5   19-13   Total:   5  19-13
6.  Derek Rodriguez Jr. - Dalton Mollenkopf      Adrian College                      245
Day 1: 5   19-11   Total:   5  19-11
7.  Drake Sturgill - Beau Browning               University of Montevallo            244
Day 1: 5   19-10   Total:   5  19-10
8.  Banks Shaw - Nathan Reynolds                 University of North Alabama         243
Day 1: 5   19-08   Total:   5  19-08
9.  Colby Carrier - Justin Frey                  Bethel University                   242
Day 1: 5   19-07   Total:   5  19-07
10. Lane Stephens - Ethan Fields                 McKendree University                241
Day 1: 5   19-06   Total:   5  19-06
11. Brenton Godwin - Hunter Odom                 University of Montevallo            240
Day 1: 5   19-03   Total:   5  19-03
12. Collin Barnett - Sander Ludeman              Minnesota State University - Man    239
Day 1: 5   19-02   Total:   5  19-02
13. Jackson Kulijof - Aiden Clark                Murray State University             238
Day 1: 5   19-01   Total:   5  19-01
14. Andrew Howell - Jordan Pennington            University of Montevallo            237
Day 1: 5   18-13   Total:   5  18-13
15. Adrian Urso - Corbin Templon                 Murray State University             236
Day 1: 5   18-10   Total:   5  18-10
16. Hunter Russell - Benny Blank                 Wabash Valley College               235
Day 1: 5   18-07   Total:   5  18-07
17. Daniel Schroeder - Jacob Autry               Murray State University             234
Day 1: 5   18-06   Total:   5  18-06
18. Quade Lobo - Nick Owens                      Adrian College                      233
Day 1: 5   18-04   Total:   5  18-04
18. Chase Milholen - Koltyn Harbin               Bethel University                   233
Day 1: 5   18-04   Total:   5  18-04
20. Elliot Wielgopolski - Aaron Jagdfeld         Adrian College                      231
Day 1: 5   18-03   Total:   5  18-03
21. Hayden Marbut -                              Auburn University                   230
Day 1: 5   17-12   Total:   5  17-12
22. Henry Vincent - Tommy Parker                 Adrian College                      229
Day 1: 5   17-12   Total:   5  17-12
23. Benjamin Travis - Brendin Simich             Auburn University                   228
Day 1: 5   17-11   Total:   5  17-11
23. Carson Tucker - Kade MacDonald               University of Wisconsin - Whitew    228
Day 1: 5   17-11   Total:   5  17-11
25. Sam Moll - Will Burch                        Murray State University             226
Day 1: 5   17-09   Total:   5  17-09
25. Hank Sturm - Matt Amosby                     Adrian College                      226
Day 1: 5   17-09   Total:   5  17-09
27. Lucas Washburn - Braylon Eggerding           Adrian College                      224
Day 1: 5   17-07   Total:   5  17-07
28. Tyler Finley - Christopher Kistler           University of North Alabama         223
Day 1: 5   17-01   Total:   5  17-01
28. Tyler Leachman - Mark Bixler                 Murray State University             223
Day 1: 5   17-01   Total:   5  17-01
30. Jerry Brumbaugh Jr. - Brady Pinwar           Adrian College                      221
Day 1: 5   17-00   Total:   5  17-00
31. Kai Barnett - Parker Welch                   McKendree University                220
Day 1: 5   16-14   Total:   5  16-14
31. Carter Nutt - Dylan Nutt                     University of North Alabama         220
Day 1: 5   16-14   Total:   5  16-14
33. Logan Plueger - Charlie Wright               University of Montevallo            218
Day 1: 5   16-13   Total:   5  16-13
33. Peyton Rose - Brogan Gregg                   Wabash Valley College               218
Day 1: 5   16-13   Total:   5  16-13
35. Tyler Eggers - Dustin Swafford               Catawba Valley Community College    216
Day 1: 5   16-11   Total:   5  16-11
36. Hayden Fry - Vance Roberts                   McKendree University                215
Day 1: 5   16-11   Total:   5  16-11
37. Austin Marley - Jack Richardson              Georgia Southern University         214
Day 1: 5   16-10   Total:   5  16-10
38. Cameron Smith - Thomas Phillips              Ohio State University               213
Day 1: 5   16-10   Total:   5  16-10
39. Luke Davis - Chance Schwartz                 University of Montevallo            212
Day 1: 5   16-09   Total:   5  16-09
39. Nick Seitz - Paxton Giem                     Adrian College                      212
Day 1: 5   16-09   Total:   5  16-09
41. Cy Lambert - Austin King                     University of North Alabama         210
Day 1: 5   16-08   Total:   5  16-08
42. Ryan Olsen - Delaney Platt                   Southwestern Michigan College       209
Day 1: 5   16-07   Total:   5  16-07
43. Blayner  Leeman - Cameron Dials              Kentucky Christian University       208
Day 1: 5   16-06   Total:   5  16-06
44. Lake Norsworthy - Calup Williams             Blue Mountain Christian Universi    207
Day 1: 5   16-05   Total:   5  16-05
45. Brody Robison - Colton White                 University of Montevallo            206
Day 1: 5   16-05   Total:   5  16-05
46. Kyle Hopping - Colsyn Head                   McKendree University                205
Day 1: 5   16-04   Total:   5  16-04
47. Jonah Potts - Connor Lacy                    Murray State University             204
Day 1: 5   15-15   Total:   5  15-15
48. Max Heaton - Brooks Anderson                 Emmanuel College                    203
Day 1: 5   15-13   Total:   5  15-13
49. Dawson Burton - Ethan Burnette               Kentucky Christian University       202
Day 1: 5   15-12   Total:   5  15-12
49. Owen Januszewski - Mitch Straffon            Adrian College                      202
Day 1: 5   15-12   Total:   5  15-12
49. Brady Metzger - Mason Bohland                Purdue University                   202
Day 1: 5   15-12   Total:   5  15-12
52. Wyatt Pearman - Ridge Rutledge               Campbellsville University           199
Day 1: 5   15-10   Total:   5  15-10
53. Harrison Terry - Zachary Bowen               Bethel University                   198
Day 1: 5   15-09   Total:   5  15-09
54. Jonathon Garbacz - Owen Moss                 University of North Georgia         197
Day 1: 5   15-08   Total:   5  15-08
55. Chandler Pruett - Wes Bailey                 Blue Mountain Christian Universi    196
Day 1: 5   15-07   Total:   5  15-07
56. Zane Roberts - Elijah McDonald               University of North Alabama         195
Day 1: 5   15-06   Total:   5  15-06
56. Harlan Thomas - Jack Thompson                Murray State University             195
Day 1: 5   15-06   Total:   5  15-06
58. Hunter Petrovic - Kaiya Ziga                 Southwestern Michigan College       193
Day 1: 5   15-05   Total:   5  15-05
58. Ethan Tedder - Hunter Brewer                 University of North Alabama         193
Day 1: 5   15-05   Total:   5  15-05
60. Reece Keeney - Brantley Anders               Kentucky Christian University       191
Day 1: 5   15-04   Total:   5  15-04
61. Chris Baker - Elijah Kelley                  Kentucky Christian University       190
Day 1: 5   15-02   Total:   5  15-02
61. Brennan Berglund - Neal Braddy               University of Montevallo            190
Day 1: 5   15-02   Total:   5  15-02
61. James Willoughby - Phillip Herring           University of Montevallo            190
Day 1: 5   15-02   Total:   5  15-02
64. Jarrett Prunty - Chase Fleenor               Western Kentucky University         187
Day 1: 5   14-15   Total:   5  14-15
64. Jake Thornbury - Lane Pohlman                Campbellsville University           187
Day 1: 5   14-15   Total:   5  14-15
66. Dylan Levin - Dalton DeFelice                Southwestern Michigan College       185
Day 1: 5   14-14   Total:   5  14-14
67. Will Gordon -                                Murray State University             184
Day 1: 5   14-13   Total:   5  14-13
67. Payton Sodervick - Adam Troyer               Indiana University                  184
Day 1: 5   14-13   Total:   5  14-13
69. Riley Lawson - Joe Bob Burchett              Kentucky Christian University       182
Day 1: 5   14-12   Total:   5  14-12
70. Connor Westerman - Michael Mcnulty           West Virginia University            181
Day 1: 5   14-11   Total:   5  14-11
71. Jordan Bezold - Joe Bezold                   Nku Bassmasters Club                180
Day 1: 5   14-10   Total:   5  14-10
72. Hagan Marlin - Chris Fallon                  University of Montevallo            179
Day 1: 5   14-08   Total:   5  14-08
72. Levi Seagraves - Scooter Ligon Jr            Emmanuel College                    179
Day 1: 5   14-08   Total:   5  14-08
74. Hunter Shelton - Colten Drawdy               Bethel University                   177
Day 1: 5   14-06   Total:   5  14-06
74. Jack Stephens - Jason Qualich                McKendree University                177
Day 1: 5   14-06   Total:   5  14-06
76. Harmon Marien - Maxwell Trotter              McKendree University                175
Day 1: 5   14-05   Total:   5  14-05
77. Tyler Altizer - Landon Lawson                King University                     174
Day 1: 5   14-03   Total:   5  14-03
77. Jacob Swanson - Zack Cooper                  University of Montevallo            174
Day 1: 5   14-03   Total:   5  14-03
79. Joseph Woods - Anthony Cicero IV             Bethel University                   172
Day 1: 5   14-03   Total:   5  14-03
80. Tomas Matual - Colton Hill                   McKendree University                171
Day 1: 5   14-02   Total:   5  14-02
81. TJ McKenzie - Will Wester                    Emmanuel College                    170
Day 1: 5   13-12   Total:   5  13-12
82. Tucker Dottley - Jordan Hampton              Bethel University                   169
Day 1: 5   13-11   Total:   5  13-11
83. Dalton Phelps - Gannon Stork                 Wabash Valley College               168
Day 1: 5   13-09   Total:   5  13-09
83. Nathan Preston - Reece Tremaglio             Auburn University                   168
Day 1: 5   13-09   Total:   5  13-09
85. Jack Mcillwain - Jake Krauth                 University of North Alabama         166
Day 1: 5   13-08   Total:   5  13-08
86. Cole Hadlock - Braiden Koerber               Murray State University             165
Day 1: 5   13-07   Total:   5  13-07
86. Andrew Jones - Tyler Malone                  Southern Union State Community C    165
Day 1: 5   13-07   Total:   5  13-07
88. Joe Lutz - Jake Monti                        UNC - Charlotte                     163
Day 1: 5   13-06   Total:   5  13-06
88. Max Pierlott - Mike Pierlott                 UNC - Charlotte                     163
Day 1: 5   13-06   Total:   5  13-06
90. Nick Redlin - Ben Redlin                     University of Wisconsin - Platte    161
Day 1: 5   13-05   Total:   5  13-05
91. Kaleb Brown - Cole Moulton                   Lander University                   160
Day 1: 5   13-03   Total:   5  13-03
91. Luke Dardeen - Connor Becker                 Wabash Valley College               160
Day 1: 5   13-03   Total:   5  13-03
93. Andrew Oswalt - Evan Mabrey                  University of Montevallo            158
Day 1: 5   13-01   Total:   5  13-01
94. Carson Calvert - Austin Thomas               University of North Alabama         157
Day 1: 5   13-01   Total:   5  13-01
95. Nick Shoffner - Drake Page                   UNC - Charlotte                     156
Day 1: 5   12-15   Total:   5  12-15
96. Brock Blazier - Colby Joseph                 Campbellsville University           155
Day 1: 5   12-14   Total:   5  12-14
96. Logan East - Conner Giles                    Bryan College                       155
Day 1: 5   12-14   Total:   5  12-14
98. Kobe Thompson - Cole Carr                    Adrian College                      153
Day 1: 5   12-11   Total:   5  12-11
99. Bryson Hatcher - Matthew Dopp                Bryan College                       152
Day 1: 5   12-10   Total:   5  12-10
99. Karsten Raney - Ben Sadler                   Campbellsville University           152
Day 1: 5   12-10   Total:   5  12-10
101. Jackson Holbert - Joshua Hayes               University of North Alabama         150
Day 1: 5   12-09   Total:   5  12-09
101. Caden Pearson - Nathan Kallstrand            Wabash Valley College               150
Day 1: 5   12-09   Total:   5  12-09
103. Jake Peck - Carty Shoen                      Auburn University                   148
Day 1: 4   12-09   Total:   4  12-09
104. Will Hart - Logan Fisher                     Emmanuel College                    147
Day 1: 5   12-08   Total:   5  12-08
105. Carter Smith - Sam Ausbrooks                 Wabash Valley College               146
Day 1: 4   12-08   Total:   4  12-08
106. Emily Freeman - Charly Hutson                Murray State University             145
Day 1: 5   12-07   Total:   5  12-07
107. Zach Pocos - Tucker Siminak                  McKendree University                144
Day 1: 5   12-06   Total:   5  12-06
107. Kyle Smith - Aaron Mills                     Kentucky Christian University       144
Day 1: 5   12-06   Total:   5  12-06
109. Wes Newman Jr. - Holden Zinda                Liberty University                  142
Day 1: 5   12-04   Total:   5  12-04
110. Jake Kimbrough - Tyler Hill                  Blue Mountain Christian Universi    141
Day 1: 5   12-04   Total:   5  12-04
111. Jack Carroll - Joseph Senn                   Bethel University                   140
Day 1: 5   12-03   Total:   5  12-03
111. Max Newkirk - Makenzie Shelton               Murray State University             140
Day 1: 5   12-03   Total:   5  12-03
111. Hunter Palmer - Eli Stevenson                Bryan College                       140
Day 1: 5   12-03   Total:   5  12-03
114. Jackson Smith - Sawyer Williams              Bethel University                   137
Day 1: 5   12-03   Total:   5  12-03
115. Nick Pemberton - Will Holloway               University of Montevallo            136
Day 1: 5   12-01   Total:   5  12-01
115. Dustin Weinberg - Sawyer Brady               Blue Mountain Christian Universi    136
Day 1: 5   12-01   Total:   5  12-01
117. Gus Dietrich - Jack Wilson                   University of Alabama               134
Day 1: 5   12-00   Total:   5  12-00
118. Jonathan Yazdi - James Yuska                 Indiana University                  133
Day 1: 5   11-15   Total:   5  11-15
119. Hunter Sandschafer - Blake Beckmann          Wabash Valley College               132
Day 1: 5   11-13   Total:   5  11-13
120. Harrison McCall - Cameron Yates              Lander University                   131
Day 1: 5   11-13   Total:   5  11-13
121. Nate Triplett - Holden Johnson               University of North Alabama         130
Day 1: 5   11-12   Total:   5  11-12
122. William Vickery - Hunter Starling            Georgia Southern University         129
Day 1: 5   11-12   Total:   5  11-12
123. Dylan Bush - Tyler Hudson                    Western Kentucky University         128
Day 1: 5   11-11   Total:   5  11-11
123. Branson Campbell - Hayden Short              Kentucky Christian University       128
Day 1: 5   11-11   Total:   5  11-11
123. Colton Odom - Tyler Madden                   Auburn University                   128
Day 1: 5   11-11   Total:   5  11-11
123. Ethan Vue - Christian Vue                    UNC - Charlotte                     128
Day 1: 5   11-11   Total:   5  11-11
127. TJ Davis - Dillan Mcglothern                 Webber International University     124
Day 1: 5   11-09   Total:   5  11-09
127. Tristen Dubbs - Parker Wilburn               Grace College                       124
Day 1: 5   11-09   Total:   5  11-09
127. Allen Powe - Jonathan Combs                  Campbellsville University           124
Day 1: 5   11-09   Total:   5  11-09
127. Evan Sutton - Grant Olsen                    McKendree University                124
Day 1: 5   11-09   Total:   5  11-09
131. Peyton Harris - Dalton Head                  University of Montevallo            120
Day 1: 5   11-07   Total:   5  11-07
131. Turner Hart - Summer Dees                    Bryan College                       120
Day 1: 5   11-07   Total:   5  11-07
131. Jake Hope - Alex Nesmith                     Murray State University             120
Day 1: 5   11-07   Total:   5  11-07
134. Bryce Dimauro - Tripp Berlinsky              Bryan College                       117
Day 1: 5   11-04   Total:   5  11-04
134. Chase Loftus -                               University of Iowa                  117
Day 1: 5   11-04   Total:   5  11-04
136. Ben Brockwell - Will Rooker                  Kentucky Christian University       115
Day 1: 5   11-02   Total:   5  11-02
137. Evan Barker - Corey Yarish                   Campbellsville University           114
Day 1: 5   11-01   Total:   5  11-01
138. Braden Cox - Joel Berelsman                  Ohio State University               113
Day 1: 4   11-01   Total:   4  11-01
139. Carson Winn - Grady Mcclendon                University of North Alabama         112
Day 1: 5   11-00   Total:   5  11-00
140. Tyler Cory - Scott Sledge                    University of Montevallo            111
Day 1: 5   10-14   Total:   5  10-14
141. William Brogan - Cole Bubenzer               Indiana University                  110
Day 1: 5   10-12   Total:   5  10-12
142. Jake Brown - Walker Brown                    University of North Alabama         109
Day 1: 5   10-03   Total:   5  10-03
143. Caleb Bridges - Jonathan Fann                Bryan College                       108
Day 1: 4   10-02   Total:   4  10-02
144. Gavyn Rapp - Ephraim Cretsinger              Adrian College                      107
Day 1: 5   09-15   Total:   5  09-15
145. Spencer Grooms - Kyle Knoll                  Auburn University                   106
Day 1: 5   09-13   Total:   5  09-13
146. Dylan Thomson - Trey Marco                   King University                     105
Day 1: 5   09-12   Total:   5  09-12
147. Campbell Coyle - Tanner Davis                University of Kentucky              104
Day 1: 4   09-12   Total:   4  09-12
148. Jadon Spencer - Chase Martin                 Catawba Valley Community College    103
Day 1: 5   09-10   Total:   5  09-10
149. Mitch Johnson - Jonathan Fitch               Kentucky Christian University       102
Day 1: 4   09-09   Total:   4  09-09
150. William Henry - Hunter Heckman               Purdue University                   101
Day 1: 5   09-08   Total:   5  09-08
151. Dade Vincent -                               Murray State University             100
Day 1: 4   09-06   Total:   4  09-06
152. Dawson Woerner - Wyatt Cash                  Purdue University                    99
Day 1: 4   09-04   Total:   4  09-04
153. Casey Cornelius - Zion Dunaway               Purdue University                    98
Day 1: 4   09-02   Total:   4  09-02
154. Aidan Kolb - Tanner Brockman                 Murray State University              97
Day 1: 4   08-13   Total:   4  08-13
155. Drew Bradstreet -                            Florida Gateway College              96
Day 1: 4   08-07   Total:   4  08-07
156. Nickolas Illobre -                           Bethel University                    95
Day 1: 4   08-01   Total:   4  08-01
157. Brooks Parker - Hudson Choquette             University of Montevallo             94
Day 1: 5   07-15   Total:   5  07-15
158. Lucas Thornton - Lucas Snyder                University of North Alabama          93
Day 1: 3   07-15   Total:   3  07-15
159. Hayden Pirman - Luke Chaddock                West Virginia University             92
Day 1: 3   07-14   Total:   3  07-14
160. Nick Harenda - Nick Mallmann Conto           University of Wisconsin-Whitewat     91
Day 1: 4   07-11   Total:   4  07-11
160. Gavin Sheffer -                              Liberty University                   91
Day 1: 4   07-11   Total:   4  07-11
162. Braden Thompson - Mason Gross                Wabash Valley College                89
Day 1: 2   07-11   Total:   2  07-11
163. Tyler Dubois - Grayden Scibilia              Bethel University                     0
Day 1: 3   07-10   Total:   3  07-10
164. River Blanton - Brock Catlett                Campbellsville University            87
Day 1: 4   07-08   Total:   4  07-08
165. Cole Berry - Braci Ault                      Purdue University                    86
Day 1: 3   07-07   Total:   3  07-07
166. Easton Lindus - Seth Jenkins                 Emmanuel College                     85
Day 1: 3   07-06   Total:   3  07-06
167. Briggs Alavezos - Solomon Glenn              University of Montevallo             84
Day 1: 3   07-03   Total:   3  07-03
167. Billy Erdakos - Davis Klimczak               Southwestern Michigan College        84
Day 1: 3   07-03   Total:   3  07-03
169. Coleman Self - David Gummow                  Bethel University                    82
Day 1: 3   07-02   Total:   3  07-02
170. Cal Austin - Robert Richbourg                Catawba Valley Community College     81
Day 1: 3   06-15   Total:   3  06-15
171. Bryson Dotson - Kobi May                     Bryan College                        80
Day 1: 4   06-08   Total:   4  06-08
172. Jacob Highley - William Copley               Kentucky Christian University        79
Day 1: 3   06-08   Total:   3  06-08
173. Kyle Zainitzer - Brock Vogel                 University of North Alabama          78
Day 1: 3   06-08   Total:   3  06-08
174. Chris McGregor - Preston Kolisek             University of North Alabama          77
Day 1: 3   06-07   Total:   3  06-07
175. Tanner Herndon -                             Bryan College                        76
Day 1: 2   05-14   Total:   2  05-14
176. Josh Richardson - Logan Greeno                                                    75
Day 1: 3   05-08   Total:   3  05-08
176. Jaxson Smoak - Dylan Reid                    Georgia Southern University          75
Day 1: 3   05-08   Total:   3  05-08
178. Colin Chavers - Aiden Macks                  Southern Union State Community C     73
Day 1: 2   05-06   Total:   2  05-06
179. Garrett Ring - Peyton Sorrow                 University of Montevallo             72
Day 1: 3   05-03   Total:   3  05-03
180. Sam Harvey - Jordan Brewer                   Auburn University                    71
Day 1: 1   05-03   Total:   1  05-03
181. Jacob Butts - Mark Kershaw-Klara             University of South Carolina - U     70
Day 1: 2   05-02   Total:   2  05-02
182. Thomas Smith - Kaleb Butts                   University of South Carolina - U     69
Day 1: 2   05-01   Total:   2  05-01
183. Owen Wheeler - Caleb Neu                     Bethel University                    68
Day 1: 2   05-00   Total:   2  05-00
184. Butler Cochran - Bryce Evans                 University of South Carolina         67
Day 1: 2   05-00   Total:   2  05-00
185. Carter Doren - Brett Hill                    Campbellsville University            66
Day 1: 2   04-11   Total:   2  04-11
186. Ryan Thomas - Nathaniel Harper               University of Pikeville              65
Day 1: 2   04-08   Total:   2  04-08
187. Hunter Barrow - Caleb Dugger                 King University                      64
Day 1: 2   04-06   Total:   2  04-06
188. Ryan Foster - Will Hornsby                   McKendree University                 63
Day 1: 2   04-00   Total:   2  04-00
189. Kolby Clark - Rees Williams                  University of North Alabama          62
Day 1: 2   03-11   Total:   2  03-11
190. Gage Starks - Anthony Ethridge               Murray State University              61
Day 1: 2   03-10   Total:   2  03-10
191. Luke Caylor - Joe Gollmer                    Indiana University                   60
Day 1: 2   03-05   Total:   2  03-05
192. Hampton Shull -                              Lander University                    59
Day 1: 1   02-15   Total:   1  02-15
193. William Travis - Caleb Griffin               Bryan College                        58
Day 1: 1   02-08   Total:   1  02-08
194. Nick Staub - Sam Schmitz                     University of North Alabama          57
Day 1: 1   02-05   Total:   1  02-05
195. Carson Aarup - Matt Peine                    UNC - Charlotte                      56
Day 1: 1   02-01   Total:   1  02-01
195. Brendan Vinton - Jacob Vanscoik              Catawba Valley Community College     56
Day 1: 1   02-01   Total:   1  02-01
197. Sam Hoesley - Malcolm Patton                 Auburn University                    54
Day 1: 1   01-12   Total:   1  01-12
198. Jaxson Freeman - Connor Hall                 McKendree University                 53
Day 1: 1   01-08   Total:   1  01-08
199. Clayton Cruze -                              Murray State University              52
Day 1: 4   00-00   Total:   4  00-00
200. Victor Alford - Christian Misciagna          Bryan College                         0
Day 1: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
200. Kyle Ashe - Bobby Beck JR                    University at Buffalo                 0
Day 1: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
200. Blake Bullock - John Mark Berry              Blue Mountain Christian Universi      0
Day 1: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
200. Lynn Chitwood - Trevor Moore                 Virginia Tech                         0
Day 1: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
200. Ryan Daugherty - Brantley Barrentine         Campbellsville University             0
Day 1: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
200. Owen Day -                                   Morehead State University             0
Day 1: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
200. Allen Everett - Matthew Tomolonis            Murray State University               0
Day 1: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
200. Alex Geroulis - Harrison Bomba               Indiana University                    0
Day 1: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
200. Gavin Grossman - Nicholas Jones              Indiana University                    0
Day 1: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
200. William Gully - Preston Barnett              Southern Union State Community C      0
Day 1: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
200. Jeffrey Jones - Coleman Bingham              Bethel University                     0
Day 1: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
200. Camden Lewis - TJ Edwards Jr                 Blue Mountain Christian Universi      0
Day 1: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
200. Aaron Mcgill -                               Coastal Carolina University           0
Day 1: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
200. Blake Milligan - Carson Maddux               Auburn University                     0
Day 1: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
200. Kevin Palmer - Sydney Rice                   Pellissippi State Community Coll      0
Day 1: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
200. Ty Reynolds -                                Murray State University               0
Day 1: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
200. Alan Ter Molen - Luke Rosebrook              Grace College                         0
Day 1: 0   00-00   Total:   0  00-00
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1       145       874      2454-06
----------------------------------
145       874      2454-06


Scroggins makes St. Johns predictions

Team Toyota’s Terry “Big Show” Scroggins competes on Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour these days. So, obviously he won’t be an entrant this week in the Bassmaster Elite Series on his home waters of the St. Johns River, but who better to ask what fans can expect to see than Scroggins, a guy who has lived here for 40 years, notched three Top 10 Bassmaster finishes on this famed fishery, and still fishes here constantly when he’s not on the road?

Water levels are the wildcard

“The same 40-60 mph South winds that caused the Bassmaster Elite Series to be postponed at the Harris Chain last Thursday blew through here, and when that happens, it blows the water out of this tidal river in a big way. It’s still low, and that leaves the lily pads high and dry, and that’s the only vegetation we really have left here,” explains Scroggins.

Scroggins says the forecast for light winds this week, coupled with natural tide flow will help restore water levels to normal, but not to the point an angler can count on swimming a jig in lily pads to win. There simply won’t be enough of them available to carry an angler through four days of competition.

Mix it up. No single pattern will win.

“There’s a lot going on right now. Sure, there will be guys using forward-facing sonar in Rodman Reservoir that will do well. The creek channels and stump-filled flats on Rodman play well to that. There will also be guys who get a Top 10 here targeting the shad spawn around Crescent Lake, plus, off-shore shell beds will be a player, and they’ll even be some spawners weighed-in. But the guy who wins will have to do a little bit of all that,” Scroggins confidently predicts.

18-a-day to do well

Scroggins predicts an angler who can average 18 pounds each day will make a Top 10. He says a 30-pound mega limit like Rick Clunn’s iconic 31-pound Saturday catch here in 2016 is still very possible, but seldom does that happen, and when it does, it’s often complimented by more realistic 15-pound limit the day prior or the day after.

Lures that’ll play

“Again, I think the water levels will get back to normal enough for a swim jig to be a popular choice this week, and so will a spinnerbait, but of course, don’t leave your front-looker sonar minnows in the truck either,” grins the always comical Scroggins.

Comical, but confident. There’s simply no better bass fishing wisdom with more tournament earnings from this Northwest Florida fishery than “Big Show” the past 20 years. He got the nickname around here for a reason, you know.


A Team Effort...the AC Insider Story

By Danny Blandford ~ AC Insider

Over the past year or two, fans of fishing have seen lots of changes, with certainly more to come.  From the brands that support the industry, to the leagues and formats, to the anglers themselves, we're seeing big shifts in the fishing biz.  Our readers and followers may have noticed a few changes in style and feel around Anglerschannel.com and our social properties as well.  Today we wanted to give some credit where credit is due.

 

Our “world” of bass fishing here at Anglers Channel encompasses everything from the highest level professional events, to grass roots events that feed our industry with aspiring tournament anglers.  That landscape is broad: multiple events, multiple leagues, and a variety of platforms to reach the consumer all make it a bit complex for a two-man band, like me and Vance McCullough.  We knew we needed a full team of passionate folks to aggregate meaningful and timely content in the same way we’ve succeeded in aggregating news over the years.

 

The rapidly-evolving social landscape required a young perspective who knew it well and a vested interest in staying ahead of the curve…fortunately I already “knew a guy” who was doing some impressive things in the space. Bringing in a personal friend and colleague, Jeffery Johnson, made a noticeable impact starting on Day 1.  We won’t bore you with his impressive social gains for the brand, but we know several thousand folks are being introduced to Anglers Channel on a daily basis…which I guess deserves a Fist Bump Emoji…or something like that.

Jeffery Johnson ~ Social Coordinator and Bass Fishing Fanatic

 

As the platform grew, we needed more relevant content from events.  Our AC Insider, Vance McCullough, also “knew a guy” who was doing some impressive things in that space too.  He actually didn’t need any introduction to me, I was already a fan myself.  I’d been following Ricky Bodsford’s work since the BassEast days, and I frequently checked in on his Bass365 platform regardless of what job title I had over the past twenty years.

Ricky Bodsford ~ The Man Behind The Camera

Bass365 is a fitting title for his group because that’s exactly what they are, Bass Fishing 365 days a year.  Bodsford will never boast on his own work, but I will!  He’s been at more take offs, weigh-ins, and industry functions than most of us can imagine as an "embedded" reporter, and he has both passion AND talent.  Enough talent to feed his own growing client list and platform, as well as coordinating with our team to make sure we're getting the onsite event content we need for our audience and partners.  Our collaboration is already produced eye-popping results, and its only April.  We're all looking forward to watching this transformative season unfold and delivering all things bass fishing as they unfold.

In addition to media, I also wanted an AC Insider who was a true participant in the sport…someone dealing with entry fees, travel schedules, sponsors, and everything that goes into life as a “touring pro”, and I wanted someone with fresh eyes, and preferably not yet jaded by the toll that the lifestyle can take on a person.  A chance meeting at Green Pond Landing on Lake Hartwell during the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship sparked something for me.

Red Hot Rookie Drew Gill ~ Photo Credit: Major League Fishing

I had the opportunity to meet Drew Gill during a battery swap, and let’s just say my Spidey Senses told me there was something there.  We scheduled an episode of the AC Insider podcast, and within a day of posting it, I picked up the phone and partnered with Drew.  Luckily, I got it done prior to his first cast on the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour; before the invitation for that matter.  Drew has blasted out of the gate, and if you don’t know of him yet, you will!

I recently had another stroke of good fortune, when our AC Travel Insiders at Half Past First Cast passed along what seemed like a simple enough email.  It was from Pete Robbins and went something like, “I was introduced to Brady Harp through a mutual friend of ours, Dave Mansue.  I thought he might be a good fit for Anglers Channel.”  A recommendation from Pete and Dave, and a quick web search was all it took and I said, “Yep, I’d love to meet him and talk!”  A quick chat, and once again my Sidey Senses went into overdrive.

 

Brady Harp ~ The AC "Young Gun" Correspondent

Brady’s pedigree and story is an awesome one that I’m excited to share.  Brady’s passion for fishing started with drowning red worms with his dad in the neighborhood pond and catching bluegill.  Somewhere along the way he picked up a plastic worm and caught his first bass, and at that point he was hooked.  He was a quarterback for his middle school football team, yet he always found himself longing for practice to hurry up and get over so he could head to the pond for the rest of the afternoon.  Seeing his passion and thirst for knowledge, which his parents couldn’t seem to quench, they signed him up for Kurt Dove’s Pro Bass Youth Camp in the 6th grade!  Brady loved it so much, he went every year from the 6th through 12th grade, AND came back as an instructor once he aged out of the program.

According to Brady, “I genuinely attribute so much of my love of bass fishing to Kurt, Dave Mansue, and even Denny Brauer.  Having mentors like these men in the Pro Bass Youth Camp actually changed my life, and I can’t thank them enough.”

 

Brady put down the football and spent as much time as he could fishing, ultimately finding himself on the Spain Park High School Fishing Team, setting his sights on college fishing with Auburn University after graduation.  He hit the ground running at Auburn, volunteering for roles in the club as Secretary, followed by Chaplain, and ultimately finishing his college career as President of the Auburn University Bass Fishing Team

Ironically, Brady doesn’t want to be a touring pro, he just wants to stay connected to the industry and the sport that has helped shape him.  He has grown up with some of the hottest young anglers in the space.  They all started their journey together as teammates, classmates, and most importantly, friends.

In our interview, I likened him to Clark Kent…he’s an accountant during business hours, but he’s a bass fishing fanatic as soon as he’s covered his “day job”.

He added, “I chose a job that I could do effectively as a remote worker and part of that was so that I could travel and fish…not day in and day out like a pro, but the flexibility was VERY important to me.  I love fishing the Alabama Bass Trail with my dad, and as a matter of the fact I’m on my way to the lake to get in a little practice for an upcoming event.”

Harp went on to add, “At the end of the day, I want to be involved in this industry on the media side, whether it be writing, videography, or some combination of both…I want to help keep telling the kind of stories that have meant so much to me.”

Brady will start applying some of his passion as an AC Insider by bringing us special interest pieces on those young men and women, the “Young Guns” who will be taking the reins from some of us “old dogs” and we’re thinking he can even teach us a few tricks along the way.

On a recent AC Insider Podcast, co-host Vance McCullough casually dropped some knowledge that resonated with me.  We were talking about the future of our sport and V added this, “The only way to live eternally is to pour what we’ve learned into the younger generation in hopes that it matters enough for them to do the same for someone else later in their life …”

Vance McCullough ~ The OG Insider, writer, podcast host, AND more

On the topic of the podcast, we’ll be pulling the AC Insider “Crew” together for a special AC Insider Podcast and we hope you'll join us for the "Meet and Greet".  It'll take a bit to coordinate it all.

Drew’s been busy with the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour AND the Tacklewarehouse Invitationals.  Ricky and his crew have been tied up making magic with both Major League Fishing AND the Bassmaster Elite Series, sometimes both at the same time.

In the meantime, Vance and I will make sure it all keeps humming along!  We hope you’ll tune in to hear the sum of all our parts; between the “young guns” and the “old dogs”, we make a pretty good team!

The rest of 2024 will be an exciting year both on and off the water and our team of AC Insiders will be bringing it to you as it happens.  Our combination of news, event coverage, and special interest pieces will make sure Anglers Channel is your Number One resource for tournament bass fishing!

Join us and give us follow:

Facebook

Instagram

YouTube

TikTok

 


McKinney's Tundra smells like Bonus Bucks

The dozen Little Tree auto fresheners 19-year-old bass fishing phenom Trey McKinney has hanging from the rearview mirror of his Toyota Tundra makes it obvious he likes the inside of his cab to smell good.

“I mean look, let’s be honest, I kind of live out of this Tundra, and that sometimes includes wet rain suits and scented lures, so the Little Trees are kind of a buffer to offset all those bad odors, and rather than throw the old ones away, I just keep collecting them,” grins the highly approachable Illinois pro.

His decision to buy a Toyota Tundra and sign-up for the Toyota Bonus Bucks contingency program also has him collecting additional cash when he’s the highest placing Toyota owner in sanctioned tournaments like the Bassmaster Opens and Elite Series.

“I bought this Tundra because of the Bonus Bucks you can win, and because I was tired of my diesel breaking down. That’s a fact. And as a duck hunter, I’ve pulled two or three guys out of the mud with it too,” he grins.

McKinney used a wide variety of lures to finish 6 th at the Harris Chain of Lakes, from an old school Chug Bug to a big glide bait, but when it comes to favorite scents of Little Trees, he chooses Leather and Black Ice.

Whatever the scent of Little Tree, there’s no doubt he may very well have the best smelling Tundra on tour. And there’s nothing stinky about winning Toyota Bonus Bucks either when you tow with a 2020 or newer Toyota tow vehicle and get registered like Trey did at https://www.toyotatrucksbonusbucks.com/.


Local Volunteers Join MLF Pros and Fisheries Management Division to Deploy Artificial Fish Habitat into Center Hill Reservoir

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. (April 16, 2024) – Although Center Hill Reservoir is already a hot spot for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass, the surrounding community should be on the lookout for even more places to catch bass in the near future.

MLF Bass Pro Tour anglers Alton JonesAlton Jones Jr,  Brent Chapman , Cliff CrochetKelly JordonMark Rose  and  Nick LeBrun joined the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA), Dekalb County High School Bass Fishing Team, Tyler Anderson of TylersReelFishing and MLF Fishing Management Director Steven Bardin at Tennessee’s Center Hill Reservoir last week during PowerStop Brakes Stage Three at Dale Hollow Lake Presented by Mercury to complete a  Minn Kota Habitat Restoration Project supported by Humminbird.

This team of volunteers built 20 40-inch MossBack Fish Habitat Conservation Cubes, which were deployed in pairs in locations in Indian and Holmes creeks. The GPS locations were recorded on the TWRA habitat barge’s Humminbird Helix 10 and will be available in the coming weeks on the TWRA website. Each cube was weighted down using cinder block anchors supplied by the Dayton Lowes Home Improvement Store No. 2866.

Photos from the Minn Kota Habitat Restoration Project on Center Hill Reservoir

Throughout 2024, Minn Kota and the Major League Fishing Fisheries Management Division will continue to improve habitat on fisheries using the Bass Recovery Zone model near popular tournament destinations.

The next Minn Kota Habitat Restoration Project supported by Humminbird will take place in Eufaula Oklahoma, in conjunction with the MLF Bass Pro Tour MillerTech Stage Four.

For complete details and updated information on Major League Fishing and the MLF Fisheries Management Division, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com/fisheries-management. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF’s social media outlets at  FacebookXInstagram and   YouTube.

About MLF Fisheries Management Division
Major League Fishing’s Fisheries Management Division is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bass through Research, Education, Fisheries Enhancement and Fish Care. Under the leadership of MLF, in collaboration with Hall of Fame bass angler Gary Klein and renowned fisheries biologist Steven Bardin, the Fisheries Management Division provides opportunities to engage in initiatives that extend the life of the sport of bass fishing. These initiatives include targeted research programs, providing fans, anglers and youth with access to educational materials that help them become better stewards of our fisheries resources, and collaborating with local and state agencies to improve habitat essential for bass to thrive. From maximizing the health of an individual fish post-catch to stocking juvenile fish into waterbodies, the MLF Fisheries Management Division is committed to the health of our bass populations.


Eight Reasons You Should Join Us in Panama in January 2025

By Pete Robbins - Half Past First Cast

When we first visited Sport Fish Panama Island Lodge in April 2021 – thanks to the insistence of our friend Elliott Stark and after some discussions with Captain Shane Jarvis – we assumed it was going to be a “one and done” adventure. By the time we left, we knew we were coming back later that year. It was that life-changing.

We’ve now been a total of three times, and we’re heading back for Round Four in May. That trip is full, so we added another one just under eight months later, in early January of 2025. The goal is to never have a repeat of 2023, when we didn’t go at all. Hell, if I could just figure out a way to spend a couple of months down there each year I’d do just about whatever I could to make it happen.

You may never have considered this type of trip, but if you like to fish (for anything), if you like adventure, and you like beautiful places, I’m encouraging you to consider it. It’s that good. Here are some of my top reasons:

  • Remoteness and Accessibility Combined – It’s easy to get to Panama City, with many direct flights from all over the US, and then to the town of David, but once you’re on Isla Parida (where the lodge is located) it feels like Gilligan and the Skipper should be around every corner. You have all of the creature comforts you need, including A/C, a loaded bar, and internet, but it’s not like you’re at some corporate resort or big town, with tourists everywhere. It’s relaxing and intimate and a great way to get away from any other stresses you have in your life.
  • Variety is the Spice of Life – The trip is not inexpensive, but I consider it a value proposition. Many of us have been on bargain charters, where you spend a fair amount to putter around and come back to the marina at the first possible opportunity. This is not that. Instead, the captains work their balls off to put you on fish and keep you on fish. More importantly, it’s not just a marlin trip or a tuna trip or an inshore trip. It’s all of those things in one.
  • Fewer Conflicts – For most of you, January is a dog crap time of year. The heart of deer season is over, you don’t have any fishing tournaments, and the weather is miserable at home. The holidays are over, but rather than sinking into a funk, it pays to keep the merriment going and there’s no better way to do that than by getting out of dodge.
  • Accessible to all Experience Levels – As we proved, you don’t need to be an experienced offshore angler to get a lot out of this trip. We caught numerous species every time, including some true giants, without knowing what the hell we were doing. Nevertheless, Capt. Shane hosts luminaries from the saltwater world all the time. They can go anywhere but that’s where they choose to spend their time and money because it offers so much in terms of opportunity for serious anglers.

  • First Class Gear Across the Board – Remember that awful bargain charter I mentioned above. They had old rods from the 80s and reels spooled up with Original Blue Stren monofilament that’s older than that. Well, if you’re a gear snob, SFPIL is for you. Shane and his captains have all top-flight equipment, perfectly suited to each species and presentation, and they take meticulous care of it all.
  • Make a Meat Run – The food is exceptional on the island, but even better – you can take sushi-grade yellowfin fillets home with you. Bring a cooler (or buy one there) and they have a commercial-grade vacuum sealer and freezer that’ll get you situated. We’re just about out of tuna, which is an important (but comparatively minor) reason we need to get back there asap.
  • Our No-Assholes Rule – If you’re worried about fishing and traveling with people you don’t know, put that aside. We’ve met some of our best friends in the world – people from vastly different walks of life than our own – through these trips. We endeavor to keep everyone present, level, and recognizing that the best way for each person to have a good time is for everyone to have a good time.
  • You Don’t Even Need a Partner – Many people would like to go on these trips, but don’t have a partner or friends to join them, which makes the price as a single angler prohibitive. We do the dirty work of putting the group together, you fish with new people each day, and you end up paying what you’d pay if you went with your three best friends. So many of the unexpected partners have turned into long-term fishing buddies, it makes s extremely happy.

If this listicle alone doesn’t convince you, I’m happy to put you in touch with any of the people who’ve traveled to SPFIL with us in the past. I don’t know anyone who thinks the trip was anything less than exceptional. Just shoot me an email and I’ll send you a list. Ask them and I think you’ll be convinced.

I know that January seems like a long time away, but this gives you time to plan, time to save (if necessary), time to hit the gym (to winch in giant fish), and time to build up some anticipation for what I promise will be amazing.

[NOTE: We’ve already filled 12 spots, but there’s a fourth boat available, so we have room for up to four more anglers, in singles, pairs or one quartet. Don’t hesitate to join us!]


Midday kicker seals Garrett’s wire-to-wire win in Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain

April 15, 2024

Midday kicker seals Garrett’s wire-to-wire win in Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain 

Elite_eventLogo_2024_HarrisChain_Vector.png

LEESBURG, Fla. — Sometimes, you close the door.

Other times, you slam it shut.

John Garrett did the latter and tallied a four-day total of 84 pounds, 5 ounces to claim his first Bassmaster win with a wire-to-wire victory at the Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain of Lakes.

The rookie from Union City, Tenn., endured a final-round emotional roller coaster that started with unexpected bonuses, followed by a desert of disappointment. Thankfully, the ride ended with a fist-pumping, “Let’s go!” kinda moment that sent a blue trophy to Garrett’s mantle and a $103,000 top prize to his bank account.

“I used to watch the Bassmaster Elites on the weekends with my grandad (former St. Croix Bassmaster Opens co-angler Johnnie Garrett),” said a clearly emotional Garrett. “It was a hard choice whether to watch the Elite weigh-in or go fishing all weekend.

“I never thought that I would be on this stage, let alone win one of these trophies. The Lord had His hand above me all this week.”

After taking the lead with a Day 1 limit of 24-2 — the event’s heaviest bag — Garrett added limits of 19-13, 19-3 and 21-3. Garrett edged rookie JT Thompkins of Myrtle Beach, S.C., by 10-9. This is only the 14th time in Elite Series history a competitor has recorded a double-digit winning margin.

The only angler to break 20 pounds twice, Garrett is the second rookie to win an Elite event this season. Fellow rookie, sixth-place finisher Trey McKinney of Carbondale, Ill., won the year’s second event at Lake Fork.

Lamenting a lean practice that left him with minimal options, Garrett devoted the majority of his tournament to a 75-yard stretch of shellbar on Lake Carlton’s northwest side. With quality bass rubbing fins with tilapia and catfish, he methodically worked up and down the hard-bottom zone in hopes of triggering bites.

Garrett caught his bass on a Strike King 5XD, a deep-diving crankbait, a Strike King 1.5 squarebill, a white hair jig and a Carolina-rigged Strike King Ocho.

Earlier in the week, Garrett said he settled into this pattern largely because he had nothing else going. Having grown up on the Tennessee River, Garrett is very familiar with fishing bars, so committing to a familiar pattern helped keep his head in the game.

“During the off day (Thursday’s scheduled start was postponed by extreme weather), something told me to take a chance on this tournament,” Garrett said. “I was about to go to Lake Griffin and play it safe. But I heard this little voice in my head that said, ‘Go for those big ones.’

“Since I made that decision, the Lord was with me all week. Whether it was a bait change or location change, I could not do anything wrong.”

Each day, Garrett started on what he called a “limit spot,” where he would put five keepers in livewell to settle his nerves before proceeding to his big-fish spot. The first three days, he ended up culling all of those small bass, but Day 4 delivered 3 1/4- and 4-pound surprises that put him ahead of schedule when he transitioned to his big-fish spot.

Unbeknownst to Garrett, Thompkins was craftily mounting the heartbreak campaign, by picking off solid fish with a Clutch Boss glidebait. Notably, Garrett finished second to Thompkins in the 2023 St. Croix Bassmaster Opens Elite Qualifiers standings.

Fortunately for Garrett, his school of big fish saved the best for last. Leading Thompkins by about 1 1/2 pounds (according to BassTrakk’s unofficial standings), Garrett overcame a temporary impediment and connected with his biggest catch of the tournament — a 7-4 that effectively put the event out of reach.

“I’d been waiting all week for that fish,” Garrett said. “My shellbar had gotten overrun by gar, but I scanned around for about 30 minutes and relocated the school. When I caught that big fish, I didn’t necessarily think I had won, but I knew I had a good chance.”

Garrett would make one more cull about 20 minutes later. Confident he had done all he could likely do, he headed in early to ensure no complications could doom his efforts.

Thompkins kept himself in the hunt all week. Starting with a Day 1 limit of 19-11, he tied Mississippi pro Brock Mosley for eighth place. Adding 17-1 in the second round moved him up to fourth.

With a third-round limit of 19-13, Thompkins improved his position to second before a Championship Monday bag of 17-3 settled him in the No. 2 spot with a tournament total of 73-12.

“I gave it everything I had and that’s all I can ask for,” Thompkins said. “I just tried to get my bait in front of as many fish as I could. I’m pleased with what I have.”

Thompkins split his time between lake Dora and Beauclair. He said he found the most promising conditions in those two lakes.

KJ Queen of Catawba, N.C., placed third with 72 pounds. His daily weights were 19-0, 15-7, 18-15 and 18-10.

Queen spent his tournament in a small canal off Lake Harris where he targeted a mix of cypress trees and lily pads. He amassed his weight by catching postspawn “floaters” — recuperating fish holding high in the water column — and late spawners.

Queen caught his fish on a wacky-rigged Zoom Zlinky and a Queen Tackle Tungsten Switchblade (bladed jig).

“I kept the same thing going every day and then I got into a little area that had a lot of big fish,” Queen said. “I was catching some off bed and some cruising down the bank. It’s a fun way to catch them.”

Garrett won the $1,000 Phoenix Boats Big Bass award for Day 4 with his 7-4. He also won the $2,000 Rapala CrushCity Monster Bag Award.

Jacob Powroznik of North Prince George, Va., won the $2,000 Phoenix Boats Big Bass award for his 10-8.

Chris Zaldain of Fort Worth, Texas, won the $1,000 BassTrakk contingency award.

Trey McKinney of Carbondale, Ill., won the $1,000 award for leading the Progressive Insurance Bassmaster Angler of the Year race with 293 points. Tyler Williams of Belgrade, Maine, is in second with 285, followed Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala., with 283, reigning Bassmaster Classic Champion Justin Hamner of Northport, Ala., with 269, and Thompkins of Myrtle Beach, S.C., with 267.

McKinney and Williams also lead the Dakota Lithium Bassmaster Rookie of the Year standings.

Illinois pro McKinney also took home an additional $4,000 for being the highest-placing entrant in the Toyota Bonus Bucks program, while Jason Christie of Dry Creek, Okla., earned $2,000 for being the second-highest placing entrant.

As part of the Yamaha Power Pay program, Garrett earned an additional $4,000 while Thompkins claimed an additional $1,500 for being the second-highest placing entrant.

This event was hosted by the Greater Orlando Sports Commission.

 

2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Bass Pro ShopsDakota Lithium, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Progressive Insurance, Ranger Boats, Rapala, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha
2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: AFTCO, Daiwa, Garmin, Lew's, Lowrance, Marathon, Triton Boats, VMC

 

About B.A.S.S.B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting-edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

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Connect with #Bassmaster on FacebookInstagramTwitter and TikTok.

Media Contact: Chad Gay, Communications Manager, 865-201-6458, cgay@bassmaster.com

 

2024 Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain 4/12-4/15
Harris Chain Of Lakes, Leesburg  FL.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 4

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  John Garrett           Union City, TN          20  84-05  103 $103,000.00
Day 1: 5   24-02     Day 2: 5   19-13     Day 3: 5   19-03     Day 4: 5   21-03
2.  JT Thompkins           Myrtle Beach, SC        20  73-12  102  $35,000.00
Day 1: 5   19-11     Day 2: 5   17-01     Day 3: 5   19-13     Day 4: 5   17-03
3.  KJ Queen               Catawba, NC             20  72-00  101  $30,000.00
Day 1: 5   19-00     Day 2: 5   15-07     Day 3: 5   18-15     Day 4: 5   18-10
4.  Tyler Williams         Belgrade, ME            20  66-03  100  $25,000.00
Day 1: 5   17-02     Day 2: 5   17-09     Day 3: 5   16-14     Day 4: 5   14-10
5.  Jordan Lee             Cullman, AL             20  66-00   99  $20,000.00
Day 1: 5   21-06     Day 2: 5   09-04     Day 3: 5   17-10     Day 4: 5   17-12
6.  Trey McKinney          Carbondale, IL          20  65-07   98  $20,000.00
Day 1: 5   17-14     Day 2: 5   17-02     Day 3: 5   15-02     Day 4: 5   15-05
7.  Joseph Webster         Hamilton, AL            20  61-07   97  $18,000.00
Day 1: 5   20-15     Day 2: 5   10-15     Day 3: 5   16-00     Day 4: 5   13-09
8.  Ed Loughran III        Richmond, VA            20  60-11   96  $17,000.00
Day 1: 5   17-03     Day 2: 5   20-09     Day 3: 5   12-05     Day 4: 5   10-10
9.  Jason Christie         Dry Creek, OK           20  60-10   95  $16,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-06     Day 2: 5   18-07     Day 3: 5   17-15     Day 4: 5   09-14
10. Brad Whatley           Bivins, TX              19  56-00   94  $15,500.00
Day 1: 5   22-00     Day 2: 5   16-13     Day 3: 5   11-04     Day 4: 4   05-15
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS
Day
1   Paul Mueller             Naugatuck, CT       07-14        $500.00
1   Brad Whatley             Bivins, TX          07-14        $500.00
2   Austin Felix             Eden Prairie, MN    08-07      $1,000.00
3   Jacob Powroznik          North Prince George, VA10-08      $1,000.00
4   John Garrett             Union City, TN      07-04      $1,000.00

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS
Jacob Powroznik          North Prince George, VA10-08      $2,000.00
CRUSHCITY MONSTER BAG

John Garrett             Union City, TN      24-02      $2,000.00

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        95       499      1248-05
2        97       499      1168-05
3        47       247       609-04
4         9        49       144-11
----------------------------------
248      1294      3170-09


South Carolina’s Tidwell Targets the Spawn to Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event at Lake Hartwell

Wilson, of Easley, S.C., Tops Strike King Co-Angler Division

LAVONIA, Ga. (April 15, 2024) – Boater Brian Tidwell of Seneca, South Carolina, caught a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds even Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Hartwell. Hosted by the City of Lavonia, the tournament was the third event of the season for the BFL Savannah River Division. Tidwell earned $3,684 for his victory.

For Tidwell, the winning strategy revolved around the spawn and … the spawn. That’s the bass spawn and the blueback herring spawn.

“I just tried to look for spawning bass and also points that had the herring spawning on them,” he said. “I started out on some herring spawn points, and it was kind of slow. I went to the bank and caught one of the spawners that I’d located from the day before (during pre-fish). And I kind of leap-frogged back and forth between the herring spawn points and spawning fish and culled up throughout the day.”

Tidwell said he caught eight or nine keepers. He might’ve caught more fish had one giant bass not eluded him for so long. Tidwell caught a 6-pounder – the day’s Berkley Big Bass – off a bed, and saw another fish that was even bigger hanging with it.

“I probably worked on it (the bigger fish) for four hours,” he said, but he never could get that fish to bite.

Tidwell’s keepers came on a watermelon red Zoom Brush Hog when he was sight-fishing and a three-wire Alabama rig when he was targeting bass feeding on blueback herring. A final key, he said, was to search for overlooked points where the herring were spawning, which helped him avoid some of the fishing pressure.

Also, he credited the support and encouragement he received from his co-angler, Orion Hunt, for helping him to stay focused and positive throughout the day.

“That’s what it takes to win one of these things is somebody who’s positive and encouraging,” Tidwell said. “It was a neat day.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Brian Tidwell, Seneca, S.C., five bass, 20-0, $3,684
2nd:       Tucker Smith, Birmingham, Ala., five bass, 17-3, $1,644
3rd:       Paul Marks Jr., Cumming, Ga., five bass, 16-1, $1,097
4th:        Derek Lehtonen, Woodruff, S.C., five bass, 15-6, $1,267 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
5th:        Buddy Benson, Dahlonega, Ga., five bass, 15-4, $658
6th:        Chris Blair, Newnan, Ga., five bass, 15-3, $603
7th:        Sammy Moody, Piedmont, S.C., five bass, 14-14, $548
8th:        Kyle Brown, Easley, S.C., five bass, 14-12, $493
9th:        Kyle Ricker, Greenville, S.C., five bass, 14-9, $438
10th:     Justin Raines, Easley, S.C., five bass, 14-3, $684

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Tidwell caught a bass that weighed 6 pounds and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $395.

Chris Wilson of Easley, South Carolina, won the Strike King co-angler division and $1,841 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 15 pounds, 4 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

1st:        Chris Wilson, Easley, S.C., five bass, 15-4, $1,841
2nd:       Trey Paul, Anderson, S.C., five bass, 13-0, $822
3rd:       Andy Burgess, Greenville, S.C., five bass, 12-9, $549
4th:        Russell Woodson, Jonesville, S.C., five bass, 11-14, $384
5th:        Lee Foster, Summerton, S.C., five bass, 11-10, $329
6th:        Brock Martin, Cross Hill, S.C., five bass, 11-0, $301
7th:        David Allen, Mableton, Ga., five bass, 10-11, $274
8th:        Mark Johnson, Appling, Ga., five bass, 10-9, $247
9th:        Harold Addison II, Columbia, S.C., five bass, 10-6, $469
10th:     Mark Black, La France, S.C., five bass, 10-3, $192

Wilson also earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $197, catching a bass that weighed in at 4 pounds, 4 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After three events, Joe Anders of Easley, South Carolina, leads the Fishing Clash Savannah River Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 713 points, while Chris Wilson of Easley, South Carolina, leads the Fishing Clash Savannah River Division Co-Angler of the Year race with 719 points.

The next event for BFL Savannah River Division anglers will be held June 15, at Clarks Hill in Appling, Georgia. To register for the event as a boater or a co-angler, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com or call (270)-252-1000.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five tournament winners of each qualifying event, will qualify for the Oct. 3-5 BFL Regional tournament on Pickwick Lake in Counce, Tennessee. Boaters will fish for a top award of $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Suzuki outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will compete for a top award of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Suzuki outboard.

The 2024 Phoenix BFL Presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 events throughout the season, five qualifying tournaments in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five qualifying event winners, will advance to one of six BFL Regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 7Brew, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, BUBBA, E3, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, General Tire, GSM Outdoors, Lew’s, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Suzuki, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota and YETI.

For complete details and updated tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at FacebookInstagram, 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, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network and on demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered 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 17 countries. 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.


Townsville’s Purcell Throws Spinnerbait to Post First Career Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event at Kerr Lake

Timberlake’s Hinger Tops Strike King Co-Angler Division

HENDERSON, N.C. (April 15, 2024) – Boater Tyler Purcell of Townsville, North Carolina, caught a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 11 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Kerr Lake . Hosted by the Vance County Tourism Development Authority, the tournament was the second event of the season for the BFL North Carolina Division. Purcell earned $3,545 for his victory.

Purcell made the weather work to his advantage for the win at Kerr.

“I think most of them are prespawn,” he said. “It (the winning pattern) was pretty much running windy points, throwing a spinnerbait.

“(The key was) just being in the wind as much as you can take it. The more wind the better.”

While Kerr has spotted bass and largemouth, Purcell weighed all largemouths for his victory. He said he enjoyed a consistent bite and culled several times throughout the day. Two key midday fish really sealed his victory.

“At around 12 o’clock, I was heading up the lake,” Purcell recalled. “The waves were so bad at the dam I ended up turning around. I had a decent limit. I hit a point and caught a 3 1/2-pounder on a Jackall DoooN spinnerbait. After that, I sat down and tied on a big swimbait, and I told my co-angler if I get a bite, it’s gonna be a good one. And, literally, first cast, I had a 4-plus-pounder bite.

“I want to thank my dad and the Good Lord for a blessed day.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Tyler Purcell, Townsville, N.C., five bass, 16-11, $3,545
2nd:      Michael Wilson, Burnsville, N.C., five bass, 16-7, $2,273 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
3rd:       David G. Williams, Newton, N.C., 16-0, $1,181
4th:        Shawn Hammack, Gasburg, Va., five bass, 15-9, $1,272
5th:        Bradford Beavers, Summerville, S.C., five bass, 15-7, $709
6th:        Scott Hamrick, Denver, N.C., five bass, 15-2, $650
7th:        Tyler Trent, Nathalie, Va., five bass, 14-8, $591
8th:        Bryson Peed, Clarksville, Va., five bass, 13-14, $532
9th:        David Wright, Lexington, N.C., five bass, 13-12, $473
10th:     Lucas Murphy, West Columbia, S.C., five bass, 13-8, $414

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Shawn Hammack of Gasburg, Virginia, caught a bass that weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $445.

Jason Hinger of Timberlake, North Carolina, won the Strike King co-angler division and $2,323 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 13 pounds, 7 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

1st:        Jason Hinger, Timberlake, N.C., five bass, 13-7, $2,323
2nd:       Alex Moss, Lambsburg, Va., five bass, 12-4, $886
3rd:       Tony Toombs, Drakes Branch, Va., five bass, 12-2, $591
4th:        Russell Nicewander, Bluefield, W.Va., five bass, 12-1, $414
5th:        Dale Surrett, Midland, N.C., four bass, 11-6, $355
6th:        Christopher Davis, Roanoke Rapids, N.C., four bass, 11-1, $547
7th:        Travis Ruff, Connelly Springs, N.C., five bass, 10-7, $295
8th:        Hunter Alexander, China Grove, N.C., five bass, 10-3, $266
9th:        Chad Cleckner, Spring Lake, N.C., five bass, 10-1, $236
10th:     Lemar Shore, Raleigh, N.C., four bass, 9-11, $207

Christopher Davis of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $222, catching a bass that weighed in at 5 pounds, 3 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After two events, David Williams of Newton, North Carolina, leads the Fishing Clash North Carolina Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 485 points, while Hunter Alexander of China Grove, North Carolina, leads the Fishing Clash North Carolina Division Co-Angler of the Year race with 490 points.

The next event for BFL North Carolina Division anglers will be held May 4, at Kerr Lake in Henderson, North Carolina. To register for the event as a boater or a co-angler, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com or call (270)-252-1000.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five tournament winners of each qualifying event, will qualify for the Oct. 10-12 BFL Regional tournament on Santee Cooper Lakes in Clarendon County, South Carolina. Boaters will fish for a top award of $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Suzuki outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will compete for a top award of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Suzuki outboard.

The 2024 Phoenix BFL Presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 events throughout the season, five qualifying tournaments in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five qualifying event winners, will advance to one of six BFL Regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 7Brew, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, BUBBA, E3, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, General Tire, GSM Outdoors, Lew’s, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Suzuki, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota and YETI.

For complete details and updated tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at FacebookInstagram, 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, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network and on demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered 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 17 countries. 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.


West Virginia’s Davidson Posts Fourth Career Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event at Lake Cumberland

Crouch, of Jamestown, Tenn., Tops Strike King Co-Angler Division

MONTICELLO, Ky. (April 15, 2024) – Boater Ryan Davidson of Branchland, West Virginia, caught a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 13 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Cumberland . The tournament was the third event of the season for the BFL Mountain Division. Davidson earned $11,066, including the lucrative $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus, for his victory.

Spawning smallmouths, keen eyesight and perspective mode on Garmin LiveScope were the keys to Davidson’s victory at Cumberland.

It started in practice, when Davidson hunted for rock transitions where he suspected smallmouths would be spawning.

“It’s all rock, but it’s not all the same rock,” he said of Cumberland’s shoreline. “There are transitions where we go from chunk rock to pea gravel or bluff rock to chunk rock. Or any of those transition places; something that’s different. You kind of target those areas and maybe 50 yards to either side of one of those transitions. That’s your high-percentage stuff.”

Once in the right areas, Davidson said the bass were typically too deep to sight-fish. So during practice, he blind-casted, trying to get fish to show themselves on his bait. Once he saw the fish chase or roll, he made a very detailed waypoint, so he’d know exactly where to look for the fish in the tournament.

On tournament Saturday, Davidson spent the first 90 minutes trying to catch a smallmouth with no luck.

“So I ran shallow and caught three 3-plus-pound largemouth,” he said. “After that, the sun got up and we had some wind, and it kind of brought everything back to life. It just kind of felt dead this morning.”

Only one of those largemouth bass (a 4-plus) made the trip to weigh-in. Davidson was able to cull out the rest with smallmouths using his LiveScope in perspective mode to scan the water on his waypoints, looking for movement from the bass he’d previously located on beds.

Davidson was careful to fish thoroughly on each spot, since there were typically clusters of spawning fish. But he was also playing a “numbers game” and making sure to cover water.

While Davidson was guarded about what he used to catch his fish, he did reveal that a Ned rig was in play. More importantly, the key to his win was rolling with the punches for what the day gave him.

“The smallmouth didn’t go in the morning, so I went largemouth fishing just to basically get some fish and get my day rolling and get a little momentum,” he said. “It’s also easier to fish if you’ve got something in the box.

“Things just went to course.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Ryan Davidson, Branchland, W.Va., five bass, 17-13, $11,066 (includes $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
2nd:       Danny Abrams, Greens Fork, Ind., five bass, 17-2, $2,383
3rd:       Ron Smith, Walton, Ky., five bass, 16-1, $1,256
4th:        Lee Stephens, Columbia, Ky., five bass, 15-6, $879
5th:        Bailey Gay, Union, Ky., five bass, 15-2, $753
6th:        Joe Rucker, Nicholasville, Ky., five bass, 14-14, $690
7th:        Isaac Peavyhouse, Jamestown, Tenn., five bass, 14-9, $753
8th:        Tim Akers, Richmond, Ky., five bass, 14-6, $533
8th:        Jordan Garrett, Jamestown, Tenn., five bass, 14-6, $533
10th:     Talmadge Marcum, McKee, Ky., five bass, 14-4, $439

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Danny Abrams of Greens Fork, Indiana, caught a bass that weighed 5 pounds, 3 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $500.

James Crouch of Jamestown, Tennessee, won the Strike King co-angler division and $2,259 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 13 pounds even.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

1st:        Wayne Crouch, Jamestown, Tenn., five bass, 13-0, $2,259
2nd:       Jonathan Gregory, Somerset, Ky., five bass, 12-12, $1,171
3rd:       Johnny Poston, Hilham, Tenn., five bass, 11-13, $619
4th:        Jerry Wittmer, Shepherdsville, Ky., four bass, 9-0, $434
5th:        Timothy Ernst, Winchester, Ky., five bass, 8-4, $372
6th:        Levi Allgeier, Bardstown, Ky., five bass, 8-1, $325
6th:        Eugene Lowe, Huntsville, Tenn., four bass, 8-1, $325
8th:        David Carey, Harrodsburg, Ky., four bass, 8-0, $413
8th:        Luke Shrader, Monticello, Ky., three bass, 8-0, $413
10th:     Nathan Nester, Cookeville, Tenn., three bass, 7-11, $217

Jonathan Gregory of Somerset, Kentucky, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $242, catching a bass that weighed in at 4 pounds, 3 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After three events, Bailey Gay of Union, Kentucky, leads the Fishing Clash Mountain Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 725 points, while Luke Shrader of Monticello, Kentucky, leads the Fishing Clash Mountain Division Co-Angler of the Year race with 719 points.

The next event for BFL Mountain Division anglers will be held June 22, at Barren River Lake in Scottsville, Kentucky. To register for the event as a boater or a co-angler, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com or call (270)-252-1000.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five tournament winners of each qualifying event, will qualify for the Oct. 3-5 BFL Regional tournament on Pickwick Lake in Counce, Tennessee. Boaters will fish for a top award of $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Suzuki outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will compete for a top award of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Suzuki outboard.

The 2024 Phoenix BFL Presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 events throughout the season, five qualifying tournaments in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five qualifying event winners, will advance to one of six BFL Regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 7Brew, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, BUBBA, E3, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, General Tire, GSM Outdoors, Lew’s, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Suzuki, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota and YETI.

For complete details and updated tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at FacebookInstagram, 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, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network and on demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered 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 17 countries. 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.


Muncie’s Gregory Norris Earns First Career Victory at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event at Lake Patoka

Bremen’s Malcom Tops Strike King Co-Angler Division

BIRDSEYE, Ind. (April 15, 2024) – Boater Gregory Norris of Muncie, Indiana, caught a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 5 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Patoka . The tournament was the first event of the season for the BFL Hoosier Division. Norris earned $6,582, including the lucrative $2,500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus, for his victory.

A lab manager for a wastewater treatment plant, Norris wasn’t sure he’d even fish the tournament due to some mechanical issues. However, everything just seemed to line up.

Norris had his boat at Brownie’s Marine, who put in some extra time to get him up and running. His brother, Jonny Norris, also fished the tournament and finished 15th, and he helped convince Greg to take a shot. Before the tournament, Jonny offered to cover the entry fees for any co-angler who’d link up with him to ensure his spot. Jonny’s linked co-angler was Cory Malcom, who wound up being Greg’s co-angler partner, and coincidentally, Malcom went on to win the Strike King co-angler division in Greg’s boat.

On top of that, Greg and Jonny had some extra “help” in this one.

“We lost my dad a couple months ago and weren’t thinking we were going to fish this year,” Greg said. “We decided to ‘just fish one.’ I think my dad pulled some strings for us.”

Whatever got them to the tournament, for the Norris brothers, it was all about execution – good or bad – come tournament day. Jonny lost a couple key fish that cost him his shot at the win. For Greg, things just went right.

“I didn’t get to practice or anything, so I actually started next to my brother, who practiced a little bit,” Greg said. “I watched him catch a couple 5-pounders in the morning, and my co-angler caught one close to 5 behind me. We got out of there and just started covering bank. After a few hours, I caught one on a spinnerbait and one on a crankbait, and it started blowing so we started chasing wind.”

That’s when they slid out deeper to target windy banks in 12 to 20 feet of water with a swimbait.

“The last 30 minutes he (Malcom) caught one more and I caught my fifth fish, and then I had a decent cull,” Greg said. “We tried to fish something similar and saw a little patch of grass, and we caught three fish off it to finish the day.”

Greg’s limit included a big 5-pound smallmouth. The remaining four in his limit were all largemouth.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Gregory Norris, Muncie, Ind., five bass, 19-5, $6,582 (includes $2,500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
2nd:       James Whitaker, Cincinnati, Ohio, five bass, 17-9, $2,041
3rd:       Bryce Kalen, Greenwood, Ind., five bass, 17-0, $1,487
4th:        Jason Roberts, Bargersville, Ind., four bass, 16-12, $952
5th:        Blake Cross, Coatesville, Ind., five bass, 16-5, $816
6th:        Caleb Carnes, Guston, Ky., five bass, 16-2, $748
7th:        John Melton, Corydon, Ind., five bass, 15-14, $680
8th:        Jerry Koller, Paragon, Ind., four bass, 15-12, $1,172
9th:        Brian Funkhouser, Bloomington, Ind., five bass, 14-1, $544
10th:     Dave Tinsman, Losantville, Ind., four bass, 12-14, $476

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Jerry Koller of Paragon, Indiana, caught a bass that weighed 6 pounds, 2 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $560.

Cory Malcom of Bremen, Indiana, won the Strike King co-angler division and $2,041 Saturday, after bringing three bass to the scale that totaled 12 pounds, 13 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

1st:        Cory Malcom, Bremen, Ind., three bass, 12-13, $2,041
2nd:       Christopher Lemon, Martinsville, Ind., four bass, 12-10, $1,021
3rd:       Paul Eckert, Jasper, Ind., three bass, 11-2, $683
4th:        Ryan Zwick, Oxford, Ohio, three bass, 10-5, $626
5th:        John Chaney, Evansville, Ind., three bass, 9-15, $408
6th:        Ryan Cannon, Indianapolis, Ind., three bass, 9-6, $374
7th:        Kyler Mason, Bedford, Ind., three bass, 8-15, $340
8th:        Greg Roberts, Columbus, Ind., two bass, 8-11, $306
9th:        Adam Lohr, Boonville, Ind., three bass, 8-5, $272
10th:     Andy Vance, Danville, Ind., two bass, 8-1, $338

Dylan Everett of Columbus, Indiana, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $280, catching a bass that weighed in at 5 pounds, 9 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

The next event for BFL Hoosier Division anglers will be held May 11, at Ohio River-Rocky Point in Cannelton, Indiana. To register for the event as a boater or a co-angler, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com or call (270)-252-1000.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five tournament winners of each qualifying event, will qualify for the Oct. 10-12 BFL Regional tournament on the Mississippi River Pools 13-17 in Quad Cities, Illinois. Boaters will fish for a top award of $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Suzuki outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will compete for a top award of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Suzuki outboard.

The 2024 Phoenix BFL Presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 events throughout the season, five qualifying tournaments in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five qualifying event winners, will advance to one of six BFL Regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 7Brew, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, BUBBA, E3, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, General Tire, GSM Outdoors, Lew’s, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Suzuki, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota and YETI.

For complete details and updated tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at FacebookInstagram, 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, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network and on demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered 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 17 countries. 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.


Section’s Atkins Posts Second Career Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event at Lake Guntersville

Boaz’s Ramsey Tops Strike King Co-Angler Division

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (April 15, 2024) – Boater Jason Atkins of Section, Alabama, caught a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 13 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on Lake Guntersville . Hosted by the Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce, the tournament was the third event of the season for the BFL Choo Choo Division. Atkins earned $11,601, including the lucrative $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus, for his victory.

A part-time Guntersville guide and a steel mill worker, Atkins knows the lake well. His experience paid off with him making the right moves to counter a somewhat tough bite.

“It was very slow,” he said. “They didn’t move any water. So it was a very tough bite. You could tell by the weights. This morning (Saturday) we started just fishing real slow, and it just turned out it worked out for us.”

Atkins said the bass are transitioning to spawn, and he located some quality fish on beds prior to the tournament. However, he wasn’t able to get there to sight-fish for them before other anglers. Instead, he caught his fish on four prespawn and spawning flats using a shad-colored swim jig fished on a steady retrieve. The deepest bass came out of about 6 feet. The rest were shallower.

“It was a very slow bite,” he added. “I just had to slow way down.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Jason Atkins, Section, Ala., five bass, 22-13, $11,601 (includes $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
2nd:       Dillon Falardeau, Hixson, Tenn., five bass, 18-9, $2,023
3rd:       Mel Kennedy, Hiawassee, Ga., five bass, 18-2, $1,348
4th:        Steve Lopez, Oconomowoc, Wis., five bass, 17-9, $944
5th:        Danny Hall, Ellijay, Ga., five bass, 17-8, $809
6th:        Fisher Anaya, Eva, Ala., five bass, 17-6, $742
7th:        Jeff Knight, Cleveland, Tenn., five bass, 16-14, $674
8th:        Tanner Hadden, Appling, Ga., five bass, 16-6, $573
8th:        Ben Yarbrough, Athens, Ala., five bass, 16-6, $573
10th:     Tim Thornbury, Red Bank, Tenn., five bass, 15-12, $472

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Atkins caught a bass that weighed 7 pounds, 8 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $555.

James Ramsey of Boaz, Alabama, won the Strike King co-angler division and $2,023 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 17 pounds, 6 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

1st:        James Ramsey, Boaz, Ala., five bass, 17-6, $2,023
2nd:       Rodney Stewart, Decatur, Ala., five bass, 15-14, $1,011
3rd:       Todd McBride, Huntsville, Ala., five bass, 14-10, $674
4th:        Joshua Green, Cartersville, Ga., three bass, 14-4, $472
5th:        Alex Roberts, Franklin, Tenn., four bass, 13-14, $405
6th:        Logan Jones, Knoxville, Tenn., five bass, 13-7, $471
7th:        Scott Sexton, Corryton, Tenn., five bass, 12-11, $337
8th:        Shunsuke Miyashima, Chattanooga, Tenn., five bass, 12-10, $303
9th:        Richard Bailey, Florence, Ala., four bass, 12-5, $270
10th:     Cason Sanchez, Fayetteville, Tenn., five bass, 12-1, $236

Michael Matlock of Olivehill, Tennessee, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $277, catching a bass that weighed in at 5 pounds, 7 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After three events, Fisher Anaya of Eva, Alabama, leads the Fishing Clash Choo Choo Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 742 points, while Todd Mowery of Madison, Alabama, leads the Fishing Clash Choo Choo Division Co-Angler of the Year race with 715 points.

The next event for BFL Choo Choo Division anglers will be held July 13, at Neely Henry Lake in Gadsden, Alabama. To register for the event as a boater or a co-angler, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com or call (270)-252-1000.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five tournament winners of each qualifying event, will qualify for the Oct. 17-19 BFL Regional tournament on Clarks Hill Lake in Appling, Georgia. Boaters will fish for a top award of $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Suzuki outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will compete for a top award of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Suzuki outboard.

The 2024 Phoenix BFL Presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 events throughout the season, five qualifying tournaments in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five qualifying event winners, will advance to one of six BFL Regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 7Brew, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, BUBBA, E3, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, General Tire, GSM Outdoors, Lew’s, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Suzuki, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota and YETI.

For complete details and updated tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at FacebookInstagram, 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, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network and on demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered 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 17 countries. 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.


Isaacs targets docks to win Bassmaster Kayak Series event at Possum Kingdom

April 15, 2024

Isaacs targets docks to win Bassmaster Kayak Series event at Possum Kingdom

GRAFORD, Texas — Jason Isaacs hates fishing docks. But during the Yamaha Rightwaters Bassmaster Kayak Series at Possum Kingdom powered by TourneyX, Isaacs decided to target his least favorite piece of structure and it paid off in a big way.

With a five-bass limit measuring 101.25 inches, the angler from Columbus, Ohio, claimed the victory on Possum Kingdom, earning the first-place prize of $10,000 in the weather-shortened event. Missouri’s Brandon Prince finished second with 96.75 inches and Mississippi’s Clint Pippen was third with 95.25.

“Once I caught that last 21-incher, I thought I had a shot here,” he said. “Then I was worried sick because half the field may not have had service and put their fish in yet. Some people sandbag and wait until the standings are turned off.”

Isaacs had never been to Possum Kingdom prior to this week, and after having “the worst practice of my life,” he did not anticipate catching a single bass on Day 1.

Heavy winds and the threat of severe weather forced a Saturday cancellation, which allowed him to make an adjustment to his game plan and follow a lead from his father Tim.

“I decided I was going to put in and fish where my dad was fishing, so I was fishing around him. There were probably 55 docks in the area I fished and I pounded those docks,” Isaacs said. “He only caught two bass in this area in practice, but that’s what we went with during the tournament.”

Isaacs pitched a 5-inch Z-Man FattyZ on a 1/8-ounce shaky head to the walkways of floating docks, catching mostly postspawn largemouth. The majority of the bass he caught were in about 6 feet of stained water.

“I fished a number of ways between the docks,” Isaacs said. “If there was 3 or 4 feet of water I would throw a spinnerbait, just trying to pick a fish up in between and there was nothing. I threw the shaky head on some big rocks, and there was nothing. They were all on the walkways of the docks.”

One particular dock yielded three of his bigger bass.

“I casted to the same spot three times because I knew there were fish there,” he explained. “The third cast I caught a 19, and then the fifth cast I caught a 21.75 and the sixth cast I caught a 21. All on the same dock post. It was insane.”

His biggest bass of the day was a 23.25 behemoth largemouth, which weighed in at over 9 pounds on his personal scale.

“I thought it was a catfish,” Isaacs said. “I set the hook and it just started digging. It just kept digging and digging and swam all the way around the boat. I was playing with it thinking it was a catfish and then it came up beside me and I was like, ‘Oh my god.’”

Prince, meanwhile, caught a mix of pre- and postspawn largemouth that were staging in standing timber leading into a spawning area. With the base of the timber in 15 to 20 feet of water, Prince used his forward-facing sonar to locate bass suspended in 10 to 12 feet of water under the branches.

“My last day of practice I switched ends of the lake and found some cruisers around standing timber. I pulled out a little with my LiveScope and found some bigger bass in the trees,” he said. “So today, I found those bass still sitting on the trees and threw everything I could at them.”

In practice, he used a glidebait to coax the bass out to see the size. When the tournament began, he could only get the bass to eat a weightless wacky rig.

“I caught all three of my 20-inchers in a 20-minute stretch,” he said. “It was pretty wild.”

All of his bass came in the first couple hours of the day, and with about four hours to go, Prince stumbled onto a spawning female he estimated to be close to 9-pounds. He spent the rest of the day trying to catch that bass, but came up just short.

“She was a giant,” Prince said. “She kept making smaller and smaller circles and I knew she would eventually lock on. With 30 minutes left, she started nosing down on my bait. Then with 5 minutes left, she picked it up and took off with it. I set the hook and she took the bait. She never had the hook in her mouth.

“I knew it was probably going to take that fish to win it.”

Pippen fished around shallow grass and brush around dirty water in one of the more popular areas of Possum Kingdom to claim his third-place finish.

“I found the fish I fished for today on Monday. The rest of practice I never found anything else. I came back today and they were still there,” Pippen said. “My first fish came 10 minutes into the day and I don’t think I caught anything after 10 a.m. I caught them quickly and then it slowed down.”

His top bait was a Snag Proof Zoo Pop, a newer frog-style popping bait. Pippen caught mostly postspawners, but his biggest bite of the day (a 22.75) was a largemouth he believed was likely still on bed.

“A lot of the schools of fry were in that grass and I think that's what was holding a lot of those bass in there,” he said.

New Mexico’s Matt Ramey caught a 24.25-inch largemouth, claiming Big Bass of the Tournament honors and a $500 prize.

The final results from the Yamaha Rightwaters Bassmaster Kayak Series at Possum Kingdom powered by TourneyX can be found here.

 

The Possum Kingdom Chamber of Commerce hosted the tournament.

2024 Bassmaster Kayak Series Title Sponsor: Yamaha Rightwaters2024 Bassmaster Kayak Series Partner: MotorGuide, YakGear2024 Bassmaster Kayak Series Angler of the Year Sponsor: Dakota Lithium

 

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Fothergill & Dumke from 2nd Ranked Montevallo Win the Hartwell Slam

Anderson, SC (April 14, 2024) – Tournament competition is complete for the first Association of Collegiate Anglers event on the 2024 Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series.  A full field of close to 500 anglers competed on Lake Hartwell in Anderson, SC, in hopes of catching a limit of bass that could help propel them into the Top 20 to earn a prize payout, or even win the no-entry-fee event that paid out over $20,000 in prizes and contingencies.

Easton Fothergill & Nicholas Dumke from 2nd ranked University of Montevallo win the Hartwell Slam with a total weight of 34.48 pounds.  Following Day 1 of tournament competition, the duo was in 4th place out of the 220 boat field.  On the final day, Dumke & Fothergill weighed 15.92 pounds to take home top honors.  The victory pays out over $3,500 in prizes and contingencies, as well as 1,750 points to count towards the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.

View the final tournament standings.

Finishing the event in 2nd are Ryan Lachniet & Tavin Hodgens from 3rd ranked Campbellsville University.  Sitting in 20th after Day 1, Lachniet & Hodgens weighed in 16.51 pounds on the final day to jump 18 places.  Entering this event ranked 3rd, Campbellsville finishes the Hartwell Slam with two teams in the Top 12.  Those could prove to be valuable points as the team from Kentucky looks to have its highest-ever end of year ranking during the 2023-24 campaign.

Rounding out the Top 3 are Nick Owens & Quade Lobo from 14th ranked Adrian College.  The anglers from Michigan were in 5th after Day 1. With a two-day total of 32.40 pounds, the Adrian College anglers finished in 3rd overall.  Adrian College’s two highest-finishing teams placed 3rd and 9th.  Sitting in 14th in college fishing’s only all-encompassing National Rankings system, these two Top 10 finishes could help Adrian College to make a major jump up in the standings.

The full field of anglers again found great success out on Lake Hartwell.  Weather conditions mirrored those which anglers faced on Day 1, allowing them to lock in a pattern and target a lot of bites.  The sheer amount of fish caught and weighed in by the field speaks to the quality of the fishery which Lake Hartwell is.  All total, for the weekend, anglers weighed in almost 2,000 bass.

Stay tuned to the ACA website, and social media pages, for in-depth breakdowns, feature articles, and video footage of the Hartwell Slam.  The ACA will update the points standings for the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia this upcoming week, to include complete analysis of the newest rankings.

The ACA would again like to thank the team at Visit Anderson for their assistance with the event this weekend, and helping to provide a phenomenal facility for the anglers to utilize.

Visit the ACA website for complete story.


Jacob Wheeler Clinches Eighth MLF Bass Pro Tour Win at PowerStop Brakes Stage Three at Dale Hollow Lake Presented by Mercury

Tennessee pro catches 39 bass totaling 116-6 on final day to earn top award of $100,000

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. (April 14, 2024) – Before making a cast in the Championship Round at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour PowerStop Brakes Stage Three Presented by MercuryJacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tennessee , knew he was about to send Dale Hollow Lake’s bass into a feeding frenzy. He even warned MLFNOW! viewers not to expect much commentary from him, as he planned to be too busy boating bass.

It took less than two minutes for Wheeler to make good on his promise with a 3-pound, 7-ounce largemouth. That sparked a bass barrage for the ages.

Wheeler followed that fish with another 3-pounder, then a 2-3 and a 2-8 — all in the first 10 minutes. In the opening hour, he stacked 14 scorable bass for 43 pounds, 3 ounces on SCORETRACKER®. By the end of the first period, he’d amassed 70-6, all but burying the other nine anglers on the water.

Wheeler would cruise to a 116-6 total on 39 scorable bass – more than 30 pounds clear of Michael Neal of Dayton, Tennessee, in second place. This marks the second victory of the season for Wheeler, who also took home the title at Stage Two on Santee Cooper . It also adds to his Bass Pro Tour-best win total, hoisting his eighth trophy since the inception of the league in 2019 and doing so on one of his favorite lakes in the country.

“This is like my lake; this is my home away from home,” the Harrison, Tennessee, native said of Dale Hollow. “My wife literally jokes that we should have moved to Dale Hollow, you like it so much, like giving me crap about it. And I just love it, man. ... First big, national tournament on the lake, to get that win, it means a lot.”

Wheeler sowed the seeds for his Sunday morning blitzkrieg days earlier. As noted above, he spends quite a bit of time fun-fishing on Dale Hollow, so he knew to check the area during practice — which he described as a flat, main-lake drain protected by an island cluster. The islands act like a funnel, concentrating baitfish, and the flatter topography serves as fruitful spawning territory, making it a bass magnet.

“Basically, you had a cut-through between an island, and there’s current flow that comes out of the Wolf (River) that goes through there,” Wheeler said. “So, water comes through there; there’s current flow that funnels through there. It’s a great prespawn, postspawn place for these fish to set up.

“It’s a shallow, flat drain. There’s not a lot of flat drains on Dale Hollow, and that place is like one of five main flat drains. And what I mean by that is they’re literally creek channels, but they’re flatter. There’s more room for the fish to spread out. There’s a lot of spawning habitat right there around that area."

Wheeler caught a handful of fish from the area during the two-day Qualifying Round. At that point, he saw a few small groups of bass roaming offshore. But, showcasing the strategic acumen that separates him from his touring peers, he spent as much time as possible during his first two days on the water in practice mode, scouting new areas and keeping tabs on where the fish were moving. When he saw baitfish, and thus bass, concentrating in windblown, offshore areas, he knew he needed to return to the spot.

“The wind blew on (Friday), and it tightened up, and there was literally groups of 100 bass schooled up,” Wheeler said. “It was absolutely insane. The wind congregated the bait in there, and they went crazy.”

Wheeler planned to start there during the Knockout Round. However, when he arrived Saturday morning, he found Drew Gill already in the area. Undeterred, Wheeler turned to Plan B, heading to a school of largemouth he figured could produce enough weight for him to make the Top 10, but likely not enough to win the Championship Round shootout. He caught more than 50 pounds out of that school in the opening period, keeping pace with Gill’s torrid start, then eventually nipped Gill by 3 pounds for the Knockout Round win.

With first pick of starting spots, Wheeler made a beeline for the pocket where he’d found Gill the day prior. Gill, by far his closest competition during the Knockout Round, fished within sight.

In the bass fishing version of a drag race, Wheeler proved that he could outduel the hottest young angler on tour at his own game, using forward-facing sonar and a yet-to-be-released Rapala CrushCity Mooch Minnow to catch bass at will. The highlight of his heater was a 5-pound largemouth that earned him an extra $1,000 as the day’s Berkley Big Bass. Gill stacked up 35-15 during the opening period — nothing to sneeze at but only about half of Wheeler’s weight.

Airtight efficiency, another Wheeler hallmark, was key to taking advantage of the calm, low-light morning conditions and amassing his gaudy weight early.

“I’m big on throwing heavier line for my leader,” he said. “I throw 10-pound fluorocarbon leader so I can really reel those fish in. If I’m throwing 8 or 6, I’m going to have to retie a lot. And so, I’m more about generating a lot of bites and doing it as fast as I possibly can and getting those fish to the boat. Also, I didn’t spend a lot of time on (MLFNOW!) explaining things early on because I knew how important that first period was. I just went straight to work, and I put my head down and I caught them as fast as I possibly could.”

As incredible as his opening flurry was, Wheeler truly separated himself from his nearest competition once the bite slowed. Neal started nearly as strong, racking up 56-7 in the opening stanza. At one point late in Period 1, he climbed within 6 pounds of Wheeler’s total.

But when the action ground to a halt for Neal (and just about everyone else), Wheeler steadily added to his total. He caught 10 scorable bass for 28-5 during the second period. While modest compared to his morning, that expanded his cushion beyond 30 pounds.

Wheeler pointed to his precise jighead selection as one reason he was able to generate bites even when the bass weren’t actively feeding. He kept an array of spinning rods on deck rigged with "a hodgepodge of heads” ranging from 1/8 to 5/8 ounce, opting for the lighter options to entice finnicky fish or heavier ones when he needed to get his bait in front of a group moving quickly.

“I slowly learned what was the right jighead weight for the right scenario,” he said. “Obviously, when they were moving really fast, I might throw a 1/2-ounce out there and get it to them. If there’s 50 of them there and I throw a 1/2-ounce, I get it to them; otherwise, if you throw a 1/4, you’re missing them. It’s all about efficiency. But then I might throw a 1/8 on a single fish that’s 10 feet down, because he’s not going to bite a 1/2 — it doesn’t have the best action.”

By the start of the third period, everyone else on the water knew they were fishing for second place. Wheeler spent the final few hours basking in his win, his wife, Alicia, among a flotilla of friends and supporters cheering him on from the water. His final tally marked not only the best single-day weight caught by any angler on Dale Hollow this week, but the biggest day all year in Bass Pro Tour competition.

Wheeler has grown accustomed to lifting Bass Pro Tour trophies. In addition to his eight wins, he’s now up to an absurd 31 Top 10s in 45 events, earning more than $1.6 million from Bass Pro Tour competition. And he’s showing no signs of slowing down — if anything, he’s accelerating. Since the start of the 2021 campaign, he’s racked up 24 Top 10s and six wins in 32 events. He's made all four Championship Rounds in 2024 and technically won back-to-back Bass Pro Tour regular-season events, with a sixth-place finish at REDCREST between his triumphs on Santee Cooper and Dale Hollow.

All that success hasn’t made him numb to winning, though. Instead, it’s taught him to appreciate the moment. Wheeler assured he’s not taking this one for granted.

“I told Dustin (Connell) this when we talked about it last night: When you’re on this streak of just winning, you don’t have the opportunity to really celebrate those moments,” he said. “You go, and then you go onto the next one, you think about the next one. You have about a 6-hour period where you’re celebrating, you’re pumped up, and you’re like, alright, what’s going on next? What are we going to do in Oklahoma? What’s going to happen at Eufaula? But this one, to me, is super, super meaningful.”

The top 10 pros from the PowerStop Brakes Stage Three at Dale Hollow Lake Presented by Mercury finished:

1st:          Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., 39 bass, 116-6, $100,000
2nd:        Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 28 bass, 85-10, $45,000
3rd:        Spencer Shuffield, Hot Springs, Ark., 29 bass, 85-5, $38,000
4th:         Drew Gill, Mount Carmel, Ill., 27 bass, 78-8, $32,000
5th:         Alton Jones Jr., Waco, Texas, 23 bass, 74-0, $30,000
6th:         Marshall Robinson, Landrum, S.C., 21 bass, 61-14, $26,000
7th:         Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala., 20 bass, 60-14, $23,000
8th:         Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., 13 bass, 38-4, $21,000
9th:         Keith Poche, Pike Road, Ala., 14 bass, 36-12, $19,000
10th:      Alton Jones, Lorena, Texas, seven bass, 20-7, $16,000

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

Overall, there were 221 scorable bass weighing 658 pounds even caught by the 10 pros Sunday, which included one 5-pounder, 14 4-pounders and 70 3-pounders.

Wheeler also won Championship Sunday’s Berkley Big Bass Award, with a largemouth totaling 5 pounds even in the first period. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass each day, and a $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass of the tournament. Gill earned the $3,000 Berkley Big Bass award for the overall largest bass of the event with his 5-pound, 12-ounce smallmouth that was weighed on Day 1 of competition.

Wheeler not only added to his prodigious trophy collection and winnings total at Dale Hollow; he padded his lead in the chase for another trophy and $100,000 payday. Wheeler now leads the season-long Fishing Clash Angler of the Year (AOY) race by 17 points.

Overcoming that deficit will be a tall task for his pursuers. Wheeler, who won AOY in 2021 and 2022 before finishing second in 2023, has been an exceptional closer in recent years, never finishing worse than 11th and notching three wins in stages four through seven across the last three seasons. Connell now sits second with 222 points, closely followed by Alton Jones Jr. (219) and Jesse Wiggins (218).

Fishing Clash, an interactive 3D fishing simulation game that’s played by more than 80 million people worldwide, is the official AOY sponsor of the Bass Pro Tour, Tackle Warehouse Invitationals, Toyota Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League. You can download Fishing Clash for free in the App Store and on Google Play or log on to www.fishingclash.game for more information.

The PowerStop Brakes Stage Three at Dale Hollow Lake Presented by Mercury featured the MLF catch, weigh, immediate-release format, in which anglers caught as much weight as they could each day, while also feeling the pressure and intensity of the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard. The tournament featured anglers competing with a 2-pound minimum weight requirement for a bass to be deemed scorable. The MLF Fisheries Management Division determines minimum weights for each body of water that the Bass Pro Tour visits, based on the productivity, bass population and anticipated average size of fish in each fishery.

The six-day tournament, hosted by the Byrdstown-Pickett County Chamber of Commerce & Bill Dance Signature Lakes, showcased 79 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing for a purse of $659,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable Fishing Clash Angler of the Year (AOY) points in hopes of qualifying for the General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and REDCREST 2025, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

Television coverage of the PowerStop Brakes Stage Three at Dale Hollow Lake Presented by Mercury Knockout Round will air as a two-hour episode starting at 7 a.m. ET, on Saturday, Oct. 5 on Discovery, with the Championship Round premiering on Oct. 6. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on Discovery, with re-airings on Outdoor Channel.

The Bass Pro Tour features a field of 79 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2025 championship.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Bass Pro Tour include: Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, BUBBA, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, Garmin, General Tire, Humminbird, Lowrance, Mercury, MillerTech, Minn Kota, Mossy Oak Fishing, NITRO, Onyx, Plano, Power-Pole, Rapala, StarBrite, Suzuki, Toyota and U.S. Air Force.

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 FacebookXInstagram 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, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network and on demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered 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 17 countries. 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.


Bait change keeps Garrett atop Bassmaster Elite Series event at Harris Chain of Lakes

April 14, 2024

Bait change keeps Garrett atop Bassmaster Elite Series event at Harris Chain of Lakes 

Elite_eventLogo_2024_HarrisChain_Vector.png

LEESBURG, Fla. — Things got a little hairy for John Garrett, but that transitional period helped the Tennessee pro amass a five-bass limit of 19 pounds, 3 ounces and extend his lead at the Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain of Lakes.

In the best performance of his rookie season, Garrett took the Day 1 lead with a limit of 24-2 — the event’s heaviest bag — and held the top position with a second-round bag that went 19-13.

Heading into Championship Monday (the event’s scheduled start was delayed one day by Thursday’s severe weather) with a three-day total of 63-2, Garrett holds a margin of 6-9 over fellow rookie JT Thompkins of Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Facing the potential for a wire-to-wire Elite win, Garrett said: “I’m just going to try my best to sleep well tonight and fish calm tomorrow. Last night, I didn’t sleep very well and today, before I got my big bites, I started thinking, ‘Alright, something needs to happen.

“Tomorrow, I just really want to be calm, do my thing and fish hard. If it’s meant to happen, I’ll get those bites.”

Returning to Lake Carlton, where he has spent the majority of his time focusing on a 75-yard shellbar, Garrett followed his standing strategy of boxing an early limit and then hunting big bites.

The past two days, his window of opportunity has come later in the morning, but when the big fish he was watching on his forward-facing sonar refused to engage, Garrett made a game-changing adjustment.

“I went through my area while the fish were there at the right time with a crankbait; I only stuck one or two and never caught one,” Garrett said. “I left the fish alone for 45 minutes and I picked up a 5/8-ounce white hair jig, stayed way off of them and bomb cast it up there.

“It’s just something they hadn’t seen yet. They’ve seen it now because I wore out my welcome quickly. I got four good bites on it and caught three of them.”

The hair jig produced Garrett’s three best bass. He caught his other two limit fish on a deep-diving crankbait.

After a windy Day 2, Semifinal Sunday brought mostly flat conditions. Garrett said this created a challenging scenario that made it even tougher to wait out the big fish, which have been most active between approximately 11 and 1.

“It was super sunny and slick and they just were not biting (as well),” Garrett said. “I threw at more fish than I’ve seen all week.

“It’s pretty scary, because I’ll fish and fish and fish and never catch anything. It takes a lot of patience and trust.”

Earlier, Garrett had briefly yielded the top spot to Joseph Webster of Hamilton, Ala., who capitalized on the morning shad spawn for a quick limit of approximately 14 1/2 pounds. Once his big fish started chewing, Garrett put a 5-pounder in the boat at 10:47 a.m. and added a 4-11 about 10 minutes later.

From there, Garrett continued to pick off big bites and held off Thompkins’ persistent charge.

Looking ahead, Garrett said he’s sticking with his spot, if for no other reason than a lack of options.

“I don’t know if I’ll get another bite there tomorrow, but that’s about all I’ve got,” he said. “I’ll just pray that I have another decent day.”

After looking for a big glidebait bite all week, Thompkins got a chunky bass to eat his Clutch Boss Sunday and that 5-pounder helped him gain two notches to second place with 56-9. Thompkins has turned in daily limits of 19-11, 17-1 and 19-13.

“I said going into this event, ‘If I get one bite a day on a glidebait, I’ll win,’” Thompkins said. “This was the first day I’ve produced one on a glidebait. I’m looking at a ton of giants on (Garmin) LiveScope, but it’s too hard to get them to bite. They’re super smart, super educated.

“If I can get one or more of those bites tomorrow, I could step into dangerous territory and maybe take a run at the win.”

Fishing lakes Dora and Beauclair, Thompkins filled the rest of his limit with a jerkbait, a jig and a Neko rig.

KJ Queen of Catawba, N.C., placed third with 53-6. After posting limits of 19-0 and 15-7, Queen added a third-round bag that weighed 18-15.

Devoting his day to a small canal off Lake Harris, Queen fished a mix of cypress trees and lily pads. He saw plenty of bass, but the key to his success was targeting the right ones.

“I was looking for floaters; the fish that had spawned out and were cruising high in the water column,” Queen said. “I saw a lot of big, fat fish, but I could not get them to bite.

“Every time I saw a skinny one, I said, ‘There’s one that will bite.’ If it was fat, pretty and healthy, I couldn’t get them to bite.”

Queen caught his bass on a wacky-rigged Zoom Zlinky.

Jacob Powroznik of North Prince George, Va., is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with a monster 10-8 he landed Sunday.

Rookie Trey McKinney of Carbondale, Ill., leads the Progressive Insurance Bassmaster Angler of the Year race with 293 points. Tyler Williams of Belgrade, Maine, is in second with 285, followed by Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala., with 279, Justin Hamner of Northport, Ala., with 269, and JT Thompkins of Myrtle Beach, S.C., with 267.

McKinney and Williams also lead the race for Dakota Lithium Bassmaster Rookie of the Year.

Monday’s final takeoff, featuring the Top 10 remaining anglers, is scheduled for 7 a.m. ET at Venetian Gardens (Ski Beach). The weigh-in will be held at the Ski Beach at 3 p.m., with the winner receiving $100,000.

The event is being hosted by the Greater Orlando Sports Commission.

 

2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Bass Pro ShopsDakota Lithium, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Progressive Insurance, Ranger Boats, Rapala, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha
2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: AFTCO, Daiwa, Garmin, Lew's, Lowrance, Marathon, Triton Boats, VMC

 

About B.A.S.S.B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting-edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

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Connect with #Bassmaster on FacebookInstagramTwitter and TikTok.

Media Contact: Chad Gay, Communications Manager, 865-201-6458, cgay@bassmaster.com

 

2024 Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain 4/12-4/15
Harris Chain Of Lakes, Leesburg  FL.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 3

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  John Garrett           Union City, TN          15  63-02  103
Day 1: 5   24-02     Day 2: 5   19-13     Day 3: 5   19-03
2.  JT Thompkins           Myrtle Beach, SC        15  56-09  102
Day 1: 5   19-11     Day 2: 5   17-01     Day 3: 5   19-13
3.  KJ Queen               Catawba, NC             15  53-06  101
Day 1: 5   19-00     Day 2: 5   15-07     Day 3: 5   18-15
4.  Tyler Williams         Belgrade, ME            15  51-09  100
Day 1: 5   17-02     Day 2: 5   17-09     Day 3: 5   16-14
5.  Jason Christie         Dry Creek, OK           15  50-12   99
Day 1: 5   14-06     Day 2: 5   18-07     Day 3: 5   17-15
6.  Trey McKinney          Carbondale, IL          15  50-02   98
Day 1: 5   17-14     Day 2: 5   17-02     Day 3: 5   15-02
7.  Brad Whatley           Bivins, TX              15  50-01   97     $500.00
Day 1: 5   22-00     Day 2: 5   16-13     Day 3: 5   11-04
8.  Ed Loughran III        Richmond, VA            15  50-01   96
Day 1: 5   17-03     Day 2: 5   20-09     Day 3: 5   12-05
9.  Jordan Lee             Cullman, AL             15  48-04   95
Day 1: 5   21-06     Day 2: 5   09-04     Day 3: 5   17-10
10. Joseph Webster         Hamilton, AL            15  47-14   94
Day 1: 5   20-15     Day 2: 5   10-15     Day 3: 5   16-00
11. Jacob Powroznik        North Prince George, VA 15  46-14   93  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   11-08     Day 2: 5   14-01     Day 3: 5   21-05
12. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN        15  45-14   92  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   21-13     Day 2: 5   11-02     Day 3: 5   12-15
13. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA            15  45-08   91  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-00     Day 2: 5   13-06     Day 3: 5   19-02
14. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ         15  45-07   90  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-05     Day 2: 5   16-07     Day 3: 5   15-11
15. John Cox               Debary, FL              15  45-00   89  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   22-05     Day 2: 5   07-07     Day 3: 5   15-04
16. Kyle Norsetter         Cottage Grove, WI       15  44-14   88  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   17-06     Day 2: 5   15-13     Day 3: 5   11-11
17. David Gaston           Sylacauga, AL           15  43-09   87  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   20-03     Day 2: 5   11-05     Day 3: 5   12-01
18. Kyle Patrick           Cooperstown, NY         15  42-06   86  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   12-06     Day 2: 5   13-09     Day 3: 5   16-07
19. Austin Felix           Eden Prairie, MN        15  42-04   85  $11,000.00
Day 1: 5   12-07     Day 2: 5   19-07     Day 3: 5   10-06
20. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                 15  42-04   84  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-01     Day 2: 5   15-12     Day 3: 5   13-07
21. Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS        15  41-01   83  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   19-11     Day 2: 5   13-00     Day 3: 5   08-06
22. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT           15  40-09   82  $10,500.00
Day 1: 5   17-13     Day 2: 5   17-00     Day 3: 5   05-12
23. Cody Huff              Ava, MO                 15  40-07   81  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   17-03     Day 2: 5   09-14     Day 3: 5   13-06
24. Chris Johnston         Otonabee Ontario CANADA 15  40-04   80  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-12     Day 2: 5   17-01     Day 3: 5   08-07
25. Logan Latuso           Gonzales, LA            15  40-04   79  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-13     Day 2: 5   13-00     Day 3: 5   12-07
26. Justin Hamner          Northport, AL           15  40-03   78  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   12-14     Day 2: 5   14-10     Day 3: 5   12-11
27. Lee Livesay            Longview, TX            15  39-12   77  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-04     Day 2: 5   15-09     Day 3: 5   09-15
28. Timothy Dube           Nashua , NH             15  39-11   76  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   18-02     Day 2: 5   09-13     Day 3: 5   11-12
29. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL              14  39-02   75  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-09     Day 2: 4   07-12     Day 3: 5   15-13
30. Hank Cherry Jr         Lincolnton, NC          15  39-00   74  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-12     Day 2: 5   10-08     Day 3: 5   12-12
31. Mike Huff              London, KY              15  38-08   73  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-09     Day 2: 5   10-01     Day 3: 5   12-14
32. Jeff Gustafson         Kenora, ON Ontario CANA 15  38-01   72  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-05     Day 2: 5   14-03     Day 3: 5   09-09
33. Will Davis Jr          Sylacauga, AL           15  37-00   71  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   10-07     Day 2: 5   17-12     Day 3: 5   08-13
34. Jake Whitaker          Hendersonville, NC      15  36-15   70  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-05     Day 2: 5   14-09     Day 3: 5   08-01
35. Bryant Smith           Roseville, CA           15  36-11   69  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-13     Day 2: 5   09-11     Day 3: 5   12-03
36. Alex Redwine           Blue Ash, OH            15  36-06   68  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   11-00     Day 2: 5   15-10     Day 3: 5   09-12
37. Carl Jocumsen          Queensland TN AUSTRALIA 14  35-15   67  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   10-08     Day 2: 5   13-05     Day 3: 4   12-02
38. Jacob Foutz            Charleston, TN          15  35-12   66  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   09-13     Day 2: 5   14-02     Day 3: 5   11-13
39. Hunter Shryock         Ooltewah, TN            15  35-01   65  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   11-02     Day 2: 5   15-00     Day 3: 5   08-15
40. Robert Gee             Knoxville, TN           15  34-13   64  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-08     Day 2: 5   10-06     Day 3: 5   09-15
41. Drew Cook              Cairo, GA               15  34-12   63  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   09-05     Day 2: 5   14-03     Day 3: 5   11-04
42. Koby Kreiger           Alva, FL                15  34-10   62  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   06-09     Day 2: 5   19-14     Day 3: 5   08-03
43. Cory Johnston          Otonabee CANADA         15  34-10   61  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   12-06     Day 2: 5   12-13     Day 3: 5   09-07
44. Alex Wetherell         Middletown, CT          15  34-03   60  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   11-00     Day 2: 5   12-01     Day 3: 5   11-02
45. Brandon Card           Salisbury, NC           15  33-10   59  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-15     Day 2: 5   12-11     Day 3: 5   07-00
46. Clark Wendlandt        Leander, TX             15  32-03   58  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   06-14     Day 2: 5   16-07     Day 3: 5   08-14
47. Todd Auten             Clover, SC              15  32-03   57  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   12-11     Day 2: 5   12-07     Day 3: 5   07-01
48. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN           14  30-05   56  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-02     Day 2: 5   11-03     Day 3: 4   05-00
49. Jonathan Kelley        Old Forge, PA           14  30-02   55  $10,000.00
Day 1: 4   12-08     Day 2: 5   10-08     Day 3: 5   07-02
50. Wes Logan              Springville, AL         14  29-08   54  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-13     Day 2: 5   08-04     Day 3: 4   05-07
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS
Day
1   Paul Mueller             Naugatuck, CT       07-14        $500.00
1   Brad Whatley             Bivins, TX          07-14        $500.00
2   Austin Felix             Eden Prairie, MN    08-07      $1,000.00
3   Jacob Powroznik          North Prince George, VA10-08      $1,000.00

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        95       499      1248-05
2        97       499      1168-05
3        47       247       609-04
----------------------------------
239      1245      3025-14


Missouri Angler Cole Breeden Wins MLF Toyota Series at Grand Lake

GROVE, Okla. (April 14, 2024) – After taking over the lead on Day 2, pro Cole Breeden of Lebanon, Missouri, closed out the win in style with 19 pounds, 14 ounces on the final day of the Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats  Plains Division event on Grand Lake. With a 62-15 total, Breeden surpassed runner-up Jake Lawrence of Buchanana, Tennessee, by more than 6 pounds to earn his first win at the Toyota Series level. The win qualified Breeden for this fall’s Toyota Series Championship, and earned him $37,965 in cash and contingency money.

With an Abu Garcia College Fishing National Championship  win to his credit on Grand, Breeden is no stranger to the lake or Ozark-style fisheries. This week, he dropped the trolling motor and was pretty much dialed from the get-go.

“Literally in practice, I put my trolling motor down on a good one,” he said. “It went well the whole time. I expected (fish) to be in that transition area, around spawning stuff, and I started there, and that’s where they were. I just went with it all week, and it was good the whole time.

“In practice, I had a ton of bites,” he added. “The first day of practice, I had 19 ½ pounds, and I shook off a lot of them, or, I tried to. Every day, I’d find a couple areas. In the tournament even, I found some new areas. It just seemed like it was rolling for me, and the stuff that looked right, was.”

Catching most of his fish on a Texas-rigged Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Creature Hawg, Breeden also applied a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Hit Worm Magnum on a Neko rig. For his Texas rig, he used a 7-foot, 6-inch, heavy Abu Garcia Fantasista X paired with an Abu Garcia Zenon X, 17-pound Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon,  a 4/0 hook and a ¼-ounce Picasso weight.

Roaming from the Horse Creek area as far down as Drowning and Duck creeks, Breeden ‘Scoped up nearly all of his fish fairly shallow, targeting a specific mix of features.

“It was similar everywhere I had fish,” he explained. “A little flatter bank, if it was a creek, the flatter side of the creek. Or, just a flat pocket close to the main lake. It was all pea gravel, or pea gravel that had tennis ball-sized rock mixed in. It was spawning areas, spawning flats or pockets.  I’d catch them either on the way to the backs, or if it was a main lake pocket, I’d catch them in the back. The first day, I caught 22 pounds in the back of a couple pockets, but it was closer to deeper water. The stuff that was further from deep water, I’d catch them closer to the secondary points and stuff.

“Typically, they were on something,” he added. “There’s a lot of trash fish in Grand, it seems like every lake I go to with a lot of trash fish, fish always hold to something. I think on the chunkier rock, they will sit in the rock. But, on the pea gravel banks, you need a bigger rock, or a piece of metal, or a little brush, or a stump. Just something there that they’re holding to. I think they make beds next to that as well, I could tell some of them were spawning, because the fish would just be making little circles around a little spot.”

While most of his fish came from smaller pieces of cover, Breeden caught a few out of significant brush piles, with some as big as 9 feet tall holding fish. One brush fish stymied him on Day 2, and then escaped him and Strike King co-angler Matt Krekovich on Day 3.

“I went back to that fish I missed, and the wind was blowing on that stretch pretty good,” he said. “There was another brush pile just down the bank from it, and I pulled up, on the pile I saw her on, and she wasn’t there. About 2 minutes later, my co-angler in the back of the boat says ‘Oh I’ve got one.’ I look back, and about a 7-pounder jumps out of the water. He broke the hook on his jerkbait, it came off, and she was sitting on that brush pile just down the bank.”

Still, missed lunker aside, Breeden had a special week.

“It’s freakin’ awesome,” he said of the win. “It feels like so many times you’re not even close. Then, you have a week where it goes your way the whole time. I just caught big fish everywhere I went. When it’s going your way, it’s just going your way.”

The top 10 pros on Grand Lake finished:

1st:         Cole Breeden, Lebanon, Mo., 15 bass,  62-15, $37,965
2nd:        Jake Lawrence, Buchanan, Tenn., 15 bass, 56-5, $15,595 (includes $1,000 Phoenix MLF Bonus)
3rd:        Jordan Hartman, Benton, Ky., 15 bass, 55-3, $11,299
4th:         Jackson Ryley, Clinton, Ind., 15 bass, 54-15, $9,416
5th:         Ethan Fields, Breese, Ill., 15 bass, 54-5, $8,475
6th:         Matteo Turano, Puryear, Tenn., 15 bass, 53-14, $7,533
7th:         Kyle Kitts, Joplin, Mo., 15 bass, 53-12, $6,591
8th:         Jason Bonds, Lufkin, Texas, 15 bass, 53-7, $5,650
9th:         Casey Scanlon, Eldon, Mo., 15 bass, 53-7, $4,708
10th:      Tate Brumnett, Wagoner, Okla., 15 bass, 51-2, $3,766

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Pro Joshua Teply of Harrah, Oklahoma won the $500 Day 1 Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division Thursday with a bass weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces. On Friday, pro Troy O’Rourke of Bentonville, Arkansas, earned the $500 Berkley Big Bass prize after bringing a bass weighing 6 pounds even to the scale.

Larence took home an extra $1,000 as the highest finishing Phoenix MLF Bonus member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $35,000 per event in each Toyota Series tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

Matt Krekovich of Granite City, Illinois, won the Strike King Co-angler Division Thursday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 49 pounds, 6 ounces. Krekovich took home the top prize package worth $33,500, including a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard motor.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers on Grand Lake finished:

1st:         Matt Krekovich, Granite City, Ill., 15 bass, 49-6, Phoenix 518 Pro boat w/115-hp Mercury outboard
2nd:        Fred Fielder, Fort Gibson, Okla., 14 bass, 39-14, $4,734
3rd:        Oliver Siebert, Fenton, Mo., 15 bass, 39-10, $3,787
4th:         Scott Parsons, Rogers, Ark., 15 bass, 37-9, $3,314
5th:         Justin Layton, Kirbyville, Mo., 12 bass, 37-4, $2,990
6th:         Todd Adamitis, Glen Carbon, Ill., 14 bass, 36-15, $2,367
7th:         Terry Duffel, Cave Springs, Ark., 13 bass, 35-5, $1,894
8th:         Dan Bowman, Osage Beach, Mo., 12 bass, 34-12, $$1,657
9th:         Mark Talley, Grove, Okla., 12 bass, 34-0, $1,420
10th:      Lee Roberts, Shattuck, Okla., 10 bass, 33-14, $1,184

Justin Layton of Kirbyville, Missouri, was the Berkley Big Bass $150 award winner in the Strike King co-angler division, Thursday, with a 6-pound, 5-ounce bass, while the Day 2 $150 award went to Mark King of Gurdon, Arkansas, with a 6-pound, 3-ounce bass.

With two regular-season events in the Toyota Series Plains Division now complete, pro Jake Lawrence of Buchanana, Tennessee, leads the Plains Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 519 points, while Todd Adamitis of Glen Carbon, Illinois, leads the Strike King Co-angler Division AOY race with 515 points.

The Toyota Series at Grand Lake, hosted by the City of Grove was the second of three regular-season events for the Toyota Series Plains Division. The next event for Toyota Series anglers will be the Toyota Series at Lake Chickamauga, May 2-4, in Dayton, Tennessee. For a complete schedule of events, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The 2024 Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats consists of six divisions – Central, Northern, Plains, Southern, Southwestern and the Western Division Presented by Tackle Warehouse – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International and Wild Card divisions. Anglers who fish in any of the six divisions or the Wild Card division and finish in the top 25 will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series Championship for a shot at winning up to $235,000 and a qualification to REDCREST 2025. The winning Strike King co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard. The 2024 Toyota Series Championship will be held Nov. 7-9 on Wheeler Lake in Huntsville, Alabama, and is hosted by the Huntsville Sports Commission.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Toyota Series include: 7Brew, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, BUBBA, E3, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, FX Custom Rods, General Tire, Lew’s, Mercury, Mossy Oak Fishing, Onyx, Phoenix Boats, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Suzuki Marine, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, WIX Filters and YETI.

For complete details and updated information on Major League Fishing and the Toyota Series, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Tackle Warehouse Invitational updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the MLF5 social media outlets at  Facebook , 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, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network and on demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered 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 17 countries. 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.


Hodge & Malley Take Home New Ranger Boat at TXTT on Lake Fork

YANTIS, TX (April 13, 2024) – Anglers left the dock at Caney Point Recreation Area to a beautiful Texas sunrise, all with the hopes off conquering Lake Fork, stop #3 of the 2024 Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s Texas Team Trail presented by Progressive. The day presented perfect conditions for fishing up shallow chasing spawning fish, and overall tournament conditions that anglers dream of each event. But when the dust settled and all numbers were calculated, the Lake Fork local team of Steve Hodge & Shawn Malley walked away the newest champions of TXTT. The team weighed in a Rapala “Crush City” bag worth 13-04, anchored by a very impressive over-slot-limit fish. For their victory, the team wins a 2024 Ranger Z-518 with 150hp Mercury motor, a new Garmin graph, Power-Pole Charge system, and Angler’s Advantage cash. In total, they team cashed in on $57, 978 in cash & prizes, plus valuable points toward the 2024 TXTT Championship in June on Toledo Bend where, if qualified, they will fish for over $100,000 in cash & prizes.

“We started off the day in an area where we found some fish spawning in a high spot. It was a tough start, because our first three fish we had to throw back [slot-limit]. We then moved around trying to locate a few other areas we knew fish would be bedding but either the fish were gone or were surrounded by boats,” said the winning team. “We then went back to our original starting spot and were able to catch the ‘over’ throwing a white fluke rigged on a EWG Gamakatsu hook. That gave us a lot of momentum, and luckily we just went looking for more fish ‘sight-fishing’ and were able to catch three other keepers.”

The team reported catching their last keeper around 1:30 in the afternoon. Hodge & Malley wanted to go on and thank their sponsors, local marine dealership, and all of their supporting friends and family.

Ranger Boat owners Lowell Bennett & Landen Bennett Finish Second, Plus Power-Pole Big Bass

“The big fish came on my son’s first cast of the morning, which made us both sick- but helped us relax knowing catching an over ‘slot’ would help us tremendously,” said Ranger Boats owner Lowell of the father-and-son team. “The rest of the day we just looked up shallow and fished for bedding fish”.

For second place, the team weighed in 12-14 and took home $5,928.00, which included Angler’s Advantage, the $300 Garmin Bonus (awarded to the highest finishing team with exclusively all Garmin electronics), and the Power-Pole Big Bass Award. The Power-Pole Big Bass was a 10-08 Lake Fork monster, and awarded the team a Power-Pole Pro Series II shallow water system.

“The big fish my son caught was on a spinnerbait. But the rest of our bites came on flipping a Strike King Menace onto beds. All of our rods are rigged up with Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon Line.”

The team also wanted to give a shout-out to the family, especially Lowell’s wife, for allowing them to fish so many tournaments as father-and-son.

Rest of the Top-10

  • 3rd: Thomas Martens & Dean Alexander: 9-04, $4,146.50
  • 3rd: Cole Mitchell & Connor Theiler: 9-04, $2,386.50
  • 5th: Jared West & Joe West: 9-01, $2,692.00
  • 6th: Terry Peacock & Scott Dean: 8-14, $2,390.00
  • 7th: Shane Howell & William Davis: 8-09, $1,699.00
  • 8th: Nick Brown & Byron Chaves: 8-07, $1,585.00
  • 9th: Michael Rollert & Gandy Stubblefield: 8-04, $1,437.00
  • 10th: James Harrison & Kyle Swearingen: 8-03, $1,558.00

Full results can be found through the link here.

To register for the 2024 Texas Team Trail tournaments, please read the updated 2024 RULES and then follow this link to register today: https://outdoorteamworks.com/trail/txtt/registration/

2024 Texas Team Trail Schedule:

  • February 17th - Brookeland, TX | Sam Rayburn Reservoir
  • March 23rd - Brookeland, TX | Sam Rayburn Reservoir
  • April 13th - Yantis, TX | Lake Fork
  • May 4th - Corsicana, TX | Richland Chambers
  • June 8-9th - Many, LA | Toledo Bend Reservoir - CHAMPIONSHIP

For more information about Texas Team Trail, including sponsor incentives, official tournament results and photos, visit TexasTeamTrail.com. Be sure to subscribe to the e-newsletter to receive all the up-to-date news and announcements.

About Texas Team Trail

Texas Team Trail is a part of the Outdoor TeamWorks family of fishing tournaments. The OTW brand offers a wide range of fishing events from professional tournaments to grassroots fishing derbies. All events are supported by some of the top companies in the nation and include on-site activation and activities, as well as extensive media support.  For additional live updates and information, follow TXTT on Facebook and Instagram.


Jacob Wheeler Leads Top Ten to Championship Round at PowerStop Brakes Stage Three at Dale Hollow Lake Presented by Mercury

Tennessee pro catches 25 bass weighing 79-13 to lead Knockout Round, final 10 anglers set for Championship Sunday in final-day shootout for top prize of $100,000

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. (April 13, 2024) – Each of the 10 anglers who qualified for the Championship Round on Dale Hollow Lake will start Sunday morning with zero pounds, but it sure feels like two have separated from the rest of the pack in the chase for the trophy at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour PowerStop Brakes Stage Three Presented by Mercury.

On a day during which many of the 20 anglers on the water struggled to generate consistent bites, two-time Angler of the Year (AOY) winner Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tennessee, and rookie Drew Gill of Mount Carmel, Illinois , seemingly stacked weight on SCORETRACKER® at will. While it took 31 pounds, 2 ounces on the day to earn a spot in the Top 10 and a berth to the Championship Round, both Wheeler and Gill surpassed that mark within the first 90 minutes. Each eclipsed 50 pounds in Period 1 before easing off the throttle, saving as many fish as possible for what’s looking like a final-day prize fight.

Wheeler ultimately finished atop the leaderboard with 25 scorable bass for 79-13. That put him 3-7 ahead of Gill, with a sizable gap to Alton Jones Jr. of Waco, Texas, in third place at 54-7.

Still, with several of the best anglers in the game at using forward-facing sonar to find and catch schools of bass (Jones Jr., Dustin Connell, Michael NealSpencer Shuffield) among the Top 10, the only sure thing entering Championship Sunday is that whoever prevails will have to earn it.

The final 10 anglers are now set, and competition resumes Sunday morning with the Championship Round. In the Championship Round, weights are zeroed, and the highest one-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.

When Wheeler won his seventh Bass Pro Tour trophy at Stage Two on Santee Cooper, he quipped that he had to keep pace with Connell, his travel roommate and close friend who had won the prior event on Toledo Bend. So, after Connell prevailed again at last month’s REDCREST championship, there was some semi-serious speculation that Wheeler would have no choice but to win at Dale Hollow.

Suddenly, the possibility appears very real. While Wheeler is more focused on trying to add to his record BPT victory tally and consolidate his lead in the Fishing Clash Angler of the Year competition, he’d be happy to continue the trend.

“It would be cool, obviously,” he said. “(Connell) won the first one, I won the second one, he won the third one. It’d be nice to win this one, for sure. Right now, the house is undefeated.”

Usually an ironclad lock to make the Championship Round (he’s now up to an astounding 31 Top 10s in 45 career BPT events), Wheeler admitted that it took him a bit longer than he expected to figure out the bass on Dale Hollow this week, especially considering that he visits the lake regularly. He started competition fishing around the bank, but by Saturday morning, he’d realized that the offshore, forward-facing sonar pattern that has dominated tournament fishing all year would once again be the way to win.

“I really anticipated this tournament to be a shallow-water tournament,” he said. “It’s April, the trees are blooming. Now, this lake right here is well known for forward-facing sonar, and half my fish have come that way this week; the other half didn’t, I wasn’t looking at my screen. But I fully believe that it’ll be won doing that.”

That’s fine by Wheeler, who’s proven himself as effective as anyone with the technology. He started Saturday morning on an offshore school of largemouth. Using a jighead minnow, he put together a furious flurry that saw him boat 17 scorable bass totaling 53-13 in less than two hours.

“I thought it was going to take 50 pounds to probably make it, and I was able to catch that pretty quickly this morning,” Wheeler said. “And so, I was able to practice the rest of the day and look around and ultimately come up with a pretty solid game plan.”

Despite the fact that smallmouth accounted for the majority of the scorable bass caught by the field Saturday for the first time, 22 of Wheeler’s 25 fish were largemouth. That was by design.

“I was targeting largemouth for the most part,” Wheeler said. “I’ve spent a lot of time here in the wintertime, and I know the typical zones those bass live in.”

As good as Wheeler’s opening period was, he’s not committed to revisiting that spot to start Sunday’s action. In typical Wheeler fashion, once he amassed enough weight that he didn’t have to worry about the cut line, he spent the final five or so hours scouting new water. He found a few new areas that piqued his interest, and as the first boat to launch, he’ll have his pick of real estate on the 28,000-acre reservoir.

“I was able to eliminate a lot of stuff,” Wheeler said of his afternoon. “Now, I still have some stuff that I need to go look at. I found some stuff late; I realized what was transpiring late. So, I’m going to have to practice tomorrow as well.”

While he might practice in the sense that he’ll continue searching for the winning fish, there will be no easing off his efforts to catch them during the Championship Round. Wheeler believes it will take at least 100 pounds to claim the trophy, maybe more.

“I think 100 pounds will probably win,” Wheeler said. “I mean, it could take even as much as 120 or more. Heck, I don’t know. Obviously, a lot of guys put some pressure on their fish, but a lot of guys are sandbagging, too.”

The top 10 pros from Saturday’s Knockout Round that now advance to Sunday’s Championship Round on Dale Hollow Lake are:

1st:          Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., 25 bass, 79-13
2nd:        Drew Gill, Mount Carmel, Ill., 25 bass, 76-6
3rd:        Alton Jones Jr., Waco, Texas, 17 bass, 54-7
4th:         Marshall Robinson, Landrum, S.C., 17 bass, 49-6
5th:         Spencer Shuffield, Hot Springs, Ark., 18 bass, 49-0
6th:         Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala., 16 bass, 43-15
7th:         Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 14 bass, 43-0
8th:         Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., 14 bass, 39-3
9th:         Keith Poche, Pike Road, Ala., 11 bass, 31-9
10th:      Alton Jones, Lorena, Texas, 11 bass, 31-2

Finishing in 11th through 20th place are:

11th:      Shin Fukae, Osaka, Japan, seven bass, 26-5
12th:      Britt Myers, Lake Wylie, S.C., eight bass, 26-2
13th:      Jesse Wiggins, Addison, Ala., nine bass, 23-6
14th:      David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., eight bass, 23-3
15th:      Grae Buck, Green Lane, Penn., six bass, 19-15
16th:      Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., seven bass, 17-11
17th:      Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C., six bass, 15-14
18th:      Jeff Sprague, Wills Point, Texas, five bass, 12-5
19th:      Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., four bass, 12-1
20th:      Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., four bass, 9-6

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

Overall, there were 232 scorable bass weighing 684 pounds, 1 ounce caught by the 20 pros Saturday, which included two 5-pounders, 14 4-pounders and 91 3-pounders.

General Tire pro Britt Myers of Lake Wylie, South Carolina, caught a 5-pound, 3-ounce smallmouth on a jig in the first period to claim Saturday’s Berkley Big Bass Award. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass each day, and a $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass of the tournament.

The six-day tournament, hosted by the Byrdstown-Pickett County Chamber of Commerce & Bill Dance Signature Lakes, showcases 79 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing for a purse of $659,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable Fishing Clash Angler of the Year (AOY) points in hopes of qualifying for the General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and REDCREST 2025, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

The 40 Anglers in Group A competed in their two-day Qualifying Round on Tuesday and Thursday – the 39 anglers in Group B on Wednesday and Friday. After the two-day Qualifying Rounds were complete, the anglers that finished first through 10th from both groups advanced to Saturday’s Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, weights were zeroed, and the remaining 20 anglers competed to finish in the top 10 to advance to Sunday’s Championship Round. Tomorrow, in the final-day Championship Round, weights are zeroed, and the highest one-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.

The final 10 anglers competing in Sunday’s Championship Round will launch at 7:30 a.m. CT from Sunset Marina and Resort, located at 2040 Sunset Dock Road in Monroe. The General Tire Takeout will be held at the marina, beginning at 4 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch and takeout events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard and event coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com .

The MLFNOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action live on Championship Sunday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT. MLFNOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

On Sunday, April 14, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. MLF welcomes fans of all ages to visit Sunset Marina and Resort for the MLF Watch Party, Kids Fishing Derby and Trophy Celebration. Fans can watch the pros live on the MLFNOW! big screen, enjoy free food, enter to win hourly giveaways and cheer on their favorite pros. The first 50 kids 14 and under will receive a free rod and reel from Pure Fishing. Additional fishing gear will be provided onsite for the fishing derby or kids can bring their own. The final 10 Championship Round Bass Pro Tour anglers will be on hand at the trophy celebration to meet and greet fans, sign autographs and take selfies.

Television coverage of the PowerStop Brakes Stage Three at Dale Hollow Lake Presented by Mercury Knockout Round will air as a two-hour episode starting at 7 a.m. ET, on Saturday, Oct. 5 on Discovery, with the Championship Round premiering on Oct. 6. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on Discovery, with re-airings on Outdoor Channel.

The PowerStop Brakes Stage Three at Dale Hollow Lake Presented by Mercury features the MLF catch, weigh, immediate-release format, in which anglers catch as much weight as they can each day, while also feeling the pressure and intensity of the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard. The tournament features anglers competing with a 2-pound minimum weight requirement for a bass to be deemed scorable. The MLF Fisheries Management Division determines minimum weights for each body of water 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 79 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2025 championship.

Wheeler will have a chance to not only hoist his second trophy of the young season but further build his lead in the Fishing Clash Angler of the Year race, where the winner of the season-long competition will take home an additional $100,000 check. Wheeler, who won AOY in 2021 and 2022 before finishing second last year, entered Stage Three with a lead of seven points over Jesse Wiggins. Wiggins narrowly missed out on the Championship Round, finishing 13th, while reigning Angler of the Year Matt Becker failed to qualify for the Knockout Round after arriving at Dale Hollow in third place.

Fishing Clash, an interactive 3D fishing simulation game that’s played by more than 80 million people worldwide, is the official AOY sponsor of the Bass Pro Tour, Tackle Warehouse Invitationals, Toyota Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League. You can download Fishing Clash for free in the App Store and on Google Play, or log on to www.fishingclash.game for more information.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Bass Pro Tour include: Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, BUBBA, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, Garmin, General Tire, Humminbird, Lowrance, Mercury, MillerTech, Minn Kota, Mossy Oak Fishing, NITRO, Onyx, Plano, Power-Pole, Rapala, StarBrite, Suzuki, Toyota and U.S. Air Force.

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 FacebookXInstagram 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, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network and on demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered 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 17 countries. 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.


Garrett fishes the familiar to retain lead in Bassmaster Elite Series event at Harris Chain of Lakes

April 13, 2024

Garrett fishes the familiar to retain lead in Bassmaster Elite Series event at Harris Chain of Lakes 

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LEESBURG, Fla. — More than 800 miles separate John Garrett’s home in Union City, Tenn., from Leesburg, Fla., but the Elite rookie said he feels like he’s fishing at home.

Leveraging the confidence and comfort born of such familiarity, Garrett sacked a Day 2 limit of 19 pounds, 13 ounces to retain the lead in the Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at the Harris Chain of Lakes with a two-day total of 43-15.

Building on his Day 1 limit of 24-2 — the event’s heaviest bag — Garrett heads into Semifinal Sunday with a lead of 5-2 over Brad Whatley of Bivins, Texas.

“The good Lord has absolutely blessed me the past two days,” Garrett said. “I got some good bites and I really didn’t expect this whatsoever. I’m fishing the way that I grew up fishing and the way I love to fish.

“I hope I can get five, maybe 10 more of the right ones.”

Drawing on his lifetime of fishing Tennessee River shellbars, Garrett focused most of his effort on a 75-yard stretch of Harris Chain mussels in about 12 feet of water. On the same spot that yielded his first-round weight, postspawn bass were mixing with tilapia and running up and down the bar.

“Like yesterday, from 10 to 1 is the sweet time,” Garrett said. “Today, at 1 o’clock, the wind slicked off and I did not get another bite. Today, the fish were there better — I could see them on my Humminbird 360 — I just could not catch them.

“I’m just covering as much water as I can in that zone and making as many casts as I can.”

Garrett started his day on a limit spot to settle his nerves by putting five small keepers in the boat. After that, he hunkered down on his main area and diligently picked it apart with crankbaits, including a Strike King 5XD.

“Once I knew I’d made the Day 3 cut (on the limit spot), I spent all day on my big-fish area,” Garrett said. “I got six big bites and I caught two of them. I had the bites to maybe have a little more weight today, I just couldn’t get them in the boat.

“There’s not a lot of fish there and when I get them to bite, it’s a reaction. I’m getting most of them on the bait’s back hook.”

Garrett said he’s committed to his game plan for at least one more day. He might show his big fish a broader selection of baits, including single-hook plastics, but he believes his best shot at winning awaits on that shellbar.

“I don’t know how Sunday’s going to play out,” Garrett said. “I’ll probably start on my limit hole, fish for an hour and then head over to my big-fish place and stay all day.”

Whatley placed second with 38-13. After placing third on Day 1 with 22 pounds, he added 16-13.

On Day 1, Whatley found a 7-14 and a 7-12 on the same spot. He tried that area again, but found no second-round additions. Changing areas, he fished multiple spots and found his bites in a consistent shallow water scenario.

“I know what I’m looking for now, so when I’m running down the lake and I see what I like, I’ll shut it down and go over there,” Whatley said. “It’s just where the fish are setting up — and it changes.

“In the morning time, they’re in certain areas and, as the day goes on, they change up a little bit. I think the bait has a lot to do with it. The bait’s moving around and they’re just following that bait.”

Reflecting on his second-round experience, Whatley said he’s optimistic that he’s even more dialed in than he was on Day 1. He’ll pursue the same general game plan, in hopes of earning a spot in Championship Monday’s Top 10 field.

“I figured some stuff out late in the day and I’m pretty excited about it,” Whatley said. “I feel like everything I’m doing is the right move and that doesn’t come around very often.”

Ed Loughran III of Richmond, Va., placed third with 37-12. After placing 15th on Day 1 with 17-3, Loughran added 20-9 — the second day’s only bag over 20 pounds.

Loughran anchored his Day 2 limit with a late-day kicker — a 7-15 that bit just minutes before 3 o’clock.

“I had a good bag before, but that fish bumped me up to a different level,” Loughran said. “I caught that fish on a brushpile in 12 feet of water that I had found (during a previous visit to the Harris Chain).”

Describing the course that led him to his biggest bass in two days, Loughran attributed his success to a change of game plan.

“It was a strange day; I had plans to do one thing and I ended up doing the exact opposite,” he said. “I had a late boat number today and after going to Lake Apopka yesterday and flipping with 65-pound braid, I stayed in Harris, Eustis and Dora and fished brushpiles with a drop shot with a Missile Baits Magic Worm.”

As Loughran explained, when he reached the 14-pound mark, he had intended to return to Apopka. However, catching a 5-pounder around 10 o’clock convinced him to stay.

“I knew I was going to make the Top 50 cut at that point,” Loughran said. “Without that 5-pounder, I would not have caught that (7-15).”

Austin Felix of Eden Prairie, Minn., is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with an 8-7.

Rookie Trey McKinney of Carbondale, Ill., leads the Progressive Insurance Bassmaster Angler of the Year points standings with 294 points. Tyler Williams of Belgrade, Maine, is in second with 282, followed by Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala., with 271, Justin Hamner of Northport, Ala., with 268, and JT Thompkins of Myrtle Beach, S.C., with 265.

McKinney and Williams also lead the race for Dakota Lithium Bassmaster Rookie of the Year.

Sunday’s takeoff is scheduled for 7 a.m. ET from Venetian Gardens (Ski Beach). The weigh-in will be held at the Ski Beach at 3 p.m.

 

Follow all the action on FS1from 8-11 a.m. and on Bassmaster.com from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

 

The event is being hosted by the Greater Orlando Sports Commission.

2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Bass Pro ShopsDakota Lithium, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Progressive Insurance, Ranger Boats, Rapala, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha
2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: AFTCO, Daiwa, Garmin, Lew's, Lowrance, Marathon, Triton Boats, VMC

About B.A.S.S.B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting-edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

-30-

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Media Contact: Chad Gay, Communications Manager, 865-201-6458, cgay@bassmaster.com

2024 Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain 4/12-4/15
Harris Chain Of Lakes, Leesburg  FL.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 2

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  John Garrett           Union City, TN          10  43-15  103
Day 1: 5   24-02     Day 2: 5   19-13
2.  Brad Whatley           Bivins, TX              10  38-13  102
Day 1: 5   22-00     Day 2: 5   16-13
3.  Ed Loughran III        Richmond, VA            10  37-12  101
Day 1: 5   17-03     Day 2: 5   20-09
4.  JT Thompkins           Myrtle Beach, SC        10  36-12  100
Day 1: 5   19-11     Day 2: 5   17-01
5.  Trey McKinney          Carbondale, IL          10  35-00   99
Day 1: 5   17-14     Day 2: 5   17-02
6.  Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT           10  34-13   98
Day 1: 5   17-13     Day 2: 5   17-00
7.  Tyler Williams         Belgrade, ME            10  34-11   97
Day 1: 5   17-02     Day 2: 5   17-09
8.  KJ Queen               Catawba, NC             10  34-07   96
Day 1: 5   19-00     Day 2: 5   15-07
9.  Kyle Norsetter         Cottage Grove, WI       10  33-03   95
Day 1: 5   17-06     Day 2: 5   15-13
10. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN        10  32-15   94
Day 1: 5   21-13     Day 2: 5   11-02
11. Jason Christie         Dry Creek, OK           10  32-13   93
Day 1: 5   14-06     Day 2: 5   18-07
12. Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS        10  32-11   92
Day 1: 5   19-11     Day 2: 5   13-00
13. Joseph Webster         Hamilton, AL            10  31-14   91
Day 1: 5   20-15     Day 2: 5   10-15
14. Austin Felix           Eden Prairie, MN        10  31-14   90
Day 1: 5   12-07     Day 2: 5   19-07
15. Chris Johnston         Otonabee Ontario CANADA 10  31-13   89
Day 1: 5   14-12     Day 2: 5   17-01
16. David Gaston           Sylacauga, AL           10  31-08   88
Day 1: 5   20-03     Day 2: 5   11-05
17. Jordan Lee             Cullman, AL             10  30-10   87
Day 1: 5   21-06     Day 2: 5   09-04
18. Lee Livesay            Longview, TX            10  29-13   86
Day 1: 5   14-04     Day 2: 5   15-09
19. John Cox               Debary, FL              10  29-12   85
Day 1: 5   22-05     Day 2: 5   07-07
20. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ         10  29-12   84
Day 1: 5   13-05     Day 2: 5   16-07
21. Jake Whitaker          Hendersonville, NC      10  28-14   83
Day 1: 5   14-05     Day 2: 5   14-09
22. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                 10  28-13   82
Day 1: 5   13-01     Day 2: 5   15-12
23. Jeff Gustafson         Kenora, ON Ontario CANA 10  28-08   81
Day 1: 5   14-05     Day 2: 5   14-03
24. Will Davis Jr          Sylacauga, AL           10  28-03   80
Day 1: 5   10-07     Day 2: 5   17-12
25. Timothy Dube           Nashua , NH             10  27-15   79
Day 1: 5   18-02     Day 2: 5   09-13
26. Logan Latuso           Gonzales, LA            10  27-13   78
Day 1: 5   14-13     Day 2: 5   13-00
27. Justin Hamner          Northport, AL           10  27-08   77
Day 1: 5   12-14     Day 2: 5   14-10
28. Cody Huff              Ava, MO                 10  27-01   76
Day 1: 5   17-03     Day 2: 5   09-14
29. Alex Redwine           Blue Ash, OH            10  26-10   75
Day 1: 5   11-00     Day 2: 5   15-10
30. Brandon Card           Salisbury, NC           10  26-10   74
Day 1: 5   13-15     Day 2: 5   12-11
31. Koby Kreiger           Alva, FL                10  26-07   73
Day 1: 5   06-09     Day 2: 5   19-14
32. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA            10  26-06   72
Day 1: 5   13-00     Day 2: 5   13-06
33. Hank Cherry Jr         Lincolnton, NC          10  26-04   71
Day 1: 5   15-12     Day 2: 5   10-08
34. Hunter Shryock         Ooltewah, TN            10  26-02   70
Day 1: 5   11-02     Day 2: 5   15-00
35. Kyle Patrick           Cooperstown, NY         10  25-15   69
Day 1: 5   12-06     Day 2: 5   13-09
36. Mike Huff              London, KY              10  25-10   68
Day 1: 5   15-09     Day 2: 5   10-01
37. Jacob Powroznik        North Prince George, VA 10  25-09   67
Day 1: 5   11-08     Day 2: 5   14-01
38. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN           10  25-05   66
Day 1: 5   14-02     Day 2: 5   11-03
39. Cory Johnston          Otonabee CANADA         10  25-03   65
Day 1: 5   12-06     Day 2: 5   12-13
40. Todd Auten             Clover, SC              10  25-02   64
Day 1: 5   12-11     Day 2: 5   12-07
41. Robert Gee             Knoxville, TN           10  24-14   63
Day 1: 5   14-08     Day 2: 5   10-06
42. Bryant Smith           Roseville, CA           10  24-08   62
Day 1: 5   14-13     Day 2: 5   09-11
43. Wes Logan              Springville, AL         10  24-01   61
Day 1: 5   15-13     Day 2: 5   08-04
44. Jacob Foutz            Charleston, TN          10  23-15   60
Day 1: 5   09-13     Day 2: 5   14-02
45. Carl Jocumsen          Queensland TN AUSTRALIA 10  23-13   59
Day 1: 5   10-08     Day 2: 5   13-05
46. Drew Cook              Cairo, GA               10  23-08   58
Day 1: 5   09-05     Day 2: 5   14-03
47. Clark Wendlandt        Leander, TX             10  23-05   57
Day 1: 5   06-14     Day 2: 5   16-07
48. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL               9  23-05   56
Day 1: 5   15-09     Day 2: 4   07-12
49. Alex Wetherell         Middletown, CT          10  23-01   55
Day 1: 5   11-00     Day 2: 5   12-01
50. Jonathan Kelley        Old Forge, PA            9  23-00   54
Day 1: 4   12-08     Day 2: 5   10-08
51. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ              10  22-15   53
Day 1: 5   12-03     Day 2: 5   10-12
52. Chris Zaldain          Fort Worth, TX          10  22-13   52
Day 1: 5   10-07     Day 2: 5   12-06
53. Marc Frazier           Newnan, GA              10  22-12   51
Day 1: 5   11-11     Day 2: 5   11-01
54. Matt Arey              Shelby, NC              10  22-10   50
Day 1: 5   12-02     Day 2: 5   10-08
55. Stetson Blaylock       Benton, AR              10  22-06   49
Day 1: 5   13-04     Day 2: 5   09-02
56. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN          10  22-05   48
Day 1: 5   08-15     Day 2: 5   13-06
57. John Soukup            Sapulpa, OK             10  22-00   47
Day 1: 5   08-15     Day 2: 5   13-01
58. Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY             10  22-00   46
Day 1: 5   11-04     Day 2: 5   10-12
59. Tyler Rivet            Raceland, LA            10  22-00   45
Day 1: 5   10-15     Day 2: 5   11-01
60. Chad Pipkens           Dewitt, MI              10  21-15   44
Day 1: 5   13-00     Day 2: 5   08-15
61. Jay Przekurat          Plover, WI              10  21-12   43
Day 1: 5   13-11     Day 2: 5   08-01
62. Patrick Walters        Eutawville, SC          10  21-11   42
Day 1: 5   14-08     Day 2: 5   07-03
63. Kyle Welcher           Valley, AL              10  21-10   41
Day 1: 5   10-00     Day 2: 5   11-10
64. Kenta Kimura           Osaka OK JAPAN          10  21-09   40
Day 1: 5   08-04     Day 2: 5   13-05
65. Kyoya Fujita           Yamanashi CA JAPAN      10  21-09   39
Day 1: 5   10-03     Day 2: 5   11-06
66. Brandon Cobb           Greenwood, SC           10  21-06   38
Day 1: 5   11-14     Day 2: 5   09-08
67. Shane LeHew            Catawba, NC             10  20-07   37
Day 1: 5   12-10     Day 2: 5   07-13
68. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL             10  20-07   36
Day 1: 5   12-05     Day 2: 5   08-02
69. Matty Wong             Honolulu, HI            10  20-06   35
Day 1: 5   12-15     Day 2: 5   07-07
70. Scott Martin           Clewiston, FL           10  20-06   34
Day 1: 5   12-08     Day 2: 5   07-14
71. Pat Schlapper          Eleva, WI               10  20-06   33
Day 1: 5   11-02     Day 2: 5   09-04
72. Logan Parks            Auburn, AL              10  20-06   32
Day 1: 5   11-01     Day 2: 5   09-05
73. Frank Talley           Belton, TX              10  19-15   31
Day 1: 5   07-14     Day 2: 5   12-01
74. Drew Benton            Panama City, FL         10  19-15   30
Day 1: 5   11-10     Day 2: 5   08-05
75. Caleb Kuphall          Mukwonago, WI            8  19-12   29
Day 1: 3   04-08     Day 2: 5   15-04
76. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX          10  19-09   28
Day 1: 5   10-04     Day 2: 5   09-05
77. Ray Hanselman Jr       Del Rio, TX             10  19-07   27
Day 1: 5   08-08     Day 2: 5   10-15
78. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL            10  19-05   26
Day 1: 5   09-00     Day 2: 5   10-05
79. Jamie Hartman          Newport, NY             10  19-00   25
Day 1: 5   06-14     Day 2: 5   12-02
80. Justin Atkins          Florence, AL            10  18-12   24
Day 1: 5   10-01     Day 2: 5   08-11
81. Seth Feider            New Market, MN          10  18-07   23
Day 1: 5   06-10     Day 2: 5   11-13
82. Gerald Swindle         Guntersville, AL        10  18-02   22
Day 1: 5   07-08     Day 2: 5   10-10
83. Cooper Gallant         Bowmanville Ontario CAN 10  17-13   21
Day 1: 5   08-13     Day 2: 5   09-00
84. Bryan Schmitt          Deale, MD               10  17-12   20
Day 1: 5   11-15     Day 2: 5   05-13
85. Caleb Sumrall          New Iberia, LA           9  17-05   19
Day 1: 5   11-10     Day 2: 4   05-11
86. Bryan New              Leesville, SC           10  17-03   18
Day 1: 5   09-00     Day 2: 5   08-03
87. Gregory DiPalma        Millville, NJ           10  16-15   17
Day 1: 5   10-09     Day 2: 5   06-06
88. Wesley Gore            Clanton, AL             10  16-14   16
Day 1: 5   09-09     Day 2: 5   07-05
89. Luke Palmer            Coalgate, OK            10  16-14   15
Day 1: 5   08-05     Day 2: 5   08-09
90. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA               10  16-13   14
Day 1: 5   09-01     Day 2: 5   07-12
91. Clent Davis            Montevallo, AL          10  16-13   13
Day 1: 5   08-13     Day 2: 5   08-00
92. Cole Sands             Calhoun , TN            10  16-11   12
Day 1: 5   08-11     Day 2: 5   08-00
93. Taku Ito               Dalton GA JAPAN          9  16-09   11
Day 1: 4   04-09     Day 2: 5   12-00
94. Buddy Gross            Chattanooga, TN         10  16-04   10
Day 1: 5   10-15     Day 2: 5   05-05
95. Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID            10  15-11    9
Day 1: 5   09-01     Day 2: 5   06-10
96. Jason Williamson       Aiken, SC                9  14-14    8
Day 1: 4   04-12     Day 2: 5   10-02
97. Joey Cifuentes III     Clinton, AR              7  14-09    7
Day 1: 2   03-07     Day 2: 5   11-02
98. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL         10  14-00    6
Day 1: 5   04-14     Day 2: 5   09-02
99. Derek Hudnall          Zachary, LA             10  12-13    5
Day 1: 5   07-00     Day 2: 5   05-13
100. Ben Milliken           New Caney, TX            8  10-09    4
Day 1: 4   05-11     Day 2: 4   04-14
101. Scott Canterbury       Odenville, AL            7  09-05    3
Day 1: 5   06-10     Day 2: 2   02-11
102. Matt Robertson         Kuttawa, KY              3  04-15    2
Day 1: 3   04-15     Day 2: 0   00-00
103. Bob Downey             Detroit Lakes, MN        0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS
Day
1   Paul Mueller             Naugatuck, CT       07-14          $0.00
1   Brad Whatley             Bivins, TX          07-14          $0.00
2   Austin Felix             Eden Prairie, MN    08-07          $0.00

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        95       499      1248-05
2        97       499      1168-05
----------------------------------
192       998      2416-10


Rookie Marshall Robinson Wins Group B Qualifying Round at PowerStop Brakes Stage Three at Dale Hollow Lake Presented by Mercury

South Carolina pro catches two-day total of 115-11 to win Group B Qualifying Round, field of 20 set for Saturday’s Knockout Round

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. (April 12, 2024) – Maintaining his spot atop SCORETRACKER® wasn’t Marshall Robinson of Landrum, South Carolina's primary focus during a windy, cold second day of qualifying for Group B at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour PowerStop Brakes Stage Three Presented by Mercury. But the 20-year-old still managed to catch enough Dale Hollow Lake bass while exploring new water Friday that he stayed ahead of Alton Jones Jr. of Waco, TexasDustin Connell of Clanton, Alabama , and the rest of his pursuers. Robinson boated eight scorable bass that combined to weigh 23 pounds, 3 ounces, bringing his two-day total to 115-11.

While Jones and Connell both finished within 3-2 of Robinson’s total, the primary drama didn’t come from the top of the leaderboard but the cut line. Seven anglers finished within 10 pounds of 10th place, all of them holding a spot within the Top 10 at some point during Friday’s action. Ultimately, it was Alton Jones Sr. of Lorena, Texas, who claimed the final spot with a two-day total of 71-15.

The remaining 20 anglers – the top 10 from each group – now advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round, where weights are zeroed, and anglers compete to finish in the top 10 to advance to the Championship Round on Sunday. In Sunday’s final day Championship Round, weights are zeroed, and the highest one-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.

Link to Hi-Res Photo of Qualifying Group B Winner Marshall Robinson
Link to HD Video – Fish-Catch Highlights of Group B Qualifying Round Day 2 on Dale Hollow Lake
Link to Photo Gallery of Group B’s Day 2 Qualifying Round Highlights on Dale Hollow Lake

A cold north wind howled across Dale Hollow throughout the competition day, increasing until it culminated in a storm that dumped rain and even some hail. Given those conditions, which made it difficult for anglers fishing away from the bank to position their boats and present baits accurately, Robinson was grateful for his 90-plus-pound effort on Wednesday, still the best day of anyone in the field so far. As a result, he didn’t have to catch a scorable bass Friday to qualify for the Knockout Round.

“I told my boat official and my camera guy — we were looking around, there’s like 4-footers crashing around us — and I’m like, ‘Man, it’s a good day to not have to catch them,'” Robinson said. “I definitely enjoyed that. That was super relaxing.”

Robinson didn’t visit any of the areas he’d explored during practice or the first day of competition, instead searching for new spots that fit the pattern he’s discovered. Targeting mostly smallmouth, which accounted for seven of his eight scorable bass Friday, he’s hitting areas that contain gravel, shelf rock and deep-water access in close proximity.

“If you can find that mix on a bank that has good, deep water close by, it’s like a light switch,” he said.
While he’s using forward-facing sonar to locate fish, Robinson said they’re not chasing shad. He believes the smallmouth have mostly been spawners. He’s used a few different finesse techniques to catch them, primarily leaning on a 3-inch Yamamoto Scope Shad in either Tennessee shad or sexy shad on a homemade, ¼-ounce ball head.

“I think they’re on beds, but I’m making them come up and eat,” Robinson explained. “I’ll see a lot of them on bottom, and I’ll throw over top of them, they come flying up and eat it out of anger.”

Robinson thinks the bite will improve as Saturday brings more mild weather. But in his case, his lower weight Friday had more to do with his approach than the conditions. Every time he caught a fish, Robinson said, he saw others with it, but he purposely avoided catching more than one from any group, hoping to save them for the Knockout and Championship Rounds.

“When I would catch one, a lot of times there’d be more, eight or 10 more, and I wouldn’t throw back in there,” he said. “So, I feel good that I found some new stuff.”

Looking to make his first Championship Round appearance in just his third Bass Pro Tour event, Robinson already has a goal in mind for the Knockout Round: 55 to 60 pounds. If he can hit that mark, he thinks he’ll be comfortably clear of the cut line, and he might even give himself more time to practice for a shot at his first professional win.

“I feel good about tomorrow,” Robinson said. “I feel like I need to catch 55 or 60 pounds. ... So, I’m going to go out there and try and hit that mark, and if I reach it earlier than expected, I may do some more practicing, try to find some new stuff then.”

While Mother Nature prevented the cut weight from climbing as high as many might have expected given that 11 anglers topped 40 pounds during Group B’s first day on the water, Friday’s brawl to finish among the Top 10 proved to be especially crowded. Eleven anglers wound up finishing within 13-2 of one another, ranging from Shin Fukae in seventh place to Keith Carson in 17th.

Carson started the day in 10th place, but a slow morning caused him to tumble out of the Top 10. Wesley StraderLuke ClausenDean Rojas and Dave Lefebre all hovered around the cut line for most of the day but wound up just short. Mark Davis and Nick LeBrun both made spirited comebacks to put themselves in contention. Davis started the day in 18th place and stacked more than 36 pounds on SCORETRACKER® using a Carolina rig but ultimately finished 8 pounds shy. LeBrun started all the way back in 32nd and climbed as high as 10th with the biggest total of anyone in the field (53-10), but he found himself one spot out of the Top 10 at lines out.

Anthony Gagliardi and Grae Buck, meanwhile, pulled off successful rallies. Starting the day in 14th, Gagliardi started slow with just one scorable bass in the first 3 ½ hours before catching fire and climbing to ninth. Buck totaled 41-3 to vault from 16th to eighth and make his first Bass Pro Tour Knockout Round.

Jones Sr. and Fukae did just enough to keep their spots among the Top 10 after strong Day 1 performances. Jones Sr. came through in the clutch, catching a pair of scorable bass in the final 30 minutes to cement his spot in the Knockout Round.

The top 10 pros from Group B that now advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round on Dale Hollow Lake are:

1st:          Marshall Robinson, Landrum, S.C., 37 bass, 115-11
2nd:        Alton Jones Jr., Waco, Texas, 38 bass, 112-14
3rd:        Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala., 39 bass, 112-9
4th:         Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., 34 bass, 99-1
5th:         Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., 32 bass, 93-5
6th:         Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C., 30 bass, 83-6
7th:         Shin Fukae, Osaka, Japan, 23 bass, 75-8
8th:         Grae Buck, Green Lane, Penn., 26 bass, 75-3
9th:         Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 27 bass, 74-15
10th:      Alton Jones, Lorena, Texas, 26 bass, 71-15

Eliminated from competition are:

11th:      Nick LeBrun, Bossier City, La., 21 bass, 67-4
12th:      Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 25 bass, 67-2
13th:      Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., 24 bass, 64-7
14th:      Dave Lefebre, Erie, Penn., 26 bass, 64-6
15th:      Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark., 23 bass, 63-15
16th:      Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 23 bass, 63-5
17th:      Keith Carson, DeBary, Fla., 24 bass, 62-6
18th:      Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 19 bass, 51-1
19th:      Todd Faircloth, Jasper, Texas, 18 bass, 47-6
20th:      Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 17 bass, 46-11
21st:      Jared Lintner, Covington, Ga., 18 bass, 45-10
22nd:     Kelly Jordon, Flint, Texas, 16 bass, 44-15
23rd:     Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala., 16 bass, 43-14
24th:      Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., 17 bass, 43-14
25th:      Dylan Hays, Hot Springs, Ark., 14 bass, 43-14
26th:      Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 16 bass, 43-1
27th:      Matthew Stefan, Junction City, Wis., 14 bass, 42-6
28th:      Cliff Crochet, Pierre Part, La., 14 bass, 38-11
29th:      Brandon Coulter, Knoxville, Tenn., 13 bass, 37-7
30th:      Mark Daniels Jr., Tuskegee, Ala., 14 bass, 35-11
31st:      Jason Vance, Battle Ground, Ind., 13 bass, 34-8
32nd:     Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C., 11 bass, 30-7
33rd:     Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan., 10 bass, 29-6
34th:      Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., 10 bass, 28-14
35th:      Marty Robinson, Lyman, S.C., nine bass, 26-5
36th:      Jonathon VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich., seven bass, 25-2
37th:      Bradley Roy, Lancaster, Ky., eight bass, 22-9
38th:      Justin Cooper, Zwolle, La., seven bass, 21-10
39th:      Boyd Duckett, Guntersville, Ala., four bass, 10-9

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

Overall, there were 315 scorable bass weighing 892 pounds, 4 ounces caught by 39 pros Friday, which included 108 3-pounders, 11 4-pounders and one 5-pounder.

Friday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award was awarded to Fukae, who weighed in a 5-pound, 1-ounce smallmouth that bit his drop-shot rig in Period 2. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass each day, and a $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass of the tournament.

The six-day tournament, hosted by the Byrdstown-Pickett County Chamber of Commerce & Bill Dance Signature Lakes, showcases 79 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing for a purse of $659,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable Fishing Clash Angler of the Year (AOY) points in hopes of qualifying for the General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and REDCREST 2025, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

The 40 Anglers in Group A competed in their two-day Qualifying Round on Tuesday and Thursday – the 39 anglers in Group B on Wednesday and Friday. Now that each two-day Qualifying Round is complete, the anglers that finish first through 10th from both groups advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed, and the remaining 20 anglers compete to finish in the top 10 to advance to Sunday’s 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 launch at 7:30 a.m. CT each day from Sunset Marina and Resort, located at 2040 Sunset Dock Road in Monroe. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will be held at the park, beginning at 4 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch and takeout events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard and event coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The MLFNOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action live on the final four days of competition from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT. MLFNOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

On Saturday and Sunday, April 13-14, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. MLF welcomes fans of all ages to visit Sunset Marina and Resort for the MLF Watch Party and Kids Fishing Derby. Fans can watch the pros live on the MLFNOW! big screen, enjoy free food, enter to win hourly giveaways and cheer on their favorite pros. The first 50 kids 14 and under will receive a free rod and reel from Pure Fishing each day. Additional fishing gear will be provided onsite for the fishing derby or kids can bring their own. The final 10 Championship Round Bass Pro Tour anglers will be on hand at the trophy celebration on Championship Sunday to meet and greet fans, sign autographs and take selfies.

The PowerStop Brakes Stage Three at Dale Hollow Lake Presented by Mercury features the MLF catch, weigh, immediate-release format, in which anglers catch as much weight as they can each day, while also feeling the pressure and intensity of the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard. The tournament features anglers competing with a 2-pound minimum weight requirement for a bass to be deemed scorable. The MLF Fisheries Management Division determines minimum weights for each body of water 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 79 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2025 championship.

The 79 anglers taking on Dale Hollow this week aren’t just battling for a first-place trophy and $100,000 payday. Valuable points in the Fishing Clash Angler of the Year race are also up for grabs. The winner of the season-long competition will take home an additional $100,000 check.

Fishing Clash, an interactive 3D fishing simulation game that’s played by more than 80 million people worldwide, is the official AOY sponsor of the Bass Pro Tour, Tackle Warehouse Invitationals, Toyota Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League. You can download Fishing Clash for free in the App Store and on Google Play or log on to www.fishingclash.game for more information.

Television coverage of the PowerStop Brakes Stage Three at Dale Hollow Lake Presented by Mercury Knockout Round will air as a two-hour episode starting at 7 a.m. ET, on Saturday, Oct. 5 on Discovery, with the Championship Round premiering on Oct. 6. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on Discovery, with re-airings on Outdoor Channel.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Bass Pro Tour include: Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, BUBBA, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, Garmin, General Tire, Humminbird, Lowrance, Mercury, MillerTech, Minn Kota, Mossy Oak Fishing, NITRO, Onyx, Plano, Power-Pole, Rapala, StarBrite, Suzuki, Toyota and U.S. Air Force.

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 FacebookXInstagram 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, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network and on demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered 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 17 countries. 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.


Garrett’s gamble delivers Day 1 lead at Bassmaster Elite Series event on Harris Chain of Lakes

April 12, 2024

Garrett’s gamble delivers Day 1 lead at Bassmaster Elite Series event on Harris Chain of Lakes 

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LEESBURG, Fla. — The combination of quantity and quality define bass tournament success, and John Garrett gladly sacrificed the former for the latter’s potential.

The Tennessee angler’s decision paid big dividends with a five-bass limit of 24 pounds, 2 ounces, which leads Day 1 of the Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain of Lakes.

“I only got seven bites today, but they were the right ones,” Garrett said. “This was a totally blessed day.”

After extreme weather postponed Thursday’s scheduled start, anglers fished under clear, sunny postfrontal conditions. Thankfully the front did not significantly drop air and water temperatures.

More importantly, the fish Garrett found in practice held their ground.

“I kinda gambled today; I went to an area that I knew had the right size fish in it,” he said. “There aren’t many fish there and they’re extremely hard to catch.”

Garrett said he made a long run from the take-off site on Lake Harris’ northwestern corner. The round-trip journey burned a big chunk of his day, but he said it was a calculated risk.

“It was so tough everywhere else, I knew if I caught one fish there, it would equal two or three of the fish I was catching (elsewhere in practice),” he said. “I knew if I could catch two or three fish on the spot I ran to, I’d have the right ones.

“The size is there. I know the winning caliber of fish are there; it’s just getting some of them in the boat.”

The bass Garrett targeted were patrolling shell bottom, often running with tilapia. A mix of reaction baits earned his bites.

“There was a lot of clear water in this area,” Garrett said. “Those fish were just cruising and when they’d swim through, you might catch one, you might not.”

Garrett said he believes he was catching fish that had spawned several months ago.

“These fish have had a lot of time to recover,” he said. “They’re the healthiest fish I’ve seen on the chain.”

Garrett said he committed to his game plan fully expecting a tedious day. The pace, however, became more stressful than he’d anticipated.

“I didn’t have a fish at 10 o’clock today,” Garrett said. “I caught all of my fish between 10 and 1. I had a bite about every hour.”

As for Round 2, Garrett said he’ll return to his sweet spot in hopes of grinding out another good bag.

John Cox of DeBary, Fla., is in second place with 22-5. Sampling several lakes, he settled into one location and channeled lessons from his early instructor to sack up three big bass in a 20-foot section of Kissimmee grass.

“I grew up here fishing with (the late) Joe Kremer and he pretty much taught me how to fish the Harris Chain,” Cox said. “It was unreal today, I pulled into an area and I was like, ‘Joe always used to catch a couple here.’

“I caught a good one and for some reason, in my head, it was where I remember seeing him make a flip. I ended up catching two more big ones on that spot.”

Cox caught all of his bass on a Texas-rigged Berkley MaxScent The General in the tilapia color.

Brad Whatley of Bivins, Texas, is in third place with 22 pounds. His day started with a big bite, but he then endured a painfully slow morning, before returning to the scene of his early success for a second helping.

“I caught a big one that weighed 7-14 at 8:30 and I did not catch another fish until probably 11,” Whatley said. “I swapped lakes and filled out my limit. Then I came back to where I caught that first big one and caught a 7-12.”

Using a mix of reaction baits and slow presentations, Whatley said he was catching postspawn fish that were holding in grass that was 4 to 7 feet deep. During practice, he caught a 5-pounder on his main spot, but he said catching two nearly 8-pounders in competition was a pleasant surprise.

“That’s typical Florida fishing — a big fish goes a long way,” Whatley said. “I was just fortunate enough to get two good ones.

“I know there are some more there. I had one more giant (hooked) and I didn’t get him.”

Whatley and Paul Mueller of Naugatuck, Conn., share the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors, each with a 7-14.

Rookie Trey McKinney of Carbondale, Ill., leads the Progressive Insurance Bassmaster Angler of the Year race with 287 points. Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala., is in second with 283, followed by Patrick Walters of Summerville, S.C., with 273, Tyler Williams of Belgrade, Maine, with 272, and J.T. Thompkins of Myrtle Beach, S.C., with 261.

Saturday’s takeoff is scheduled for 7 a.m. ET at Venetian Gardens (Ski Beach). The weigh-in will be held at the Ski Beach at 3 p.m.

Follow all the action on FS1 from 7:30-10:30 a.m. and on Bassmaster.com from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. ET. On Semifinal Sunday, watch live coverage on FS1from 8-11 a.m. and on Bassmaster.com from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

The event is being hosted by the Greater Orlando Sports Commission.

2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Bass Pro ShopsDakota Lithium, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Progressive Insurance, Ranger Boats, Rapala, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha
2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: AFTCO, Daiwa, Garmin, Lew's, Lowrance, Marathon, Triton Boats, VMC

 

About B.A.S.S.B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting-edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

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Connect with #Bassmaster on FacebookInstagramTwitter and TikTok.

Media Contact: Chad Gay, Communications Manager, 865-201-6458, cgay@bassmaster.com

2024 Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain 4/12-4/15
Harris Chain Of Lakes, Leesburg  FL.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 1

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  John Garrett           Union City, TN           5  24-02  103
Day 1: 5   24-02
2.  John Cox               Debary, FL               5  22-05  102
Day 1: 5   22-05
3.  Brad Whatley           Bivins, TX               5  22-00  101
Day 1: 5   22-00
4.  Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN         5  21-13  100
Day 1: 5   21-13
5.  Jordan Lee             Cullman, AL              5  21-06   99
Day 1: 5   21-06
6.  Joseph Webster         Hamilton, AL             5  20-15   98
Day 1: 5   20-15
7.  David Gaston           Sylacauga, AL            5  20-03   97
Day 1: 5   20-03
8.  Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS         5  19-11   96
Day 1: 5   19-11
8.  JT Thompkins           Myrtle Beach, SC         5  19-11   96
Day 1: 5   19-11
10. KJ Queen               Catawba, NC              5  19-00   94
Day 1: 5   19-00
11. Timothy Dube           Nashua , NH              5  18-02   93
Day 1: 5   18-02
12. Trey McKinney          Carbondale, IL           5  17-14   92
Day 1: 5   17-14
13. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT            5  17-13   91
Day 1: 5   17-13
14. Kyle Norsetter         Cottage Grove, WI        5  17-06   90
Day 1: 5   17-06
15. Cody Huff              Ava, MO                  5  17-03   89
Day 1: 5   17-03
15. Ed Loughran III        Richmond, VA             5  17-03   89
Day 1: 5   17-03
17. Tyler Williams         Belgrade, ME             5  17-02   87
Day 1: 5   17-02
18. Wes Logan              Springville, AL          5  15-13   86
Day 1: 5   15-13
19. Hank Cherry Jr         Lincolnton, NC           5  15-12   85
Day 1: 5   15-12
20. Mike Huff              London, KY               5  15-09   84
Day 1: 5   15-09
20. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL               5  15-09   84
Day 1: 5   15-09
22. Logan Latuso           Gonzales, LA             5  14-13   82
Day 1: 5   14-13
22. Bryant Smith           Roseville, CA            5  14-13   82
Day 1: 5   14-13
24. Chris Johnston         Otonabee Ontario CANADA  5  14-12   80
Day 1: 5   14-12
25. Robert Gee             Knoxville, TN            5  14-08   79
Day 1: 5   14-08
25. Patrick Walters        Eutawville, SC           5  14-08   79
Day 1: 5   14-08
27. Jason Christie         Dry Creek, OK            5  14-06   77
Day 1: 5   14-06
28. Jeff Gustafson         Kenora, ON Ontario CANA  5  14-05   76
Day 1: 5   14-05
28. Jake Whitaker          Hendersonville, NC       5  14-05   76
Day 1: 5   14-05
30. Lee Livesay            Longview, TX             5  14-04   74
Day 1: 5   14-04
31. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN            5  14-02   73
Day 1: 5   14-02
32. Brandon Card           Salisbury, NC            5  13-15   72
Day 1: 5   13-15
33. Jay Przekurat          Plover, WI               5  13-11   71
Day 1: 5   13-11
34. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ          5  13-05   70
Day 1: 5   13-05
35. Stetson Blaylock       Benton, AR               5  13-04   69
Day 1: 5   13-04
36. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                  5  13-01   68
Day 1: 5   13-01
37. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA             5  13-00   67
Day 1: 5   13-00
37. Chad Pipkens           Dewitt, MI               5  13-00   67
Day 1: 5   13-00
39. Matty Wong             Honolulu, HI             5  12-15   65
Day 1: 5   12-15
40. Justin Hamner          Northport, AL            5  12-14   64
Day 1: 5   12-14
41. Todd Auten             Clover, SC               5  12-11   63
Day 1: 5   12-11
42. Shane LeHew            Catawba, NC              5  12-10   62
Day 1: 5   12-10
43. Scott Martin           Clewiston, FL            5  12-08   61
Day 1: 5   12-08
44. Jonathan Kelley        Old Forge, PA            4  12-08   60
Day 1: 4   12-08
45. Austin Felix           Eden Prairie, MN         5  12-07   59
Day 1: 5   12-07
46. Cory Johnston          Otonabee CANADA          5  12-06   58
Day 1: 5   12-06
46. Kyle Patrick           Cooperstown, NY          5  12-06   58
Day 1: 5   12-06
48. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL              5  12-05   56
Day 1: 5   12-05
49. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ               5  12-03   55
Day 1: 5   12-03
50. Matt Arey              Shelby, NC               5  12-02   54
Day 1: 5   12-02
51. Bryan Schmitt          Deale, MD                5  11-15   53
Day 1: 5   11-15
52. Brandon Cobb           Greenwood, SC            5  11-14   52
Day 1: 5   11-14
53. Marc Frazier           Newnan, GA               5  11-11   51
Day 1: 5   11-11
54. Drew Benton            Panama City, FL          5  11-10   50
Day 1: 5   11-10
54. Caleb Sumrall          New Iberia, LA           5  11-10   50
Day 1: 5   11-10
56. Jacob Powroznik        North Prince George, VA  5  11-08   48
Day 1: 5   11-08
57. Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY              5  11-04   47
Day 1: 5   11-04
58. Pat Schlapper          Eleva, WI                5  11-02   46
Day 1: 5   11-02
58. Hunter Shryock         Ooltewah, TN             5  11-02   46
Day 1: 5   11-02
60. Logan Parks            Auburn, AL               5  11-01   44
Day 1: 5   11-01
61. Alex Redwine           Blue Ash, OH             5  11-00   43
Day 1: 5   11-00
61. Alex Wetherell         Middletown, CT           5  11-00   43
Day 1: 5   11-00
63. Buddy Gross            Chattanooga, TN          5  10-15   41
Day 1: 5   10-15
63. Tyler Rivet            Raceland, LA             5  10-15   41
Day 1: 5   10-15
65. Gregory DiPalma        Millville, NJ            5  10-09   39
Day 1: 5   10-09
66. Carl Jocumsen          Queensland TN AUSTRALIA  5  10-08   38
Day 1: 5   10-08
67. Will Davis Jr          Sylacauga, AL            5  10-07   37
Day 1: 5   10-07
67. Chris Zaldain          Fort Worth, TX           5  10-07   37
Day 1: 5   10-07
69. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX           5  10-04   35
Day 1: 5   10-04
70. Kyoya Fujita           Yamanashi CA JAPAN       5  10-03   34
Day 1: 5   10-03
71. Justin Atkins          Florence, AL             5  10-01   33
Day 1: 5   10-01
72. Kyle Welcher           Valley, AL               5  10-00   32
Day 1: 5   10-00
73. Jacob Foutz            Charleston, TN           5  09-13   31
Day 1: 5   09-13
74. Wesley Gore            Clanton, AL              5  09-09   30
Day 1: 5   09-09
75. Drew Cook              Cairo, GA                5  09-05   29
Day 1: 5   09-05
76. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA                5  09-01   28
Day 1: 5   09-01
76. Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID             5  09-01   28
Day 1: 5   09-01
78. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL             5  09-00   26
Day 1: 5   09-00
78. Bryan New              Leesville, SC            5  09-00   26
Day 1: 5   09-00
80. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN           5  08-15   24
Day 1: 5   08-15
80. John Soukup            Sapulpa, OK              5  08-15   24
Day 1: 5   08-15
82. Clent Davis            Montevallo, AL           5  08-13   22
Day 1: 5   08-13
82. Cooper Gallant         Bowmanville Ontario CAN  5  08-13   22
Day 1: 5   08-13
84. Cole Sands             Calhoun , TN             5  08-11   20
Day 1: 5   08-11
85. Ray Hanselman Jr       Del Rio, TX              5  08-08   19
Day 1: 5   08-08
86. Luke Palmer            Coalgate, OK             5  08-05   18
Day 1: 5   08-05
87. Kenta Kimura           Osaka OK JAPAN           5  08-04   17
Day 1: 5   08-04
88. Frank Talley           Belton, TX               5  07-14   16
Day 1: 5   07-14
89. Gerald Swindle         Guntersville, AL         5  07-08   15
Day 1: 5   07-08
90. Derek Hudnall          Zachary, LA              5  07-00   14
Day 1: 5   07-00
91. Jamie Hartman          Newport, NY              5  06-14   13
Day 1: 5   06-14
91. Clark Wendlandt        Leander, TX              5  06-14   13
Day 1: 5   06-14
93. Scott Canterbury       Odenville, AL            5  06-10   11
Day 1: 5   06-10
93. Seth Feider            New Market, MN           5  06-10   11
Day 1: 5   06-10
95. Koby Kreiger           Alva, FL                 5  06-09    9
Day 1: 5   06-09
96. Ben Milliken           New Caney, TX            4  05-11    8
Day 1: 4   05-11
97. Matt Robertson         Kuttawa, KY              3  04-15    7
Day 1: 3   04-15
98. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL          5  04-14    6
Day 1: 5   04-14
99. Jason Williamson       Aiken, SC                4  04-12    5
Day 1: 4   04-12
100. Taku Ito               Dalton GA JAPAN          4  04-09    4
Day 1: 4   04-09
101. Caleb Kuphall          Mukwonago, WI            3  04-08    3
Day 1: 3   04-08
102. Joey Cifuentes III     Clinton, AR              2  03-07    2
Day 1: 2   03-07
103. Bob Downey             Detroit Lakes, MN        0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS
Day
1   Paul Mueller             Naugatuck, CT       07-14          $0.00
1   Brad Whatley             Bivins, TX          07-14          $0.00

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        95       499      1248-05
----------------------------------
95       499      1248-05


Fishin' Tip Friday - Hooksets with Kayak Champ Drew Gregory

By Vance McCullough

It's hard to get a solid hookset when fishing from a kayak, as opposed to a big boat. The ultralight boat doesn't offer much water resistance to anchor the effort. Here, 2024 Bassmaster Kayak Series Champion Drew Gregory offers helpful advice for setting the hook from small craft.


The Association of Collegiate Anglers Announces the Schedule for its 20th Season in 2025

SAN ANTONIO, TX (April 12, 2024) – In 2025, the Association of Collegiate Anglers will celebrate its 20th season of hosting major collegiate bass fishing tournaments. What first started with an approximately 50 boat field at the National Championship event on Lake Lewisville in 2006, almost 20 years later has grown into a robust tournament circuit featuring four major events each year, a robust National Rankings system with the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia program, support for numerous small school-run events, as well as programs to help college anglers gain access to products to go fishing.

Every major ACA no-entry-fee event features a total prize payout of more than $20,000 in prizes and contingencies, as well as double points, with media coverage on a variety of streaming platforms, live coverage, social media promotions and is nationally televised on several networks. The ACA is excited to announce its complete tournament schedule for 2025 which will be a celebration of providing 20 years of non-stop support to growing fishing through collegiate fishing.

Here is a look at the complete schedule of 2025 Major Events:

2025 Pickwick Slam

April 5-6, 2025 – Pickwick Lake | Florence, AL

2025 Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops

May 22-23, 2025 – Lake Hartwell | Anderson, SC

2025 Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley

September 19-20, 2025 – Kentucky Lake | Henry County & Paris, TN

2025 AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open  

October 11-12, 2025 – Lake Dardanelle | Russellville, AR

*Tournament dates are subject to change

In 2025, teams will again be able to earn automatic qualification into the Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops via top finishes at ACA regular season events. Anglers finishing in the Top 15 at the 2025 Pickwick Slam will qualify to compete in the 2025 Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops. The Top 10 finishing anglers at the 2025 Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley will earn a spot in the 2026 ACA National Championship. The Top 10 finishing anglers/teams at the 2025 AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open will also earn automatic qualification into the year-end tournament in 2026. Stay tuned for additional details on this and other incentives for each event.

The 20th season in 2025 promises to be another great year out on the collegiate trail as the Association of Collegiate Anglers competes at several of the top fisheries in the nation. Stay up to date on all things college fishing to see additional announcements in the future, as well as learn about exciting new programs and ways to promote & grow college fishing!

Read the full article.


Britt Myers Earns Group A Qualifying Round Win at PowerStop Brakes Stage Three at Dale Hollow Lake Presented by Mercury

General Tire pro boats two-day total of 140-8 to win Group A Qualifying Round, Top 10 pros advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. (April 11, 2024) – At one point Thursday afternoon, General Tire pro Britt Myers of Lake Wylie, South Carolina, felt a bass bite his bait, but he didn't set the hook. Not wanting to educate too many of the fish he’s found prior to the Knockout Round at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour PowerStop Brakes Stage Three Presented by Mercury on Dale Hollow Lake, the South Carolina native waited, hoping the bass would spit out his jighead minnow, then tried to shake it off. Somehow, he still hooked the 3-pound, 10-ounce smallmouth and added it to his rapidly ballooning weight total.

The second day of qualifying was “one of those days” for Myers — in the best way possible. With everything seemingly going his way, Myers boated 24 scorable bass for nearly 80 pounds, bringing his two-day total to 140 pounds, 8 ounces and topping the leaderboard in Group A.

“It was just one of those days where you couldn’t do anything wrong,” Myers said. “I’ve had those days before in practice, but never during a major event. It was just super fun.”

The top 10 anglers advancing from Group A will now have an off day from competition Friday, while the 39 anglers competing in Group B will complete their two-day Qualifying Round. The top 10 anglers from each group advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed, and the remaining 20 anglers compete to finish in the top 10 to advance to the Championship Round. In Sunday’s final day Championship Round, weights are zeroed, and the highest one-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.

Myers, who entered the day more than 17 pounds behind Day 1 leader pro Drew Gill of Mount Carmel, Illinois, wasted little time chipping away at the deficit. He stacked a whopping 42-5 onto SCORETRACKER® during the first period. Even after Myers started running new water, he barely slowed down, adding 12 more scorable bass for 37-9 to his tally.

Myers took the lead in the final minutes of the second period and finished the day 16-4 ahead of Gill. Those two, plus the rest of the Top 10 finishers in Group A, earned spots in Saturday’s Knockout Round, where they will face off with the Top 10 anglers from Group B.

In the months prior to the start of the 2024 Bass Pro Tour season, Myers worked with his son, Tackle Warehouse Invitationals angler Britt Myers Jr. , to learn the intricacies of chasing offshore fish with forward-facing sonar. The elder Myers was excited to show off his new skillset at the first two events, but they didn’t quite go as planned. Myers finished 71st at Toledo Bend and 65th at Santee Cooper.

As a result, the fact that he leaned on Garmin LiveScope to amass more than 80 pounds made Thursday even sweeter.

“I went to Toledo, I was so excited, because I wanted to use that technique, and even Santee Cooper,” Myers said. “But fish just moved, and things didn’t work out. So, I desperately needed this tournament.”

Myers caught his Day 1 total using the same technique — a jighead minnow and forward-facing sonar — but did so much shallower, due in large part to gusting winds that forced him to stay in protected pockets and coves. But something he noticed Tuesday gave him a clue about a pattern he thought he might be able to replicate around the lake given the right conditions.

It didn’t take long for him to be proven right. Myers started Thursday morning in an area he’d caught bass during practice, then ran 10 to 15 more areas that set up similarly. He caught fish from all of them. Not wanting to divulge too many of the details, Myers said depth hasn’t seemed to matter — he caught fish anywhere from 4 feet to 30 feet Thursday — but the key is “how the bass are positioned.”

“Literally, I never fished anywhere today that I fished the first day,” Myers said. “I think those fish are just roaming anywhere from 4 foot to 30 foot. And I know it sounds crazy. I don’t understand that. It’s against everything in the bass fishing handbook. But that’s what’s going on.”

Myers didn’t just find schools of bass at each of the spots he visited, but big ones. He landed five 4-plus-pounders Thursday. Through three days at Dale Hollow, it’s become clear that finding groups of those bigger-than-average bass will be key to outdueling other anglers in an event where getting bites isn’t an issue.

“The crazy thing is, I caught two 4-pound smallmouth, and then I caught two 4-pound largemouth,” Myers said. “It’s just a day you won’t forget.”

Looking to make his first ever Championship Round appearance on the Bass Pro Tour, the most important question Myers will have to answer prior to Saturday is which of the myriad areas he found Thursday to focus on. He'll give that plenty of thought during his day off the water. In the meantime, he’ll be basking in the excitement of his magical day.

“I guess you start where you had the most bites, and where the highest concentration of fish is,” Myers said. “I just can’t even explain the day, to be honest with you. I’m still kind of puzzled.”

Entering the event, one of the primary subplots to the action on Dale Hollow figured to be whether the lake’s smallmouth or largemouth would comprise the winning catch. In most past tournaments on the Kentucky-Tennessee border reservoir, largemouth have dominated, but that’s resulted in part from the lake’s slot limit, which prohibits anglers from possessing smallmouth between 16 and 21 inches in length. With the Bass Pro Tour’s catch-weigh-immediate release format, anglers don’t have to worry about the slot, freeing them up to show off the smallmouth population Dale Hollow is best known for.

So far, most anglers have caught a mixture of species, and it doesn’t seem to matter. Largemouth have accounted for about two-thirds of the scorable bass caught through the first three days of competition, but the average size has been similar, with a scorable largemouth weighing 2.8 pounds on average compared to 2.9 pounds for smallmouth.

Interestingly, Myers caught mostly smallmouth for the second day in a row, with 15 of his 24 fish being brown ones. Gill, on the other hand, predicted prior to the event that the winning total would consist of 75 percent smallmouth, yet he’s caught 29 largemouth to 11 smallmouth across the first two days.

“Before the tournament started, I thought if you fished for smallmouth, you would occasionally catch a decent largemouth, but you wouldn’t catch many largemouth," Myers said. “And actually, it’s just been the opposite of that. So, I’m really fishing for smallmouth, but the largemouth are sharing the same areas.”

Rather than which species will win, the bigger question seems to be whether anglers fishing around the bank can keep up with those using forward-facing sonar to target offshore schools of fish. The offshore game has dominated so far, with each of the top four finishers in Group A eclipsing 100 pounds that way. But with shallow specialists like Ott DeFoeJeff Sprague and David Dudley all making the Top 10 and the weather forecast to warm this weekend, it’s possible we could see a wave of bass hit the banks and give one of those anglers a chance to spoil the forward-facing sonar party.

The top 10 pros from Group A that now advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round on Dale Hollow Lake are:

1st:         Britt Myers, Lake Wylie, S.C., 43 bass, 140-8
2nd:        Drew Gill, Mount Carmel, Ill., 42 bass, 125-2
3rd:        Spencer Shuffield, Hot Springs, Ark., 37 bass, 104-15
4th:         Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 34 bass, 101-4
5th:         Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., 34 bass, 85-14
6th:         Jeff Sprague, Wills Point, Texas, 31 bass, 85-7
7th:         David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 33 bass, 85-0
8th:         Jesse Wiggins, Addison, Ala., 30 bass, 82-10
9th:         Keith Poche, Pike Road, Ala., 30 bass, 79-12
10th:      Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., 28 bass, 76-0

Eliminated from competition are:

11th:      Martin Villa, Charlottesville, Va., 28 bass, 75-2
12th:      Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, 24 bass, 72-5
13th:      Nick Hatfield, Greeneville, Tenn., 23 bass, 70-13
14th:      Terry Scroggins, San Mateo, Fla., 21 bass, 63-11
15th:      Jacob Wall, New Hope, Ala., 22 bass, 58-8
16th:      Ron Nelson, Berrien Springs, Mich., 21 bass, 56-14
17th:      Matt Becker, Ten Mile, Tenn., 19 bass, 53-9
18th:      David Walker, Huntingdon, Tenn., 16 bass, 51-11
19th:      Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif., 18 bass, 49-7
20th:      James Elam, Tulsa, Okla., 15 bass, 49-1
21st:      Fletcher Shryock, Guntersville, Ala., 18 bass, 48-9
22nd:     Josh Bertrand, Queen Creek, Ariz., 18 bass, 48-6
23rd:     Randy Howell, Guntersville, Ala., 15 bass, 48-4
24th:      John Hunter, Shelbyville, Ky., 17 bass, 47-14
25th:      Matt Lee, Cullman, Ala., 18 bass, 46-10
26th:      Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark., 18 bass, 46-1
27th:      Scott Suggs, Alexander, Ark., 16 bass, 45-4
28th:      Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., 16 bass, 44-4
29th:      Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., 18 bass, 43-8
30th:      Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., 13 bass, 40-13
31st:      Joshua Weaver, Macon, Ga., 12 bass, 38-4
32nd:     Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla., 13 bass, 36-6
33rd:     John Murray, Spring City, Tenn., 13 bass, 34-0
34th:      Takahiro Omori, Tokyo, Japan, 12 bass, 33-7
35th:      Colby Schrumpf, Highland, Ill., 12 bass, 32-13
36th:      Greg Vinson, Wetumka, Ala., eight bass, 21-12
37th:      Ryan Salzman, Huntsville, Ala., seven bass, 20-0
38th:      Jacopo Gallelli, Florence, Italy, five bass, 14-13
39th:      Fred Roumbanis, Russellville, Ark., five bass, 13-12
40th:      Gary Klein, Mingus, Texas, three bass, 7-7

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

Overall, there were 400 scorable bass weighing 1,126 pounds, 7 ounces caught by the 40 pros Thursday, which included 26 4-pounders, 110 3-pounders and 264 2-pounders.

Pro Takahiro Omori of Tokyo, Japan, earned Thursday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award with an 4-pound, 8-ounce smallmouth bass that he caught on a jig during Period 1. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass each day, and a $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass of the tournament.

The six-day tournament, hosted by the Byrdstown-Pickett County Chamber of Commerce & Bill Dance Signature Lakes, showcases 79 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing for a purse of $659,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable Fishing Clash Angler of the Year (AOY) points in hopes of qualifying for the General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and REDCREST 2025, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

The 40 Anglers in Group A competed in their two-day Qualifying Round on Tuesday and Thursday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Wednesday and Friday. After each two-day Qualifying Round is complete, the anglers that finish first through 10th from both groups advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed, and the remaining 20 anglers compete to finish in the top 10 to advance to Sunday’s 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 launch at 7:30 a.m. CT each day from Sunset Marina and Resort, located at 2040 Sunset Dock Road in Monroe. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will be held at the park, beginning at 4 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch and takeout events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard and event coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The MLFNOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action live on the final four days of competition from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT. MLFNOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

On Saturday and Sunday, April 13-14, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. MLF welcomes fans of all ages to visit Sunset Marina and Resort for the MLF Watch Party and Kids Fishing Derby. Fans can watch the pros live on the MLFNOW! big screen, enjoy free food, enter to win hourly giveaways and cheer on their favorite pros. The first 50 kids 14 and under will receive a free rod and reel from Pure Fishing each day. Additional fishing gear will be provided onsite for the fishing derby or kids can bring their own. The final 10 Championship Round Bass Pro Tour anglers will be on hand at the trophy celebration on Championship Sunday to meet and greet fans, sign autographs and take selfies.

The PowerStop Brakes Stage Three at Dale Hollow Lake Presented by Mercury features the MLF catch, weigh, immediate-release format, in which anglers catch as much weight as they can each day, while also feeling the pressure and intensity of the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard. The tournament features anglers competing with a 2-pound minimum weight requirement for a bass to be deemed scorable. The MLF Fisheries Management Division determines minimum weights for each body of water 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 79 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2025 championship.

The 79 anglers taking on Dale Hollow this week aren’t just battling for a first-place trophy and $100,000 payday. Valuable points in the Fishing Clash Angler of the Year race are also up for grabs. The winner of the season-long competition will take home an additional $100,000 check.

Fishing Clash, an interactive 3D fishing simulation game that’s played by more than 80 million people worldwide, is the official AOY sponsor of the Bass Pro Tour, Tackle Warehouse Invitationals, Toyota Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League. You can download Fishing Clash for free in the App Store and on Google Play or log on to www.fishingclash.game for more information.

Television coverage of the PowerStop Brakes Stage Three at Dale Hollow Lake Presented by Mercury Knockout Round will air as a two-hour episode starting at 7 a.m. ET, on Saturday, Oct. 5 on Discovery, with the Championship Round premiering on Oct. 6. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on Discovery, with re-airings on Outdoor Channel.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Bass Pro Tour include: Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, BUBBA, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, Garmin, General Tire, Humminbird, Lowrance, Mercury, MillerTech, Minn Kota, Mossy Oak Fishing, NITRO, Onyx, Plano, Power-Pole, Rapala, StarBrite, Suzuki, Toyota and U.S. Air Force.

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 FacebookXInstagram 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, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network and on demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered 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 17 countries. 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.


Big Show's Homemade Minnows

Terry “Big Show” Scroggins is well known as a tackle tinkerer and someone who likes to be hands on with all the equipment he uses on the Bass Pro Tour. The Team Toyota pro builds his own Mud Hole rods, has custom designed the Big Show Soft Plastics line from Stanford Baits, and still pours most of the soft plastics he fishes with at home in his garage in Palatka, FL.

Big Show is also one of the first resources fellow BPT competitors turn to if they have an issue with equipment on their boat or truck. Whether it’s electronics issues, a leaky hull, or a good meal… Scroggins can fix just about anything. Stage Three on Dale Hollow has found Scroggins fixing up some new homemade “front lookin’ minnows”, as he calls them.

“Coming into Stage Three, I believed livescoping would be the deal on Dale Hollow, but it’s been super hard to get my hands on good colors of hot baits like the Deps Sakamata shad or Rapala Freeloader,” Scroggins explained. “So, I looked online and found a mold that had the right shape. I bought a couple molds and got them the day before I left for practice on Dale Hollow.

“I travel with all the gear I need to pour soft plastics in a box in the back of my Tundra anyway, so I threw those molds in my truck and hit the road. After the first day of practice, I poured up a few different colors of front-lookin’ minnows and the fish seem to like ‘em just fine!”

 

Like many competitors this week, Scroggins is leaning on FFS to catch both largemouth and smallmouth roaming the depths of Dale Hollow. But instead of paying $10+ for a pack of popular soft plastics, Scroggins is catching them on custom minnows he’s pouring at his Air BnB each night after he gets off the water.

Scroggins road-ready plastic pouring equipment can be seen in the photo below. No matter where the Bass Pro Tour takes him, he always travels with a microwave, a hand
full of lure molds, about two gallons of plastisol, DeWalt Clamps he’s had for 10 years, an injector, two mixing cups, colorant (paint), MR-7 release agent, a pair of gloves and a
paint mixing stick.

With this system, Big Show can build his own baits or re-stock his buddies supply anywhere he goes. Swimbaits, different styles of worms, crawfish imitators, and flipping baits have been amongst Scroggins homemade repertoire for years but after this week  Big Show can add front-looking minnows to his list of accomplished creations.  Scroggins had a strong day one on Dale Hollow, catching over 36-lbs of bass and sitting just below the Knockout Round qualification line.

“Pinging a minnow is nice when you pour your own baits because you can glue the bait to your jighead and you can catch up to twenty fish on a single lure,” Scroggins said with a smile. “It also makes it easy to customize your colors so you can show fish something a little different. Having an off day with the BPT format is pretty much tailor made for a tackle tinkerer. I get a whole day to pour plastics, adjust colors, or make anything I think will help me catch more than the field the next day.”

Scroggins and his front-lookin’ minnows are continuing to catch fish regularly during day two of his Qualifying Round as he looks to stay in tenth place or better so he can make Saturday’s Knockout Round. Follow Big Show and the rest of the Bass Pro Tour competitors on MajorLeagueFishing.com and MLFNOW! Live Stream.


Canary in the Coalmine

Recent move made by a state agency signals next-level concerns over forward-facing and 360-degree sonar.

Forestville, WI (April 11, 2024) – How can the Wisconsin DNR Spring Hearings potentially affect anglers nationwide? Because this round, they’re calling out fishing technology.

The Spring Hearings are part of a process that guides the Wisconsin DNR to make laws affecting the resources, and use of the resources, by the public. The process has been used for years, and although its effective, the general angling and hunting public need to pay close attention to what is being proposed this time around…

The first step in the process is getting public input on questions concerning potential legislation. That first step is happening now and the WI DNR is accepting online comments. (You do not need to be a Wisconsin resident to participate.)

Question #22 stands to be the most controversial amongst anglers. It reads as such:

Background for Question #22Ban live scopes and 360° imaging locations in Wisconsin waters (280123)

With the ability of these types of units to detect fish, as far as 180’ from the user, anglers have become more efficient at locating and catching fish. This type of pressure could reduce fish populations, which may lead to reduced bag limits for anglers.

Question 22: Would you support banning the use of live scopes, and similar 360° imaging electronics in all Wisconsin waters?

Technology, especially forward-facing sonar (FFS), have been debated nationally. And should those utilizing the technology not voice their opinion and it goes through the process to become law, it could be a spark that starts an unmanageable wildfire from coast to coast. If FFS is outlawed, what next? (States like Texas, Minnesota, and North Dakota are also collecting data and getting input about FFS.)

The use of these technologies is dividing our sport, and that is concerning. Whether you employ the technology or not, we need to understand that a regulation to make a certain technology illegal will be detrimental to the sport. FFS is used by guides, captains, tournament anglers and the general angling public to increase success on the water. It has also attracted many younger anglers who embrace technology.

If you choose not to utilize these technologies, fine. If you use it and catch more fish, great, but you also need to respect the resource and mitigate harvest. Just because you’re able to catch more fish, doesn’t mean you should keep a limit every time you fish. How these technologies affect fish populations is the linchpin, so it’s prudent to be conservative in your take.

Anglers must be heard before such substantial decisions are made.

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Why the Lesters Love Florida

The Bassmaster Elite Series begins a two-week run of events in Florida, and Fayetteville, TN based pro, Brandon Lester and his family couldn’t be happier. From manatee parks to Top 5 tournament finishes, the Sunshine State’s enriched their lives.

The Team Toyota angler scored a 5 th place finish the last time the Elite Series was here on The Harris Chain of Lakes two years ago, and took home $20,000. Plus, he finished 5 th in 2019 here at the Bassmaster Open, and let’s not forget he won a Bassmaster Open just down the road at Kissimmee in 2022.  Not bad for a Tennessee River rat who compliments countless days on Guntersville and Pickwick with lots of time on deep and clear Tims Ford Lake in Tennessee.

So how do his home waters, a 10-hour drive from Lake County, Florida, translate to such impressive success on Florida’s shallow, aquatic vegetation filled lakes?  “I was really lucky early in my career to get the chance to pick the brains of some of Central Florida’s best bass anglers. I tried to learn a ton from them, because I knew as a young touring pro that I had to be
successful in Florida if I wanted long-term success in this sport,” he explains.

“Plus, I just really love it down here. I feel at home when I’m in Florida. I live in a sportsmen’s paradise in Tennessee, but when it’s freezing cold there in January and February, you can come down here and fish for 8-pound spawners. Not to mention, it’s beautiful. If you’ve never idled through the Dora Canal, I’d really encourage you to see it,” smiles Lester.

However, it’s not just about bass fishing, it’s about family. His wife Kim loves it here equally as much, and says the long-term goal is to be snowbirds in retirement and fly south from Tennessee for winter here in Lake County.

But today it was a family field trip to see manatees, Kim’s favorite wild critter, at Blue Springs State Park.  They saw a dozen different species of fish too, ranging from bluegill to gar, and young daughter Shiloh hauled home a multi-colored stuffed manatee as proof of time well spent.  “We love all the small communities here in Lake County, but you’re also not far at all from the huge attractions like SeaWorld and Disney in Orlando. For a young family, you just can’t hardly beat a week at a Bassmaster event on the Harris Chain of Lakes,” smiles Mrs. Lester, a personal fitness instructor.

Only one thing could put an exclamation mark on an already great week in Lake County for the Lesters – hoisting their second blue Elite Series trophy. If that happens, they might not wait until retirement to move here.


B.A.S.S. postpones Day 1 of Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain of Lakes

April 11, 2024

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LEESBURG, Fla. — After consulting with the National Weather Service, B.A.S.S. officials are postponing Day 1 of competition at the Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain of Lakes due to high winds and the possibility of severe weather, including sustained winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 40 to 45 miles per hour. This afternoon’s forecast includes the possibility of lightning and hail as well as wind gusts of up to 50 to 60 miles per hour.

 

The full field of anglers will now compete on Friday and Saturday, with the Top 50 competing Sunday and the Top 10 advancing to Championship Monday. Harris Chain of Lakes is off limits today.

 

Daily takeoffs will be held from Ski Beach at 7 a.m. ET and weigh-ins each day back at the launch site at 3 p.m. Bassmaster LIVE will be streaming on Bassmaster.com all four days, and coverage will also be available on FS1 on Saturday and Sunday.

The tournament is being hosted by the Greater Orlando Sports Commission.

2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Bass Pro ShopsDakota Lithium, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Progressive Insurance, Ranger Boats, Rapala, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha
2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: AFTCO, Daiwa, Garmin, Lew's, Lowrance, Marathon, Triton Boats, VMC

 

About B.A.S.S.B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting-edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

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Connect with #Bassmaster on FacebookInstagramTwitter and TikTok.

Media Contact: Chad Gay, Communications Manager, 865-201-6458, cgay@bassmaster.com


Rookie Marshall Robinson Cruises to Group B Lead at MLF Bass Pro Tour PowerStop Brakes Stage Three Presented by Mercury at Dale Hollow Lake

South Carolina pro leads Group B by 4 pounds, 1 ounce after Day 1, Group A to wrap up two-day Qualifying Round Thursday

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. (April 10, 2024) – Talk of a youth revolution has become a hot topic in the tournament bass-fishing world, as a cadre of teenaged and 20-something anglers seems to be qualifying for top tours and winning trophies with increased frequency.

Through two days of competition on Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee, the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour PowerStop Brakes Stage Three Presented by Mercury has followed the same script. Twenty-year-old Marshall Robinson of Landrum, South Carolina, the youngest angler on the Bass Pro Tour , boated 29 scorable bass for a massive total of 92 pounds, 8 ounces on Wednesday, the first day of qualifying for Group B. Robinson battled with Dustin Connell of Clanton, Alabama, for the top spot on SCORETRACKER® throughout the day, ultimately finishing 4-1 clear of the reigning REDCREST champion.

The six-day tournament, hosted by the Byrdstown-Pickett County Chamber of Commerce & Bill Dance Signature Lakes, showcases 79 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing for a purse of $659,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable Fishing Clash Angler of the Year (AOY) points in hopes of qualifying for the General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and REDCREST 2025, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

Robinson’s impressive showing comes a day after 21-year-old Drew Gill of Mount Carmel, Illinois, claimed the top spot during Group A’s first day on the water. Robinson headlines a loaded Group B leaderboard, with Connell, Alton Jones Jr.Jacob Wheeler and Justin Lucas — all past BPT winners — lurking right behind him.

Inextricably linked with the discussion about the recent success of young anglers has been the polarizing debate about forward-facing sonar and finesse fishing, most notably the jighead minnow. Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that’s how Robinson amassed his weight Wednesday.

“I’m throwing a minnow a lot,” he said. “And then I also have a few key bottom baits. I’m throwing a Ned rig some and a drop-shot, just picking off some of those fish that might be spawning, locked on and don’t want to come off their bed. But I kept it pretty simple. I don’t think I threw more than four rods today.”

Robinson identified the pattern that keyed his hot start on the first day of practice. The fish had moved a bit by Wednesday, but once he figured out how they were setting up, the action was fast and furious. He replicated his success on multiple spots across the lake, which should bode well for the coming days.

“I don’t think I caught more than four or five fish (apiece) off of one area,” Robinson said. “I would just jump from area to area running my pattern and pick up three, four, five fish over and over again.”

During practice, Robinson caught mostly largemouth. On Wednesday, however, he did the majority of his damage with smallmouth, catching 20 scorable brown fish compared to nine green ones.

It wasn’t just Robinson but Group B as a whole that caught more smallmouth than the anglers in Group A did during their first day on the water. The brown fish Dale Hollow is best known for comprised nearly 37% of the 448 scorable bass weighed on the day, although a 5-11 largemouth caught by Andy Morgan won Berkley Big Bass honors.

More important for Robinson was the fact that, regardless of species, he not only found fish in bulk quantities but impressive quality. Of the 23 total bass that tipped the scales at 4 pounds or more Wednesday, Robinson caught five of them. Connell boated two more scorable bass than Robinson, but Robinson’s average size (3.19 pounds) earned him the top spot.

“You’re going to have a bunch of guys who catch the same amount of fish, so the only thing that’s going to set you apart is figuring out what those bigger fish are doing, ... because you can catch one fish that weighs what two of theirs does,” Robinson said.

Almost certainly assured a spot in the Knockout Round even if he fails to catch a keeper on the second day of qualifying, Robinson said he plans to use Friday to explore new water and hopefully find more places that fit his pattern. He’s optimistic that targeting offshore schools with forward-facing sonar, which dominated Wednesday, will be the way to win, but he’s not totally counting out the shallow bite.

“I really think there’s a chance that shallow fish could play, but it’s all dependent on if they make a push (to spawn) or not,” he said. “I don’t see the tournament being won on the bank unless a big wave moves up (to spawn). I definitely think the deeper ‘Scope bite is dominant right now.”

The son of Bass Pro Tour veteran Marty Robinson of Lyman, South Carolina , and Polaris Rookie of the Year winner on the Tackle Warehouse Invitationals last year, the younger Robinson isn’t nervous about holding an early lead. While he’s still looking for his first professional win, he’s fished – and held his own – against big-name competition before.

However, he acknowledged that seeing his name atop SCORETRACKER® in just his third BPT event feels a bit surreal.

"It feels almost too good to be true,” he said. “I might puke, but it is a really good feeling. It makes you feel accomplished.”

The 39 anglers in Group B will now have an off day from competition Thursday, while the 40 anglers competing in Group A will wrap up their two-day Qualifying Round. Group B will finish their Qualifying Round on Friday.

The top 20 pros in Group B after Day 1 on Dale Hollow Lake are:

1st:          Marshall Robinson, Landrum, S.C., 29 bass, 92-8
2nd:        Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala., 31 bass, 88-7
3rd:        Alton Jones Jr., Waco, Texas, 22 bass, 66-12
4th:         Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., 20 bass, 60-4
5th:         Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., 21 bass, 59-3
6th:         Alton Jones, Lorena, Texas, 19 bass, 54-5
7th:         Shin Fukae, Osaka, Japan, 16 bass, 52-8
8th:         Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., 18 bass, 47-10
9th:         Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C., 17 bass, 44-10
10th:      Keith Carson, DeBary, Fla., 16 bass, 42-2
11th:      Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 15 bass, 41-7
12th:      Dave Lefebre, Erie, Penn., 15 bass, 37-8
13th:      Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 13 bass, 36-15
14th:      Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 13 bass, 35-8
15th:      Kelly Jordon, Flint, Texas, 12 bass, 34-10
16th:      Grae Buck, Green Lane, Penn., 12 bass, 34-0
17th:      Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 11 bass, 30-2
18th:      Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark., 10 bass, 27-14
19th:      Jared Lintner, Covington, Ga., 11 bass, 27-11
20th:      Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., 11 bass, 27-4

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

Pro Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tennessee, earned the $1,000 Berkley Big Bass award after a 5-pound,11-ounce largemouth bit his jerkbait in Period 3. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass each day, and another $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass of the tournament.

The 40 Anglers in Group A compete in their two-day Qualifying Round on Tuesday and Thursday – the 39 anglers in Group B on Wednesday and Friday. After each two-day Qualifying Round is complete, the anglers that finish first through 10th from both groups advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed, and the remaining 20 anglers compete to finish in the top 10 to advance to Sunday’s 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 launch at 7:30 a.m. CT each day from Sunset Marina and Resort, located at 2040 Sunset Dock Road in Monroe. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will be held at the park, beginning at 4 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch and takeout events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard and event coverage at  MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The MLFNOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action live on the final four days of competition from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT. MLFNOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com  and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

On Saturday and Sunday, April 13-14, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. MLF welcomes fans of all ages to visit Sunset Marina and Resort for the MLF Watch Party and Kids Fishing Derby. Fans can watch the pros live on the MLFNOW! big screen, enjoy free food, enter to win hourly giveaways and cheer on their favorite pros. The first 50 kids 14 and under will receive a free rod and reel from Pure Fishing each day. Additional fishing gear will be provided onsite for the fishing derby or kids can bring their own. The final 10 Championship Round Bass Pro Tour anglers will be on hand at the trophy celebration on Championship Sunday to meet and greet fans, sign autographs and take selfies.

The PowerStop Brakes Stage Three at Dale Hollow Lake Presented by Mercury features the MLF catch, weigh, immediate-release format, in which anglers catch as much weight as they can each day, while also feeling the pressure and intensity of the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard. The tournament features anglers competing with a 2-pound minimum weight requirement for a bass to be deemed scorable. The MLF Fisheries Management Division determines minimum weights for each body of water 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 79 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2025 championship.

The 79 anglers taking on Dale Hollow this week aren’t just battling for a first-place trophy and $100,000 payday. Valuable points in the Fishing Clash Angler of the Year race are also up for grabs. The winner of the season-long competition will take home an additional $100,000 check.

Fishing Clash, an interactive 3D fishing simulation game that’s played by more than 80 million people worldwide, is the official AOY sponsor of the Bass Pro Tour, Tackle Warehouse Invitationals, Toyota Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League. You can download Fishing Clash for free in the App Store and on Google Play or log on to www.fishingclash.game for more information.

Television coverage of the PowerStop Brakes Stage Three at Dale Hollow Lake Presented by Mercury Knockout Round will air as a two-hour episode starting at 7 a.m. ET, on Saturday, Oct. 5 on Discovery, with the Championship Round premiering on Oct. 6. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on Discovery, with re-airings on Outdoor Channel.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Bass Pro Tour include: Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, BUBBA, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, Garmin, General Tire, Humminbird, Lowrance, Mercury, MillerTech, Minn Kota, Mossy Oak Fishing, NITRO, Onyx, Plano, Power-Pole, Rapala, StarBrite, Suzuki, Toyota and U.S. Air Force.

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 FacebookX,  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, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network and on demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered in