Card Overcomes Setbacks To Lead Bassmaster Elite Event On Lake Fork

Brandon Card, of Salisbury, N.C., maintains the lead after Day 3 of the 2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork with a three-day total of 77 pounds, 1 ounce.

Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

April 24, 2021

QUITMAN, Texas — Despite a slow start, a big loss and a painful injury, Brandon Card caught a Day 3 limit of 21 pounds, 10 ounces and retained the lead at the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork.

Entering Semifinal Saturday with an 11-ounce lead over Louisiana pro Quentin Cappo, Card bolstered his first two days’ weights of 27-6 and 28-1 to tally a three-day total of 77-1. Card heads into Championship Sunday with a 3-pound cushion over Cappo.

Camping in Little Caney Creek the first two days, Card spent most of his time on a shallow point he called his “Hammer Hole” and leveraged a shad spawn for the majority of his fish. Today, that bite proved elusive and Card had to make position and presentation changes.

“My morning bite was completely dead today, and I only caught two little fish on my Hammer Hole,” said Card, a veteran pro from Salisbury, N.C. “I moved to another spot about 7 to 8 minutes away and fished one of the schools I had found. There wasn’t a shad spawn there; it was just prespawners staging on a point.

“I had fished that spot the two previous days and two of my weight fish came from there on Day 1. I was just trying different baits and different depths.”

After catching bass on a jerkbait, swimbait and crankbait throughout the first two days, Card made a key adjustment and pulled out a 1/2-ounce white hair jig. Noting that this bait has served him well on Tennessee River reservoirs, Card said he felt the fish needed a different look and the pulsing hair skirt seemed to be triggering reluctant bass.

He also caught fish on an unnamed crankbait. That 10- to 14-foot diver definitely helped his cause, but not without significant grief.

“I lost a 6-pounder on that bait and then the next cast, I hooked a 2-pounder that shook as I was releasing it and stuck a hook in my (right index finger),” Card said.

Card and his marshal tried to remove the hook with the common technique of pushing down on the shank to rotate the barb angle and then using no-stretch braided line, tied to the bend, to quickly snap the hook free.

Two attempts failed, so Card had to push the hook through his skin far enough for fellow competitor Matt Herren to clip the point and barb. From there, the hook easily slid back out of his finger.

“I had two options: I could go to the emergency room or I could push it through,” Card recalled. “Thankfully, my finger was numb, and it really didn’t hurt as bad as it looked.”

Card said he still believes in his Hammer Hole’s potential, so he’ll give it a good look Sunday morning and then adjust as needed. With only the Top 10 anglers fishing, he’s expecting greater freedom of movement.

“I really put the time in during practice and spent hours upon hours idling and not seeing anything and I found three schools of fish (in Little Caney),” Card said. “Hopefully, between those schools, it will hold up and we can go catch another big bag tomorrow.

“That shad spawn may or may not be there, but I think tomorrow I’ll be able to rotate my spots a little bit better. A couple times today, I’d run and there would be a boat sitting on my spot and I’d just have to turn around.”

Looking at Sunday’s forecast for warm, stable weather, Card has this final-round expectation: “There have been a few of us flirting with 30 pounds this week. I think somebody will catch 28 to 30 tomorrow.”

Maintaining the second-place spot since Day 1, Cappo experienced a dip in productivity and turned in a limit of 19-4. Adding this weight to his previous limits of 28-15 and 25-13 sends him into Championship Sunday with 74 pounds.

Sticking with the pattern he’s exploited since the tournament’s start, Cappo is targeting shallow areas with shell bottom. His key spots are the submerged root masses, where deflecting a Strike King KVD 4.0 squarebill has consistently triggered bites.

Wind and the presence of jumbo gizzard shad have been the keys to Cappo’s bite. Both elements were there today but in different form.

“Today, it was a different wind (direction) and it positions the bait differently,” Cappo said. “Today, (the bass) never showed themselves. Usually, they’ll come up between 1 and 3 o’clock. They’ll start eating shad at the surface and you’ll see exactly where they’re positioned.”

Without that surface action, Cappo never got bit on the Strike King Sexy Dawg topwater he threw Friday. Also, changing squarebill colors from citrus shad to sexy shad seemed to trigger more bites.

“I’m committed to that pattern because one swing of the bat, you can be right back in this game,” he said. “I’m going to live by it or die by it. That pattern has gotten me this far, so I’m going to go out swinging tomorrow and try to get that blue trophy.”

Chris Zaldain of Fort Worth, Texas, is in third with 71-14. Rising from 12th place on Day 2, Zaldain added 29-3 — the day’s biggest bag — to his first two limits of 27-1 and 15-10.

Zaldain targeted windward points where bass were eating giant gizzard shad. He used an 8-inch Megabass Magdraft swimbait and a 10-inch Tater Hog glidebait designed to closely mimic this hefty forage.

“While a lot of guys are fishing for spawning fish, I’ve been targeting pre- and postspawn fish,” Zaldain said. “I like fishing for these fish when they’re actually feeding and chasing.

“I’m just running and gunning, throwing big baits and doing what I like to do. It was an amazing day today and I hope to have an amazing day tomorrow.”

Clifford Pirch of Payson, Ariz., is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 9-13 largemouth caught on Day 2.

Seth Feider of New Market, Minn., leads the Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings with 434 points. Patrick Walters of Summerville, S.C., is in second with 430, followed by Drew Cook of Cairo, Ga., with 387, Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Canada, with 383 and Lee Livesay of Longview, Texas, with 381.

Josh Stracner of Vandiver, Ala., leads the Rookie of the Year standings with 333 points.

Sunday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6:45 a.m. CT at Sabine River Authority (SRA) — Lake Fork. The weigh-in will be held at SRA at 3 p.m

Live coverage of the event can be streamed on Bassmaster.com and the FOX Sports digital platforms. FS1 will also broadcast the action live with the leaders beginning at 7 a.m. CT.

2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork 4/22-4/25
Lake Fork, Quitman TX.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 3

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

1. Brandon Card Salisbury, NC 15 77-01 100
Day 1: 5 27-06 Day 2: 5 28-01 Day 3: 5 21-10
2. Quentin Cappo Prairieville, LA 15 74-00 99
Day 1: 5 28-15 Day 2: 5 25-13 Day 3: 5 19-04
3. Chris Zaldain Fort Worth, TX 15 71-14 98
Day 1: 5 27-01 Day 2: 5 15-10 Day 3: 5 29-03
4. Patrick Walters Summerville, SC 15 71-02 97 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 32-14 Day 2: 5 15-07 Day 3: 5 22-13
5. Lee Livesay Longview, TX 15 70-02 96
Day 1: 5 25-06 Day 2: 5 17-14 Day 3: 5 26-14
6. Chad Morgenthaler Reeds Spring, MO 15 68-08 95
Day 1: 5 25-15 Day 2: 5 20-12 Day 3: 5 21-13
7. Taku Ito Chiba, JAPAN 15 66-11 94
Day 1: 5 15-01 Day 2: 5 33-03 Day 3: 5 18-07
8. Seth Feider New Market, MN 15 65-12 93
Day 1: 5 22-03 Day 2: 5 20-14 Day 3: 5 22-11
9. Austin Felix Eden Prairie, MN 15 64-02 92
Day 1: 5 25-11 Day 2: 5 18-07 Day 3: 5 20-00
10. Chris Johnston Otonabee Ontario CANADA 15 62-04 91
Day 1: 5 24-02 Day 2: 5 15-11 Day 3: 5 22-07
11. Carl Jocumsen Queensland, AUSTRALIA 15 61-13 90 $11,000.00
Day 1: 5 20-06 Day 2: 5 17-13 Day 3: 5 23-10
12. Jay Yelas Lincoln City, OR 15 61-02 89 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 11-02 Day 2: 5 21-05 Day 3: 5 28-11
13. Matt Herren Ashville, AL 15 60-04 88 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 22-13 Day 2: 5 16-03 Day 3: 5 21-04
14. Brandon Palaniuk Rathdrum, ID 15 60-01 87 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-10 Day 2: 5 17-10 Day 3: 5 23-13
15. Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, MO 15 59-10 86 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 23-00 Day 2: 5 20-13 Day 3: 5 15-13
16. Joshua Stracner Vandiver, AL 15 59-06 85 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 24-11 Day 2: 5 15-03 Day 3: 5 19-08
17. Skylar Hamilton Dandridge, TN 15 59-05 84 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 15-15 Day 2: 5 25-13 Day 3: 5 17-09
18. Matt Arey Shelby, NC 15 59-02 83 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-12 Day 2: 5 18-04 Day 3: 5 21-02
19. Drew Benton Blakely, GA 15 59-01 82 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 21-04 Day 2: 5 15-13 Day 3: 5 22-00
20. John Cox Debary, FL 15 58-00 81 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 21-05 Day 2: 5 20-12 Day 3: 5 15-15
21. Caleb Sumrall New Iberia, LA 15 57-14 80 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 21-13 Day 2: 5 18-00 Day 3: 5 18-01
22. Kyle Welcher Opelika, AL 15 57-11 79 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 21-04 Day 2: 5 18-15 Day 3: 5 17-08
23. Scott Martin Clewiston, FL 15 57-06 78 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-09 Day 2: 5 18-13 Day 3: 5 19-00
24. Shane LeHew Catawba, NC 15 57-04 77 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-02 Day 2: 5 20-06 Day 3: 5 19-12
25. Brandon Cobb Greenwood, SC 15 57-01 76 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 25-00 Day 2: 5 19-08 Day 3: 5 12-09
26. Stetson Blaylock Benton, AR 15 56-11 75 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 24-08 Day 2: 5 18-08 Day 3: 5 13-11
27. Cory Johnston Cavan CANADA 15 56-10 74 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 22-09 Day 2: 5 15-04 Day 3: 5 18-13
28. Chad Pipkens Dewitt, MI 15 56-10 73 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 21-14 Day 2: 5 15-12 Day 3: 5 19-00
29. Wes Logan Springville, AL 15 55-09 72 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-11 Day 2: 5 16-05 Day 3: 5 19-09
30. Jeff Gustafson Keewatin Ontario CANADA 15 55-00 71 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-03 Day 2: 5 21-12 Day 3: 5 14-01
31. Drew Cook Cairo, GA 15 54-14 70 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-06 Day 2: 5 16-01 Day 3: 5 20-07
32. Brock Mosley Collinsville, MS 15 54-04 69 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 15-05 Day 2: 5 20-07 Day 3: 5 18-08
33. Justin Atkins Florence, AL 14 53-00 68 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 21-14 Day 2: 4 14-03 Day 3: 5 16-15
34. David Mullins Mt Carmel, TN 15 52-08 67 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 21-05 Day 2: 5 16-13 Day 3: 5 14-06
35. Luke Palmer Coalgate, OK 15 51-14 66 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 20-02 Day 2: 5 14-14 Day 3: 5 16-14
36. Clifford Pirch Payson, AZ 15 51-11 65 $11,000.00
Day 1: 5 13-05 Day 2: 5 21-05 Day 3: 5 17-01
37. Jason Williamson Wagener, SC 15 51-09 64 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 24-01 Day 2: 5 12-03 Day 3: 5 15-05
38. Greg Hackney Gonzales, LA 15 51-09 63 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 21-09 Day 2: 5 14-01 Day 3: 5 15-15
39. Gerald Swindle Guntersville, AL 15 51-06 62 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 20-15 Day 2: 5 17-06 Day 3: 5 13-01
40. Matt Robertson Kuttawa, KY 14 48-14 61 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 23-12 Day 2: 5 14-00 Day 3: 4 11-02
41. Brandon Lester Fayetteville, TN 15 48-11 60 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-11 Day 2: 5 16-15 Day 3: 5 12-01
42. Scott Canterbury Odenville, AL 14 48-09 59 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-01 Day 2: 5 20-10 Day 3: 4 08-14
43. Keith Combs Huntington, TX 13 47-14 58 $10,000.00
Day 1: 4 11-04 Day 2: 5 24-00 Day 3: 4 12-10
44. Jason Christie Park Hill, OK 15 47-03 57 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-02 Day 2: 5 19-01 Day 3: 5 11-00
45. Shane Lineberger Lincolnton, NC 13 44-09 56 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 11-07 Day 2: 5 20-12 Day 3: 3 12-06
46. Cody Hollen Beaverton, OR 14 43-08 55 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 13-11 Day 2: 5 20-15 Day 3: 4 08-14
47. Derek Hudnall Denham Springs, LA 12 43-06 54 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-10 Day 2: 5 15-12 Day 3: 2 08-00
48. Buddy Gross Chickamauga, GA 12 41-05 53 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-02 Day 2: 5 18-07 Day 3: 2 04-12
49. Frank Talley Temple, TX 10 36-00 52 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 20-02 Day 2: 4 13-05 Day 3: 1 02-09
50. Jamie Hartman Newport, NY 10 32-01 51 $5,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-09 Day 2: 5 13-08


Becker Extends Lead at Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Googan Baits Stop 3 at Lake Murray

COLUMBIA, S.C. (April 24, 2021) – Pro Matt Becker of Finleyville, Pennsylvania, padded his Day 2 lead Saturday, bringing a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 17 pounds, 8 ounces to remain in control of the leaderboard after Day 3 of the  MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers, Googan Baits Stop 3 Presented by Favorite Fishing – Lake Murray in Columbia, South Carolina. Becker’s three-day total of 15 bass for 58-10 will give him a 7-pound, 4-ounce cushion heading into the fourth and final day of competition.

Pro Derrick Snavely of Piney Flats, Tennessee, held on to second place with four bass weighing 13 pounds even, for a three-day total of 51-6. Rookie Tai Au of Glendale, Arizona, jumped from 24th place into 9th on Day 3 with a five-bass limit weighing 17-11, while pro Cody Huff of Ava, Missouri, made the biggest leap from 39th place, barely squeezing into the 10th spot by a mere ounce.

With more than a 7-pound lead, Becker is set up nicely for championship Sunday and with the current weather forecast, it seems the sun – and his herring-spawn streak – will continue to shine. However, with a stacked field in the top 10, Becker said he is hedging his excitement and focused on hard fishing on championship Sunday.

“It doesn’t really matter to be in the lead now,” said Becker. “Some of the best fishermen in the world are right behind me – [Anthony] Gagliardi, the hottest fisherman in the world right now Michael Neal – those are some real hammers and they’re right behind me.”

Despite the weather change and rainy conditions Saturday, the 2018 Pro Circuit Rookie of the Year continued his risk versus reward pattern, hitting the edges of points in hopes of finding schooling fish – a pattern that once again kept him at the front of the pack.

“I caught a lot more small fish today, and didn’t catch as many,” said Becker. “I caught three in 10 minutes in the morning and only had two small flurries where I caught three in three casts right before the last storms hit this afternoon. It was not as hot and heavy as it has been, but I’m hoping it was just the weather.”

Becker said once the rain started coming down hard, he was basically just wasting time – time he didn’t have to waste if he wanted to hold on to his lead.

“It was crowded [on the points today], and I got in a bad rotation,” said Becker. “There was a boat on a lot of the spots I wanted to fish. Fortunately, we cut 40 guys after today, so hopefully that opens the lake up more.”

Becker said now it’s just a matter of finishing strong.

“I can’t look in the rearview mirror,” said Becker. “I just have to go out and do my thing. All that really matters is that I catch them because the other guys will really have to catch them to pass me. Hopefully the sun pops out, the fish bite, and I sack up another 17 to 20 pounds to seal the deal.”

The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition Sunday on Lake Murray are:
1st:       Matt Becker of Finleyville, Pa., 15 bass, 58-10
2nd:      Derrick Snavely of Piney Flats, Tenn., 14 bass, 51-6
3rd:       Michael Neal of Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 51-6
4th:       Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., 15 bass, 51-4
5th:       Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif., 15 bass, 51-2
6th:       Evan Barnes of Hot Springs, Ark., 15 bass, 50-9
7th:       Adrian Avena of Vineland, N.J., 15 bass, 50-0
8th:       David Williams of Maiden, N.C., 15 bass, 49-11
9th:       Tai Au of Glendale, Ariz., 15 bass, 49-1
10th:     Cody Huff of Ava, Mo., 15 bass, 49-1

Anglers finishing 11th through 20th are:
11th:     Miles Howe of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., 14 bass, 49-0, $11,000
12th:     Ryan Salzman of Huntsville, Ala., 15 bass, 48-11, $11,000
13th:     Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., 15 bass, 48-8, $11,000
14th:     Jason Reyes of Huffman, Texas, 15 bass, 48-8, $11,000
15th:     Matthew Stefan of Junction City, Wisc., 15 bass, 48-4, $11,000
16th:     Cody Meyer of Star, Idaho, 15 bass, 48-1, $11,000
17th:     Kurt Mitchell of Milford, Del., 15 bass, 46-5, $11,000
18th:     Cole Floyd of Leesburg, Ohio, 15 bass, 46-5, $11,000
19th:     Mike McClelland of Blue Eye, Mo., 15 bass, 46-1, $11,000
20th:     Dean Rojas of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 14 bass, 46-0, $11,000

For a full list of results visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Overall, there were 222 bass weighing 632 pounds, 10 ounces caught by the 50 pros Saturday. The catch included 36 five-bass limits.

The MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers, Googan Baits Stop 3 Presented by Favorite Fishing – Lake Murray is hosted by the Capital City Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board.

In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit competition, the full field of 161 anglers competed in the two-day opening round on Thursday and Friday. The field was cut to 50 anglers on Saturday. Now, the top 10 pros based on their three-day cumulative weight advance to Sunday where the winner will be determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days of competition.

Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE presented by Mercury, the Pro Circuit Championship, where they will compete for up to $235,000. The 2021 TITLE will be on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin on Aug. 17-22, and is hosted by Explore La Crosse.

The final 10 anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. ET on Sunday from Dreher Island State Park, located at 3677 State Park Road in Prosperity. Weigh-in will also be held at the park on Sunday at 3 p.m. Attendance is limited to competing anglers, family, essential staff and media covering the event. Fans are encouraged to follow the action online through the MLF NOW! live stream and coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers, Googan Baits Stop 3 Presented by Favorite Fishing – Lake Murray will feature live on-the-water coverage and a two-hour action-packed television show that will premiere on the Outdoor Channel on Sunday, July 25 from 7 to 9 a.m. ET and re-air on the Sportsman Channel this fall. Weigh-in will be streamed and fans can catch live on-the-water action all day Sunday, April 25 on MLF NOW! beginning at 7 a.m. ET at MajorLeagueFishing.com.


Becker Moves Ahead on Day Two of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Googan Baits Stop 3 at Lake Murray

COLUMBIA, S.C. (April 23, 2021) – Pro Matt Becker of Finleyville, Pennsylvania, caught five bass weighing 19 pounds, 9 ounces Friday to move from second into first place after Day 2 of the MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers, Googan Baits Stop 3 Presented by Favorite Fishing – Lake Murray in Columbia, South Carolina. Becker’s two-day total of 10 bass weighing 41 pounds, 2 ounces gives him a 2-pound, 12-ounce advantage heading into Day 3 of the four-day competition that features a field of 161 bass-fishing professionals from around the world competing for a top cash award of up to $135,000.

Pro Derrick Snavely of Piney Flats, Tennessee, jumped from 15th place to 2nd with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 15 ounces, giving him a two-day total of 38 pounds, 6 ounces.

Becker managed to turn only a couple 10-minute flurries into some of the biggest bags on Lake Murray. Utilizing great timing and a schooling-fish pattern, he turned three flurries into 21 pounds, 9 ounces on Day 1, followed by just one flurry on Day 2 that helped him toward his 19-9 bag – putting him in the lead with 41-2 total.

“We survived another day, but boy was it stressful and risky,” said Becker, the 2018 Pro Circuit Rookie of the Year. “I was super lucky on my timing again where I pulled up and was able to catch four of the five I weighed in within a few minutes. Otherwise, it was a struggle.”

Becker said that flurry came at 9 a.m. but before that, he hadn’t had a bite.

“I fished that spot three times today before I caught anything,” said Becker. “I knew the fish were there, but I rotated through multiple times and never had a bite. Then I came back and they were there and they were eating. I went from zero to 14 pounds in minutes.”

Becker said he originally planned to just hit the edges of the points quickly on the first morning before moving on to bed-fishing or fishing docks, but was fortunate to get a couple bites early on Day 1 to point him in the right direction.

Although that timing has held out so far, a significant storm system is set to roll through the region early tomorrow morning, with a 100-percent chance of severe thunderstorms most of Saturday, which could change everything for Becker, as well as the other pros.

“I say we cancel tomorrow. It’s one less day I have to hang on to the lead,” laughed Becker. “I think it’s going to be really hard and it’s going to hurt my fish. The sun has been real important, and that rain is probably going to put a damper on that tomorrow. With this weather changing, it’s anyone’s game going into the weekend.”

The top 20 pros after Day 2 on Lake Murray are:
1st:       Matt Becker of Finleyville, Pa., 10 bass, 41-2
2nd:      Derrick Snavely of Piney Flats, Tenn., 10 bass, 38-6
3rd:       Miles Howe of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., 10 bass, 37-9
4th:       Evan Barnes of Hot Springs, Ark., 10 bass, 37-0
5th:       Dean Rojas of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 10 bass, 35-9
6th:       Tommy Dickerson of Orange, Texas, 10 bass, 34-15
7th:       Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif., 10 bass, 34-14
8th:       Clabion Johns of Social Circle, Ga., 10 bass, 34-9
9th:       Matthew Stefan of Junction City, Wisc., 10 bass, 34-9
10th:     Adrian Avena of Vineland, N.J., 10 bass, 33-13
11th:     Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., 10 bass, 33-10
12th:     Jim Tutt of Longview, Texas, 10 bass, 33-5
13th:     Jamie Horton of Centerville, Ala., 10 bass, 33-4
14th:     David Williams of Maiden, N.C., 10 bass, 33-3
15th:     Josh Butler of Hayden, Ala., 10 bass, 32-14
16th:     Michael Neal of Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 32-11
17th:     Kurt Mitchell of Milford, Del., 10 bass, 32-10
18th:     Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., 10 bass, 32-5
19th:     Mitch Crane of Columbus, Miss., 10 bass, 32-4
20th:     Jimmy Reese of Witter Springs, Calif., 10 bass, 32-1

For a full list of results and to see the top 50 anglers that will continue to Day 3, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Zack Birge of Blanchard, Oklahoma, won the day's $500 Berkley Big Bass award bringing a largemouth weighing 7 pounds, 11 ounces to the scale.

Overall, there were 744 bass weighing 1,983 pounds even caught by 160 pros Friday. The catch included 133 five-bass limits.

The MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers, Googan Baits Stop 3 Presented by Favorite Fishing – Lake Murray is hosted by the Capital City Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board.

In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit competition, the full field of 161 anglers competed in the two-day opening round on Thursday and Friday. The top 50 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight advanced to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros will continue competition on Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE presented by Mercury, the Pro Circuit Championship, where they will compete for up to $235,000. The 2021 TITLE will be on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin on Aug. 17-22, and is hosted by Explore La Crosse.

Anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. ET Saturday and Sunday from Dreher Island State Park, located at 3677 State Park Road in Prosperity. Weigh-ins will also be held at the park daily at 3 p.m. Attendance is limited to competing anglers, family, essential staff and media covering the event. Fans are encouraged to follow the action online through the MLF NOW! live stream and coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers, Googan Baits Stop 3 Presented by Favorite Fishing – Lake Murray will feature live on-the-water coverage and a two-hour action-packed television show that will premiere on the Outdoor Channel on Sunday, July 25 from 7 to 9 a.m. ET and re-air on the Sportsman Channel this fall. Weigh-ins will be streamed daily and fans can catch live on-the-water action all day Saturday and Sunday, April 24-25 on MLF NOW! beginning at 7 a.m. ET at MajorLeagueFishing.com.


One Keeper Vaults Bosley To B.A.S.S. Nation Regional Win On Milford

New Mexico B.A.S.S. Nation team angler Kris Bosley, of Amarillo, Texas, has won the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional at Milford Lake with a three-day total of 23 pounds, 5 ounces.

Photo by Brenden Kanies/B.A.S.S.

April 23, 2021

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. – Kris Bosley was certain he had to catch more than one bass Friday to come from behind and win the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional.

But as difficult as Milford Lake fished this week, a 3-pound, 14-ounce largemouth on the final day was enough to give the 42-year-old financial advisor a victory in the heart of the Sunflower State.

Bosley finished with a three-day total of nine bass weighing 23-5. He collected a $5,000 cash prize courtesy of Ranger and earned his third trip to the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship.

“I thought I needed at least two fish today to hold off Christian (Gladfelter) for the team lead,” Bosley said, referring to his New Mexico teammate who placed second overall among boaters after catching 10 bass weighing 22-12 in the three-day event.

“But I really wanted to win the whole tournament, and to do that, I thought I’d probably need four fish. I didn’t expect to win with only one fish today, so it’s a real surprise. But still, it’s a really great feeling.”

Bosley lives in Amarillo, Texas, but qualified for the regional through the New Mexico B.A.S.S. Nation. He’ll represent the state again in the Nation Championship on the Ouachita River in Louisiana on Nov. 3-5.

Bosley has qualified for nationals twice before, finishing 34th on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell in 2019 and 23rd on Lake Dardanelle in Arkansas in 2013.

The 3-14 largemouth he caught Friday was the ticket to this year’s championship. He hooked the bass fishing a point near the Milford Lake Dam with a Delta Craw squarebill crankbait on 12-pound line.

“I threw that squarebill between two tree trunks about 6 inches apart,” Bosley said. “It deflected off the tree and, as soon as it did, she immediately jumped all over it. She swallowed it whole.”

Other than one keeper, Bosley struggled to find bites, as did each of the 40 anglers that survived the cut to fish Friday.

“The only other bites I had were six short fish and one drum,” Bosley said, laughing. “The drum was the most fun of the day up until the keeper!”

Milford Lake, which normally produces a solid mix of bass in various stages of the spawn this time of year, was a mystery to every one of the 160 competitors who started the tournament Wednesday. A late-season snowstorm dumped nearly 6 inches of powder in central Kansas overnight on Monday, and it shut down what had been a productive bite in the days leading up to the tournament.

Anglers scattered across the 15,700-acre reservoir to find bites of any sort, but they struggled mightily – 89 of the 160 zeroed on Day 1 and 116 didn’t weigh a fish on Day 2. Nineteen of the 40 that fished Friday didn’t weigh a bass, either.

That unfortunate group included Chris Johnson, a Farmington, Ark., resident who led the regional on Days 1 and 2.

“I couldn’t get anything going today,” Johnson said. “It was a real grind the whole tournament, but I was able to get a few things going on the first two days … But no disappointments. I’m going to nationals.”

Of the 80 competitors in the boater division, Bosley was one of two who caught a limit of five bass on Day 1. That 13-5 haul put him in third place and he jumped to second on Day 2, despite adding only three bass and 6-2 to his weight.

Bosley entered Friday only an ounce behind. Gladfelter jumped ahead of Johnson, too, finishing second and collecting $3,000. Johnson placed third and won $2,000.

Hunter Neuville, an 18-year-old high school student from New Iberia, La., won the co-angler division with a three-day total of four bass that weighed 9-10. Like Bosley, Neuville only needed one bass to earn the win Friday.

“I caught one short fish today and I missed one good one,” Neuville said. “I was fishing with (Gladfelter), and he said, ‘Last cast,’ and that’s when I caught my keeper. It was only 2-5, but this is one of the toughest tournaments I’ve ever fished.”

Neuville won $2,500 courtesy of Yamaha for his co-angler victory.

Sixteen anglers (the top boater and co-angler from each of the eight teams in the regional) qualified for the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship in November. The top anglers split a purse of $34,500 this week.

Johnson won a $500 cash prize for having the heaviest bass of the regional, a 7-pounder he caught early on Day 1 that vaulted him into the lead.

Colorado won the team title on Thursday with a two-day total of 34 bass that weighed 84-9. The 20-angler team earned a $5,000 prize courtesy of Ranger with the win. New Mexico finished in second place, and Texas was third, with Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Louisiana rounding out the eight-team field.

The tournament was one of five B.A.S.S. Nation derbies this year leading up to the championship in November.

2021 TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional Milford Lake 4/21-4/23
Milford Lake, Junction City KS.
(BOATER) Standings Day 3

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

1. Kris Bosley Amarillo, TX (NM) 9 23-05 0
2. Christian Gladfelter Albuquerque, NM (NM) 10 22-12 0
3. Chris Johnson Farmington, AR (AR) 6 19-08 0
4. Brandon Moss Blanchard, OK (OK) 9 18-02 0
5. Chad Petrie McKinney, TX (TX) 7 17-02 0
6. Jared Miller Norman, OK (CO) 6 15-10 0
7. Nick Luna Grain Valley, MO (KS) 7 14-09 0
8. Mike Wheaton Ottumwa, IA (MO) 4 14-05 0
9. Travis Sneith Elizabeth, CO (CO) 6 13-09 0
10. Shane Morgan Littleton, CO (CO) 4 12-08 0
11. Nate Caldwell Fort Collins, CO (CO) 5 12-07 0
12. Jeremy Fuentes Carlsbad, NM (NM) 6 11-01 0
13. Jay Beffa Festus, MO (MO) 5 10-14 0
14. Doug Thompson Mabelvale, AR (AR) 5 10-12 0
15. Matt Pangrac Bixby, OK (OK) 4 10-09 0
16. Jeff Lugar Princeton, TX (TX) 5 10-09 0
17. David Cavell Prairieville, LA (LA) 3 09-12 0
18. Daniel Ward Sage, AR (AR) 4 09-04 0
19. Casey Welch Arvada, CO (CO) 3 08-03 0
20. Robert Paxton Jr Flower Mound, TX (TX) 3 07-13 0
21. Justin Royal Bridge City, TX (TX) 4 07-09 0
22. Nicholas Kincaid Coweta, OK (OK) 3 07-09 0
23. Garrett Kemp Port Allen, LA (LA) 4 07-03 0
24. Jesse Jordan Stilwel, KS (KS) 3 06-14 0
25. Larry Stoafer Leavenworth, KS (KS) 3 06-09 0
26. Maurice Gutierrez Albuquberque, NM (NM) 2 06-02 0
27. Travis Rivest Smithville, MO (MO) 2 06-00 0
28. Larry Triplett Castle Rock, CO (CO) 3 05-14 0
29. Matthew Abeyta Albuquerque, NM (NM) 2 05-10 0
30. Ronald Giebel Penrose, CO (CO) 2 05-05 0
31. Justin Privett Bald Knob, AR (AR) 2 05-01 0
32. Branden Garrison Gladstone, MO (KS) 2 04-10 0
33. Nathan Pratt Albuquerque, NM (NM) 2 04-06 0
34. Robert Royal Vidor, TX (TX) 1 04-01 0
35. Brandon Simoneaux Lumberton, TX (TX) 1 03-15 0
36. Cole Buser Farmington, NM (NM) 2 03-15 0
37. Kevin Johnston Sedalia, MO (MO) 2 03-14 0
38. Brock Enmeier Bixby, OK (OK) 1 03-09 0
39. Jim Simpson Canyon, TX (TX) 1 03-07 0
40. Byron Albrecht Waco, TX (TX) 1 03-02 0
40. Troy Morrison Malvern, AR (AR) 1 03-02 0
42. Mike Zachary Ada, OK (OK) 1 03-01 0
43. Alan Daniels Kansas City, KS (MO) 1 03-00 0
44. Klint VonFeldt Hays, KS (KS) 1 02-14 0
45. Brian Stangel Albuquerque, NM (NM) 1 02-10 0
46. Rick Wheeler Whitewater, KS (KS) 1 02-08 0
47. Tony Grubbs Pryor, OK (OK) 1 02-07 0
48. Mike Chain Stillwater, OK (OK) 1 02-06 0
49. Kenny Turpin El Dorado, KS (KS) 1 02-05 0
50. Dalton Warrington Tishimingo , OK (OK) 1 02-04 0
51. Gabriel Rivera Portales, NM (NM) 1 02-01 0
52. Paul Lampron Penrose, CO (CO) 1 01-13 0
53. Braxton Resweber Saint Martinville, LA ( 1 01-12 0
54. Dean Amos San Antonio, TX (TX) 0 00-00 0
54. Jason Baird Gypsum, KS (KS) 0 00-00 0
54. Jim Coyner Ofallon, MO (MO) 0 00-00 0
54. Jamie Dumas El Dorado, AR (AR) 0 00-00 0
54. David Flemming Littleton, CO (CO) 0 00-00 0
54. Teddy Granier Thibodaux, LA (LA) 0 00-00 0
54. Mike Harris Cowgill, MO (MO) 0 00-00 0
54. Jan Hebert Houma, LA (LA) 0 00-00 0
54. Alex Heintze Denham Springs, LA (LA) 0 00-00 0
54. Michael Henager Harrah, OK (OK) 0 00-00 0
54. Keith Hendrix Monroe City, MO (MO) 0 00-00 0
54. Adam Johnson Pontiac, MO (MO) 0 00-00 0
54. Johnny Johnson Bloomfield, NM (NM) 0 00-00 0
54. Kenny King El Dorado, AR (AR) 0 00-00 0
54. Jamie Laiche Gonzales, LA (LA) 0 00-00 0
54. Travis Laurent Gonzales, LA (LA) 0 00-00 0
54. Cory Leita Victoria, TX (TX) 0 00-00 0
54. JP Mcvay Hermitage, AR (AR) 0 00-00 0
54. Mike Meadows El Dorado, AR (AR) 0 00-00 0
54. Matthew Mesplay Wichita, KS (KS) 0 00-00 0
54. Jeremy Norris Ama, LA (LA) 0 00-00 0
54. Brandon Pedigo Lawton, OK (OK) 0 00-00 0
54. Josh Pladies Belton, MO (KS) 0 00-00 0
54. Scott Sheldon Loveland, CO (CO) 0 00-00 0
54. Harold Stark Eldon, MO (MO) 0 00-00 0
54. Joe Ward Cave City, AR (AR) 0 00-00 0
80. Blake Marionneaux Brusly, LA (LA) 0 -2-00 0
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals
Day #Limits #Fish Weight
1 2 97 244-11
2 1 49 115-15
3 0 21 46-14
----------------------------------
3 167 407-08

INDIVIDUAL STANDINGS Day 3
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

KANSAS
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Total $$$
1 Nick Luna Grain Valley, MO 7 14-09 0
2 Jesse Jordan Stilwel, KS 3 06-14 0
3 Larry Stoafer Leavenworth, KS 3 06-09 0
4 Branden Garrison Gladstone, MO 2 04-10 0
5 Klint VonFeldt Hays, KS 1 02-14 0
6 Rick Wheeler Whitewater, KS 1 02-08 0
7 Kenny Turpin El Dorado, KS 1 02-05 0
8 Jason Baird Gypsum, KS 0 00-00 0
8 Matthew Mesplay Wichita, KS 0 00-00 0
8 Josh Pladies Belton, MO 0 00-00 0

OKLAHOMA
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Total $$$
1 Brandon Moss Blanchard, OK 9 18-02 0
2 Matt Pangrac Bixby, OK 4 10-09 0
3 Nicholas Kincaid Coweta, OK 3 07-09 0
4 Brock Enmeier Bixby, OK 1 03-09 0
5 Mike Zachary Ada, OK 1 03-01 0
6 Tony Grubbs Pryor, OK 1 02-07 0
7 Mike Chain Stillwater, OK 1 02-06 0
8 Dalton Warrington Tishimingo , OK 1 02-04 0
9 Michael Henager Harrah, OK 0 00-00 0
9 Brandon Pedigo Lawton, OK 0 00-00 0

LOUISIANA
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Total $$$
1 David Cavell Prairieville, LA 3 09-12 0
2 Garrett Kemp Port Allen, LA 4 07-03 0
3 Braxton Resweber Saint Martinville, LA 1 01-12 0
4 Teddy Granier Thibodaux, LA 0 00-00 0
4 Jan Hebert Houma, LA 0 00-00 0
4 Alex Heintze Denham Springs, LA 0 00-00 0
4 Jamie Laiche Gonzales, LA 0 00-00 0
4 Travis Laurent Gonzales, LA 0 00-00 0
4 Jeremy Norris Ama, LA 0 00-00 0
10 Blake Marionneaux Brusly, LA 0 -2-00 0

MISSOURI
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Total $$$
1 Mike Wheaton Ottumwa, IA 4 14-05 0
2 Jay Beffa Festus, MO 5 10-14 0
3 Travis Rivest Smithville, MO 2 06-00 0
4 Kevin Johnston Sedalia, MO 2 03-14 0
5 Alan Daniels Kansas City, KS 1 03-00 0
6 Jim Coyner Ofallon, MO 0 00-00 0
6 Mike Harris Cowgill, MO 0 00-00 0
6 Keith Hendrix Monroe City, MO 0 00-00 0
6 Adam Johnson Pontiac, MO 0 00-00 0
6 Harold Stark Eldon, MO 0 00-00 0

ARKANSAS
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Total $$$
1 Chris Johnson Farmington, AR 6 19-08 0
2 Doug Thompson Mabelvale, AR 5 10-12 0
3 Daniel Ward Sage, AR 4 09-04 0
4 Justin Privett Bald Knob, AR 2 05-01 0
5 Troy Morrison Malvern, AR 1 03-02 0
6 Jamie Dumas El Dorado, AR 0 00-00 0
6 Kenny King El Dorado, AR 0 00-00 0
6 JP Mcvay Hermitage, AR 0 00-00 0
6 Mike Meadows El Dorado, AR 0 00-00 0
6 Joe Ward Cave City, AR 0 00-00 0

TEXAS
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Total $$$
1 Chad Petrie McKinney, TX 7 17-02 0
2 Jeff Lugar Princeton, TX 5 10-09 0
3 Robert Paxton Jr Flower Mound, TX 3 07-13 0
4 Justin Royal Bridge City, TX 4 07-09 0
5 Robert Royal Vidor, TX 1 04-01 0
6 Brandon Simoneaux Lumberton, TX 1 03-15 0
7 Jim Simpson Canyon, TX 1 03-07 0
8 Byron Albrecht Waco, TX 1 03-02 0
9 Dean Amos San Antonio, TX 0 00-00 0
9 Cory Leita Victoria, TX 0 00-00 0

NEW MEXICO
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Total $$$
1 Kris Bosley Amarillo, TX 9 23-05 0
2 Christian Gladfelter Albuquerque, NM 10 22-12 0
3 Jeremy Fuentes Carlsbad, NM 6 11-01 0
4 Maurice Gutierrez Albuquberque, NM 2 06-02 0
5 Matthew Abeyta Albuquerque, NM 2 05-10 0
6 Nathan Pratt Albuquerque, NM 2 04-06 0
7 Cole Buser Farmington, NM 2 03-15 0
8 Brian Stangel Albuquerque, NM 1 02-10 0
9 Gabriel Rivera Portales, NM 1 02-01 0
10 Johnny Johnson Bloomfield, NM 0 00-00 0

COLORADO
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Total $$$
1 Jared Miller Norman, OK 6 15-10 0
2 Travis Sneith Elizabeth, CO 6 13-09 0
3 Shane Morgan Littleton, CO 4 12-08 0
4 Nate Caldwell Fort Collins, CO 5 12-07 0
5 Casey Welch Arvada, CO 3 08-03 0
6 Larry Triplett Castle Rock, CO 3 05-14 0
7 Ronald Giebel Penrose, CO 2 05-05 0
8 Paul Lampron Penrose, CO 1 01-13 0
9 David Flemming Littleton, CO 0 00-00 0
9 Scott Sheldon Loveland, CO 0 00-00 0

2021 TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional Milford Lake 4/21-4/23
Milford Lake, Junction City KS.
(NON_BOATER) Standings Day 3

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

1. Hunter Neuville New Iberia, LA (LA) 4 09-10 0
2. Ray Cates Overland Park, KS (MO) 4 09-08 0
3. Russell Vines El Dorado, AR (AR) 3 07-06 0
4. Brad Hauf Las Cruces, NM (NM) 4 07-05 0
5. Glenn Hahn San Antonio, TX (TX) 3 06-12 0
6. Morgan Fitzgerald Durango, CO (CO) 3 06-06 0
7. Bobby Maynard Jr Eastland, TX (TX) 2 06-06 0
8. Scooter Wright Chickasha, OK (OK) 2 06-01 0
9. Richard Heflin Topeka, KS (KS) 2 06-01 0
10. Ryan Fontenot Baton Rouge, LA (LA) 3 05-14 0
11. Todd Newchurch Livonia, LA (LA) 2 05-04 0
12. Scott Hausman Owasso, OK (OK) 2 05-02 0
13. Lewis Decker III McGregor, TX (TX) 2 04-03 0
14. John Santos Colorado Springs, CO (C 2 04-03 0
15. Dj Buser Jr Farmington, NM (NM) 2 04-02 0
16. Deforest Hall Edmond, OK (OK) 1 03-15 0
17. Christopher Dollard Mountain Homes, AR (AR) 2 03-14 0
18. Jeffrey Mooter Midwest City, OK (OK) 2 03-11 0
19. Randy Fleeman Copperas Cove, TX (TX) 2 03-09 0
20. Darrell Hecht Decatur, AR (AR) 2 03-06 0
21. Nathan Fideldy Hutchinson, KS (KS) 1 03-04 0
22. Don Evans Canon City, CO (CO) 1 02-09 0
22. Blake Forsyth Paulina, LA (LA) 1 02-09 0
24. Austin Abadie Saint Amant, LA (LA) 1 02-08 0
24. Joel Porter Yates Center, KS (KS) 1 02-08 0
26. Danny Fourr Waterflow, NM (NM) 1 02-04 0
27. Kyle Torkelson Coweta, OK (KS) 1 02-03 0
28. Andrew Bowman Aurora, CO (CO) 1 02-02 0
29. Chris Hamilton Wellington, CO (CO) 1 02-01 0
29. Todd Tigar Osage Beach, MO (MO) 1 02-01 0
31. Kris Cartrite Dumas, TX (TX) 1 01-15 0
31. Justin Harris McPherson, KS (KS) 1 01-15 0
33. Charlie Harrington New Cambria, MO (MO) 1 01-14 0
34. Hayden Pinho Patterson, LA (LA) 1 01-13 0
35. Jered Grooms Ada, OK (OK) 1 01-12 0
35. Mike Turner Berryton, KS (KS) 1 01-12 0
37. Scott Phillips El Dorado , AR (AR) 1 01-11 0
38. Russel Wilson Redfield, AR (AR) 1 01-08 0
39. Heath Andersen Lakewood, CO (CO) 0 00-00 0
39. Felix Appelt Goliad, TX (TX) 0 00-00 0
39. Macky Bosley III Canyon, TX (NM) 0 00-00 0
39. Jason Bryant Fort Sill, OK (MO) 0 00-00 0
39. Jason Campbell Berwick, LA (LA) 0 00-00 0
39. Aaron Carroll Nixa, MO (MO) 0 00-00 0
39. Danny Compton Pocahontas, AR (AR) 0 00-00 0
39. Bill Denniston II Ottumwa, IA (MO) 0 00-00 0
39. Jameson Dowler Ashland, MO (MO) 0 00-00 0
39. Curtis Farley Saint Peters, MO (MO) 0 00-00 0
39. Brent Goss Leavenworth, KS (MO) 0 00-00 0
39. Tye Grissom Austin, TX (TX) 0 00-00 0
39. Michael Guillory Prairieville, LA (LA) 0 00-00 0
39. Luther Harris Albuquerque, NM (NM) 0 00-00 0
39. Randy Heavin Del City, OK (OK) 0 00-00 0
39. Justin Hebert Gray, LA (LA) 0 00-00 0
39. Dennis Heusser Strasburg, CO (CO) 0 00-00 0
39. James Hollensworth El Dorado, AR (AR) 0 00-00 0
39. Kevin Holmes Russellville, AR (AR) 0 00-00 0
39. Joby Houghtaling Artesia, NM (NM) 0 00-00 0
39. Jeremy Jackson Cassoday, KS (KS) 0 00-00 0
39. Chris Jarvis Albuquerque, NM (NM) 0 00-00 0
39. Keith Kimbrough Woden, TX (TX) 0 00-00 0
39. Zane Leibhart Stillwater, OK (OK) 0 00-00 0
39. Andrew Madison Mustang, OK (OK) 0 00-00 0
39. Joseph Martin Baton Rouge, LA (LA) 0 00-00 0
39. Meleah Meadows Norman, OK (OK) 0 00-00 0
39. Randal Moyer Denver, CO (CO) 0 00-00 0
39. Hieu Nguyen Stillwater, OK (OK) 0 00-00 0
39. Cody Paxton Independence, MO (KS) 0 00-00 0
39. Carly Perry Albuquerque, NM (NM) 0 00-00 0
39. Ron Price Canon City, CO (CO) 0 00-00 0
39. Clayton Rudman Victoria, KS (KS) 0 00-00 0
39. Gary Schipporeit Westminster, CO (CO) 0 00-00 0
39. Ed Shay Keller, MO (TX) 0 00-00 0
39. Reggie Smithson El Dorado, KS (KS) 0 00-00 0
39. Eric Snow Forsyth, MO (MO) 0 00-00 0
39. Justin Taylor Las Cruces, NM (NM) 0 00-00 0
39. Ray Thomasson Jr El Dorado, AR (AR) 0 00-00 0
39. Cecil Tubb Dike, TX (TX) 0 00-00 0
39. Terry Wilson Carlsbad, NM (NM) 0 00-00 0
39. Jared Wood Clarksville, AR (AR) 0 00-00 0
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals
Day #Limits #Fish Weight
1 2 38 87-13
2 1 21 46-03
3 0 8 16-15
----------------------------------
3 67 150-15

INDIVIDUAL STANDINGS Day 3
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

KANSAS
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Total $$$
1 Richard Heflin Topeka, KS 2 06-01 0
2 Nathan Fideldy Hutchinson, KS 1 03-04 0
3 Joel Porter Yates Center, KS 1 02-08 0
4 Kyle Torkelson Coweta, OK 1 02-03 0
5 Justin Harris McPherson, KS 1 01-15 0
6 Mike Turner Berryton, KS 1 01-12 0
7 Jeremy Jackson Cassoday, KS 0 00-00 0
7 Cody Paxton Independence, MO 0 00-00 0
7 Clayton Rudman Victoria, KS 0 00-00 0
7 Reggie Smithson El Dorado, KS 0 00-00 0

OKLAHOMA
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Total $$$
1 Scooter Wright Chickasha, OK 2 06-01 0
2 Scott Hausman Owasso, OK 2 05-02 0
3 Deforest Hall Edmond, OK 1 03-15 0
4 Jeffrey Mooter Midwest City, OK 2 03-11 0
5 Jered Grooms Ada, OK 1 01-12 0
6 Randy Heavin Del City, OK 0 00-00 0
6 Zane Leibhart Stillwater, OK 0 00-00 0
6 Andrew Madison Mustang, OK 0 00-00 0
6 Meleah Meadows Norman, OK 0 00-00 0
6 Hieu Nguyen Stillwater, OK 0 00-00 0

LOUISIANA
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Total $$$
1 Hunter Neuville New Iberia, LA 4 09-10 0
2 Ryan Fontenot Baton Rouge, LA 3 05-14 0
3 Todd Newchurch Livonia, LA 2 05-04 0
4 Blake Forsyth Paulina, LA 1 02-09 0
5 Austin Abadie Saint Amant, LA 1 02-08 0
6 Hayden Pinho Patterson, LA 1 01-13 0
7 Jason Campbell Berwick, LA 0 00-00 0
7 Michael Guillory Prairieville, LA 0 00-00 0
7 Justin Hebert Gray, LA 0 00-00 0
7 Joseph Martin Baton Rouge, LA 0 00-00 0

MISSOURI
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Total $$$
1 Ray Cates Overland Park, KS 4 09-08 0
2 Todd Tigar Osage Beach, MO 1 02-01 0
3 Charlie Harrington New Cambria, MO 1 01-14 0
4 Jason Bryant Fort Sill, OK 0 00-00 0
4 Aaron Carroll Nixa, MO 0 00-00 0
4 Bill Denniston II Ottumwa, IA 0 00-00 0
4 Jameson Dowler Ashland, MO 0 00-00 0
4 Curtis Farley Saint Peters, MO 0 00-00 0
4 Brent Goss Leavenworth, KS 0 00-00 0
4 Eric Snow Forsyth, MO 0 00-00 0

ARKANSAS
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Total $$$
1 Russell Vines El Dorado, AR 3 07-06 0
2 Christopher Dollard Mountain Homes, AR 2 03-14 0
3 Darrell Hecht Decatur, AR 2 03-06 0
4 Scott Phillips El Dorado , AR 1 01-11 0
5 Russel Wilson Redfield, AR 1 01-08 0
6 Danny Compton Pocahontas, AR 0 00-00 0
6 James Hollensworth El Dorado, AR 0 00-00 0
6 Kevin Holmes Russellville, AR 0 00-00 0
6 Ray Thomasson Jr El Dorado, AR 0 00-00 0
6 Jared Wood Clarksville, AR 0 00-00 0

TEXAS
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Total $$$
1 Glenn Hahn San Antonio, TX 3 06-12 0
2 Bobby Maynard Jr Eastland, TX 2 06-06 0
3 Lewis Decker III McGregor, TX 2 04-03 0
4 Randy Fleeman Copperas Cove, TX 2 03-09 0
5 Kris Cartrite Dumas, TX 1 01-15 0
6 Felix Appelt Goliad, TX 0 00-00 0
6 Tye Grissom Austin, TX 0 00-00 0
6 Keith Kimbrough Woden, TX 0 00-00 0
6 Ed Shay Keller, MO 0 00-00 0
6 Cecil Tubb Dike, TX 0 00-00 0

NEW MEXICO
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Total $$$
1 Brad Hauf Las Cruces, NM 4 07-05 0
2 Dj Buser Jr Farmington, NM 2 04-02 0
3 Danny Fourr Waterflow, NM 1 02-04 0
4 Macky Bosley III Canyon, TX 0 00-00 0
4 Luther Harris Albuquerque, NM 0 00-00 0
4 Joby Houghtaling Artesia, NM 0 00-00 0
4 Chris Jarvis Albuquerque, NM 0 00-00 0
4 Carly Perry Albuquerque, NM 0 00-00 0
4 Justin Taylor Las Cruces, NM 0 00-00 0
4 Terry Wilson Carlsbad, NM 0 00-00 0

COLORADO
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Total $$$
1 Morgan Fitzgerald Durango, CO 3 06-06 0
2 John Santos Colorado Springs, CO 2 04-03 0
3 Don Evans Canon City, CO 1 02-09 0
4 Andrew Bowman Aurora, CO 1 02-02 0
5 Chris Hamilton Wellington, CO 1 02-01 0
6 Heath Andersen Lakewood, CO 0 00-00 0
6 Dennis Heusser Strasburg, CO 0 00-00 0
6 Randal Moyer Denver, CO 0 00-00 0
6 Ron Price Canon City, CO 0 00-00 0
6 Gary Schipporeit Westminster, CO 0 00-00 0


Consistency Lands Card In Lead At Bassmaster Elite Event On Lake Fork

Brandon Card, of Salisbury, N.C., is leading after Day 2 of the 2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork with a two-day total of 55 pounds, 7 ounces.
Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

April 23, 2021

QUITMAN, Texas — Brandon Card of Salisbury, N.C., committed to a spot he called the “Hammer Hole” and nailed down a limit of 28 pounds, 1 ounce to lead Day 2 of the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork.

Rising from third place, Card bolstered his Day 1 weight of 27-6 for a two-day total of 55-7 that leads Quentin Cappo of Prairieville, La., by 11 ounces.

Working in Little Caney Creek, Card’s key spot was a subtle point adjacent to multiple spawning pockets with a creek channel in close proximity. What’s interesting is that Card encountered this fish-laden staging area on his way to inspect other spots.

“I’m really fortunate I found this spot,” he said. “It didn’t look like much when I saw it on my side scan, but it looked like just enough to make me want to make a cast in there.

“I caught them at the mouth of Little Caney really good (during the Elite event) in 2019. I had two giant schools, so I checked that out and they weren’t there. So, I just kept going farther in there.”

With two fish over 6 pounds in his bag, Card did most of his work with a Yo-Zuri 3DB 110 jerkbait. He also caught fish on a 3DB 110 Deep, a Yo-Zuri Hardcore Crank 3+ and a 4-inch hand-poured swimbait on a 1/2-ounce lead head.

“Changing angles and trying to stay fresh on the baits was important,” he said. “I’m just thinking, ‘What else can I throw out there?’ I’ll rig up some new stuff tonight.”

Noting that he had his weight by about 9:45 a.m., Card said, “What a morning. There wasn’t much to speak of after the morning. I did catch a 4 1/2-pounder that didn’t help, but I couldn’t get on anything (productive) after I left the Hammer Hole.

“Hopefully, that place keeps reloading. It’s a pretty magical spot.”

Addressing the obvious question of why he left the Hammer Hole, Card said that his bite slowed down — possibly a casualty of meteorological disruptions from an approaching storm system that prompted B.A.S.S. to move up Friday’s weigh-in by one hour.

“Also, I didn’t want to just sit there and protect the spot, and I didn’t want to just sit there and keep fishing,” Card said of his fish-management strategy. “I didn’t want to catch a 4-pounder that didn’t help today because I might need it for tomorrow.”

Card’s largest fish — a 6-12 — bit the swimbait after he effectively retrieved the bait through a labyrinth of submerged timber off a deeper section of his point. Thinking he may be onto something, he repeated his cast, but at that point the wheels came off.

“The very next cast, I hung up,” he said. “I didn’t want to go in there and get it, so I broke it off and tied on another one. I threw back out there and, on the next cast, I got hung again and had to break that one off.

“Literally two casts later, I get hung again and break off the third swimbait. I was like, ‘What is going on?’ It’s like I couldn’t get back in there after I caught the big one. I’ll have to rig up a jighead with a weedguard tonight.”

Holding steady in second place, Cappo added 25-13 to the 28-15 he caught Thursday to keep himself in contention with 54-12. Returning to the Caney Creek areas he fished on Day 1, Cappo anchored his bag with a 7-1 shortly before 9 a.m.

“My main area was a little underwater point with a rootball from an old tree,” he said. “They stage right there coming in and out, so if you can hit that rootball with a crankbait and deflect, they’ll come out and attack it.”

Wind exposure is key to Cappo’s success, and both days he saw clear examples of how an increase in surface disturbance would trigger feeding. Also, his area holds scattered pods of big gizzard shad, so he threw sizable baits — a Strike King KVD 4.0 squarebill and a Strike King Sexy Dawg topwater.

“They were eating kind of funny today,” he said. “I could tell by the way they were grabbing my crankbait. But it’s just one of those deals where you have to keep your head down and go because you know it’s going to happen, you just don’t know when.

“I was fortunate, because with an hour (before check-in), I had three big bites (3-15, 5-11 and 6-3). You just have to let it happen, and it definitely happened today.”

Day 1 leader Patrick Walters of Summerville, S.C., saw a dramatic decline to the intense Day 1 action that produced the event’s second-heaviest bag — 32-14 (behind fourth-place Taku Ito’s Day 2 limit of 33-3). On Friday, Walters started strong with an 8-12 at 7:18, but quality bites eluded him the rest of the day and he weighed a limit of 15-7.

Having won his first Elite title on Fork last year with a four-day total of 104 pounds, 12 ounces, Walters remained committed to the game plan of hunting fish with his Garmin Panoptix LiveScope. He’s throwing jerkbaits over contour breaks for staging prespawners.

“I guess it was the weather conditions; something changed pressure-wise,” he said. “The fish are still there on all the spots I fished today. The bad thing was they would come look at your bait and almost take a nip at it. They would follow your bait for 40 feet and never commit.

“I’m going all in (tomorrow) because if I can catch them, it’s going to be a big bag. If I don’t, it’s going to be a very little bag.”

Clifford Pirch of Payson, Ariz., took the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 9-13 largemouth.

Seth Feider of New Market, Minn., leads the Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings with 432 points. Walters is second with 431, followed by Kyle Welcher of Opelika, Ala., with 385, Lee Livesay of Longview, Texas, with 377 and Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Canada, with 375.

Joshua Stracner of Vandiver, Ala., leads the Rookie of the Year standings with 332 points.

Saturday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6:45 a.m. CT at Sabine River Authority (SRA) — Lake Fork. The weigh-in will be held at SRA at 3 p.m.

Only the Top 10 anglers after Saturday’s weigh-in will advance to Championship Sunday with a chance to win the $100,000 first-place prize.

Live coverage of the event can be streamed on Bassmaster.com and the FOX Sports digital platforms. FS1 will also broadcast the action live with the leaders beginning at 7 a.m. CT.

2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork 4/22-4/25
Lake Fork, Quitman, TX
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 2

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

1. Brandon Card Salisbury, NC 10 55-07 100
Day 1: 5 27-06 Day 2: 5 28-01
2. Quentin Cappo Prairieville, LA 10 54-12 99
Day 1: 5 28-15 Day 2: 5 25-13
3. Patrick Walters Summerville, SC 10 48-05 98 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 32-14 Day 2: 5 15-07
4. Taku Ito Chiba JAPAN 10 48-04 97
Day 1: 5 15-01 Day 2: 5 33-03
5. Chad Morgenthaler Reeds Spring, MO 10 46-11 96
Day 1: 5 25-15 Day 2: 5 20-12
6. Brandon Cobb Greenwood, SC 10 44-08 95
Day 1: 5 25-00 Day 2: 5 19-08
7. Austin Felix Eden Prairie, MN 10 44-02 94
Day 1: 5 25-11 Day 2: 5 18-07
8. Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, MO 10 43-13 93
Day 1: 5 23-00 Day 2: 5 20-13
9. Lee Livesay Longview, TX 10 43-04 92
Day 1: 5 25-06 Day 2: 5 17-14
10. Seth Feider New Market, MN 10 43-01 91
Day 1: 5 22-03 Day 2: 5 20-14
11. Stetson Blaylock Benton, AR 10 43-00 90
Day 1: 5 24-08 Day 2: 5 18-08
12. Chris Zaldain Fort Worth, TX 10 42-11 89
Day 1: 5 27-01 Day 2: 5 15-10
13. John Cox Debary, FL 10 42-01 88
Day 1: 5 21-05 Day 2: 5 20-12
14. Skylar Hamilton Dandridge, TN 10 41-12 87
Day 1: 5 15-15 Day 2: 5 25-13
15. Jeff Gustafson Keewatin Ontario CANADA 10 40-15 86
Day 1: 5 19-03 Day 2: 5 21-12
16. Kyle Welcher Opelika, AL 10 40-03 85
Day 1: 5 21-04 Day 2: 5 18-15
17. Joshua Stracner Vandiver, AL 10 39-14 84
Day 1: 5 24-11 Day 2: 5 15-03
18. Chris Johnston Otonabee Ontario CANADA 10 39-13 83
Day 1: 5 24-02 Day 2: 5 15-11
19. Caleb Sumrall New Iberia, LA 10 39-13 82
Day 1: 5 21-13 Day 2: 5 18-00
20. Scott Canterbury Odenville, AL 10 39-11 81
Day 1: 5 19-01 Day 2: 5 20-10
21. Matt Herren Ashville, AL 10 39-00 80
Day 1: 5 22-13 Day 2: 5 16-03
22. Scott Martin Clewiston, FL 10 38-06 79
Day 1: 5 19-09 Day 2: 5 18-13
23. Gerald Swindle Guntersville, AL 10 38-05 78
Day 1: 5 20-15 Day 2: 5 17-06
24. Carl Jocumsen Queensland AUSTRALIA 10 38-03 77
Day 1: 5 20-06 Day 2: 5 17-13
25. David Mullins Mt Carmel, TN 10 38-02 76
Day 1: 5 21-05 Day 2: 5 16-13
26. Matt Arey Shelby, NC 10 38-00 75
Day 1: 5 19-12 Day 2: 5 18-04
27. Cory Johnston Cavan CANADA 10 37-13 74
Day 1: 5 22-09 Day 2: 5 15-04
28. Matt Robertson Kuttawa, KY 10 37-12 73
Day 1: 5 23-12 Day 2: 5 14-00
29. Chad Pipkens Dewitt, MI 10 37-10 72
Day 1: 5 21-14 Day 2: 5 15-12
30. Shane LeHew Catawba, NC 10 37-08 71
Day 1: 5 17-02 Day 2: 5 20-06
31. Drew Benton Blakely, GA 10 37-01 70
Day 1: 5 21-04 Day 2: 5 15-13
32. Brandon Lester Fayetteville, TN 10 36-10 69
Day 1: 5 19-11 Day 2: 5 16-15
33. Buddy Gross Chickamauga, GA 10 36-09 68
Day 1: 5 18-02 Day 2: 5 18-07
34. Jason Williamson Wagener, SC 10 36-04 67
Day 1: 5 24-01 Day 2: 5 12-03
35. Brandon Palaniuk Rathdrum, ID 10 36-04 66
Day 1: 5 18-10 Day 2: 5 17-10
36. Jason Christie Park Hill, OK 10 36-03 65
Day 1: 5 17-02 Day 2: 5 19-01
37. Justin Atkins Florence, AL 9 36-01 64
Day 1: 5 21-14 Day 2: 4 14-03
38. Wes Logan Springville, AL 10 36-00 63
Day 1: 5 19-11 Day 2: 5 16-05
39. Brock Mosley Collinsville, MS 10 35-12 62
Day 1: 5 15-05 Day 2: 5 20-07
40. Greg Hackney Gonzales, LA 10 35-10 61
Day 1: 5 21-09 Day 2: 5 14-01
41. Derek Hudnall Denham Springs, LA 10 35-06 60
Day 1: 5 19-10 Day 2: 5 15-12
42. Keith Combs Huntington, TX 9 35-04 59
Day 1: 4 11-04 Day 2: 5 24-00
43. Luke Palmer Coalgate, OK 10 35-00 58
Day 1: 5 20-02 Day 2: 5 14-14
44. Clifford Pirch Payson, AZ 10 34-10 57 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 13-05 Day 2: 5 21-05
45. Cody Hollen Beaverton, OR 10 34-10 56
Day 1: 5 13-11 Day 2: 5 20-15
46. Drew Cook Cairo, GA 10 34-07 55
Day 1: 5 18-06 Day 2: 5 16-01
47. Frank Talley Temple, TX 9 33-07 54
Day 1: 5 20-02 Day 2: 4 13-05
48. Jay Yelas Lincoln City, OR 10 32-07 53
Day 1: 5 11-02 Day 2: 5 21-05
49. Shane Lineberger Lincolnton, NC 10 32-03 52
Day 1: 5 11-07 Day 2: 5 20-12
50. Jamie Hartman Newport, NY 10 32-01 51 $5,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-09 Day 2: 5 13-08
51. KJ Queen Catawba, NC 9 32-00 50 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 21-02 Day 2: 4 10-14
52. Koby Kreiger Alva, FL 10 32-00 49 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 17-01 Day 2: 5 14-15
53. Hunter Shryock Ooltewah, TN 10 31-14 48 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 17-06 Day 2: 5 14-08
54. Bernie Schultz Gainesville, FL 10 31-12 47 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 16-13 Day 2: 5 14-15
55. Garrett Paquette Canton, MI 8 30-13 46 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 17-14 Day 2: 3 12-15
56. Tyler Rivet Raceland, LA 8 29-12 45 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 20-15 Day 2: 3 08-13
57. Hank Cherry Jr Lincolnton, NC 9 29-11 44 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 18-12 Day 2: 4 10-15
58. Randy Sullivan Breckenridge, TX 10 29-10 43 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 13-00 Day 2: 5 16-10
59. Destin DeMarion Grove City, PA 10 29-10 42 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 16-06 Day 2: 5 13-04
60. Cliff Prince Palatka, FL 10 29-08 41 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 16-14 Day 2: 5 12-10
61. Micah Frazier Newnan, GA 8 29-06 40 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 19-07 Day 2: 3 09-15
62. Kelley Jaye Dadeville, AL 10 28-15 39 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 15-15 Day 2: 5 13-00
63. Brad Whatley Bivins, TX 8 28-06 38 $2,500.00
Day 1: 3 10-00 Day 2: 5 18-06
64. Chris Groh Spring Grove, IL 10 27-13 37 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 17-12 Day 2: 5 10-01
65. Mike Huff Corbin, KY 8 27-08 36 $2,500.00
Day 1: 3 10-10 Day 2: 5 16-14
66. Darold Gleason Many, LA 7 27-04 35 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 22-05 Day 2: 2 04-15
67. Pat Schlapper Eleva, WI 9 26-15 34 $2,500.00
Day 1: 4 10-06 Day 2: 5 16-09
68. Justin Hamner Northport, AL 9 26-14 33 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 19-06 Day 2: 4 07-08
69. Ray Hanselman Jr Del Rio, TX 10 26-12 32 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 15-07 Day 2: 5 11-05
70. Kenta Kimura Osaka JAPAN 7 26-11 31 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 22-03 Day 2: 2 04-08
71. Rick Morris Lake Gaston, VA 10 26-03 30 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 15-00 Day 2: 5 11-03
72. Todd Auten Lake Wylie, SC 8 26-00 29 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 20-09 Day 2: 3 05-07
73. Jake Whitaker Fairview, NC 10 26-00 28 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 12-11 Day 2: 5 13-05
74. Bill Lowen Brookville, IN 10 25-14 27 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 12-00 Day 2: 5 13-14
75. Marc Frazier Newnan, GA 10 25-13 26 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 10-06 Day 2: 5 15-07
76. John Crews Jr Salem, VA 10 25-12 25
Day 1: 5 13-06 Day 2: 5 12-06
77. Robbie Latuso Gonzales, LA 7 25-08 24
Day 1: 5 15-10 Day 2: 2 09-14
78. Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 10 25-04 23
Day 1: 5 14-03 Day 2: 5 11-01
79. Caleb Kuphall Mukwonago, WI 7 24-14 22
Day 1: 5 21-14 Day 2: 2 03-00
80. Mark Menendez Paducah, KY 10 24-07 21
Day 1: 5 11-07 Day 2: 5 13-00
81. Dale Hightower Mannford, OK 7 22-13 20
Day 1: 5 19-07 Day 2: 2 03-06
82. Bryan Schmitt Deale, MD 7 22-07 19
Day 1: 5 18-04 Day 2: 2 04-03
83. Kyle Monti Okeechobee, FL 8 22-04 18
Day 1: 3 10-08 Day 2: 5 11-12
84. Randy Pierson Oakdale, CA 10 22-01 17
Day 1: 5 11-14 Day 2: 5 10-03
85. Bryan New Belmont, NC 6 22-00 16
Day 1: 5 20-01 Day 2: 1 01-15
86. Paul Mueller Naugatuck, CT 6 22-00 15
Day 1: 5 18-07 Day 2: 1 03-09
87. Bill Weidler Helena, AL 7 22-00 14
Day 1: 5 14-14 Day 2: 2 07-02
88. Rick Clunn Ava, MO 6 21-14 13
Day 1: 4 16-01 Day 2: 2 05-13
89. Ed Loughran III Richmond, VA 7 21-13 12
Day 1: 5 16-11 Day 2: 2 05-02
90. Rob Digh Denver, NC 7 21-00 11
Day 1: 5 13-01 Day 2: 2 07-15
91. Gregory DiPalma Millville, NJ 7 20-10 10
Day 1: 5 13-15 Day 2: 2 06-11
92. Bob Downey Hudson, WI 6 19-03 9
Day 1: 5 17-02 Day 2: 1 02-01
93. Clark Wendlandt Leander, TX 5 18-11 8
Day 1: 5 18-11 Day 2: 0 00-00
94. Brett Preuett Monroe, LA 9 18-10 7
Day 1: 5 09-11 Day 2: 4 08-15
95. Clent Davis Montevallo, AL 6 17-12 6
Day 1: 5 16-06 Day 2: 1 01-06
96. Gary Clouse Winchester, TN 6 13-11 5
Day 1: 3 08-08 Day 2: 3 05-03
97. Yusuke Miyazaki Forney, TX 6 12-13 4
Day 1: 5 11-10 Day 2: 1 01-03
98. Harvey Horne Bella Vista, AR 5 09-15 3
Day 1: 3 05-10 Day 2: 2 04-05
99. David Fritts Lexington, NC 2 05-11 2
Day 1: 0 00-00 Day 2: 2 05-11


Christie Cashes in with Costa Sunglasses

Courtesy of Luke Stoner - Dynamic Sponsorships

Bassmaster Elite Series pro Jason Christie is among the first anglers to cash in with the brand new Costa Compete + Conserve contingency program thanks to his win two weeks ago on the Sabine River.

Christie pocketed an additional $3,000 cash bonus for being the highest finishing registered angler wearing Costa Sunglasses from this exciting new program.

“For tournament anglers Costas are a small investment when compared to some of the other equipment we buy and with Compete + Conserve you have the opportunity to win bonus money for yourself and the outdoors,” Christie said. “How can you beat that?”

The “conserve” component of Costa’s new bass fishing rewards program is especially exciting for folks in the fishing industry. The highest finishing program participant gets to choose between one of five pre-approved conservation organizations to receive a cash donation on behalf of Costa and the angler.

Christie’s connection to the outdoors runs much deeper than being a professional angler and he was thrilled to learn about the conservation donation. He chose The National Fish & Wildlife Foundation to receive $500 on his behalf.

Not only is Christie a huge proponent of all the goodness Costa’s new contingency program brings on, he also is a big believer in the advantages his sunglasses give him on the water.

“A quality pair of sunglasses are a necessity for anyone who spends time on the water,” Christie added. “Personally, my Costas equate to key fish each tournament and certainly each season. Being able to see what’s underwater, whether I’m seeing fish or a hidden piece of cover, makes a huge difference. At the Sabine they also helped me dodge obstructions while driving way up a creek to my primary area.”

Compete + Conserve wasn’t the only contingency program Christie reaped the rewards of after his finish on the Sabine however. The Oklahoma native also made $3,000 from Toyota Bonus Bucks for towing with a Toyota Tundra and an additional $4,000 from the popular Yamaha Power Pay program for running a Yamaha powered Xpress boat. Bringing Christie’s grand total to a mind-blowing $10,000 of bonus money for supporting brands who support the sport of bass fishing.

 

All three of these tournament angler contingency programs are absolutely free to register for as long as you own and use the products covered under the rewards programs. And you don’t have to be a professional angler like Jason Christie; these programs cover hundreds of tournaments for weekend anglers all the way up to the pros.

 

For more information on the brand new Costa Compete + Conserve program, follow this link https://www.costacompeteandconserve.com/or call (918) 742-6424 and ask for Luke.

 


Johnson Maintains Lead At Tough B.A.S.S. Nation Regional On Milford Lake

Chris Johnson, of Farmington, Ark., is leading after Day 2 of the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional at Milford Lake with a two-day total of 19 pounds, 8 ounces.

Photo by Brenden Kanies/B.A.S.S.

April 22, 2021

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. — Chris Johnson said he likes a tournament that makes anglers “grind.”

He’s at the right event.

The 160 competitors in the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional struggled to find fish for a second consecutive day on Milford Lake here in the center of the Sunflower State. A late-season snowstorm rolled through the heartland overnight Monday, and the 6 inches of powder it dumped completely disrupted what in recent weeks had been a quality bite on the 15,700-acre reservoir.

The freak storm was a curveball that anglers from eight different states have struggled to hit. A total of 89 anglers zeroed Wednesday and 116 didn’t weigh a fish Thursday – 53 of 80 entered in the boater division and 63 of 80 in the co-angler field.

Johnson, a 51-year-old Farmington, Ark., resident, has been one of the bright spots this week, starting with the four bass he caught Wednesday that weighed a day’s best 14 pounds, 12 ounces. He struggled to catch two bass for an additional 4-12 Thursday, but the 19-8 total was just enough to maintain the lead.

“It’s really tough out there,” Johnson said. “The wind switched around on me today, coming straight out of the south. I had a later start too, and when I got to the spot where I caught the 7-pounder yesterday, there were eight boats already there. I just had to get in there and mix it up.”

Problem was, there were hardly any bass biting.

“I caught my first keeper, my first bite, at about 11 o’clock,” he said. “I had to scramble and find some new water upriver. I’m fishing shallow rock and I’ve got to have moving water, but it really took all day to get the two fish I had.”

Johnson’s lead is slim, with Kris Bosley of Amarillo, Texas, an ounce behind with 19-7.

Bosley, who qualified for the regional through the New Mexico B.A.S.S. Nation, caught one of only four limits Wednesday — a 13-5 total that put him in third place. He managed only three bass Thursday for 6-2, but still scratched his way into second.

“The lake is fishing really small,” Bosley said. “There’s a lot of pressure on the fish right now and that snowstorm earlier in the week certainly didn’t help.”

Bosley said he’s fishing a reaction bite, doing everything he can to tempt the smallmouth he’s targeting.

“The good strong north wind blowing yesterday hit a couple of my key spots and it helped me,” he said. “Today, it was slick and I couldn’t get them to react … I just hunkered down and counted the rocks until the wind picked up a bit in the afternoon.”

Bosley is sharing water with New Mexico teammate Christian Gladfelter, who was the big mover on Thursday with five bass weighing 11-15. The Albuquerque angler caught one of only two limits weighed on Day 2, with the other coming from fellow New Mexico competitor Brad Hauf, who weighed in three bass for 5-5, gaining him third place in the co-angler division.

Ray Cates of Overland Park, Kan., leads co-anglers with three bass weighing 7-7. Russell Vines of El Dorado, Ark., is second with three bass for 7-6.

A total of 40 anglers survived Thursday’s cut and will fish Friday. The field includes the Top 16 anglers in both divisions, as well as four additional anglers who were in the Top 2 from their state but not among the Top 16 in their respective divisions.

They’re all fighting for a share of the $34,500 total purse. The winning boater will take home $5,000 courtesy of Ranger and the leading co-angler will net $2,500 courtesy of Yamaha.

Colorado won the team competition that ended Thursday with a two-day total of 34 bass that weighed 84-9. The 20-person squad (10 boaters and 10 co-anglers) stormed to a 19-pound lead on Day 1 and held on to win $5,000 courtesy of Ranger and Yamaha for finishing first in team totals.

New Mexico made a hard charge at the team title, but settled for second with 36 bass weighing 81-13. The squad, which won $3,000 for finishing second, caught 19 bass on Day 2 weighing 42-11 to challenge Colorado for team honors.

Texas was third with 27 bass for 66-3 and won $2,000. Other teams included, fourth, Arkansas (27, 65-8); fifth, Oklahoma (24, 59-14); sixth, Kansas (23, 53-13); seventh, Missouri (19, 49-7); and eighth, Louisiana (15, 33-7).

Friday’s final-round takeoff will be at 6:30 a.m. CT from Acorns Resort, and the weigh-in will be held back at the resort at 2:30 p.m.

The tournament is one of five B.A.S.S. Nation regionals this year. Leading anglers at each qualify for the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship to be held Nov. 3-5 on the Ouachita River in Louisiana.

2021 TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional Milford Lake 4/21-4/23
Milford Lake, Junction City KS.
(BOATER) Standings Day 2

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

1. Chris Johnson Farmington, AR (AR) 6 19-08 0
2. Kris Bosley Amarillo, TX (NM) 8 19-07 0
3. Christian Gladfelter Albuquerque, NM (NM) 7 16-10 0
4. Mike Wheaton Ottumwa, IA (MO) 4 14-05 0
5. Jared Miller Norman, OK (CO) 5 13-05 0
6. Nick Luna Grain Valley, MO (KS) 6 13-00 0
7. Shane Morgan Littleton, CO (CO) 4 12-08 0
8. Brandon Moss Blanchard, OK (OK) 6 11-14 0
9. Jay Beffa Festus, MO (MO) 5 10-14 0
10. Doug Thompson Mabelvale, AR (AR) 5 10-12 0
11. Travis Sneith Elizabeth, CO (CO) 4 10-03 0
12. Nate Caldwell Fort Collins, CO (CO) 4 10-01 0
13. Chad Petrie McKinney, TX (TX) 4 09-13 0
14. Daniel Ward Sage, AR (AR) 4 09-04 0
15. Jeremy Fuentes Carlsbad, NM (NM) 5 09-02 0
16. Matt Pangrac Bixby, OK (OK) 3 08-06 0
17. Casey Welch Arvada, CO (CO) 3 08-03 0
18. Jeff Lugar Princeton, TX (TX) 4 07-14 0
19. Robert Paxton Jr Flower Mound, TX (TX) 3 07-13 0
20. Justin Royal Bridge City, TX (TX) 4 07-09 0
21. Nicholas Kincaid Coweta, OK (OK) 3 07-09 0
22. Jesse Jordan Stilwel, KS (KS) 3 06-14 0
23. Larry Stoafer Leavenworth, KS (KS) 3 06-09 0
24. David Cavell Prairieville, LA (LA) 2 06-07 0
25. Maurice Gutierrez Albuquberque, NM (NM) 2 06-02 0
26. Travis Rivest Smithville, MO (MO) 2 06-00 0
27. Larry Triplett Castle Rock, CO (CO) 3 05-14 0
28. Matthew Abeyta Albuquerque, NM (NM) 2 05-10 0
29. Ronald Giebel Penrose, CO (CO) 2 05-05 0
30. Justin Privett Bald Knob, AR (AR) 2 05-01 0
31. Branden Garrison Gladstone, MO (KS) 2 04-10 0
32. Nathan Pratt Albuquerque, NM (NM) 2 04-06 0
33. Robert Royal Vidor, TX (TX) 1 04-01 0
34. Brandon Simoneaux Lumberton, TX (TX) 1 03-15 0
35. Cole Buser Farmington, NM (NM) 2 03-15 0
36. Kevin Johnston Sedalia, MO (MO) 2 03-14 0
37. Garrett Kemp Port Allen, LA (LA) 2 03-10 0
38. Brock Enmeier Bixby, OK (OK) 1 03-09 0
39. Jim Simpson Canyon, TX (TX) 1 03-07 0
40. Byron Albrecht Waco, TX (TX) 1 03-02 0
40. Troy Morrison Malvern, AR (AR) 1 03-02 0
42. Mike Zachary Ada, OK (OK) 1 03-01 0
43. Alan Daniels Kansas City, KS (MO) 1 03-00 0
44. Klint VonFeldt Hays, KS (KS) 1 02-14 0
45. Brian Stangel Albuquerque, NM (NM) 1 02-10 0
46. Rick Wheeler Whitewater, KS (KS) 1 02-08 0
47. Tony Grubbs Pryor, OK (OK) 1 02-07 0
48. Mike Chain Stillwater, OK (OK) 1 02-06 0
49. Kenny Turpin El Dorado, KS (KS) 1 02-05 0
50. Dalton Warrington Tishimingo, OK (OK) 1 02-04 0
51. Gabriel Rivera Portales, NM (NM) 1 02-01 0
52. Paul Lampron Penrose, CO (CO) 1 01-13 0
53. Braxton Resweber Saint Martinville, LA ( 1 01-12 0
54. Dean Amos San Antonio, TX (TX) 0 00-00 0
54. Jason Baird Gypsum, KS (KS) 0 00-00 0
54. Jim Coyner Ofallon, MO (MO) 0 00-00 0
54. Jamie Dumas El Dorado, AR (AR) 0 00-00 0
54. David Flemming Littleton, CO (CO) 0 00-00 0
54. Teddy Granier Thibodaux, LA (LA) 0 00-00 0
54. Mike Harris Cowgill, MO (MO) 0 00-00 0
54. Jan Hebert Houma, LA (LA) 0 00-00 0
54. Alex Heintze Denham Springs, LA (LA) 0 00-00 0
54. Michael Henager Harrah, OK (OK) 0 00-00 0
54. Keith Hendrix Monroe City, MO (MO) 0 00-00 0
54. Adam Johnson Pontiac, MO (MO) 0 00-00 0
54. Johnny Johnson Bloomfield, NM (NM) 0 00-00 0
54. Kenny King El Dorado, AR (AR) 0 00-00 0
54. Jamie Laiche Gonzales, LA (LA) 0 00-00 0
54. Travis Laurent Gonzales, LA (LA) 0 00-00 0
54. Cory Leita Victoria, TX (TX) 0 00-00 0
54. JP Mcvay Hermitage, AR (AR) 0 00-00 0
54. Mike Meadows El Dorado, AR (AR) 0 00-00 0
54. Matthew Mesplay Wichita, KS (KS) 0 00-00 0
54. Jeremy Norris Ama, LA (LA) 0 00-00 0
54. Brandon Pedigo Lawton, OK (OK) 0 00-00 0
54. Josh Pladies Belton, MO (KS) 0 00-00 0
54. Scott Sheldon Loveland, CO (CO) 0 00-00 0
54. Harold Stark Eldon, MO (MO) 0 00-00 0
54. Joe Ward Cave City, AR (AR) 0 00-00 0
80. Blake Marionneaux Brusly, LA (LA) 0 -2-00 0


Johns and Dickerson Tied at Top After Day 1 of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Googan Baits Stop 3 at Lake Murray

COLUMBIA, S.C. (April 22, 2020) – A field of 161 bass fishing professionals from around the world began their four-day competition for a top award of up to $135,000 at the MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers, Googan Baits Stop 3 Presented by Favorite Fishing – Lake Murray Thursday in Columbia, South Carolina.

Pros Clabion Johns of Social Circle Georgia, and Tommy Dickerson of Orange, Texas , both weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 12 ounces to sit tied atop the leaderboard and share the early lead after Day 1. The pair holds a mere 3-ounce lead over pro Matt Becker of Finleyville, Pennsylvania, who caught five bass weighing 21-9, good for second place.

With anglers having numerous patterns available to them across the fishery, Day 1 saw pros catching fish down the lake, up the river, sight-fishing, chasing the herring spawn, throwing topwater baits and more. However, with 34-degree air temperatures making for a cold morning bite, Dickerson said he was pretty worried halfway through the day.

The Texas pro had hoped to get on a herring-spawn bite first thing, only to find no herring up shallow due to the cold. He then decided to try sight-fishing, to no avail, and found himself without a fish at 11:30 a.m.

“I was starting to get negative,” said Dickerson. “I kept thinking I’ve got to stick with what I know worked, because I was catching some big fish in practice with the herring spawn. Even if I caught two today, they could weigh 10 pounds and I’d have a chance for another day.”

The sun finally peeked out and Dickerson said it didn’t take him long to get dialed in.

“I pulled up on one place and I caught four in about 10 minutes, and one of those was over 5 pounds. After that, I knew what I was doing the rest of the day.”

Surprisingly enough, Johns had almost the exact opposite day as Dickerson.

“I spent the day blind bed-fishing, (catching) fry guarders, fished a little bit of the shad spawn and fishing bank grass. Today fit perfectly in my wheelhouse,” said Johns. “I did a little swim jigging, flipping, threw a frog and a spinnerbait – it all worked and worked right away. I figured I could catch 15 pounds easy. But when I caught a 4-pound and a 5-pound fish early, I figured I’d just go for big bites the rest of the day.”

Johns said he typically finds remote areas serve him the best, but he didn’t even go to his best area on Thursday.

“I fished the water everyone else leaves alone,” said Johns. “I fished the mud and the nastiest stuff I could because that’s what gets left alone. I went to areas I looked at on Google Earth – I knew it was going to be scary, but I knew that I could get there.’”

Those secluded areas provided Johns some very unpressured fish, making him all the more excited to get back out on the water on Friday to see what his best area may hold.

Dickerson said he’s a little less enthused going into Friday.

“Tomorrow is calling for clouds, and I need the sun,” said Dickerson of his herring-spawn pattern. “So, we’ll just see what happens. I may have to figure out how to get them to bite, but if the herring are still there, the bigger bass will be, too.”

The top 10 pros after Day 1 on Lake Murray are:
1st:       Tommy Dickerson of Orange, Texas, five bass, 21-12
1st:       Clabion Johns of Social Circle, Ga., five bass, 21-12
3rd:       Matt Becker of Finleyville, Pa., five bass, 21-9
4th:       Miles Howe of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., five bass, 21-2
5th:       Dean Rojas of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., five bass, 21-0
6th:       Jim Tutt of Longview, Texas, five bass, 19-8
7th:       Lance Crawford of Broken Bow, Okla., five bass, 18-9
8th:       Cody Meyer of Star, Idaho, five bass, 18-8
9th:       Chase Serafin of White Lake, Mich., five bass, 18-4
10th:     Joseph Webster of Winfield, Ala., five bass, 17-13

For a full list of results visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Rojas won the day's $500 Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division after bringing a largemouth weighing 6 pounds, 12 ounces to the scale.

Overall, there were 766 bass weighing 2,122 pounds, 9 ounces caught by 159 pros Thursday. The catch included 144 five-bass limits.

The MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers, Googan Baits Stop 3 Presented by Favorite Fishing – Lake Murray is hosted by the Capital City Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board.

In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit competition, the full field of 161 anglers compete in the two-day opening round on Thursday and Friday. The top 50 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition on Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE presented by Mercury, the Pro Circuit Championship, where they will compete for up to $235,000. The 2021 TITLE will be on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin on Aug. 17-22, and is hosted by Explore La Crosse.

Anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. ET Friday through Sunday from Dreher Island State Park, located at 3677 State Park Road in Prosperity. Weigh-ins will also be held at the park daily at 3 p.m. Attendance is limited to competing anglers, family, essential staff and media covering the event. Fans are encouraged to follow the action online through the MLF NOW! live stream and coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com .

The MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers, Googan Baits Stop 3 Presented by Favorite Fishing – Lake Murray will feature live on-the-water coverage and a two-hour action-packed television show that will premiere on the Outdoor Channel on Sunday, July 25 from 7 to 9 a.m. ET and re-air on the Sportsman Channel this fall. Weigh-ins will be streamed daily and fans can catch live on-the-water action all day Saturday and Sunday, April 24-25 on MLF NOW! beginning at 7 a.m. ET at MajorLeagueFishing.com.


Walters Takes Lead With Massive Catch At Bassmaster Elite On Lake Fork

Patrick Walters, of Summerville, S.C., is leading after Day 1 of the 2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork with 32 pounds, 14 ounces.

Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

April 22, 2021

QUITMAN, Texas — Patrick Walters of Summerville, S.C., took advantage of a dramatic increase in opportunity to sack up a five-bass limit of 32 pounds, 14 ounces to lead Day 1 of the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork.

November saw Walters capture his first Elite title on Fork by topping the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with a four-day total of 104-12. In that fall event, Walters targeted standing timber, but today’s leading limit came from staging areas outside the spawning pockets.

“My plan this morning was to start on shallow points and catch one or two fish,” Walters said. “When I got out there, I was surprised how many fish I started to see; it was like they multiplied from practice.

“I caught my first 7-pounder (around 7 a.m.) and I said, ‘That’s the fish I was here for.’ Then, I caught my second one and I was like, ‘Whoa, this may happen.’”

From there, Walters began running points and inspecting each spot with his Garmin Panoptix LiveScope. He reported finding bass grouped in numbers far exceeding anything he’d found in practice.

“Every point I started going to, the fish quadrupled on the places I found them, whereas in practice, on my starting spot, I caught one on a glidebait and it had one with it. I went back there today and there were 15 fish sitting on that spot.

“After that, I just starting running areas like that, and I’m pretty surprised what’s showing up. They almost seem prespawn, so I don’t know if that bite is going to get even better.”

Noting that he caught one small fish in 45 minutes of bed fishing, Walters said he spent the majority of his day throwing a glidebait and multiple jerkbaits on the offshore spots.

He wants to see his fish in a particular depth zone, as this indicates an interest in feeding. Walters found that not all of the fish he spotted on LiveScope were actually ready to go.

“I’m really surprised by the fish that are showing on the majority of spots I’m fishing, but it’s just getting them to bite,” he said. “There’s a weird bite going on; you have to fish slow sometimes, but I think if we keep our foot on the gas and fish for the aggressive fish, I think we can catch some fish this week.

“Hopefully we can just ride it out and make it to the weekend. That’s the plan — just make it to Championship Sunday.”

Friday’s forecast for rainy, windy conditions could play well for Walters. Many of his competitors spent larger portions of their day sight fishing. A dimmer day will significantly limit that pursuit, but Walters is prepared to deal with any impacts on his game plan.

“You can’t control any of the variables, especially Mother Nature, so you just have to adapt and go with whatever you’re presented with,” he said. “We’re just going to go fishing tomorrow and stay on our toes, adapt as much as possible and hopefully get five good bites.”

Enjoying a quick start, Walters tallied approximately 20 pounds with four fish by about 8:20 a.m. A dry spell followed, until Bassmaster LIVE saw him come tight on a serious fish that went 8-14.

About 30 minutes later, he culled a 2-pounder with a 5-8. Hooked in the back, that fish put Walters through a nail-biting battle before rising into reach.

Quentin Cappo of Prairieville, La., is in second place with 28-15. Starting his day with an 8-3 at 7:25, Cappo did his damage on shallow, rocky bottom.

“I’m excited to go out tomorrow; I’ve found them, I know where they’re at, it’s just a timing thing,” Cappo said. “I need wind on my spots. When the wind blows, I can catch them.”

Cappo caught all of the bass he weighed on a large-body squarebill. He’s using an aggressive presentation he described as “dredging” to stir up the bottom and trigger bites.

“The fish are feeding on big gizzard shad and I’m looking for five good quality bites,” Cappo said. “Fortunately, I had 18 keepers in the 3- to 8-pound range. I stepped on the gas because you don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring.

“This is a heavily pressured lake and they see these baits (often), so something different gets them fired up. When I’m there at the right time, it’s fast and then I get off of them.”

Brandon Card of Salisbury, N.C., is in third place with 27-6. Bed fishing was his opening game plan and while Card sight fished a 4 1/2-pounder, he ended up catching all of his weight fish by targeting offshore hard spots from 7 to 20 feet.

“I actually found a couple more areas that had some really good spawners, but the carp had muddied them up and finally, I said, ‘Forget this, I’m going to go out there and fish offshore like I like to fish,’ and it just kind of unfolded.

“I had some offshore places that I was confident about but I didn’t know how good they were going to be. On my best spot, I thought I was going to be able to catch a few, but it was unbelievable. I probably caught 20 fish off that spot.”

Card said he caught some fish with dragging presentations but most bit reaction baits.

There were 36 bags of 20 pounds or more caught and 10 bass over 7 pounds. Walters is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 8-14 largemouth.

Walters leads the Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings with 433 points. Seth Feider of New Market, Minn., is in second with 424, followed by Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Canada, with 382.

Josh Stracner of Vandiver, Ala., leads the Rookie of the Year standings with 340 points.

Friday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6:45 a.m. CT from Sabine River Authority (SRA) — Lake Fork. The weigh-in will be held at SRA at 3 p.m.

The Top 49 anglers after Friday’s weigh-in will advance to Saturday’s semifinal round.

Live coverage for the event can be streamed on Bassmaster.com and the FOX Sports digital platforms.

2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork 4/22-4/25
Lake Fork, Quitman, TX
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 1

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

1. Patrick Walters Summerville, SC 5 32-14 100 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 32-14
2. Quentin Cappo Prairieville, LA 5 28-15 99
Day 1: 5 28-15
3. Brandon Card Salisbury, NC 5 27-06 98
Day 1: 5 27-06
4. Chris Zaldain Fort Worth, TX 5 27-01 97
Day 1: 5 27-01
5. Chad Morgenthaler Reeds Spring, MO 5 25-15 96
Day 1: 5 25-15
6. Austin Felix Eden Prairie, MN 5 25-11 95
Day 1: 5 25-11
7. Lee Livesay Longview, TX 5 25-06 94
Day 1: 5 25-06
8. Brandon Cobb Greenwood, SC 5 25-00 93
Day 1: 5 25-00
9. Joshua Stracner Vandiver, AL 5 24-11 92
Day 1: 5 24-11
10. Stetson Blaylock Benton, AR 5 24-08 91
Day 1: 5 24-08
11. Chris Johnston Otonabee Ontario CANADA 5 24-02 90
Day 1: 5 24-02
12. Jason Williamson Wagener, SC 5 24-01 89
Day 1: 5 24-01
13. Matt Robertson Kuttawa, KY 5 23-12 88
Day 1: 5 23-12
14. Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, MO 5 23-00 87
Day 1: 5 23-00
15. Matt Herren Ashville, AL 5 22-13 86
Day 1: 5 22-13
16. Cory Johnston Cavan CANADA 5 22-09 85
Day 1: 5 22-09
17. Darold Gleason Many, LA 5 22-05 84
Day 1: 5 22-05
18. Seth Feider New Market, MN 5 22-03 83
Day 1: 5 22-03
18. Kenta Kimura Osaka JAPAN 5 22-03 83
Day 1: 5 22-03
20. Justin Atkins Florence, AL 5 21-14 81
Day 1: 5 21-14
20. Caleb Kuphall Mukwonago, WI 5 21-14 81
Day 1: 5 21-14
20. Chad Pipkens Dewitt, MI 5 21-14 81
Day 1: 5 21-14
23. Caleb Sumrall New Iberia, LA 5 21-13 78
Day 1: 5 21-13
24. Greg Hackney Gonzales, LA 5 21-09 77
Day 1: 5 21-09
25. John Cox Debary, FL 5 21-05 76
Day 1: 5 21-05
25. David Mullins Mt Carmel, TN 5 21-05 76
Day 1: 5 21-05
27. Drew Benton Blakely, GA 5 21-04 74
Day 1: 5 21-04
27. Kyle Welcher Opelika, AL 5 21-04 74
Day 1: 5 21-04
29. KJ Queen Catawba, NC 5 21-02 72
Day 1: 5 21-02
30. Tyler Rivet Raceland, LA 5 20-15 71
Day 1: 5 20-15
30. Gerald Swindle Guntersville, AL 5 20-15 71
Day 1: 5 20-15
32. Todd Auten Lake Wylie, SC 5 20-09 69
Day 1: 5 20-09
33. Carl Jocumsen Queensland AUSTRALIA 5 20-06 68
Day 1: 5 20-06
34. Luke Palmer Coalgate, OK 5 20-02 67
Day 1: 5 20-02
34. Frank Talley Temple, TX 5 20-02 67
Day 1: 5 20-02
36. Bryan New Belmont, NC 5 20-01 65
Day 1: 5 20-01
37. Matt Arey Shelby, NC 5 19-12 64
Day 1: 5 19-12
38. Brandon Lester Fayetteville, TN 5 19-11 63
Day 1: 5 19-11
38. Wes Logan Springville, AL 5 19-11 63
Day 1: 5 19-11
40. Derek Hudnall Denham Springs, LA 5 19-10 61
Day 1: 5 19-10
41. Scott Martin Clewiston, FL 5 19-09 60
Day 1: 5 19-09
42. Micah Frazier Newnan, GA 5 19-07 59
Day 1: 5 19-07
42. Dale Hightower Mannford, OK 5 19-07 59
Day 1: 5 19-07
44. Justin Hamner Northport, AL 5 19-06 57
Day 1: 5 19-06
45. Jeff Gustafson Keewatin Ontario CANADA 5 19-03 56
Day 1: 5 19-03
46. Scott Canterbury Odenville, AL 5 19-01 55
Day 1: 5 19-01
47. Hank Cherry Jr Lincolnton, NC 5 18-12 54
Day 1: 5 18-12
48. Clark Wendlandt Leander, TX 5 18-11 53
Day 1: 5 18-11
49. Brandon Palaniuk Rathdrum, ID 5 18-10 52
Day 1: 5 18-10
50. Jamie Hartman Newport, NY 5 18-09 51
Day 1: 5 18-09
51. Paul Mueller Naugatuck, CT 5 18-07 50
Day 1: 5 18-07
52. Drew Cook Cairo, GA 5 18-06 49
Day 1: 5 18-06
53. Bryan Schmitt Deale, MD 5 18-04 48
Day 1: 5 18-04
54. Buddy Gross Chickamauga, GA 5 18-02 47
Day 1: 5 18-02
55. Garrett Paquette Canton, MI 5 17-14 46
Day 1: 5 17-14
56. Chris Groh Spring Grove, IL 5 17-12 45
Day 1: 5 17-12
57. Hunter Shryock Ooltewah, TN 5 17-06 44
Day 1: 5 17-06
58. Jason Christie Park Hill, OK 5 17-02 43
Day 1: 5 17-02
58. Bob Downey Hudson, WI 5 17-02 43
Day 1: 5 17-02
58. Shane LeHew Catawba, NC 5 17-02 43
Day 1: 5 17-02
61. Koby Kreiger Alva, FL 5 17-01 40
Day 1: 5 17-01
62. Cliff Prince Palatka, FL 5 16-14 39
Day 1: 5 16-14
63. Bernie Schultz Gainesville, FL 5 16-13 38
Day 1: 5 16-13
64. Ed Loughran III Richmond, VA 5 16-11 37
Day 1: 5 16-11
65. Clent Davis Montevallo, AL 5 16-06 36
Day 1: 5 16-06
65. Destin DeMarion Grove City, PA 5 16-06 36
Day 1: 5 16-06
67. Rick Clunn Ava, MO 4 16-01 34
Day 1: 4 16-01
68. Skylar Hamilton Dandridge, TN 5 15-15 33
Day 1: 5 15-15
68. Kelley Jaye Dadeville, AL 5 15-15 33
Day 1: 5 15-15
70. Robbie Latuso Gonzales, LA 5 15-10 31
Day 1: 5 15-10
71. Ray Hanselman Jr Del Rio, TX 5 15-07 30
Day 1: 5 15-07
72. Brock Mosley Collinsville, MS 5 15-05 29
Day 1: 5 15-05
73. Taku Ito Chiba JAPAN 5 15-01 28
Day 1: 5 15-01
74. Rick Morris Lake Gaston, VA 5 15-00 27
Day 1: 5 15-00
75. Bill Weidler Helena, AL 5 14-14 26
Day 1: 5 14-14
76. Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 5 14-03 25
Day 1: 5 14-03
77. Gregory DiPalma Millville, NJ 5 13-15 24
Day 1: 5 13-15
78. Cody Hollen Beaverton, OR 5 13-11 23
Day 1: 5 13-11
79. John Crews Jr Salem, VA 5 13-06 22
Day 1: 5 13-06
80. Clifford Pirch Payson, AZ 5 13-05 21
Day 1: 5 13-05
81. Rob Digh Denver, NC 5 13-01 20
Day 1: 5 13-01
82. Randy Sullivan Breckenridge, TX 5 13-00 19
Day 1: 5 13-00
83. Jake Whitaker Fairview, NC 5 12-11 18
Day 1: 5 12-11
84. Bill Lowen Brookville, IN 5 12-00 17
Day 1: 5 12-00
85. Randy Pierson Oakdale, CA 5 11-14 16
Day 1: 5 11-14
86. Yusuke Miyazaki Forney, TX 5 11-10 15
Day 1: 5 11-10
87. Shane Lineberger Lincolnton, NC 5 11-07 14
Day 1: 5 11-07
87. Mark Menendez Paducah, KY 5 11-07 14
Day 1: 5 11-07
89. Keith Combs Huntington, TX 4 11-04 12
Day 1: 4 11-04
90. Jay Yelas Lincoln City, OR 5 11-02 11
Day 1: 5 11-02
91. Mike Huff Corbin, KY 3 10-10 10
Day 1: 3 10-10
92. Kyle Monti Okeechobee, FL 3 10-08 9
Day 1: 3 10-08
93. Marc Frazier Newnan, GA 5 10-06 8
Day 1: 5 10-06
94. Pat Schlapper Eleva, WI 4 10-06 7
Day 1: 4 10-06
95. Brad Whatley Bivins, TX 3 10-00 6
Day 1: 3 10-00
96. Brett Preuett Monroe, LA 5 09-11 5
Day 1: 5 09-11
97. Gary Clouse Winchester, TN 3 08-08 4
Day 1: 3 08-08
98. Harvey Horne Bella Vista, AR 3 05-10 3
Day 1: 3 05-10
99. David Fritts Lexington, NC 0 00-00 0
Day 1: 0 00-00


Seasonal Delays Could Unleash Pickwick’s Potential During Bassmaster Central Open

Pickwick Lake will host the Basspro.com Bassmaster Central Open April 29-May 1, 2021.

Photo by Dalton Tumblin/B.A.S.S.

April 22, 2021

COUNCE, Tenn. — Spring conditions have slowed Pickwick Lake’s seasonal progression, but Bassmaster Elite Series pro Justin Atkins believes that could bode well for anglers competing in the Basspro.com Bassmaster Central Open.

Competition days will be April 29-May 1 with daily takeoffs from Pickwick Landing State Park at 6 a.m. CT and weigh-ins each day at the park at 2 p.m.

Making his home in Florence, Ala., site of the season’s third Elite event, Atkins has called Pickwick his home waters for the past seven years. Keeping close tabs on this TVA reservoir, Atkins notes that the year started with a temperamental mood.

“We’ve had a really strange (year) with a lot of high water; it’s been cold — it’s still cold,” Atkins said. “I was home last week after the Elite on the Sabine River and it was 40 degrees every morning.”

As Atkins explained, a sustained warming trend could trigger a massive spawning wave and advance bass through their seasonal cycle. Conversely, a cold spell could further delay the party.

“We’re right in the middle of a situation where, if a couple of things happen, one (pattern) is going to take wide open; or, if a couple things happen another way, another deal could be way better. It could change during practice or the first day of the tournament.

“The guy that wins that tournament will be on his toes and keeping up with daily fish movement. There’ll be a lot of ways to catch fish, but the guy that pays attention and stays on a movement of fish and finds that right class of fish will be the one that wins.”

Water level is always an integral element for Tennessee River impoundments and, while recent weeks have seen dramatic fluctuations, the Central Open field will not have to deal with the extreme conditions that plagued the Elite event held mid-March from Florence’s McFarland Park. The flooding and high current that postponed that event’s start by two days created challenging conditions with significant fish repositioning.

“The lake has gotten down, it flooded again since (the Elite event) and now it’s back to normal pool — they (the TVA) suck it in and out pretty quickly,” Atkins said. “After the Elite event, the water got a foot or two deep in the parking lot at McFarland Park. It’s back down now and they’re really not running any current.”

A week prior to the Central Open, Pickwick stood at approximately 413.75 feet, just a few inches shy of normal pool. Average hourly inflows and outflows were around 25,000 to 27,000 cubic feet per second.

All this to say that Pickwick Lake — one of the most productive TVA reservoirs — could be primed for a spring explosion. Habitat diversity — offshore bars, islands, points, bluffs, shallow vegetation, rocks, docks, numerous spawning pockets — will offer plenty of opportunity.

“There should be fish doing a lot of different things,” Atkins said. “It’s actually the perfect time of year to have an Open because you’ll have fish on the bank, you’ll have fish out deep, you’ll have fish up at the (Wilson Dam) tailrace up at the north end and you’ll have fish getting caught all the way down in Tennessee.

“There’ll be a lot going on and that should really spread people out. You may have some shad spawn going on, you’ll have some fish on beds, and the potential for some to be out deep is always a possibility.”

Despite the low current levels, the Wilson Dam tailrace feeding Pickwick will remain a viable option. We won’t see the perilous flows that inundated the islands and bars of the area’s famed Horseshoe, but that doesn’t eliminate the underlying attraction of deep, cool water.

“The tailrace always plays until May,” Atkins said. “Those fish just live up there; they spawn up there, they feed up there. Until the summer months when they go postspawn, those big smallmouth just live up there and guys will figure out how to catch them one way or another.”

So, will there be any standout patterns? Any potential game changers? Certainly possible, but Atkins said it will all come down to meteorological variables.

“Normally, a shad spawn or those deeper fish are playing by this point, but the water isn’t even to that 70-degree mark where you’re going to have that (major) shad spawn,” said Atkins, who plans on fishing the tournament. “That may not even be a player; I really don’t know.

“It’s going to be interesting to see what becomes the dominant deal because it could be any one of the three stages of the spawn, depending on how the weather turns out. Guys will catch them a lot of different ways and it will be really fun.”

Noting the likelihood of largemouth and smallmouth segregating for spawning purposes, Atkins said he expects fewer mixed bags than the Elite tournament saw. That being said, Pickwick holds whoppers of both flavors, so anglers could excel with either.

“To win this three-day tournament, it will take 65 pounds,” Atkins estimates. “To make the Top 10 will take 17 a day. Somebody’s going to have a big bag one day and then back it up with some high teens.

“Now, if there are no fish out deep, and the spawners are hard to catch, and there’s no shad spawn, I could see 53 to 55 win. But if one thing or another goes right — if the spawners are really good or if the shad spawn really takes off or a guy finds a big wad of fish out deep — it could take a really large bag."

The full field will compete the first two days before the boater side is cut to the Top 10 anglers for Championship Saturday. The co-angler champion will be crowned after the Day 2 weigh-in. Coverage of the event will be available at Bassmaster.com.


Austin Set to Host Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour – Berkley Stage Two at Lake Travis Presented by Mercury

Second Event of Season to Showcase 80 Bass Pro Tour Anglers Competing on Lake Travis Over Six Days for a Purse of More than $805,000, Fans Encouraged to Attend for First Time Since March 2020

AUSTIN, Texas (April 21, 2021) – Major League Fishing (MLF), the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, is set to visit Austin next week, April 30-May 5, for the second regular-season tournament of the 2021 Bass Pro Tour season – the Berkley Stage Two at Lake Travis Presented by Mercury. The six-day event, hosted by the Austin Sports Commission , will feature 80 of the best professional anglers in the world – including superstars like Kevin VanDamOtt DeFoeJordan Lee and Jacob Wheeler – competing for a top payout of $100,000 and valuable points in hopes of qualifying for REDCREST 2022, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

As part of the event, fans will also be treated to the Hill Country Hangout at Bass Pro Shops in Round Rock, Texas, on Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The free event includes the opportunity to interact with Bass Pro Tour anglers, enjoy activities and special fan-only giveaways provided by MLF sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities in fishing seminars. All activities are free and open to the public. For more information on the Hill Country Hangout hosted by Bass Pro Shops, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour and the 80 top anglers in the world to Austin,” said Drew Hays, Director of the Austin Sports Commission. “This event will showcase Austin and Lake Travis as a world class destination for sports and outdoor activities and certainly signals the return of major events to our city.”

For the first time since March of 2020, fans are encouraged to attend all of the happenings surrounding the event.  Anglers will take off from the Mansfield Dam Park, located at 4370 Mansfield Dam Park Road in Austin, at 6:30 a.m. CT each morning. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will also be held at the park, beginning at 3:30 p.m. Fans are also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The tournament will be fished using MLF’s catch, weigh, immediate-release format, in which the anglers try to catch as much weight as they can each day, while also feeling the pressure and intensity of the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard. The tournament is being filmed for broadcast later this year on the Discovery Channel. The total purse up for grabs at the Berkley Stage Two at Lake Travis Presented by Mercury is more than $805,000.

Although Lake Travis has played host to MLF BIG5 (previously FLW) tournaments over the years, 2021 will mark the first time that the MLF Bass Pro Tour has visited the central Texas reservoir. One angler that has had success there in the past and is excited to get back is pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, who finished runner-up on Lake Travis when the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit (previously FLW Tour) visited in 2017.

“I’ve only been to Lake Travis twice, and both times were in February, so I expect the fishing to be a little different this time around,” said Thrift, who has career earnings of more than $3.1 million. “I’d imagine that the fish have got to be postspawn by this point, so that’s how I’m going to approach this tournament. It’s a fun fishery, and I’m excited to return and try to get some redemption.”

Thrift said that with water levels down, he is expecting the water clarity to be clear.

“Travis tends to generally be clearer than a lot of lakes we visit, and the water is down 25 to 30 feet since I was last there. They haven’t had not a lot of rain, lately, so I’d imagine we’re going to see a lot of clear-water tactics,” Thrift said. “We’re going to see a lot of finesse fishing, and lots of topwater baits.

“The whole deal with Lake Travis is that it’s got a lot of fish in it, but it’s hard to catch multiple big fish,” Thrift continued. “It has a ton of fish under 2 pounds, and some fish that are 5 (pounds) or more. The key will be figuring out what those bigger than average fish are doing and putting yourself into the best situation to catch the 2+ pounders. I hope it’s a strong topwater bite.”

The Berkley Stage Two at Lake Travis Presented by Mercury will feature anglers competing with a 1-pound, 8-ounce minimum weight requirement. Minimum weights are determined individually for each competition waters that the Bass Pro Tour visits, based on the productivity, bass population and anticipated average size of fish in each fishery.

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

The four pros from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit that will join the Bass Pro Tour to compete at the Berkley Stage Two at Lake Travis Presented by Mercury are Jim Neece Jr., Dicky Newberry, Bill McDonald and Miles Burghoff. Those anglers qualified via their finishes in the first Pro Circuit event of the year – the 13 Fishing Stop 1 at Lake Okeechobee.

The 40 Anglers in Group A compete in their two-day qualifying round on Lake Travis on Friday and Sunday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Saturday and Monday. After each two-day qualifying round is complete, the anglers that finish in 2nd through 20th place from both groups advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round, while the winner of each group advances directly to Wednesday’s Championship Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed and the remaining 38 anglers compete to finish in the top 8 to advance to the Championship Round. In the final day Championship Round, weights are zeroed and the highest one-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.

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

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


MLF Announces Return of the Wiley X High School Fishing Camp Presented by Tackle Warehouse, MLF Foundation Benefit Tournament

Campers set to receive three days of worldclass instruction from MLF pros

TULSA, Okla. (April. 21, 2021) – Major League Fishing (MLF), the world’s largest tournament organization, announced today the return of the Wiley X High School Fishing Camp Presented by Tackle Warehouse, June 9-11, in Murray, Kentucky. Held on the beautiful Murray State University campus with daily activities on the shores of Kentucky Lake, the Wiley X High School Fishing Camp is the ultimate summer camp for serious high school anglers, boat captains, coaches and parents who are interested in pursuing their students’ next steps in tournament fishing and aim to push their skills to a higher level.

Over the three-day event – hosted by Murray State University – student anglers from across the nation will receive instruction from top MLF professionals and industry executives poised to help students continue to develop their fishing expertise and enhance fishing-career readiness.

Although most activities will take place outside, all camp activities will follow COVID-19 guidelines at the time of camp, including wearing a mask and social distancing.

Adults will have the option to drop off their students or stay throughout the camp to participate in special panel discussions aimed to identify best practices that give high school anglers and fishing teams the edge they need to thrive in the industry. The camp fee is $300 per student/adult.

The Wiley X High School Fishing Camp begins Wednesday, June 9, and concludes Friday, June 11, followed by an MLF Foundation benefit tournament on Saturday, June 12 at Kentucky Lake. Tournament participants will have the opportunity to win thousands of dollars in cash prizes, with the winner taking home the MLF High School Fishing Cup, $1,000 and a new Jackson Kayak. One lucky participant will also be selected to fish with a Bass Pro Tour or Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit angler.

The benefit tournament, which raises funds for youth fishing programs and High School Fishing grants benefiting students nationwide, will launch out of Moors Resort and Marina, located at 570 Moors Road in Gilbertsville, Kentucky and weigh-in before the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament at the same location. The tournament is open to all student anglers, including middle school and elementary school students accompanied by an adult. Participation in the Wiley X High School Fishing Camp is not required; however, participants must supply their own boat to compete in the tournament.

Onsite registration and a pretournament meeting will take place June 11 at Murray State University, located at 102 Curris Center in Murray, Ky. The tournament entry fee is $100 per boat, plus an additional $50 per boat for bonus categories with the opportunity to win an extra $500. Each boat may have up to three participants assigned.

MLF Foundation Benefit Tournament Payout:

  • Winner = $1,000 + Jackson Kayak
  • 2nd Place = $500
  • 3rd Place = $250
  • Family (at least two anglers related) = $500
  • Men’s (all male team) = $500
  • Women’s (all female team) $500
  • High School (at least one angler in 9th, 10th 11, or 12th grade) = $500
  • Big Fish (any species, artificial lures only) = $500
Important Dates:
  • Registration – April 21 - June 2
  • Camp – June 9-11 (Wednesday, Thursday & Friday)
  • MLF Foundation Tournament – June 12 (Saturday)
To register or for more information about the Wiley X High School Fishing Camp Presented by Tackle Warehouse and the MLF Foundation benefit tournament, please visit MajorLeagueFishing.com/Camp.

For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more on MLF High School Fishing, follow the U.S. Army High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing on the MLF BIG5 social media outlets at FacebookTwitter Instagram and YouTube.


Lake Hartwell Hosts B.A.S.S. Nation Southeast Regional

South Carolina's Lake Hartwell will host the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Southeast Regional April 28-30, 2021.

Photo by Shane Durrance/B.A.S.S.

April 21, 2021

ANDERSON, S.C. — When the B.A.S.S. Nation state team qualifiers arrive for the 2021 TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Southeast Regional at Lake Hartwell April 28-30, they can expect a lake that will provide several different ways to catch fish, according to Bassmaster Elite Series pro and South Carolina native Jason Williamson.

“Everybody will catch fish,” he said. “It’s a great lake. The potential is there for a 20-pound bag, but it’s really hard to duplicate. You’ll see a pretty big bag or two weighed in and see some consistency around the 12-pound mark. Someone who can stay consistently around a 15- to 16-pound average will have a great shot to win the event.”

Located on the border of Georgia and South Carolina, Lake Hartwell has been the site of many historic Bassmaster events, including three Bassmaster Classics, and was recently named the host fishery for the 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk. Most recently, in March 2021, Carson-Newman University anglers Ben Cully and Hayden Gaddis won the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series at Lake Hartwell presented by Bass Pro Shops with a two-day total of 35 pounds, 10 ounces. In two days, a giant field of 261 teams caught just over 4,536 pounds of bass.

Lake Hartwell is made up of two rivers, the Seneca and the Tugaloo, which meet 7 miles above the Hartwell dam. The lake offers both quality largemouth and spotted bass fishing, and for most of the year, the bass chase blueback herring.

But in April, Williamson said you can expect fish in a couple of different places on Lake Hartwell.

“Normally towards the end of April, you’ll have a few spawners that get around the bank,” he said. “You’ll have some postspawners that are going to sit under docks. You’ll also have some fish that are going to start chasing blueback herring on hard-bottom points. There will be three things going on there.”

Wacky rigs will be a key to catching spawning fish and postspawn fish around the numerous docks on Lake Hartwell, as well as a shaky head and a jig. While they are up around the docks, the bass will feed on bluegill.

For the blueback herring eaters, walking topwater baits and flukes have historically been productive lures, as well as a Carolina rig and a drop shot.

“In April, your flatter points that are in pockets and creeks will start to see some blueback spawning activity and schooling activity,” Williamson said. “Those will be the red-clay points and hard-bottom points.”

The tournament is one of five regional championship events the B.A.S.S. Nation has scheduled around the country this year. Anglers will be competing for cash prizes and a spot in the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship.

The event is being hosted by Visit Anderson.

“We are very excited for the opportunity to host the B.A.S.S. Nation Southeast Regional Championship at Lake Hartwell, Green Pond Landing and Anderson County,” said Neil Paul, Executive Director of Visit Anderson. “Our local leadership has invested significantly in our lake and facilities and our community has seen, firsthand, the significant economic impact that comes with hosting B.A.S.S. events of all levels in Anderson County. We look forward to hosting the anglers, families and spectators in our community as well as the staff from B.A.S.S. for what will be another first-class event. ”

Daily takeoffs for the 2021 TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Southeast Regional Championship will be at 6:30 a.m. ET from Green Pond Landing & Event Center and weigh-ins each day at the same facility at 2:30 p.m. Coverage of the event will be available at Bassmaster.com.


Costa Announces Bass Fishing Contingency Program Costa Compete + Conserve

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Costa Sunglasses is excited to announce Costa Compete + Conserve, a new contingency program for bass anglers who wear Costa sunglasses and compete in select tournament trails.  Anglers who compete in a sanctioned tournament and post the highest-place finish will be eligible to receive a cash payout. In addition, Costa will make a corresponding cash donation to one of five program conservation partners on behalf of the angler.

Anglers and Conservation will both benefit from this tournament bonus program.

Registration for the program is FREE. All you have to do is own a pair of Costa Sunglasses to qualify. Upon registration anglers just need to compete in a sanctioned fishing tournament, wear their Costa Sunglasses during competition, and have them visible on the weigh-in stage to be eligible for payouts.

The highest placing registered participant in a Costa Compete + Conserve supported tournament will be awarded a cash bonus, and will choose a pre-approved conservation organization to receive the Costa donation upon verification of eligibility requirements.

“Costas are the best sunglasses in the world and now anglers are going to get paid to fish in them. The payouts are incredible, you don’t have to win to get paid, and on top of all that, this program gives money to organizations that conserve our waterways. It’s a win-win for the whole fishing community,” said longtime Costa titled pro Casey Ashley.

Tournament trails eligible for Compete + Conserve include the Bassmaster Elite Series, Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour, MLF Big5 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, MLF Big5 Toyota Series, Bassmaster Opens, Bassmaster College Series, MLF Big5 College Series, and the Bass Pro Shops U.S. Open National Bass Fishing Amateur Team Championships.

Conservation Partners for this environmentally friendly contingency program include Friends of Reservoirs, The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, American Rivers, the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, and the Johnny Morris Foundation.

“Costa has a longstanding history in the bass fishing community and we wanted to go even further to solidify that commitment to our tournament Bass Anglers. Coupled with the opportunity to give back to numerous conservation efforts, something that is part of our brand DNA, we jumped at the chance to create this program. To be able to support a crowd that has supported us over the years and to make a difference while doing it, creating the Costa Compete + Conserve Contingency program was a no-brainer for us.” said Evan Russell, Costa Pro & Ambassador Manager.

For more information on the official program rules, eligible tournament trails, Conservation Partners, or to get registered with your Costa sunglasses please visit www.costacompeteandconserve.com.

For more information about Costa Sunglasses and its collection of award-winning sunglasses, visit http://www.costadelmar.com.

 

About Costa Del Mar

As the first manufacturer of color-enhancing all-polarized sunglass lenses, Costa combines superior lens technology with unparalleled fit and durability. Costa has made the highest quality, best performing sunglasses and prescription sunglasses (Rx) for outdoor enthusiasts since 1983, and now its product portfolio includes optical frames. Costa’s growing cult-brand status ties directly to its mission to provide high-quality products with a focus on sustainability and conservation as the company works hard to protect the waters it calls home. From the use of sustainable materials to its Kick Plastic initiative, IndiFly Foundation, and strong partnership with shark research organization OCEARCH, Costa encourages people to help protect the Earth’s natural resources in any way they can. Find out more on Costa’s website and join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter at @CostaSunglasses.

 


Youth Fishing League Wins U.S. Army High School Fishing at Lake Somerville

BRENHAM, Texas (April 20, 2021) – The Youth Fishing League duo of Zane Parker of Goodrich, Texas, and Garrett Wilson of Willis, Texas, won the U.S. Army High School Fishing Presented by Favorite Fishing at Lake Somerville Presented by Googan Baits on Saturday in Brenham, Texas. The event was hosted by Compete College Station and the victory advanced the winning team to the 2021 U.S. Army High School Fishing Presented by Favorite Fishing National Championship.

TOP 10 RESULTS

RANK SCHOOL/CLUB NAME/CITY ANGLER NAME BASS WEIGHT
1st Youth Fishing League* Zane Parker
Garrett Wilson
5 24-13
2nd All Around Anglers Colton Hill
Dylan Kallus
2 15-4
3rd CS Anglers Colby Ash
Aiden Service
1 5-14
4th Central High School Jacob Childress
Justin Nash
1 4-1
5th A&M Cons Luke Bennett
Chase Sodolak
1 2-12
*Top 10% of teams advance to the 2021 U.S. Army High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing National Championship
Complete results from the event can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

2021 UPCOMING QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES

EVENT DATE LOCATION HOST
U.S. Army High School Fishing Presented by Favorite Fishing Lake Guntersville Open Presented by Googan Baits April 24 Lake Guntersville, Guntersville, Ala. Marshall County Convention & Visitors Bureau
2021 U.S. Army High School Fishing National Championship & World Finals Jun. 30 – Jul. 3 Lake Hartwell, Anderson, S.C. Anderson Convention & Visitors Bureau
The first 25 high school teams that enter each U.S. Army High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing tournament will receive a free Favorite Fishing package, including one Favorite Fishing casting rod and reel, one Favorite Fishing spinning rod and reel, six packs of Googan Baits and two Favorite Fishing hats, a total package value of $230. Most tournaments will also be hosted by a Bass Pro Tour angler or Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit angler, giving high school students the chance to meet the sport’s top pros. As an added bonus, the winning team at each tournament will receive a guided fishing trip with their pro angler host.

U.S. Army High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing tournaments are free, two-person (team) events for students in grades 7-12 and are open to any MLF and Student Angler Federation-affiliated high school club. The top 10 percent of teams at each Open event along with the TBF High School Fishing state championships will advance to the 2021 U.S. Army High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing National Championship. The U.S. Army High School Fishing national champions will each receive a $5,000 college scholarship to the school of their choice.

In addition to the U.S. Army High School Fishing National Championship, all High School Fishing anglers nationwide automatically qualify for the world’s largest open high school bass tournament, the 2021 High School Fishing World Finals, held in conjunction with the National Championship. More than $2.8 million in scholarships and prizes were offered at the 2020 World Finals.
Full schedules and the latest announcements, photos and articles  are available at HighSchoolFishing.org and MajorLeagueFishing.com.


Gould Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League on Clarks Hill Lake

Yaden Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division
APPLING, Ga. (April 20, 2021) – Boater Christopher Gould of Grovetown, Georgia, wins the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Clarks Hill Lake in Appling, Georgia. Gould earned $6,000 for his victory at the event.
TOP 10 RESULTS
RANK BOATER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Christopher Gould of Grovetown, Ga. 5 19-6 $6,000
2nd Jason Burroughs of Hodges, S.C. 5 19-3 $3,500
3rd Jayme Rampey of Liberty, S.C. 5 18-10 $2,000
4th Jeremy Strong of Elberton, Ga. 5 18-0 $1,400
5th Stephen A. Gravely of Greenville, S.C. 5 16-10 $1,900
6th Cain Waller of Hartwell, Ga. 5 16-3 $1,100
7th Joe Eubanks of Marietta, Ga. 5 16-1 $900
7th Dearal Rodgers of Camden, S.C. 5 16-1 $900
7th Wesley Sandifer of Chapin, S.C. 5 16-1 $900
10th Bo Price of Seneca, S.C. 5 15-15 $636
10th Brian Tidwell of Seneca, S.C. 5 15-15 $636
10th Derek Schlotterback of Simpsonville, S.C. 5 15-15 $636
RANK STRIKE KING CO-ANGLER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Corey Yaden of Grovetown, Ga. 5 14-4 $3,000
2nd David Few of Lake Wylie, S.C. 5 13-14 $1,500
3rd John Hagins of Roswell, Ga. 5 13-7 $1,000
4th Paul Casey of Evans, Ga. 5 12-14 $700
5th Colby Martin of Edgefield, S.C. 5 11-15 $600
6th Jacob Turner of Donalds, S.C. 5 11-12 $550
7th Chuck Bond of Laurens, S.C. 5 11-6 $475
7th Jordan Cobb of Townville, S.C. 5 11-6 $475
9th Cory Guinn of Mountain Rest, S.C. 5 11-0 $400
10th Damion Northern of Grovetown, Ga. 5 10-13 $350
CONTINGENCY AWARDS
AWARD NAME CONTINGENCY PAYOUT
Boater Big Bass Justin Hadden of Leesville, S.C. 7-pound, 2-ounce bass $1,000
Strike King Co-Angler Berkley Big Bass Brandon Hendrix of Anderson, S.C. 5-pound, 8-ounce bass $500
Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus Jason Burroughs of Hodges, S.C. Eligible Phoenix Boat* $500
* Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
WINNING BAITS
ANGLER BAIT COLOR
Boater Did Not Divulge N/A
Strike King Co-Angler Did Not Divulge N/A
2021 QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES
EVENT DATE LOCATION HOST
Savannah River Division – Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship Oct. 14-16 Lake Murray, Columbia, S.C. Capital City Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board
Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American June 3-5 Douglas Lake, Dandridge, Tenn. Jefferson County Department of Tourism
The 2021 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championships. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while Strike King co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The top six finishers in each regional will then qualify for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.
The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.


Watson Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League on Table Rock Lake

Treiber Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

KIMBERLING CITY, Mo. (April 20, 2021) – Pro James Watson of Lampe, Missouri, wins the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Table Rock Lake Presented by Fenwick in Kimberling City, Missouri. Watson earned $7,000 for his victory at the event.

TOP 10 RESULTS

RANK BOATER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st James Watson of Lampe, Mo. 5 20-3 $7,000
2nd Wesley Rogers of Thayer, Mo. 5 19-0 $3,000
3rd Cody Ellison of Fordland, Mo. 5 18-2 $2,000
4th Casey Martin of Brownsboro, Ala. 5 16-7 $1,400
5th Aaron Martin of Wildwood, Mo. 5 15-14 $1,150
5th Connor Cunningham of Springfield, Mo. 5 15-14 $1,650
7th Josh Busby of Rogersville, Mo. 5 15-1 $1,000
8th Christopher Smith of North Branch, Minn. 5 15-0 $1,100
9th Clint Williams of Fayetteville, Ark. 5 14-14 $800
10th Chris Macy of Diamond, Mo. 5 14-13 $1,700

RANK STRIKE KING CO-ANGLER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Steve Treiber of Eureka, Mo. 5 14-14 $3,000
2nd Zach Ritter of Holts Summit, Mo. 5 14-1 $1,500
3rd BJ Davis of Mountain Home, Ark. 5 13-12 $1,000
4th Kelby Humble of Marshfield, Mo. 5 12-10 $700
5th Dennis Spell of Bonne Terre, Mo. 5 12-1 $600
6th Sam Cox of Imperial, Mo. 5 11-11 $550
7th Brock Krohne of Belton, Mo. 5 11-8 $500
8th Kevin Dickey of Harrison, Ark. 4 11-5 $450
9th Joe Dietz of O’Fallon, Mo. 4 11-1 $375
9th Rick McGuire of Monroe City, Mo. 5 11-1 $375

CONTINGENCY AWARDS

AWARD NAME CONTINGENCY PAYOUT
Boater Big Bass Chris Macy of Diamond, Mo. 6-pound, 4-ounce bass $1,000
Strike King Co-Angler Berkley Big Bass Izac Sumpter of Cuba, Mo. 5-pound, 4-ounce bass $500
Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus Connor Cunningham of Springfield, Mo. Eligible Phoenix Boat* $500
* Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

WINNING BAITS

ANGLER BAIT COLOR
Boater Did Not Disclose
Strike King Co-Angler Shaky Head Green Pumpkin

2021 QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES

EVENT DATE LOCATION HOST
Ozark Division – Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship Oct. 7-9 Lake Norfork, Mountain Home, Ark. Mountain Home Area Chamber of Commerce
Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American June 3-5 Douglas Lake, Dandridge, Tenn. Jefferson County Department of Tourism
The 2021 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championships. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while Strike King co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The top six finishers in each regional will then qualify for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.
The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.


B.A.S.S. Nation Championship Returns To Louisiana’s Ouachita River

Louisiana's Ouachita River will host the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship Nov. 3-5, 2021.

Photo by B.A.S.S.

April 20, 2021

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Grass-roots anglers from around the country will take to the waters of the Ouachita River in Monroe, La., to compete for one of three berths into the 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk during the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship Nov. 3-5, 2021.

“B.A.S.S. has had such great experiences in Monroe that we’re extremely excited to return,” said Jon Stewart, B.A.S.S. Nation director. “This will be our fourth championship on the river, and the competition, as in years past, should be incredible.”

The 605-mile Ouachita River last hosted the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship in 2015, when Texas angler Albert Collins claimed the coveted Bryan V. Kerchal Memorial Trophy. In 2014, just months after weighing the heaviest bag in Bassmaster Classic history, Paul Mueller reeled in the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship and earned an Elite Series berth on Ouachita. Mueller has earned two Elite Series victories.

Anglers from across the country qualify via regional championship tournaments held on Lake Havasu, Ariz., Milford Lake, Kan., Lake Hartwell, S.C., — site of the 2022 Bassmaster Classic — Lake Erie/Presque Isle Bay, Pa., and the Upper Mississippi River, Wis. The Paralyzed Veterans of American Tour will also send its Angler of the Year winner to compete.

“Discover Monroe-West Monroe looks forward to welcoming all the B.A.S.S. Nation anglers to Louisiana and letting them see our Southern hospitality firsthand,” said Scott Bruscato, Senior Vice President of Sales for the Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It is our privilege and honor to host this great event on the Ouachita River, and we look to providing a terrific atmosphere at the tournament site.”

The Top 3 anglers from the overall championship standings will not only earn a berth to the 2022 Bassmaster Classic, the B.A.S.S. Nation champion will earn the title of “Nation’s Best,” which includes an Elite Series berth and the use of a fully-rigged Nation’s Best tournament boat for a year. The second- and third-place finishers and nonboater champion will each earn paid Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens entry fees for all divisions.


Texas A&M Wins Abu Garcia College Fishing Tournament on Lake Somerville

BRENHAM, Texas (April 19, 2021) – The Texas A&M duo of Garret Bean of College Station, Texas, and Aaron Hawkins of Cypress, Texas, took the win on Friday at the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at Lake Somerville. The victory earned the Texas A&M team $2,000 and qualified the duo to compete in the 2022 College Fishing National Championship.
TOP 10 RESULTS*
RANK COLLEGE NAME ANGLER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Texas A&M Garret Bean of College Station, Texas
Aaron Hawkins of Cypress, Texas
5 28-0 $2,000
2nd East Texas Baptist University Cody Ross of Livingston, Texas
Ethan Thurston of Kaufman, Texas
5 25-2 $1,000
3rd Texas Tech University Brooks Lundgren of Midland, Texas
Ryan Stimmel of Seminole, Texas
5 19-14 $500
4th Stephen F. Austin River Lee of Nacogdoches, Texas
Hunter Muncrief of Pineland, Texas
3 17-0 $500
5th Baylor University Jude Bugenhagen of The Woodlands, Texas
Parker Greer of Waco, Texas
4 16-15 $500
6th Texas A&M – Galveston Trey Dawson of Montgomery, Texas
Derek Pietsch of Montgomery, Texas
5 16-10
7th East Texas Baptist University Cannon Bird of Marshall, Texas
Jacob Keith of Jefferson, Texas
5 16-8
8th Texas A&M – Commerce Dawson Cassidy of Gainesville, Texas
Augustus McLarry of Quinlan, Texas
5 16-4
9th Schreiner University Colby Calongne of Cypress, Texas
Taylor Strange of Whitehouse, Texas
5 15-1
10th Texas A&M Broxson Daigle of Katy, Texas
Gabe Talley of Conroe, Texas
4 13-11
*Top 10 teams advance to the 2022 College Fishing National Championship

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

2021/2022 QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES

EVENT DATE LOCATION HOST
Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI April 23 Lake Guntersville, Guntersville, Ala. Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau
Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance TBA - 2022 TBA TBA
The event was the first of three qualifying tournaments for Southern Conference anglers and was hosted by Compete College Station.

Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI teams compete in regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top ten teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments and the top 20 teams from the annual Abu Garcia College Fishing Open advance to the following year’s Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship.


Rogers Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League on Table Rock Lake

Arterberry Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division
KIMBERLING CITY, Mo. (April 19, 2021) – Boater Wesley Rogers of Thayer, Missouri, wins the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Table Rock Lake Presented by Fenwick in Kimberling City, Missouri. Rogers earned $7,000 for his victory at the event.
TOP 10 RESULTS
RANK BOATER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Wesley Rogers of Thayer, Mo. 5 19-12 $7,000
2nd Aaron Stanphill of Bella Vista, Ark. 5 18-8 $3,500
3rd James Watson of Lampe, Mo. 5 18-7 $2,000
4th Cole Findley of Forsythe, Mo. 5 18-2 $1,400
5th Marcus Sykora of Osage Beach, Mo. 5 17-6 $1,150
5th Drew Tabor of Harrison, Ark. 5 17-6 $1,150
7th Clint Williams of Fayetteville, Ark. 5 17-4 $2,000
8th Dakota Millican of Highlandville, Mo. 5 17-3 $900
9th Dustin Lippe of Lampe, Mo. 5 17-2 $800
10th Shawn Kowal of Linn Creek, Mo. 5 17-0 $700
RANK STRIKE KING CO-ANGLER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Caleb Arterberry of Republic, Mo. 5 16-5 $3,000
2nd Clay Henderson of Purdy, Mo. 5 15-1 $1,500
3rd Jon Cordray of House Springs, Mo. 5 14-1 $1,000
4th Scott Suver of South Greenfield, Mo. 5 13-15 $825
5th Ronin Picker of Moscow Mills, Mo. 5 13-11 $600
6th Russell Taylor of Springdale, Ark. 5 13-2 $550
7th BJ Davis of Mountain Home, Ark. 5 12-15 $475
7th Kory Ries of Union, Mo. 4 12-15 $475
9th James Waggoner of Richmond, Mo. 5 12-14 $375
9th Mark Shields of Springfield, Mo. 5 12-14 $375
CONTINGENCY AWARDS
AWARD NAME CONTINGENCY PAYOUT
Boater Big Bass Clint Williams of Fayetteville, Ark. 5-pound, 14-ounce bass $1,000
Strike King Co-Angler Berkley Big Bass Joseph Lurkins of Jefferson City, Mo. 5-pound, 5-ounce bass $500
Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus Aaron Stanphill of Bella Vista, Ark. Eligible Phoenix Boat* $500
* Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
WINNING BAITS
ANGLER BAIT COLOR
Boater Did Not Divulge N/A
Strike King Co-Angler Did Not Divulge N/A
2021 QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES
EVENT DATE LOCATION HOST
Ozark Division – Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship Oct. 7-9 Lake Norfork, Mountain Home, Ark. Mountain Home Area Chamber of Commerce
Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American June 3-5 Douglas Lake, Dandridge, Tenn. Jefferson County Department of Tourism
The 2021 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championships. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while Strike King co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The top six finishers in each regional will then qualify for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.
The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.


Brown Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League on Mississippi River in LaCrosse

Pierschalla Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

LA CROSSE, Wisc. (April 19, 2021) – Boater Aidan Brown of Onalaska, Wisconsin, wins the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Mississippi River Presented by TINCUP Whiskey in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Brown earned $4,915 for his victory at the event, hosted by the La Crosse County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
TOP 10 RESULTS
RANK BOATER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Aidan Brown of Onalaska, Wisc. 5 18-1 $4,915
2nd Mike Brueggen of La Crosse, Wisc. 5 17-6 $2,049
2nd Devin Teigen of Nelson, Wisc. 5 17-6 $2,549
4th Nick Trim of Galesville, Wisc. 5 17-0 $1,147
5th Ben Potaracke of La Crosse, Wisc. 5 16-3 $983
6th Cade Laufenberg of La Crosse, Wisc. 5 16-2 $901
7th Chia Vang of Holmen, Wisc. 5 15-15 $819
8th Dustin Bliss of Brooklyn Park, Minn. 5 15-13 $737
9th Brandon Gann of Sparta, Wisc. 5 15-6 $655
10th Joe Pollak of Lake Geneva, Wisc. 5 14-14 $544
10th Kory Krienke of Annandale, Minn. 5 14-14 $544
RANK STRIKE KING CO-ANGLER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Alan Pierschalla of Slinger, Wisc. 5 15-3 $2,458
2nd Thomas Clearman of De Soto, Wisc. 5 14-3 $1,229
3rd Ron Mairet of Columbus Junction, Iowa 5 12-12 $817
4th Ryan Coon of LeClaire, Iowa 5 11-5 $532
4th Nicole Jacobs Stelmach of Saint Paul, Minn. 4 11-5 $532
6th Alan Bernicky of Joliet, Ill. 4 10-7 $901
7th Mike Marr of Oxford, Wisc. 4 9-5 $410
8th Thad Vettrus of Chippewa Falls, Wisc. 3 9-4 $369
9th Cody Rothstein of Rogers, Minn. 4 9-1 $328
10th Kalvin Korotka of Manawa, Wisc. 4 8-14 $287
CONTINGENCY AWARDS
AWARD NAME CONTINGENCY PAYOUT
Boater Big Bass Troy Anderson of Galesville, Wisc. 5-pound, 2-ounce bass $750
Strike King Co-Angler Berkley Big Bass Eric Breitkreutz of Sheboygan, Wisc. 5-pound, 6-ounce bass $375
Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus Devin Teigen of Nelson, Wisc. Eligible Phoenix Boat* $500
* Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
WINNING BAITS
ANGLER BAIT COLOR
Boater Unspecified Ned Rig Black/Blue
Strike King Co-Angler Berkley Powerbait Maxscent The General Worm Green Pumpkin
2021 QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES
EVENT DATE LOCATION HOST
Great Lakes Division – Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship Oct. 21-23 Lake Ouachita, Mt. Ida, Ark. Visit Hot Springs
Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American June 3-5 Douglas Lake, Dandridge, Tenn. Jefferson County Department of Tourism
The 2021 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championships. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while Strike King co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The top six finishers in each regional will then qualify for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.
The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.


Ison Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League on Rough River Lake

Johnson Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division
FALLS OF ROUGH, Ky. (April 19, 2021) – Boater Richard Ison of New Washington, Indiana, wins the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Rough River Lake Presented by TINCUP Whiskey in Falls of Rough, Kentucky. Ison earned $7,330 for his victory at the event, including a $2,500 Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus.
TOP 10 RESULTS
RANK BOATER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Richard Ison of New Washington, Ind. 5 13-4 $7,330
2nd Chris Martinkovic of Hamilton, Ohio 5 12-5 $2,615
3rd Bryan Jenkins of Indianapolis, Ind. 5 12-1 $1,609
4th Eric Hardesty of Nineveh, Ind. 5 11-4 $1,127
5th Terry McWilliams of Greenfield, Ind. 5 11-3 $966
6th Charlie Land of Coatesville, Ind. 5 11-1 $885
7th Clint Bissonett of Beaver Creek, Ohio 5 10-12 $805
8th Brody Campbell of Oxford, Ohio 5 10-8 $724
9th Nathan Harrison of Reynolds Station, Ky. 5 10-5 $644
10th Caleb Carnes of Harned, Ky. 5 10-3 $563
RANK STRIKE KING CO-ANGLER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Jeffery Johnson of Austin, Ind. 5 10-5 $2,560
2nd Hunter Bowden of Terre Haute, Ind. 3 8-6 $1,652
3rd Tom Harber of Kokomo, Ind. 4 8-2 $787
4th John Albertson of Bloomington, Ind. 5 7-7 $551
5th David Rector of Brazil, Ind. 5 7-3 $472
6th Devon Welter of Connersville, Ind. 4 6-11 $433
7th Josh Ford of Camden, Ohio 4 6-2 $373
7th Luke Robinson of Hardinsburg, Ky. 5 6-2 $373
9th Brian Liming of Dillsboro, Ind. 5 6-1 $315
10th Steven Sanders of Orleans, Ind. 3 6-0 $275
CONTINGENCY AWARDS
AWARD NAME CONTINGENCY PAYOUT
Boater Big Bass Justin Henderson of Bargersville, Ind. 4-pound, 15-ounce bass $720
Strike King Co-Angler Berkley Big Bass Hunter Bowden of Terra Haute, Ind. 4-pound, 4-ounce bass $347
Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus Richard Ison of New Washington, Ind. Eligible Phoenix Boat* $2,500
* Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
WINNING BAITS
ANGLER BAIT COLOR
Boater Berkley PowerBait Did Not Divulge
Strike King Co-Angler Secret Lures Stupid Tube Did Not Divulge
2021 QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES
EVENT DATE LOCATION HOST
Hoosier Division – Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship Oct. 7-9 Wheeler Lake, Decatur, Ala. Decatur Morgan County Tourism
Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American June 3-5 Douglas Lake, Dandridge, Tenn. Jefferson County Department of Tourism
The 2021 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championships. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while Strike King co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The top six finishers in each regional will then qualify for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.
The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.


Galloway Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League on Grenada Lake

Tisdale Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

GRENADA, Miss. (April 19, 2021) – Boater Grant Galloway of Houlka, Mississippi, wins the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Grenada Lake Presented by Googan Baits in Grenada, Mississippi. Galloway earned $4,426 for his victory at the event, hosted by the Grenada Tourism Commission.


TOP 10 RESULTS

RANK BOATER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Grant Galloway of Houlka, Miss. 5 15-15 $4,426
2nd Billy Doyle of Somerville, Tenn. 5 14-14 $1,713
3rd Justin McKee of Pheba, Miss. 5 13-3 $1,141
4th Connor Martin of Oakland, Tenn. 5 13-1 $799
5th Andy Graves of Clarksdale, Miss. 5 12-7 $685
6th Mark Clark of Crawford, Miss. 5 12-5 $628
7th Jim Phillips of Greenwood, Miss. 5 12-1 $571
8th Steve Ruth of Columbus, Miss. 4 10-1 $514
9th Kirk Tisdale of Ellisville, Miss. 5 9-1 $457
10th Clint Pegg of Caledonia, Miss. 5 8-14 $380
10th Logan Main of Lumberton, Miss. 5 8-14 $380

 

RANK STRIKE KING CO-ANGLER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Jimmy Tisdale of Ellisville, Miss. 5 13-12 $1,713
2nd Chaz Douglas of Wesson, Miss. 3 12-14 $1,071
3rd Jason Mitchell of Hamilton, Miss. 5 8-13 $571
4th Mitchell Bond of Collins, Miss. 4 8-9 $400
5th Blake Jeffreys of Booneville, Miss. 4 8-8 $343
6th Billy Carpenter of Mason, Tenn. 5 7-10 $314
7th Chris Mitchell of Millport, Ala. 2 6-10 $285
8th Colin Fogerty of Memphis, Tenn. 3 6-6 $257
9th Eric Melton of Flowood, Miss. 2 5-15 $202
9th Ryan LeCompte of Picayune, Miss. 3 5-15 $202
9th Matthew Cooper of Brooksville, Miss. 2 5-15 $202


CONTINGENCY AWARDS

AWARD NAME CONTINGENCY PAYOUT
Boater Big Bass Dathan Lambeth of Hamilton, Miss. 5-pound, 1-ounce bass $430
Strike King Co-Angler Berkley Big Bass Chaz Douglas of Wesson, Miss. 5-pound, 15-ounce bass $215
Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus George Christian of Indianola, Miss. Eligible Phoenix Boat* $500
* Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.


WINNING BAITS

ANGLER BAIT COLOR
Boater Did Not Divulge
Strike King Co-Angler
  • Swimbait
Chartreuse/White


2021 QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES

EVENT DATE LOCATION HOST
Mississippi Division – Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship Oct. 21-23 Lake Ouachita, Mt. Ida, Ark. Visit Hot Springs
Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American June 3-5 Douglas Lake, Dandridge, Tenn. Jefferson County Department of Tourism
The 2021 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championships. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while Strike King co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The top six finishers in each regional will then qualify for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.
The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.


Mathias Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League at Chesapeake Bay

Mellott Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

NORTH EAST, Md. (April 19, 2021) – Boater Jeremy Mathias of Monrovia, Maryland, wins the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Chesapeake Bay in North East, Maryland. Mathias earned $4,938 for his victory at the event.

TOP 10 RESULTS

RANK BOATER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Jeremy Mathias of Monrovia, Md. 5 20-3 $4,938
2nd Joe A. Zombek, II of Scranton, Pa. 5 19-12 $3,214
3rd Trent Cole of Sewell, N.J. 5 19-8 $1,646
4th Michael Duarte of Baltimore, Md. 5 18-0 $1,152
5th Adam Janerella of Jersey Shore, Pa. 5 17-13 $1,488
6th Joe Booker of Elkton, Md. 5 17-5 $905
7th Ernie Freeman of Broad Run, Va. 5 15-11 $1,323
8th Randy Caruso of Liberty, N.Y. 5 15-8 $741
9th Joe Morgan of Newfield, N.J. 5 14-11 $617
9th Teimuraz (Tom) Balachvili of Scarsdale, N.Y. 5 14-11 $617

 

 

RANK STRIKE KING CO-ANGLER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Jeff Mellott of Warfordsburg, Pa. 5 17-5 $2,469
2nd Tom Rufenacht of Bel Air, Md. 4 16-10 $1,235
3rd David Paszkiewicz of Kearny, N.J. 5 16-4 $823
4th Roberto Laboy of Geigertown, Pa. 5 15-11 $576
5th Tim Nichols of Pittsgrove, N.J. 5 13-3 $494
6th Jacob Zimmerman of Warrenton, Va. 4 12-3 $453
7th Brandon Humbertson of Walkersville, Md. 4 11-13 $412
8th Chris Slater of Dorchester, Mass. 3 11-9 $370
9th Ryan Fronina of Mohrsville, Pa. 3 9-7 $329
10th Jerome Louie of Bear, Del. 3 9-5 $288

CONTINGENCY AWARDS

AWARD NAME CONTINGENCY PAYOUT
Boater Big Bass Joe A. Zombek, II, Scranton, Pa. 6-pound, 11-ounce bass $745
Strike King Co-Angler Berkley Big Bass John Redmond, North Potomac, Md. 5-pound, 11-ounce bass $372
Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus Ernie Freeman of Broad Run, Va. Eligible Phoenix Boat* $500
* Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

WINNING BAITS

ANGLER BAIT COLOR
Boater Strike King KVD 2.5 Hard Knock Squarebill Crankbait Tennessee Shad
Strike King Co-Angler Z-Man Evergreen Chatterbait Jack Hammer Green Pumpkin

2021 QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES

EVENT DATE LOCATION HOST
Northeast Division – Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship Oct. 14-16 Potomac River, Marbury, Md. Charles County Board of Commissioners
Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American June 3-5 Douglas Lake, Dandridge, Tenn. Jefferson County Department of Tourism
The 2021 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championships. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while Strike King co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The top six finishers in each regional will then qualify for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.
The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.

5
15-8
$741

9th
Joe Morgan of Newfield, N.J.
5
14-11
$617

9th
Teimuraz (Tom) Balachvili of Scarsdale, N.Y.
5
14-11
$617

RANK
STRIKE KING CO-ANGLER NAME/HOMETOWN
BASS
WEIGHT
AWARD

1st
Jeff Mellott of Warfordsburg, Pa.
5
17-5
$2,469

2nd
Tom Rufenacht of Bel Air, Md.
4
16-10
$1,235

3rd
David Paszkiewicz of Kearny, N.J.
5
16-4
$823

4th
Roberto Laboy of Geigertown, Pa.
5
15-11
$576

5th
Tim Nichols of Pittsgrove, N.J.
5
13-3
$494

6th
Jacob Zimmerman of Warrenton, Va.
4
12-3
$453

7th
Brandon Humbertson of Walkersville, Md.
4
11-13
$412

8th
Chris Slater of Dorchester, Mass.
3
11-9
$370

9th
Ryan Fronina of Mohrsville, Pa.
3
9-7
$329

10th
Jerome Louie of Bear, Del.
3
9-5
$288

CONTINGENCY AWARDS

AWARD
NAME
CONTINGENCY
PAYOUT

Boater Big Bass
Joe A. Zombek, II, Scranton, Pa.
6-pound, 11-ounce bass
$745

Strike King Co-Angler Berkley Big Bass
John Redmond, North Potomac, Md.
5-pound, 11-ounce bass
$372

Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus
Ernie Freeman of Broad Run, Va.
Eligible Phoenix Boat*
$500

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

WINNING BAITS

ANGLER
BAIT
COLOR

Boater
Strike King KVD 2.5 Hard Knock Squarebill Crankbait
Tennessee Shad

Strike King Co-Angler
Z-Man Evergreen Chatterbait Jack Hammer
Green Pumpkin

2021 QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES

EVENT
DATE
LOCATION
HOST

Northeast Division – Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship
Oct. 14-16
Potomac River, Marbury, Md.
Charles County Board of Commissioners

Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American
June 3-5
Douglas Lake, Dandridge, Tenn.
Jefferson County Department of Tourism

The 2021 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championships. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while Strike King co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The top six finishers in each regional will then qualify for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.
The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.


Aoki Claims Razor-Thin Victory At Bassmaster Southern Open On Douglas Lake

Daisuke Aoki, of Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi, Japan, has won the 2021 Basspro.com Bassmaster Southern Open at Douglas Lake with a three-day total of 43 pounds, 13 ounces.
Photo by Andy Crawford/B.A.S.S.

April 17, 2021

DANDRIDGE, Tenn. — Daisuke Aoki has claimed numerous accolades in his homeland, but the Japanese standout secured his grandest objective Saturday by topping a stout field at the Basspro.com Bassmaster Southern Open on Douglas Lake with a three-day total of 43 pounds, 13 ounces.

Hailing from Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi, Japan, Aoki kept himself in contention all week. He placed fourth on Day 1 with 15-13 and held that position a day later with a second-round limit of 13-5. On Championship Saturday, Aoki added 14-11 and edged Bassmaster Elite Drew Benton by an ounce.

With an impressive resume including the 2015 Japan Bass Top 50 Angler of the Year and the Basser Allstar Classic title, also 2015, Aoki has had his sights set on the sport’s most prestigious event.

“The Bassmaster Classic is my dream,” Aoki said as he removed his sunglasses and wiped his eyes. “This is a dream come true.”

Along with his $51,833 first-place prize, Aoki earned a spot in the 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk on Lake Hartwell. He achieved his long-awaited dream by applying techniques he commonly uses back home.

“Every day, I study American bass fishing,” Aoki said. “Fishing on Douglas Lake is very similar to Japanese finesse fishing.”

Aoki spent all of his time in about 5 feet of water, where he targeted prespawn and spawning fish with wacky rigs. He fished a pink DStyle finesse worm unweighted on a Hayabusa hook and a green pumpkin/blue flake Yamamoto Senko on a 1/16-ounce wacky jig.

“I used the Senko for bed fish,” Aoki said. “I used (rapid rod twitches) to swim the bait across the bottom.

“I used the 4-inch Senko when I could not see a bed. When I could see a bed, I used the 3-inch Senko.”

Aoki said he used the unweighted wacky rig to cover water between likely bedding areas. He fished this bait higher in the water column.

“It was cast, cast, cast — many spots,” Aoki said of his thorough coverage strategy.

Aoki said he fished the upper end of Douglas on Day 1, switched to the lower lake on Day 2 and split Day 3 between both sections. The upper end produced his best Championship Saturday bites.

After raising the first-place trophy, Aoki captured his obvious emotion by shouting the Bassmaster slogan: “Big Bass. Big Stage. Big Dreams.”

Benton, who makes his home in Blakely, Ga., tallied a second-place total of 43-12, which included a 4-ounce dead-fish penalty. He placed fifth on Day 1 with 15-12, slipped a spot to sixth by adding 13-1 on Friday and finished his run with 14-15.

“I came here right after (last week’s Elite event on the Sabine River) and I only had a day and a half of practice, so I really didn’t figure anything out until the first day of the tournament,” Benton said. “I just rolled with it and figured a little more out each day and put it together.”

Benton caught most of his fish on swimbaits. Around laydowns, he threw a 7-inch Big Bite Baits Suicide Shad on a belly-weighted Owner Beast Hook. On rockier banks, a 6-inch Scottsboro line-through swimbait got the call.

“They were completely choking those swimbaits,” Benton said. “When I’d come to a laydown I wanted to pitch, I’d throw a Texas-rigged Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog.

“I fished clean, never lost anything. I just didn’t get (enough) big bites.”

Josh Douglas of Isle, Minn., finished third with 42-3. Spending most of his time offshore, Douglas placed second on Day 1 with 16-9, but dipped to 10th after a slower Day 2 yielded only 11-4. Adding 14-6 in the final round boosted his performance.

“When I first got here over the weekend, it seemed like there were a lot of fish up shallow, but I just couldn’t get a lot of big ones that way,” Douglas said. “I figured I could wing it in the tournament, so I idled for two and a half days and found 10 or 12 schools in 15 to 20 feet.”

Douglas caught his fish on a Strike King 6XD, a Rapala DT-20 and an Outkast Tackle hair jig.

Day 1 leader Jackson Swisher of Lake City, Fla., won the $750 Phoenix Boats Big Bass award with his 5-10.

Aoki won the $500 Garmin Tournament Rewards.

Jacob Foutz of Charleston, Tenn., leads the Falcon Rods Bassmaster Open Angler of the Year standings with 387 points. David Williams of Newton, N.C., is second with 380, followed by Blake Smith of Lakeland, Fla., with 369, Keith Poche of Pike Road, Ala., with 365 and Scott Ashmore of Broken Arrow, Okla., with 360.

2021 Basspro.com Bassmaster Open at Douglas Lake 4/15-4/17
Douglas Lake, Jefferson County, TN.
(BOATER) Standings Day 3

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

1. Daisuke Aoki Minamitsurugun Yamanash 15 43-13 200 $51,833.00
Day 1: 5 15-13 Day 2: 5 13-05 Day 3: 5 14-11
2. Drew Benton Blakely, GA 15 43-12 199 $24,933.00
Day 1: 5 15-12 Day 2: 5 13-01 Day 3: 5 14-15
3. Josh Douglas Isle, MN 15 42-03 198 $17,600.00
Day 1: 5 16-09 Day 2: 5 11-04 Day 3: 5 14-06
4. David Williams Newton, NC 15 41-15 197 $14,667.00
Day 1: 5 15-09 Day 2: 5 14-13 Day 3: 5 11-09
5. Josh Herren Ashville, AL 15 41-06 196 $12,760.00
Day 1: 5 14-11 Day 2: 5 13-06 Day 3: 5 13-05
6. Jackson Swisher LAKE CITY, FL 15 40-15 195 $12,483.00
Day 1: 5 16-15 Day 2: 5 13-00 Day 3: 5 11-00
7. Keith Poche Pike Road, AL 15 40-00 194 $11,000.00
Day 1: 5 13-05 Day 2: 5 14-09 Day 3: 5 12-02
8. Drew Boggs Lebanon, TN 15 38-06 193 $10,267.00
Day 1: 5 13-10 Day 2: 5 16-10 Day 3: 5 08-02
9. Billy McCaghren Jr Mayflower, AR 15 38-03 192 $8,067.00
Day 1: 5 15-02 Day 2: 5 13-12 Day 3: 5 09-05
10. Jeff Bauler Santee, CA 15 37-06 191 $6,600.00
Day 1: 5 14-00 Day 2: 5 14-05 Day 3: 5 09-01


Williams Works Mudlines To Take Lead At Bassmaster Open On Douglas Lake

David Williams, of Newton, N.C., is leading after Day 2 of the 2021 Basspro.com Bassmaster Southern Open at Douglas Lake with a two-day total of 30 pounds, 6 ounces.
Photo by Shane Durrance/B.A.S.S.

April 16, 2021

DANDRIDGE, Tenn. — Leveraging lower water clarity, David Williams of Newton, N.C., amassed a two-day total of 30 pounds, 6 ounces to lead Day 2 of the Basspro.com Bassmaster Southern Open on Douglas Lake.

Williams caught a sixth-place limit of 15-9 on Day 1 and added 14-13 Friday. He enters Championship Saturday with a 2-ounce lead over Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tenn. Only 7 ounces separates Williams from Day 1 leader Jackson Swisher of Lake City, Fla.

“It was a lot tougher today; there was no wind, and I’m relying on the wind to make some mudlines,” Williams said. “The only thing I could rely on today was the boats stirring up the mud.

“Today, the boats ran around a little bit and (later in the day) got pretty good. I caught most of my better fish in the afternoon.”

As Williams explained, the mud benefited his cause by providing temporary cover that bass and baitfish favored.

“This lake’s usually pretty clear and anytime the fish can get up and get into some dirty water, they like to do that,” he said. “That dirty water also warms up quicker and the baitfish get up in there. They like to hide in it; they feel safer in the (lower visibility).”

Fishing the lake’s lower and upper ends, Williams said he tried to keep himself near spawning areas where he could intercept bass coming and going.

“I mostly fished gravel banks and if they had any kind of wood or structure, that made it better,” he said. “I was just burning the banks with reaction baits and happened to catch a couple good ones.

“I had a limit by 9:30 and then I upgraded throughout the day. I didn’t have any of the ones I weighed early; most of them came later in the day.”

Boggs placed 27th on Day 1 with 13-10 and made a big move Friday by adding 16-10 for a two-day total of 30-4. Speed was the key, as Boggs focused on spawning pockets in the lower to midlake and covered as much water as he could.

“I put the trolling motor on 8 and I was going down the bank as fast as I could,” he said. “I’m catching what I feel like are fry guarders (adults protecting recent hatchlings).

“There’s no rhyme or reason for where I’m finding the fish, but I’m fishing new water every day. I went back through two pockets that I fished yesterday and didn’t catch anything, so I have to remain open-minded about running new water tomorrow.”

Boggs threw reaction baits around rock/gravel transitions and flipped any laydowns he encountered.

Swisher is in third place with 29-15. Having celebrated his 19th birthday Thursday, he added 13 pounds to his Day 1 limit of 16-15 — the event’s heaviest bag.

Swisher began Friday by replicating the pattern that delivered all of his first day’s weight — fishing a 7-inch white Megabass Magdraft swimbait along bluff walls near Douglas Dam. With Friday’s weather offering considerably less wind than Day 1, Swisher had to add another element to his game plan.

“In the first 10 minutes, I put two pretty good smallmouth in my boat, but then I had to go to my offshore fish about 11 o’clock just to finish out a limit,” Swisher said. “I was fishing isolated rocks off of points in about 21 feet with a Neko-rigged Berkley PowerBait MaxScent The General.

“I went back to the bluffs in the afternoon and I caught a 4-9 smallmouth at about 1 o’clock on the same bluff point where I caught a 5-10 yesterday. Before I had that one, I had about 8 pounds and then I culled up twice after that.”

Swisher is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 5-10.

Darren Kelly of Wartburg, Tenn., won the co-angler division with 17-15. Placing fourth on Day 1 with 9-2, Kelly added 8-13 Friday and took home $18,587.

“I had to switch up my presentations today, based on where we were in the lake,” Kelly said. “I just kind of read the conditions and when the wind would pick up, I’d throw a spinnerbait, crankbait or a ChatterBait.

“I had a small limit on a shaky head, but I got rid of those by using bigger baits. I used shad imitations and if I had some shad following my bait, I knew I had the right one, because if a shad follows it, you have to think a bass is going to eat it.”

Alex Prince of Blue Ridge, Ga., won the $250 Phoenix Boats Big Bass prize among co-anglers with a 4-12.

Jacob Foutz of Charleston, Tenn., leads the Southern Open standings with 387 points. Williams is second with 383, followed by Blake Smith of Lakeland, Fla., with 369, Keith Poche of Pike Road, Ala., with 363 and Scott Ashmore of Broken Arrow, Okla., with 360.

The Top 10 remaining pros will take off Saturday at 6:45 a.m. ET from Dandridge Boat Ramp. The weigh-in will be held at the Bass Pro Shops in Kodak, Tenn., at 3:45 p.m.


Swisher’s Swimbait Yields Lead At Bassmaster Open On Douglas Lake

Jackson Swisher, of Lake City, Fla., is leading after Day 1 of the 2021 Basspro.com Bassmaster Southern Open at Douglas Lake with 16 pounds, 15 ounces.
Photo by Chris Mitchell/B.A.S.S.

April 15, 2021

DANDRIDGE, Tenn. — Douglas Lake gave Jackson Swisher a generous birthday gift with a five-fish limit of 16 pounds, 15 ounces that leads Day 1 of the Basspro.com Bassmaster Southern Open on this French Broad River impoundment.

Turning 19 today, the pro from Lake City, Fla., devoted his day to fishing bluffs close to the Douglas Dam. This pattern delivered a productive day and included a 5-10 that’s in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors.

Swisher targeted the vertical rock walls with a 7-inch white Megabass Magdraft swimbait. He said he dialed in his pattern during practice, but today yielded a favorable twist.

“All week I’ve been catching some big smallmouth, but today the largemouth showed up,” Swisher said. “That 5-10 was my second fish of the morning, so that was a great way to start the day.”

Thanking his father for driving eight hours from Florida to deliver five swimbaits before the tournament started, Swisher said he believes the lake’s falling water level — down about 4 feet since the weekend — pulled the smallmouth off the wall.

“I noticed the water was (significantly lower) because this morning, I was going to fish a laydown I found in practice, and it was out of the water,” Swisher said.

Adjusting to the falling water, Swisher paralleled the bluff and slow rolled his bait through the strike zone.

“I was putting that swimbait right on the bank and running it right down the edge,” he said. “It was 35 feet deep on the edge of the bluff wall and the swimbait was going about 20 feet down. They were just killing it.”

Long casts were essential for covering big sections of the bluff and attracting attention. Knowing the tendency for noncommittal bass to trail swimbaits and lose interest, Swisher said he kept an eye on his Garmin LiveScope.

“Whenever I’d see one chase it, I’d speed up and then kill it,” he said. “That was really the key to (triggering bites).”

Swisher said he had his limit by about 10 o’clock. Admitting his day turned out better than expected, he said he made several upgrades throughout the day, including one that gave him a pure largemouth bag.

“I actually had a 2-pound smallmouth and I culled that one with a 4-pound largemouth,” Swisher said. “I had a really good day; I actually lost two close to 5 pounds at the end of the day, so I could have had 20 to 21 pounds.

“I’m hoping tomorrow I can go out there and execute and catch the fish I lost today and hopefully have an even better day tomorrow.”

Josh Douglas of Isle, Minn., is in second place with 16-9. Weighing a mixed bag of three largemouth and two hefty smallmouth, Douglas said he fished midlake and caught all of his fish on an offshore saddle in about 15 to 20 feet.

“I have largemouth on one side of the spot and smallmouth on the other side,” Douglas said. “They’re both hanging in the same area, but just not together.”

Douglas caught most of his fish on reaction baits in the morning. Although the afternoon was less productive, he remained on his area to guard its potential.

“I stayed there all day to make sure nobody else got it, so I can fish it tomorrow,” Douglas said. “It wasn’t a very big area; I have a 100-foot cast one way and a 100-foot cast the other way.

“When they slowed down later in the day, I had to switch to finesse baits to keep them biting.”

Mike Keyso of North Port, Fla., is in third place with 15-14. Fishing a flat-sided squarebill in 4 feet of water, Keyso targeted a mudline and found his fish sitting behind that transition.

“I was targeting secondary points,” he said. “I could run that and get bit anywhere. I hit probably 25 points, but three of them were most productive. I hit the three good ones three different times and caught fish on them every time.”

Keyso said his day was marked with tragedy and triumph.

“I lost two big ones first thing, but made up some ground later,” he said. “Hopefully, I can catch them again tomorrow.”

Alex Prince of Blue Ridge, Ga., leads the co-angler division with 10-11. Devoting his day to dragging a shaky head with a 5-inch green pumpkin Senko, Prince nabbed an afternoon day-maker.

“I cast behind the boat and caught a 4-12 at 3:30 — about 20 minutes before we had to check in,” Prince said. “I had about a 2-pounder that I got rid of.

“It was about the luckiest thing that could have happened. I had to sit down; I was shaking.”

Prince’s best fish holds the Phoenix Boats Big Bass lead among co-anglers.

David Williams of Newton, N.C., leads the Southern Open points standings with 378. Jacob Foutz of Charleston, Tenn., is second with 365, followed by Swisher with 356, Andy Hribar of Lakeville, Minn., with 355 and Blake Smith of Lakeland, Fla., with 353.

Friday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6:45 a.m. ET at Dandridge Boat Ramp. The weigh-in will be held at the ramp at 2:45 p.m.


Options Abound For Bassmaster Elite Series Event At Lake Fork

Quitman, Texas, will host the 2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork April 22-25.

Photo by B.A.S.S.

April 15, 2021

QUITMAN, Texas — It’s been six months since Lake Fork hosted a B.A.S.S. event, but while the seasonal complexion will be significantly different when the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite comes to town, this East Texas powerhouse stands ready to produce another impressive showing.

Competition days will be April 22-25 with daily takeoffs from Sabine River Authority (SRA) — Lake Fork at 6:45 a.m. CT and weigh-ins each day at the same facility at 3 p.m.

With 25 years of Lake Fork experience, third-year Elite Series pro Frank Talley said he expects a fairly stable scenario. Speaking a week and a half before the tournament, Talley said the lake was sitting about 3 inches low, with a seasonally expected clarity range.

“On the north end, both arms are stained to really off-colored, while midlake to down south by the dam has good visibility,” he said. “Water temperatures are between 59 and 52.

“We’ve had some warm days, but by the start of practice, we’re supposed to start getting some mild weather with highs in the upper 60s and lows in the 40s. That’s definitely going to change up some stuff.”

Specifically, Talley believes the cooler weather could lower water temperature and interrupt the current spawning activity. Fortunately, these late-season fronts typically lack the punch of first-quarter weather systems and Fork’s well-managed population of Florida-strain largemouth will offer plenty of options.

“Right now, the lake is on fire,” Talley said. “There are fish in all three stages; there are prespawn fish, there are fish stacked on beds, there are fish that have already spawned.

“If the weather was going to be warm leading up to the tournament, there would definitely be a big shad spawn. There will be a little bit of a shad spawn regardless, but with the forecast for cooler weather, that’s probably going to slow down that bite.”

Given this V-shaped lake’s layout — two major arms (Lake Fork Creek to the west and Caney Creek to the east), along with several lesser creeks — the spawning season typically starts in the creeks’ upper ends, progresses through midlake and then into the southern end.

The fish that have yet to spawn may press the pause button until the cool weather passes, but they’re not leaving their shallow staging areas.

“Once those fish commit, they’re going to be up there,” Talley said. “Right now, the biggest wave has moved and they’re going to filter in and out (of the spawning grounds) until mid-May.”

Common spawning habitats will include pondweed, reeds, scattered milfoil and hydrilla; while pre- and postspawn staging takes place on the points, contour breaks and grasslines just outside the spawning flats. Bladed jigs, Texas-rigged craws and creature baits, wacky rigs and spinnerbaits comprise Fork’s common spring lineup. For shad spawns, add topwaters.

Talley’s advice: Look beyond the obvious.

“Guys have to consider that it’s not just the major creeks that will have the spawning going on,” he said. “There are a lot of little hidey-hole spots that could hold six or eight good spawning fish in the back of a pocket that may only be 40 to 50 yards deep.”

Also important, Talley said, is fishing the appropriate spawn stage for each section of the lake. He’s confident the entire lake will play, to varying degrees. But each part might not specifically play for the spawn phase. Another timely consideration — heavy boat traffic.

“This time of year, the lake is going to be packed with guides and locals; you’ll be able to walk over boats,” Talley said. “March through May, Fork gets its most visitors, so we’re going to have to share a lot of water with (other boats).

“If someone who can find a pattern within a pattern in an area that’s getting heavily pressured, or just do something off the wall, that might play. The bottom line is there’s no secrets or hidden spots on Fork.”

That being said, Talley foresees a show possibly rivaling Patrick Walters’ record-setting performance at last year’s event (104 pounds, 12 ounces). Despite the minor cooldown, Talley believes the lake is strong enough to deliver big numbers.

“It’ll definitely take 20 to 21 pounds a day to make the Top 10,” he said. “In my opinion, I think you’ll see the winner break the century mark. I think it will take 102 to 103 pounds.

“It’s going to be a good tournament; I think we’re going to hit it just right.”

Live coverage for all four days of the event can be streamed on Bassmaster.com and the FOX Sports digital platforms. FS1 will also broadcast live with the tournament leaders beginning at 7 a.m. CT on Saturday and Sunday.


Milford Lake To Host B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional

Milford Lake will host the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional April 21-23, 2021.

Photo courtesy of Geary County Convention and Visitors Bureau

April 14, 2021

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. — When grass-roots anglers from eight states arrive at Lake Milford in Kansas for the 2021 TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional April 21-23, the spawn will likely be in full swing, according to Kansas B.A.S.S. Nation President Richard Heflin.

“April is an interesting time for Milford,” Heflin said. “You are kind of going to be right in the heart of the spawn. You are going to have prespawn, spawn and postspawn going on.”

Located several miles northwest of Junction City, Milford Lake is home to the Kansas state record smallmouth, a 6-pound, 8-ounce fish caught in early April 2010, and Heflin suspects the next record-breaking smallmouth will also be caught in Milford.

The lake has hosted a couple of Bassmaster tournaments through the years, including the 2018 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic Bracket presented by Bass Pro Shops held in August.

Milford is a predominantly rocky lake with lots of offshore structure, including brushpiles, although the upper end of the lake has a large section of mud flats that can stain the water during heavy rains. While tournament anglers will be focusing on smallmouth and largemouth bass, weekend anglers visit the lake for crappie, walleye and catfish.

“It is right next to the military base, and we have a lot of people fish for a lot of species,” Heflin said. “There’s a lot of hidden brushpiles that some of the crappie fishermen put out. Locating some of that stuff could be a key player for guys that come in.”

While most bass anglers visit the lake to target smallmouth bass, Heflin said he wouldn’t be surprised to see a 6-pound smallmouth and a 6-pound largemouth weighed in on the same day.

Heflin said he expects the smallmouth to be at the tail end of the spawn or in the early postspawn phase, while the largemouth will be locking down on bed. Largemouth will be in classic spawning pockets and flats, and creature baits and jigs have historically caught those fish.

“The thing about Milford is the channels that go back in the pockets are fairly deep, so you are going to have edges and flats that are conducive to spawning. Depending on the rain volume, there's a 50/50 chance that there will be some flooded vegetation and other flooded cover that will be good for largemouth.”

For smallmouth bass, Heflin said banks that transition from clay to chunk rock, clay to sand, or clay to pea gravel will be productive areas to cover with jigs and tubes.

The tournament is one of five regional championship events the B.A.S.S. Nation has scheduled around the country this year. Anglers will be competing for cash prizes and a spot in the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship.

The event is being hosted by the Geary County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“Junction City and Geary County, Kan., are very honored to have been selected as the host of the 2021 TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional Tournament,” said Michele Stimatze, Geary County Convention and Visitors Bureau Director.

“This will be an exciting time for Milford Lake, the largest lake in Kansas, and for our citizens and visitors. Having worked with B.A.S.S. Nation in the past, we know this event will attract visitors from across the nation and put the spotlight on Kansas bass fishing. Our team is already working to make it a great event, and we look forward to making everyone feel welcome.”


Bassmaster Introduces New Fantasy Fishing Game

April 14, 2021

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — In 2020, more than 37,500 engaged fans played Rapala Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing, a number that has grown steadily over the past decade. This week, Bassmaster launched a second fantasy game — Mercury Bassmaster Drain the Lake Challenge. Fans can set their rosters by 6 a.m. ET on April 22 to play along during the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork.

The Drain the Lake Challenge, using elimination pool rules, requires players to use an entirely different strategy than standard Fantasy Fishing. When building their team, players can only use an Elite Series angler once over the course of the season. Unlike traditional Fantasy Fishing, there are no buckets. Tournament players select any eight Elite Series anglers. After choosing an angler for a specific event, players can no longer select that angler for the remainder of the season.

An angler’s points will be based on their finish in the tournament, just like Fantasy Fishing. The angler who wins each Elite Series event will receive double points while the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk champion will garner triple points, so choosing the winning angler will be big in terms of winning the overall grand prize.

The Drain the Lake Challenge winning player, along with the rest of the Top 5 points leaders for each event, will receive a prize pack including a Mercury backpack, Mercury 12-can cooler bag, Mercury hat and Mercury hoodie. A $500 Bass Pro Shops gift card will be rewarded to any individual prize winner who is a B.A.S.S. member. The 2021 Drain the Lake Challenge overall winner will enjoy a fishing trip with Bassmaster LIVE host Mark Zona in Michigan, with airfare and hotel included.

Registration for both games, along with full rules and a description of each prize package, can be found at Bassmaster.com/fantasy.


Lake Murray Readies for Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit

163 Professional Anglers To Compete for up to $135,000 in Columbia –  Season Purse Exceeds $6.4 Million

COLUMBIA, S.C. (April 14, 2021) – Major League Fishing (MLF), the world’s largest tournament organization, is set to head to Columbia, South Carolina, next week, April 22-25, for the MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers, Googan Baits Stop 3 Presented by Favorite Fishing – Lake Murray . This is the third event of the 2021 Pro Circuit season – hosted by the Capital City Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board – offering competitors the opportunity to compete for a total purse of more than $900,000.

“Capital City Lake Murray Country is proud to welcome Major League Fishing's Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit to our region and to Lake Murray,” said Miriam Atira, President/CEO of Capital City Lake Murray Country RTB. “Our continued relationship with this national tournament organization provides a significant economic impact to our region and plays a vital role in our efforts to promote tourism and outdoor recreation.”

In its 26th season, the circuit formerly known as the FLW Tour features 163 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals competing across six regular-season events, each with a top award of up to $135,000. The field will also compete for valuable points to qualify for the 2021 Tackle Warehouse TITLE presented by Mercury, the Pro Circuit Championship, and the opportunity to compete for up to $235,000.

This event will mark the eighth time the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit has visited the fishery in the Palmetto State.

Most of the MLF history on Lake Murray has taken place in the summertime, when the fishing is somewhat tough, with the most recent being Justin Atkins’ win in 2017. However, next week’s event will be a true testament of what Lake Murray really has to offer with prespawn, postspawn and spawning fish up for grabs.

Prior to Atkins’ win, Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, South Carolina, won the FLW Cup in 2014, tallying up 51-2 to win by 1 ounce in front of his hometown fans. Gagliardi had a previous win on Lake Murray in February 2006 when he hauled in 89-2 over four days, with a 26-pound bag on day one and a 28-pound limit on the final day.

“Lake Murray has been really good to me over the years, but I won’t have an advantage this time of year,” said Gagliardi. “With it being spawning season, the fish will be more accessible and that really levels the playing field.”

Gagliardi said he expects to see guys throwing a little bit of everything at this event, from pitching and flipping wacky-rigged worms and creature baits like the Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Hit Worm and a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent The General Worm in stained water to throwing topwater buzzbaits and popper baits.

“Anything goes this time of year and you can find fish just about any way you like to catch them,” said Gagliardi. “If we get a lot of sun and no wind, the sight-fishing might play a little more into it, but if it’s cloudy and overcast, we’ll probably have to do a little more strategic fishing.

“If it gets real slick and sunny, the weights will also fall off a bit, but they should be up more if we have some inclement weather roll in towards the end of the event.”

Gagliardi said as far as winning weights go, again, this time of year makes things a bit tricky to predict.

“I’ve thought a lot about what kind of weight it’s going to take to win this tournament and it’s really hard to know until I get out there and fish. If an angler can average 18 pounds a day over four days, he’d be positioned pretty well for the win,” continued Gagliardi. “I think it will take slightly under 80 pounds to win, but it will be close. I don’t foresee much separation between the weights at the top of the scoreboard.”

Anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. ET, Thursday through Sunday, from Dreher Island State Park, located at 3677 State Park Road in Prosperity. Weigh-ins will also be held at the park daily at 3 p.m. Attendance is limited to competing anglers, family, essential staff and media covering the event. Fans are encouraged to follow the action online through the MLF NOW! live stream and coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit competition, the full field of 163 anglers compete in the two-day opening round on Thursday and Friday. The top 50 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition on Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Googan Baits Stop 3 Presented by Favorite Fishing at Lake Murray will feature live on-the-water coverage and a two-hour action-packed television show that will premiere on the Outdoor Channel on Sunday, July 25 from 7 to 9 a.m. ET and re-air on the Sportsman Channel this fall. Weigh-ins will be streamed daily and fans can catch live on-the-water action all day Saturday and Sunday, April 24-25 on MLF NOW! beginning at 7 a.m. ET at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The 2021 season culminates with the Tackle Warehouse TITLE presented by Mercury, the Pro Circuit Championship, where the top 48 pros in the points standings plus 2020 TITLE Champion Rusty Salewske of Alpine, California, and 2020 Angler of the Year Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Michigan, will compete for at top prize of $235,000. The 2021 TITLE will be on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin on Aug. 17-22, and is hosted by Explore La Crosse.


Sabine River Community Lends Helping Hands

Courtesy of Luke Stoner - Dynamic Sponsorships

 

Waking up to a vandalized truck, including a stolen catalytic converter, is about the last thing any angler wants to encounter on the road, but that’s exactly what Bassmaster Elite Series pro Brandon Lester experienced before day two of competition on the Sabine River last week. 

The felony offense of stealing catalytic converters is on the rise all throughout the country right now due to demands on precious metals. Lester, John Cox, and a few others that travel with the tournament crew can now say they’ve experienced this crime first hand. 

Sadly, theft and the occasional run in with criminals is a very real part of traveling with expensive equipment. It’s something professional anglers must think about when booking lodging arrangements no matter where they are in the country. There is no sugar coating it… there are some bad people in this world and dealing with a situation like Lester was forced to is less than ideal to put it lightly. 

Thankfully there are good people in this world, too. Just when it would have been easy for those affected to simmer in the bad, the good ones showed up to stand in contrast to the evil. 

First Andy Stallings and the ever-reliable service crew came calling. They drove to the hotel and helped Lester get his boat to the launch on time so he could try to focus on making a top 50 cut. Once Lester was on the water, they drove back to the hotel and changed his damaged tire. The local police officers were extremely accommodating and quick on the scene to file reports and do their best to catch the criminals. 

Then came phone calls and Facebook messages from Cecil Atkission Toyota, the local Toyota dealership here in Orange who went absolutely above and beyond for Lester and others affected by the thieves. The dealership is pictured in the photo above over Lester’s right shoulder. 

Members of the service department were immediately on the phone helping to source parts to repair the damaged vehicles. The Service Manager, Daryl Tucker, offered a loner Toyota Camry to Lester so he could get around town while his truck was being worked on. 

Brady Williams, the owner of a local muffler shop (AA Muffler) graciously opened the doors to his business over the weekend so he could lend a helping hand. The local host and the surrounding Sabine River community all sprang into action to help remedy the situation as quick as possible. 

Williams and several employees of Cecil Atkission Toyota stayed late, opened early, and worked tirelessly to get everyone’s vehicles back on the road. 

“It’d be easy for me to dwell on the negative but it’s hard not to feel thankful when so many people jumped in to help out,” Lester said. “What happened is a sad reality of traveling sometimes, but at the end of the day folks at the local Toyota dealership and many others pitched in and helped get me back on the road to see my girls as quickly as possible. For that I’m grateful.” 

Bad things happen. It’s a fact of life and something we will all be affected by. Most times we can’t control the bad things that happen, but we can control how we respond to them. It’s not easy to stay positive when dealing with a tough situation, but being surrounded by people who are quick to offer support makes all the difference in the world. Always look for the good, even in the bad times. 

Thank you to all the great people of Orange, Texas and the Sabine River community for showing up when Lester and others needed you.

 


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

Morgan Wins Knockout Round to Advance, $100,000 Top Prize and $100,000 Big Bass Bonus Up for Grabs on Wednesday

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

Link to Photo of Knockout Round Big Bass Winner Jacob Wheeler
Link to Photo of Knockout Round Winner Andy Morgan
Link to Photo Gallery of Highlights from Knockout Round on Shearon Harris Reservoir

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The MLF NOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the Championship Round action from 7:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET Wednesday. MLF NOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com. and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

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


Powroznik Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League on Smith Mountain Lake

Howard Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

HUDDLESTON, Va. (April 13, 2021) – Boater Ryan Powroznik of Hopewell, Virginia, wins the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Smith Mountain Lake in Huddleston, Virginia. Powroznik earned $6,573 for his victory at the event.

TOP 10 RESULTS

RANK BOATER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Ryan Powroznik of Hopewell, Va. 5 23-6 $6,573
2nd Gregory Stallings of Dry Fork, Va. 5 21-0 $2,829
3rd Zach Peaslee of Draper, Va. 5 20-6 $1,886
4th Jessie Moore of Severn, Md. 5 20-1 $1,820
5th Mike Hawks of Galax, Va. 5 19-4 $1,132
6th Cody Pike of Powhatan, Va. 5 19-2 $1,537
7th Martin Villa of Charlottesville, Va. 5 19-0 $943
8th Scott Dameron of Beckley, W.V. 5 18-11 $879
9th Bill Deeds of Orange, Va. 5 18-8 $754
10th Elliot Pilson of Stuart, Va. 5 18-1 $660
RANK STRIKE KING CO-ANGLER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Scott Howard of Bedford, Va. 5 16-1 $2,791
2nd Mark Blankenship of Christiansburg, Va. 5 15-0 $1,395
3rd Dylan Gray of Gladys, Va. 5 14-15 $931
4th Robert Wedding of Welcome, Md. 5 13-8 $901
5th Daniel Eubank, Moneta, Va. 5 12-6 $558
6th Jacob Waller of Chatham, Va. 3 11-1 $512
7th Eric Hawks of Galax, Va. 4 10-13 $465
8th Seth Brogan of Montvale, Va. 2 10-10 $395
8th Tyrell Collins of Galax, Va. 4 10-10 $395
10th Demon Pittman of Timberlake, N.C. 3 9-14 $326
CONTINGENCY AWARDS
AWARD NAME CONTINGENCY PAYOUT
Boater Big Bass Ryan Powroznik of Hopewell, Va. 7-pound bass $915
Strike King Co-Angler Berkley Big Bass Dwayne Downey of Covington, Va. 6-pound, 13-ounce bass $447
Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus Cody Pike of Powhatan, Va. Eligible Phoenix Boat* $500
* Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

WINNING BAITS

ANGLER BAIT COLOR
Boater Did Not Divulge N/A
Strike King Co-Angler Did Not Divulge N/A
2021 QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES
EVENT DATE LOCATION HOST
Piedmont Division – Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship Oct. 14-16 Potomac River, Marbury, Md. Charles County Board of Commissioners
Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American June 3-5 Douglas Lake, Dandridge, Tenn. Jefferson County Department of Tourism
The 2021 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championships. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while Strike King co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The top six finishers in each regional will then qualify for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.
The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.


Pechacek Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League on Lake Okeechobee

Dunn Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

CLEWISTON, Fla. (April 13, 2021) – Boater David Pechacek of Winter Garden, Florida, wins the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Florida. Pechacek earned $5,519 for his victory at the event.

TOP 10 RESULTS

RANK BOATER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st David Pechacek of Winter Garden, Fla. 5 20-3 $5,519
2nd Brian MacDougall of La Belle, Fla. 5 19-4 $2,298
2nd Kevin Izzi of Smithville, Texas 5 19-4 $2,298
4th Jessie Mizell of Myakka City, Fla. 5 18-15 $1,288
5th Garrett Farmer of Estero, Fla. 5 18-3 $1,104
6th Brandon Medlock of Lake Placid, Fla. 5 18-0 $1,012
7th Trevor Hamlin of Cape Coral, Fla. 5 17-4 $1,805
8th Joe Callahan of Plantation, Fla. 5 16-9 $828
9th Clay Batson of Bradenton, Fla. 5 16-8 $736
10th Tony Bennett of Tarpon Springs, Fla. 5 15-14 $644
RANK STRIKE KING CO-ANGLER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Joshua Dunn of Mulberry, Fla. 5 22-0 $2,760
2nd Jonathan Miller of Dundee, Ohio 5 19-3 $1,380
3rd Chris Nickle of Sanford, Fla. 5 14-8 $918
4th Edwin Rivera of Orlando, Fla. 5 14-7 $644
5th Dawson Wiles of Fruit Cove, Fla. 5 13-6 $552
6th Randy Paquette of Sarasota, Fla. 5 12-13 $506
7th Brandon St. Pierre of Lehigh Acres, Fla. 5 12-11 $460
8th Jose Valasquez of Gibsonton, Fla. 5 12-10 $414
9th Giovanni Pizza of Boca Raton, Fla. 5 12-8 $368
10th Barry Colbert of Port Saint Lucie, Fla. 5 12-2 $322
CONTINGENCY AWARDS
AWARD NAME CONTINGENCY PAYOUT
Boater Big Bass Trevor Hamlin of Cape Coral, Fla. 7-pound, 10-ounce bass $885
Strike King Co-Angler Berkley Big Bass Bruce McFayden of Deerfield Beach, Fla. 8-pound, 2-ounce bass $442
Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus Jared McMillan of Clewiston, Fla. Eligible Phoenix Boat* $500
* Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

WINNING BAITS

ANGLER BAIT COLOR
Boater Outkast Tackle RTX Flipping Jig
Zoom Super Speed Craw
Black & Blue
Did Not Divulge
Strike King Co-Angler Havoc Devil Spear Brown & Purple
2021 QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES
EVENT DATE LOCATION HOST
Gator Division – Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship Oct. 21-23 St. Johns River, Palatka, Fla. Putnam County Tourist Development Council
Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American June 3-5 Douglas Lake, Dandridge, Tenn. Jefferson County Department of Tourism
The 2021 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championships. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while Strike King co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The top six finishers in each regional will then qualify for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.


Carter Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League on Lake Sinclair

Madison’s Thomas Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. (April 13, 2021) – Boater Kip Carter of Eatonton, Georgia wins the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Lake Sinclair in Milledgeville, Georgia. Carter earned $6,673 for his victory at the event.

TOP 10 RESULTS

RANK BOATER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Kip Carter of Eatonton, Ga. 5 20-08 $6,673
2nd Girard Jones of Macon, Ga. 5 17-11 $2,837
3rd Jackson Brown of Bogart, Ga. 5 16-14 $1,891
4th Willie McMullen of Covington, Ga. 5 16-6 $1,324
5th Justin Kimmel of Athens, Ga. 5 15-11 $1,385
6th Jason Cheek of Eatonton, Ga. 5 15-8 $1,040
7th Michael Wilder of Lizella, Ga. 5 15-1 $946
8th Jimmy Millsaps of Canton, Ga. 5 14-9 $851
9th Tony Couch of Buckhead, Ga. 5 14-4 $756
10th Ben-Oni Maldonado of Covington, Ga. 5 14-1 $662
RANK STRIKE KING CO-ANGLER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Will Thomas of Madison, Ga. 5 13-6 $2,844
2nd James Murphy of Phenix City, Ala. 5 11-3 $1,185
3rd Kyler Turner of Perry, Ga. 5 11-3 $1,385
4th Thomas Pierce of Calhoun, Ga. 4 10-14 $664
5th Troy Harris of Watkinsville, Ga. 5 10-9 $1,029
6th Travis Wilkes of Covington, Ga. 5 9-15 $521
7th Bruce Jeffrey of Lithonia, Ga. 5 9-6 $474
8th Spencer Sato of Warner Robins, Ga. 4 9-3 $427
9th Jerry Bryant of Douglas, Ga. 5 8-13 $379
10th Donald Peppers of Good Hope, Ga. 5 8-12 $332
CONTINGENCY AWARDS
AWARD NAME CONTINGENCY PAYOUT
Boater Big Bass William Glawson, Macon, Ga. 6-pound,11-ounce bass $925
Strike King Co-Angler Berkley Big Bass Troy Harris, Watkinsville, Ga. 6-pound, 6-ounce bass $460
Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus John Duvall, Madison, Ga. Eligible Phoenix Boat* $500
* Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
WINNING BAITS
ANGLER BAIT COLOR
Boater Generic ½ ounce spinnerbait Did Not Divulge
Strike King Co-Angler Zoom Trick Worm June Bug
2021 QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES
EVENT DATE LOCATION HOST
Bulldog Division – Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship Oct. 21-23 St. Johns, Palatka, Fla. Putnam County Tourist Development Council
Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American June 3-5 Douglas Lake, Dandridge, Tenn. Jefferson County Department of Tourism
The 2021 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championships. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while Strike King co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The top six finishers in each regional will then qualify for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.
The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.


Bowman Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League on Dale Hollow Lake

Rickman’s Beaty Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. (April 12, 2021) – Boater Anthony Bowman of Monterey, Tennessee, wins the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Dale Hollow Lake in Byrdstown, Tennessee. Bowman earned $6,658 for his victory at the event, hosted by the Star Point Marina and Resort.

TOP 10 RESULTS

RANK BOATER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Anthony Bowman of Monterey, Tenn. 5 19-13 $6,658
2nd Eric Snow of Clarksville, Ind. 5 18-13 $2,829
3rd Christian Nash of Cookeville, Tenn. 5 18-11 $2,386
4th Clay Reece of Lexington, Ky. 5 18-8 $1,320
5th Adam Militana of Saluda, N.C. 5 18-7 $1,037
5th Mark Neal of Livingston, Tenn. 5 18-7 $1,037
5th Austin Poston of Cookeville, Tenn. 5 18-7 $1,037
8th Chris Burton of Somerset, Ky. 5 18-6 $849
9th Kyle Gelles of Pingree, Idaho 5 18-3 $707
9th Danny Abrams of Greensfork, Ind. 5 18-3 $707
RANK STRIKE KING CO-ANGLER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Todd Beaty of Rickman, Tenn. 5 15-13 $2,760
2nd Drew Campbell of Cookeville, Tenn. 4 14-15 $1,822
3rd Bert Kissick of Danville, Ky. 5 13-13 $918
4th Craig Marsh of Mount Juliet, Tenn. 5 13-2 $644
5th Bobby Richardson of Gainesboro, Tenn. 4 12-13 $552
6th Kellen Wilson of Somerset, Ky. 5 12-9 $506
7th Will Carnes of Stanford, Ky. 4 12-7 $460
8th Pop Catalin of Cookeville, Tenn. 5 12-2 $414
9th Jonathan Combs of Winchester, Ky. 5 12-1 $368
10th Matt Hall of Frankfort, Ky. 4 11-11 $322
CONTINGENCY AWARDS
AWARD NAME CONTINGENCY PAYOUT
Boater Big Bass Matt Smith of Bowling Green, Ky. 5-pound, 15-ounce bass $915
Strike King Co-Angler Berkley Big Bass Drew Campell of Cookeville, Tenn. 5-pound, 7-ounce bass $442
Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus Christian Nash of Cookeville, Tenn. Eligible Phoenix Boat* $500
* Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

WINNING BAITS

ANGLER BAIT COLOR
Boater Did Not Divulge N/A
Strike King Co-Angler Did Not Divulge N/A
2021 QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES
EVENT DATE LOCATION HOST
Mountain Division – Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship Oct. 7-9 Wheeler Lake, Decatur, Ala. Decatur Morgan County Tourism
Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American June 3-5 Douglas Lake, Dandridge, Tenn. Jefferson County Department of Tourism
The 2021 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championships. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while Strike King co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The top six finishers in each regional will then qualify for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.
The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.

For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on MLF’s social media outlets at Facebook , TwitterInstagram, and  YouTube.


Reitzell Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League on Lake of the Pines

League City’s Matzke Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

JEFFERSON, Texas (April 12, 2021) – Boater Stephen Reitzell of Colfax, Louisiana, wins the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Lake of the Pines in Jefferson, Texas. Reitzell earned $5,229 for his victory at the event.

TOP 10 RESULTS

RANK BOATER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st Stephen Reitzell of Colfax, La. 5 23-10 $5,229
2nd Kraig Chapman of Bossier City, La. 5 21-12 $2,614
3rd Judah Morris of Forest Hill, La. 5 18-14 $1,745
4th Brad Morgan of Ashdown, Ark. 5 18-10 $1,220
5th Edwin Baker of Gilmer, Texas 5 18-3 $1,046
6th Troy Roder of Brookeland, Texas 5 17-15 $959
7th Arthur Johnson of Judson, Texas 5 17-9 $871
8th Red Ballard of Sulphur, La. 5 17-6 $1,284
9th Robert Riche of Houma, La. 5 16-14 $697
10th Randy Deaver of Blanchard, La. 5 16-11 $860
RANK STRIKE KING CO-ANGLER NAME/HOMETOWN BASS WEIGHT AWARD
1st JJ Matzke of League City, Texas 5 14-9 $2,614
2nd Tyrell Harmon of Manor, Texas 5 14-6 $1,307
3rd Floyd Pittman of Covington, La. 5 14-4 $872
4th Greg Dennis of Fort Worth, Texas 5 14-1 $566
4th Albert Ignacio of Dallas, Texas 5 14-1 $566
6th Robert Massey of Calhoun, La. 5 13-10 $479
7th Calvin Bogan of Livingston, Texas 5 13-0 $436
8th Brandon Begnaud of Texas City, Texas 5 12-14 $392
9th Cameron Petras of Biloxi, Miss. 4 12-12 $349
10th Tim Woodard of Rosepine, La. 5 12-6 $430
CONTINGENCY AWARDS
AWARD NAME CONTINGENCY PAYOUT
Boater Big Bass Louis Ferguson of Woodville, Texas 7-pound, 10-ounce bass $815
Strike King Co-Angler Berkley Big Bass Lat Nichols of Deport, Texas 8-pound, 12-ounce bass $407
Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus Red Ballard of Sulphur, La. Eligible Phoenix Boat* $500
* Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.WINNING BAITS

ANGLER BAIT COLOR
Boater Generic Spinnerbait/Jig N/A
Strike King Co-Angler Dropshot-Rigged Soft Plastic Jerkbait Orange Magnum
2021 QUALIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES
EVENT DATE LOCATION HOST
Cowboy Division – Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship Oct. 21-23 Lake Ouachita, Mt. Ida, Ark. Visit Hot Springs
Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American June 3-5 Douglas Lake, Dandridge, Tenn. Jefferson County Department of Tourism
The 2021 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championships. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while Strike King co-anglers will fish for a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.The top six finishers in each regional will then qualify for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.
The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division will also earn priority entry into the Toyota Series, the pathway to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour.

For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on MLF’s social media outlets at Facebook , TwitterInstagram, and  YouTube.


Thrift Tops Qualifying Round Group B at General Tire Heavy Hitters

North Carolina Pro Weighs Two-Day Total of 18 Bass for 62 Pounds, 6 Ounces To Top Group B, 18 Anglers Set for Tuesday’s Knockout Round

RALEIGH, N.C. (April 12, 2021) – Pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, caught five scorable bass totaling 17 pounds, 15 ounces to win the two-day Qualifying Group B round Monday at the Major League Fishing (MLF) General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops . Thrift’s two-day total of 18 bass weighing 62 pounds, 6 ounces earned him the round win by an 11-pound, 14-ounce margin and advances him straight into Wednesday’s final-day Championship Round of competition. The six-day all-star event in Raleigh, North Carolina, showcases 40 of the best bass anglers in the world competing for a purse of more than $535,000, with a top prize of $100,000 going to the winner and Big Bass Bonuses of $25,000, $50,000 and $100,000 being awarded for the single biggest fish in each round of competition.

Link to Photo of Qualifying Round Group B Winner Bryan Thrift
Link to Photo Gallery of Highlights from Qualifying Group B Day 2 on Falls Lake

“It was kind of a long, frustrating day for me,” Thrift said in his post-game interview. “I’ve been stressed out since lines in this morning at 7:30, but luckily I caught enough and now I get to skip the Knockout Round and go straight to the Championship Round to fish for 200 grand, and that is an amazing feeling.”

The fishing on Monday at Falls Lake was different than competitors faced there on Saturday.

“I only managed to get five scorable bites all day,” Thrift said. “The good thing is that it was enough to extend my lead, and I had a little bit of a cushion all day long,” Thrift continued. “My Plan A – a white frog – only got me one bite. Luckily, I had a little backup plan – fishing rockpiles offshore with a Texas rig in 1½- to 3-feet of water, and I ended up catching four bass doing that and kind of saved my day.

“I’m not sure why, but it was a lot different than Day 1,” Thrift continued. “The water came up, and the carp were up spawning and thrashing around in the bushes. I’m not sure if it spooked the bass or what was happening, but I just did the best I could with what we had. I’m so thankful that I had a backup plan with the Texas rig. Hopefully I’ll be able to figure them out again, one more day, on Shearon Harris.”

Erie, Pennsylvania pro Dave Lefebre won the Group B $25,000 Berkley Big Bass Bonus award Monday when he boated an 8-pound, 3-ounce largemouth in Period 3 on a soft stickbait. A $50,000 payout will be awarded to the angler that catches the largest bass of the day Tuesday, and $100,000 will be awarded to the angler that catches the heaviest bass on Championship Wednesday.

“I caught one bass Saturday on a soft stickbait, so I knew that they would bite it, but it definitely was not on my radar before the tournament began,” Lefebre said. “A frog got me most of my bites on Day 1 but today with the post-frontal conditions and the bluebird skies, that bite totally died. So, I put down the frog and picked up the stickbait and I am so glad that I did.”

Although Lefebre did not divulge the brand name of his worm, he did offer some tips on how he fished it.

“It was green-pumpkin-colored, with red-and-black flake,” the Pennsylvania pro said. “I like to rough them up before I even take them out of the package, especially when I’m fishing in muddier water. I went to a longer rod, just from my experiences on the first day. These fish swim at you 100 miles per hour when they bite, so I’m just trying to make sure I get that hookset in them and that definitely helped.

“I also went down to a lighter weight – 3/16-ounce – and a smaller 3/0 hook,” Lefebre continued. “I didn’t skimp on the line, though. I stayed up there with the 20-pound test. Overall, I’m really happy about how my day turned out and it was a great day of fishing on Falls Lake.”

With the Qualifying Round now complete, the anglers that finished in 2nd through 10th place from each group advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round on Shearon Harris Reservoir. The Knockout Round will feature 18 anglers competing to finish in the top eight. Wednesday’s Championship Round will feature Qualifying Round winners Fletcher Shryock and Bryan Thrift, along with the top eight anglers from the Knockout Round competing in a final-day shootout for the top prize of $100,000.

The top 10 pros from Qualifying Group B that now advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round on Shearon Harris Reservoir are:

1st:          Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 18 bass, 62-6 (ADVANCES DIRECTLY TO CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND)
2nd:         Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark., 14 bass, 50-8
3rd:         Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark., 15 bass, 49-15
4th:         Cliff Pace, Petal, Miss., 14 bass, 48-5
5th:         Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa., 12 bass, 44-1
6th:         Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala., 11 bass, 37-8
7th:         Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 13 bass, 36-12
8th:         Alton Jones, Woodway, Texas, 11 bass, 36-3
9th:         Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., nine bass, 31-6
10th:       Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 30-9

Finishing in 11th through 20th in Qualifying Group B are:

11th:       James Elam, Tulsa, Okla., 12 bass, 28-12
12th:       Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich., eight bass, 27-9
13th:       Takahiro Omori, Tokyo, Japan, nine bass, 26-7
14th:       Cody Meyer, Star, Idaho, eight bass, 21-15
15th:       Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., six bass, 21-8
16th:       Bradley Roy, Lancaster, Ky., seven bass, 17-10
17th:       Mark Daniels Jr., Tuskegee, Ala., six bass, 15-11
18th:       Josh Bertrand, Queen Creek, Ariz., four bass, 15-4
19th:       Brandon Coulter, Knoxville, Tenn., four bass, 14-8
20th:       Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala., three bass, 8-10

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

Overall, there were 83 bass weighing 268 pounds, 15 ounces caught by 19 pros on Monday, which included one 8-pounder, one 7-pounder, three 6-pounders and two 5-pounders caught from Falls Lake.

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

The 20 Anglers in Group A competed in their two-day qualifying round on Jordan Lake on Friday and Sunday – the 20 anglers in Group B on Falls Lake on Saturday and Monday. Now, with each two-day qualifying round completed, the anglers that finished in 2nd through 10th place from both groups advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round on Shearon Harris, while the winner of each group advances directly to Wednesday’s Championship Round on Shearon Harris. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed and the remaining 18 anglers compete to finish in the top 8 to advance to the Championship Round. In the final day Championship Round, weights are zeroed and the highest one-day total wins.

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

The MLF NOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action each day of competition from 7:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET. MLF NOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com. and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

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

For complete details and updated information on General Tire Heavy Hitters, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitter,  Instagram, and  YouTube.


Brock Mosley Doubles Down on Toyota Bonus Bucks

Courtesy of Luke Stoner - Dynamic Sponsorships

 

Bassmaster Elite Series pro Brock Mosley kept his bank teller busy the past month after adding $5,000 of Toyota Bonus Bucks thanks to two consecutive second place finishes at Pickwick Lake and the Sabine River.

While Mosley is happy to leave the Dovetail Games Bassmaster Elite on the Sabine River with another great finish, he’d be lying if he didn’t say coming so close to becoming an Elite Series champion burned a little bit. 

“I’m happy with another second place but man… it’s so hard to put yourself in a position to win one of these events,” Mosley admitted. “My time is going to come one of these days and I’ll get my hands on one of those blue trophies.” 

The Dakota Lithium Batteries pro was making a long run nearly all the way to Houston the first three days of competition on the Sabine River. 

But after struggling to connect with the better than average bass he had been catching on day three, Mosley called an audible. Staying close to takeoff to try and rundown day three leader, and eventual champion Jason Christie. Mosley nearly did just that using a two-pronged approach of fishing a ½-ounce Z-man Jack Hammer with a Yamamota Zako trailer in his primary area and junk fishing “swamp cover” on the final day.  

This was Mosley’s third top ten finish in a row and his second consecutive tournament finishing as the runner up. Instead of dwelling on the near misses, Mosley draws from the positive momentum he has right now and the extra contingency money he’s earned by towing with a 2019 Toyota Tundra. 

“This is my third Toyota Tundra, and this truck alone has made me at least $9,000,” Mosley said. “No other truck brand supports the fishing industry like Toyota and you certainly can’t win Bonus Bucks with any other tow vehicle. I’m proud to support a company that gives so much back to us anglers.” 

Mosley was the second highest Toyota Bonus Bucks finisher at the Sabine River behind Jason Christie, which earned him a $2,000 check from the popular contingency program. The additional $3,000 came from being the highest placing program participant at Pickwick Lake a few weeks ago. 

Highlighting one of the best facets of Bonus Bucks, you don’t need to win an event to get paid, you just have to place higher than other anglers signed up for the program. 

Bonus Bucks supports hundreds of bass and walleye tournaments for anglers of all levels. Follow this link https://www.toyotatrucksbonusbucks.com/ to learn more about the program, to find a full list of eligible tournaments and payouts, or to get registered. If you’d rather call than click, dial (918) 742-6424 and ask for Chip or Kendell – they’ll get you signed up.


Newcomb Wins Toyota Series Event on Grand Lake

Missouri Angler Wins By 11 Ounces, Takes Home $76,500

GROVE, Okla. (April 12, 2021) – Toyota Series angler Andy Newcomb of Camdenton, Missouri, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 11 ounces to win the three-day Toyota Series presented by A.R.E. at Grand Lake presented by Fenwick in Grove, Oklahoma. Newcomb’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 52-13 earned him the win by a 11-ounce margin over second-place angler Chris Jones of Bokoshe, Oklahoma , and earned Newcomb the top payout of $76,500, including a lucrative $35,500 Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus, in the second tournament of the 2021 Toyota Series Plains Division.

After finishing second in the first Toyota Series Plains Division event at Lake of the Ozarks back in March, Newcomb dropped 17 pounds, 13 ounces on Day 1 of the event to sit in ninth place. He backed it up on Day 2 with 19-5 to take the lead, followed by 15-11 on Day 3 to earn his first career Toyota Series win.

“It’s incredible,” Newcomb said of his win. “Just the fact that I was able to edge out Chris (Jones) is incredible – Chris is the man. Eric Olliverson  is another buddy of mine that catches them everywhere. To beat those guys… I’ve worked hard at it and I’ve never felt I was truly at that level.

So, to win one feels really, really good.

“Thursday, I caught all of my fish off of chunky gravel and my good ones came halfway back in pockets,” Newcomb said. “If I went back further I could only catch small keepers, and towards the main lake I couldn’t catch anything.”

With no wind, warmer temperatures and clear skies on Day 2, Newcomb said he tried to force his “chunky gravel” pattern, but to no avail.

“I tried for a long time to make that pattern from Day 1 work,” he said. “Finally, I rolled up to a bluff and I thought that it looked like a place I could catch one.

“I threw out there and had one hit it and that changed my whole tournament. Even though I didn’t land it, that fish biting made me think, ‘there’s fish here.’ I went a little further down and had another bite and told my co-angler we were going to camp there. In the last hour and a half of the day, they turned on. I went from 9 pounds to over 19 in a hurry.”

Newcomb said as far as baits go, he stuck with Grand Lake staples ­– a jig and a spinnerbait.

“In cleaner water, I was either throwing a BOOYAH Covert Spinnerbait with a small, gold Colorado blade and a bigger, silver willow blade or a chartreuse  War Eagle spinnerbait – I swapped the painted blades out for smaller willow blades so I could fish it a little faster, which made the fish swallow it instead of just biting it.”

Newcomb said he also added a BioSpawn ExoSwim (Feider shad) to his spinnerbait for extra bulk and dyed the tail chartreuse. He threw his blades on a 7-foot, 4-inch Daiwa Tatula Elite vibrating jig rod with a  Daiwa Tatula reel, spooled with 17-pound-test Vicious Pro Elite fluorocarbon line.

A ½-ounce Apex Tackle Company Dirk’s Jig got a key bite on Day 2, but did all of the heavy lifting on the final day. He put a Zoom Ultravibe Speed Craw on the back and pitched it to any rock or wood he could along the bank. His jig tackle consisted of a 7-foot, 1-inch  Tatula Elite rod, with the same Tatula reel as the spinnerbait and he ran 20-pound Vicious Pro Elite fluorocarbon on it.

“It’s a very small jig, with just a few strands of skirt,” Newcomb said. “Color didn’t seem to matter. If you got it in front of one they would bite, but they just ate funny. I think I weighed every fish today on the jig and most everything the first two days on a spinnerbait.”

With the trophy in hand, Newcomb said he’s happy that his fish-to-win mentality finally paid off on the big stage and he’s hoping it may lead to an even bigger stage soon.

“At the end of the day, whether I win or lose, I know I did everything I could to win,” he said. “Sometimes it doesn’t work out, but when it does, boy it feels really, really good.”

The top 10 pros on Grand Lake finished:
1st:       Andy Newcomb of Camdenton, Mo., 15 bass, 52-13, $76,500
2nd:      Chris M. Jones of Bokoshe, Okla., 15 bass, 52-2, $15,500
3rd:       Kyle Minke of Lindstrom, Minn., 15 bass, 51-15, $12,000
4th:       Joey Cantrell of Whitesboro, Texas, 15 bass, 51-8, $10,000
5th:       T.J. Martin of Claremore, Okla., 15 bass, 49-4, $9,000
6th:       Brent Algeo of Ozark, Mo., 15 bass, 48-12, $8,000
7th:       James Watson of Lampe, Mo., 15 bass, 48-9, $7,150
8th:       Eric Olliverson of Lampe, Mo., 15 bass, 48-0, $6,000
9th:       Kyle Weisenburger of Columbus Grove, Ohio, 15 bass, 46-8, $5,000
10th:     Toby Hartsell of Afton, Okla., 45-13, $4,000

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

Pro James Watson of Lampe, Missouri took home an additional $150 for the Day 1 Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division, with a bass weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounces. Nathen Luce of Claremore, Oklahoma won the Day Two Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division, bringing an 6-pound, 11-ounce bass to the scale.

Newcomb added an extra $35,000 to his winnings as the highest finishing Phoenix MLF BIG5 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 BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

Derek Felton of Willard, Missouri won the Strike King Co-angler Division Saturday with a three-day total of 14 bass weighing 37 pounds, 6 ounces. Felton took home the top prize package of 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:       Derek Felton of Thayer, Mo., 14 bass, 37-6, Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat w/115-hp outboard
2nd:      Matt Krekovich of Granite City, Ill., 13 bass, 36-3, $4,969
3rd:       Andrew Brandstrom of White Bear Lake, Minn., 12 bass, 35-12, $3,975
4th:       Tate Brumnett of Wagoner, Okla., 14 bass, 35-12, $3,478
5th:       Rob Crane of Fairview Heights, Ill., 14 bass, 33-13, $2,981
6th:       Josh Klinghagen of Kokomo, Ind., 13 bass, 32-0, $2,484
7th:       John Hoyer of Orono, Minn., 12 bass, 31-13, $1,987
8th:       Todd Adamitis of Glen Carbon, Ill, 12 bass, 31-11, $1,739
9th:       Dennis Young of Olathe, Kan., 10 bass, 30-9, $1,491
10th:     Joey Bohannon of Rogers, Ark., 10 bass, 26-7, $1,242

In the Strike King co-angler division, the $100 Day 1 Berkley Big Bass award winner was John Bowdre of Hernando, Mississippi, with a 6-pound bass, 8-ounce bass, while the $99 Day 2 award went to Felton with a 6-pound, 14-ounce bass.

The Toyota Series at Grand Lake was presented by Fenwick and was hosted by the City of Grove. It was the second of three regular-season tournaments in 2021 for Plains Division anglers. The next event for Toyota Series anglers will take place on April 28-30 – the Toyota Series at Sam Rayburn presented by Berkley in Brookeland, Texas. For a complete schedule, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The 2021 Toyota Series presented by A.R.E. consists of six divisions – Central, Northern, Plains, Southern, Southwestern and Western – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International division. Anglers who fish all three qualifiers in any of the eight divisions and finish in the top 25 will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series presented by A.R.E. Championship for a shot at winning $235,000 cash, including a $35,000 Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus for qualified anglers. The winning Strike King co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The 2021 Toyota Series Championship presented by A.R.E. will be held Oct. 28-30 on Pickwick Lake in Counce, Tennessee, and is hosted by the Hardin County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Toyota Series presented by A.R.E. on the MLF BIG5’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitter Instagram and  YouTube.


Jason Christie Earns Sixth Bassmaster Win At Sabine River Elite

With a four-day total of 43 pounds, 15 ounces, Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., has won the 2021 Dovetail Games Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River sponsored by Bassmaster Fishing 2022 – the official video game of B.A.S.S.
Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

April 11, 2021

ORANGE, Texas — Sticking with a bold plan, but making key adjustments was the winning formula for Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., whose four-day total of 43 pounds, 15 ounces topped the Dovetail Games Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River sponsored by Bassmaster Fishing 2022 – the official video game of B.A.S.S.

Claiming his sixth Bassmaster victory, Christie posted his best effort on Day 1 with a second-place limit of 15-1. He took over the top spot on Friday by adding 13-14 and held that position on Day 3 with a limit of 6-12. He closed the deal with a Championship Sunday limit that weighed 8-4.

After entering the final round with a 15-ounce lead over Day 1 leader Brock Mosley, Christie edged Mosley by a margin of 1-6.

For four days, Christie committed the majority of his time to a narrow creek about two hours upriver from takeoff. Locating the spot in practice, Christie recognized its mix of shallow wood and cut banks as prime bass habitat, while the distant run discouraged all but one competitor from fishing the area.

“There’s a lot of backwaters downriver from this area, but then there’s like a 20-mile stretch where there’s nothing until you get to this spot,” Christie said. “The first two days of the event it was super treacherous to run; there were logs, sandbars, stuff like that. That’s what kept people from going up there."

After two strong days of skillfully picking apart the visible cover, Christie returned to his spot on Day 3 to find it 6 to 7 feet deeper. Increased water releases from Toledo Bend Dam swelled the upper Sabine and inundated his creek.

“Before the water came up, there were isolated targets and it wasn’t hard,” Christie said. “But once it came up, it was almost impossible. That’s why today I ran as far up that thing as I could.

“The further you get, the banks get higher and there wasn’t as much back flow coming from the river. That was my goal today — to get to where I could keep the fish between the bank and me.”

Knowing his best option was covering water quickly, Christie relied on a 1/2-ounce chartreuse/white/blue Booyah Covert spinnerbait with tandem nickel and gold Colorado blades. This bait equally appealed to the creek’s largemouth and spotted bass.

“With the largemouth, you had to lay it on the bank; it’s almost like their backs would be out of the water,” Christie said. “The spotted bass would be in the current around the eddies.”

While Christie’s 21-foot XPress aluminum boat was ideal for the shallow habitat he fished, fuel management was essential for ensuring he could make the return trip. After a strong Day 1 performance, he had to allow for the weight of a cameraperson and gear.

Removing approximately 150 pounds of tackle and 14 of his usual 20 rods helped, but Christie noted that the higher water of Days 3 and 4 slightly reduced his fuel consumption by allowing him to safely run a straighter course through the Sabine’s many turns.

Carefully calculating his fuel plan and running time, Christie allowed himself a generous return window each day. Reaching the takeoff area with approximately an hour to spare, he flipped shallow targets with a black/blue flake YUM Spine Craw.

On Sunday, that strategy allowed him to make two small culls that contributed to his winning margin.

Hailing from Collinsville, Miss., Mosley tallied a four-day total of 42-9. After taking the Day 1 lead with 15-10 — the event’s heaviest bag — Mosley held the second-place spot for the tournament’s remainder with weights of 12-4, 6-14 and 7-13.

The first three days, Mosley ran 110 miles west to fish Clear Creek on the east side of metro Houston. There, he did most of his work with a 1/2-ounce chartreuse/white Z-Man JackHammer ChatterBait with a white Yamamoto Zako trailer.

Mosley, who also placed second at the previous Elite on Pickwick Lake, switched his strategy and stayed closed to takeoff where he allowed himself maximum fishing time. Starting his day with a reaction bite inspired hope for a big outcome, but the opportunities never materialized.

“I caught my first fish on a spinnerbait and then I thought it was game-on, but I never got another bite on it,” he said. “I ended up catching my limit by flipping a Yamamoto Flappin Hog, then I picked up a frog and went to Adams Bayou. I had the bites, they just never connected.

“At 2:40, I came back up by takeoff and threw the ChatterBait. I had a big one pull off and that kind of stings. I fished as hard as I could; I have no regrets.”

Taku Ito of Chiba, Japan, finished third with 40-12. Turning in a solid performance that accelerated in the second half, Ito caught limits of 9-2, 8-5, 12-4 and 11-1. As he explained, the tough fishing of his Japanese home waters prepared him to capitalize on the late-day downturns, during which he excelled.

“Most anglers are good at catching feeding fish on ChatterBaits, flipping, spinnerbait; but I don’t like shallow fishing, I don’t like power fishing, I don’t like cover — I like finesse fishing,” Ito said. “The afternoon is tough. The current stops, it’s sunny — that’s good for me.”

Targeting the shady areas of a broken bridge near takeoff, Ito caught his bass on Nories Sankaku-T-San (a T-shaped soft-plastic bait) rigged on a 2/0 Ryugi Infini hook with a 3/16- to 1/4-ounce nail weight. His final-round limit included a 3-pounder at 12:20 p.m. and a 3-14 at 2:40.

Marc Frazier of Newnan, Ga., won the Phoenix Boats Big Bass award for his 6-6.

Seth Feider of New Market, Minn., leads the Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings with 341 points, followed by Patrick Walters of Summerville, S.C., with 333, Drew Cook of Cairo, Ga., with 317. Christie with 303 and Mosley with 302.

Bryan New of Belmont, N.C., leads the Rookie of the Year standings with 261 points.

Christie took home $3,000 for being the highest-placing entrant in the Toyota Bonus Bucks program, and Mosley earned $2,000 for being the second-highest placing entrant.

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

2021 Dovetail Games Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River is sponsored by Bassmaster Fishing 2022 – the official video game of B.A.S.S. 4/8-4/11
Sabine River, Orange TX.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 4

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

1. Jason Christie Park Hill, OK 20 43-15 100 $100,000.00
Day 1: 5 15-01 Day 2: 5 13-14 Day 3: 5 06-12 Day 4: 5 08-04
2. Brock Mosley Collinsville, MS 20 42-09 99 $35,000.00
Day 1: 5 15-10 Day 2: 5 12-04 Day 3: 5 06-14 Day 4: 5 07-13
3. Taku Ito Chiba JAPAN 20 40-12 98 $32,000.00
Day 1: 5 09-02 Day 2: 5 08-05 Day 3: 5 12-04 Day 4: 5 11-01
4. Chris Johnston Otonabee Ontario CANADA 20 39-15 97 $25,000.00
Day 1: 5 09-04 Day 2: 5 12-04 Day 3: 5 10-11 Day 4: 5 07-12
5. Drew Cook Cairo, GA 20 39-14 96 $20,000.00
Day 1: 5 09-15 Day 2: 5 07-07 Day 3: 5 11-10 Day 4: 5 10-14
6. Seth Feider New Market, MN 20 39-07 95 $19,000.00
Day 1: 5 09-13 Day 2: 5 10-13 Day 3: 5 10-02 Day 4: 5 08-11
7. Caleb Sumrall New Iberia, LA 20 38-01 94 $18,000.00
Day 1: 5 09-11 Day 2: 5 09-09 Day 3: 5 11-06 Day 4: 5 07-07
8. Kyle Welcher Opelika, AL 20 37-06 93 $17,000.00
Day 1: 5 10-02 Day 2: 5 07-11 Day 3: 5 11-12 Day 4: 5 07-13
9. Lee Livesay Longview, TX 20 36-13 92 $16,000.00
Day 1: 5 12-08 Day 2: 5 08-10 Day 3: 5 08-04 Day 4: 5 07-07
10. KJ Queen Catawba, NC 20 35-15 91 $16,000.00
Day 1: 5 11-05 Day 2: 5 09-12 Day 3: 5 08-01 Day 4: 5 06-13


Fletcher Shryock Wins Qualifying Round for Group A at General Tire Heavy Hitters

Alabama Pro Advances Straight into Wednesday’s Championship Round, 2nd- through 9th-place finishers Prep for Tuesday’s Knockout Round

RALEIGH, N.C. (April 11, 2021) – The Major League Fishing (MLF) General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops event certainly lived up to it’s billing, Sunday, as the best bass anglers in the world caught numerous big fish throughout the day on Jordan Lake that made for a very exciting broadcast for fishing fans. After the last fish had been tallied, pro Fletcher Shryock of Guntersville, Alabama , earned the Group A Qualifying Round victory, catching a two-day total of 23 bass weighing 88 pounds, 13 ounces, and punching his ticket directly into Wednesday’s Championship Round.

Link to Photo of Qualifying Round Group A Winner Fletcher Shryock
Link to Photo Gallery of Highlights from Qualifying Group A Day 2 on Lake Jordan

Shryock also won the $25,000 Berkley Big Bass Bonus award Sunday after catching the biggest bass of the two-day Group A Qualifying Round, boating a giant 9-pound, 4-ounce largemouth that he caught flipping a Yamamoto Fat Ika right near the end of Period 2. Berkley Big Bass Bonuses are awarded throughout the competition, with payouts of $25,000, $50,000 and $100,000 being awarded for the single biggest fish in the Qualifying, Knockout and Championship rounds.

“I had a pretty incredible day – not just because I won the round, but to catch that many big ones in one day was just awesome,” said Shryock, who earned the first Qualifying Round win of his MLF career. “I got to fish exactly the way that I like to fish, and catching a 9 (pounder) flipping bushes and willows and stuff like that, it just doesn’t happen a lot. These lakes are incredible.”

Shryock said his key bait Sunday was the Yamamoto Fat Ika, fished on a prototype Favorite Fishing rod – expected to launch this year at ICAST – with 40-pound Vicious braided line.

“I came out today really just trying to stay inside the top-10 cut, but the next thing I knew it was 5-pounder, 4-pounder, 4-pounder, and I just worked my way up the leaderboard. Today was just a great day of fishing, and winning $25,000 and going straight to the Championship Round just makes it that much sweeter.”

Pro Dean Rojas of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, also had a special day. After catching just two bass on Friday and ending the first day of competition in dead-last 20th place, Rojas skyrocketed up the leaderboard Sunday, boating 15 bass weighing 57-11 to end the day inside the Toro Cut Line in 6th place and advance to the Knockout Round with a two-day total of 17 bass for 63-5.

“I had a great day today, a day that you dream about, especially in competition,” Rojas said. “Especially after only catching five pounds on the first day. Coming back and catching 55 pounds today, what an awesome dream day. And there is no better time to do it than today to move on to the Knockout Round at Heavy Hitters.”

The 10 anglers advancing from Group A will have a day off Monday, while the 20 anglers in Group B will complete their two-day Qualifying Round of competition. The Knockout Round, featuring 18 anglers competing to finish in the top eight, will take place on Tuesday. Wednesday’s Championship Round will feature Shryock, Monday’s Group B Qualifying Round winner, and the top eight anglers from the Knockout Round competing in a final-day shootout for the top prize of $100,000.

The top 10 pros from Qualifying Group A that now advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round on Shearon Harris Reservoir are:

1st:          Fletcher Shryock, Guntersville, Ala., 23 bass, 88-13 (ADVANCES DIRECTLY TO CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND)
2nd:         Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., 22 bass, 76-5
3rd:         Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 20 bass, 66-13
4th:         Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 17 bass, 64-9
5th:         Ish Monroe, Oakdale, Calif., 17 bass, 64-4
6th:         Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 17 bass, 63-5
7th:         Boyd Duckett, Guntersville, Ala., 17 bass, 60-7
8th:         Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., 14 bass, 53-12
9th:         Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala., 15 bass, 52-9
10th:       Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas., 15 bass, 51-4

Finishing in 11th through 20th in Qualifying Group A are:

11th:       Mike McClelland, Blue Eye, Mo., 12 bass, 47-4
12th:       Randall Tharp, Port Saint Joe, Fla., 14 bass, 46-13
13th:       Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan., 13 bass, 43-3
14th:       Mike Iaconelli, Runnemede, N.J., 15 bass, 41-13
15th:       Britt Myers, Lake Wylie, S.C., 11 bass, 36-2
16th:       Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., 11 bass, 36-1
17th:       Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., 12 bass, 35-6
18th:       David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 10 bass, 29-4
19th:       Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., six bass, 23-3
20th:       Fred Roumbanis, Russellville, Ark., five bass, 16-7

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

Overall, there were 113 bass weighing 405 pounds, 15 ounces caught by 19 pros on Sunday, which included one 9-pounders, two 8-pounders, one 7-pounder and three 6-pounders caught from Jordan Lake.

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

The 20 Anglers in Group A competed in their two-day qualifying round on Jordan Lake on Friday and Sunday – the 20 anglers in Group B on Falls Lake on Saturday and Monday. After each two-day qualifying round is complete, the anglers that finish in 2nd through 10th place from both groups advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round on Shearon Harris, while the winner of each group advances directly to Wednesday’s Championship Round on Shearon Harris. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed and the remaining 18 anglers compete to finish in the top 8 to advance to the Championship Round. In the final day Championship Round, weights are zeroed and the highest one-day total wins.

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

The MLF NOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action each day of competition from 7:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET. MLF NOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com. and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

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

For complete details and updated information on General Tire Heavy Hitters, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitter,  Instagram, and  YouTube.


Despite High Water, Christie Maintains Lead At Bassmaster Elite On Sabine River

With a three-day total of 35 pounds, 11 ounces, Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., is leading after Day 3 of the 2021 Dovetail Games Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River sponsored by Bassmaster Fishing 2022 – the official video game of B.A.S.S.

Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

April 10, 2021

ORANGE, Texas — Jason Christie had more gas than he needed and more water than he wanted, but the Park Hill, Okla., angler’s three-day total of 35 pounds, 11 ounces allowed him to maintain his lead on Day 3 of the Dovetail Games Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River sponsored by Bassmaster Fishing 2022 – the official video game of B.A.S.S.

Christie placed second on Day 1 with 15-1 and took over the top spot Friday by adding 13-14. On Saturday, the Sabine was in a stingier mood and Christie found only a small limit of 6-12. He holds a 15-ounce lead over Day 1 leader Brock Mosley.

Returning to the same narrow backwater about two hours upriver, Christie found that increased water releases from Toledo Bend Dam had raised the water level in his region about 6 to 7 feet.

With the extra weight of a cameraperson and gear in his boat Friday and Saturday, Christie has been carefully monitoring fuel consumption. On Saturday, the high water facilitated his run but it inundated his playing field.

“Once I got about 15 miles from where I was going, the (river) water was up in the trees,” Christie said. “The good thing was I could run a little straighter line and I had more gas left, but it doesn’t help when you don’t catch a lot of fish.

“I went from 40 to 50 bites a day to seven. I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but at least I got (a limit) today.”

Christie is a shallow-water specialist who surgically picks apart visible targets like the laydowns, cypress knees and cut banks abounding in his backwater spot. On Saturday, the extra water covered much of those features and scattered the bass into the surrounding forest.

Despite his flipping prowess, Christie relied on a 1/2-ounce chartreuse/white/blue Booyah Covert spinnerbait with tandem nickel and gold Colorado blades to catch a limit of spotted bass, including one about 2 1/4 pounds.

“There’s not that many (quality fish) in there and when you quadruple the amount of water, it just spreads them out,” he said. “I’m sure some people might say, ‘Pick up a flipping stick and go to work,’ but with only four hours to fish, I don’t have time to stop and flip.”

After losing a good fish early and struggling to find additional opportunities, Christie pushed farther into the creek. Days 1 and 2, he fished a half mile in. On Saturday, he went about twice as far.

Same as the first two days, Christie allowed himself sufficient time to make the downstream run to weigh-in. Arriving with time to spare, he flipped a few spots close to the ramp with a YUM Spine Craw and culled out his smallest spot with a largemouth.

Despite the changing conditions, Christie’s confident the area he’s fished for three days offers his best opportunity to win.

“I’ve just kept myself in the only place I feel like there’s a big concentration of fish,” he said. “If the water’s still high, I have a couple of places that I tried to get into in practice and I should be able to get into.

“I can’t stay (close to takeoff) and fish. I can’t do it; that’s not me. I gotta go with what got me here.”

Hailing from Collinsville, Miss., Mosley ran 110 miles West to fish Clear Creek near the metro Houston area. He’s made that run each day, but Saturday yielded a small limit of 6-14 to go with his previous weights of 15-10 and 12-4. His three-day total is 34-12.

Mosley started with his game plan of fishing a 1/2-ounce chartreuse/white Z-Man JackHammer ChatterBait with a white Yamamoto Zako trailer along seawalls, docks and shoreline wood. On Saturday, he also reached deeper into the area’s backwaters.

“The last couple of days, I haven’t been able to move around because I’ve been spending some of my day playing defense and keeping (competitors) off the spots where I’ve been catching my better fish,” Mosley said. “Today, I was able to move around a little bit.

“I don’t think my areas are necessarily going dry, but today it seemed like the tide stayed up and I never really felt like the water was moving really strong. I had a lot of bites, but they were just slapping it; they weren’t eating it like they were the last two days.”

Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Canada, is in third with 32-3. After weighing bags of 9-4 and 12-4, he added 10-11 Saturday.

Johnston, who became the first Canadian to win an Elite event with his 2020 victory at the St. Lawrence River, targeted shallow backwaters in the Neches River. He varied his presentations based on tide stage.

“I caught quite a few fish on an unweighted black floating worm when the water was low,” Johnston said. “That seems to be the way I can get a limit. I hadn’t caught any big fish on it all week, but today, I caught a 3 1/4-pounder on it.

“When the water gets back into the (vegetation), that’s when I flip. I caught my biggest fish (3 1/2) flipping a Strike King Rage Bug with a 3/8-ounce Woo Tungsten weight.”

Marc Frazier of Newnan, Ga., is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 6-6 largemouth.

Seth Feider of New Market, Minn., leads the Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings with 343 points, followed by Patrick Walters of Summerville, S.C., with 333 and Drew Cook of Cairo, Ga., with 312.

Bryan New of Belmont, N.C., leads the Rookie of the Year standings with 261 points.

The remaining 10 anglers will take off at 6:45 a.m. CT Sunday from the City of Orange Boat Ramp. The weigh-in will be held at the ramp at 3 p.m.

Live coverage of the event can be streamed on Bassmaster.com and the FOX Sports digital platforms. FS1 will also broadcast the action live with the leaders beginning at 7 a.m. CT.

2021 Dovetail Games Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River is sponsored by Bassmaster Fishing 2022 – the official video game of B.A.S.S. 4/8-4/11
Sabine River, Orange TX.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 3

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

1. Jason Christie Park Hill, OK 15 35-11 100
Day 1: 5 15-01 Day 2: 5 13-14 Day 3: 5 06-12
2. Brock Mosley Collinsville, MS 15 34-12 99
Day 1: 5 15-10 Day 2: 5 12-04 Day 3: 5 06-14
3. Chris Johnston Otonabee Ontario CANADA 15 32-03 98
Day 1: 5 09-04 Day 2: 5 12-04 Day 3: 5 10-11
4. Seth Feider New Market, MN 15 30-12 97
Day 1: 5 09-13 Day 2: 5 10-13 Day 3: 5 10-02
5. Caleb Sumrall New Iberia, LA 15 30-10 96
Day 1: 5 09-11 Day 2: 5 09-09 Day 3: 5 11-06
6. Taku Ito Chiba JAPAN 15 29-11 95 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 09-02 Day 2: 5 08-05 Day 3: 5 12-04
7. Kyle Welcher Opelika, AL 15 29-09 94
Day 1: 5 10-02 Day 2: 5 07-11 Day 3: 5 11-12
8. Lee Livesay Longview, TX 15 29-06 93
Day 1: 5 12-08 Day 2: 5 08-10 Day 3: 5 08-04
9. KJ Queen Catawba, NC 15 29-02 92 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 11-05 Day 2: 5 09-12 Day 3: 5 08-01
10. Drew Cook Cairo, GA 15 29-00 91
Day 1: 5 09-15 Day 2: 5 07-07 Day 3: 5 11-10
11. Matt Robertson Kuttawa, KY 15 28-08 90 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 10-11 Day 2: 5 09-00 Day 3: 5 08-13
12. Caleb Kuphall Mukwonago, WI 15 27-15 89 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 13-00 Day 2: 5 09-03 Day 3: 5 05-12
13. Randy Sullivan Breckenridge, TX 15 27-10 88 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 08-03 Day 2: 5 07-12 Day 3: 5 11-11
14. Yusuke Miyazaki Forney, TX 15 27-03 87 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 08-10 Day 2: 5 08-05 Day 3: 5 10-04
15. Brandon Cobb Greenwood, SC 15 26-12 86 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 11-14 Day 2: 5 06-14 Day 3: 5 08-00
16. John Cox Debary, FL 15 26-07 85 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 09-04 Day 2: 5 11-05 Day 3: 5 05-14
17. Tyler Rivet Raceland, LA 15 25-14 84 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 10-09 Day 2: 5 07-14 Day 3: 5 07-07
18. Hank Cherry Jr Lincolnton, NC 15 25-12 83 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 10-09 Day 2: 5 07-11 Day 3: 5 07-08
19. Mark Menendez Paducah, KY 15 25-08 82 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 05-12 Day 2: 5 09-04 Day 3: 5 10-08
20. Brett Preuett Monroe, LA 15 25-07 81 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 08-07 Day 2: 5 09-13 Day 3: 5 07-03
21. Quentin Cappo Prairieville, LA 15 25-02 80 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 06-10 Day 2: 5 08-08 Day 3: 5 10-00
22. Pat Schlapper Eleva, WI 15 25-02 79 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 07-13 Day 2: 5 07-11 Day 3: 5 09-10
23. Ray Hanselman Jr Del Rio, TX 15 25-01 78 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 07-09 Day 2: 5 10-00 Day 3: 5 07-08
24. Luke Palmer Coalgate, OK 15 24-15 77 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 09-01 Day 2: 5 10-07 Day 3: 5 05-07
25. Harvey Horne Bella Vista, AR 15 24-12 76 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 07-05 Day 2: 5 08-10 Day 3: 5 08-13
26. Marc Frazier Newnan, GA 12 24-06 75 $11,000.00
Day 1: 5 12-02 Day 2: 2 02-15 Day 3: 5 09-05
27. Hunter Shryock Ooltewah, TN 15 24-01 74 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 06-13 Day 2: 5 08-02 Day 3: 5 09-02
28. John Crews Jr Salem, VA 15 24-00 73 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 09-02 Day 2: 5 08-00 Day 3: 5 06-14
29. Bob Downey Hudson, WI 15 23-10 72 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 10-01 Day 2: 5 07-03 Day 3: 5 06-06
30. Clark Wendlandt Leander, TX 15 22-14 71 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 07-14 Day 2: 5 06-14 Day 3: 5 08-02
31. Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 15 22-10 70 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 06-13 Day 2: 5 08-05 Day 3: 5 07-08
32. Patrick Walters Summerville, SC 15 22-07 69 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 08-09 Day 2: 5 06-09 Day 3: 5 07-05
33. Justin Atkins Florence, AL 15 22-04 68 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 09-11 Day 2: 5 06-01 Day 3: 5 06-08
34. Gerald Swindle Guntersville, AL 15 21-05 67 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 06-11 Day 2: 5 08-05 Day 3: 5 06-05
35. Brad Whatley Bivins, TX 15 20-13 66 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 05-14 Day 2: 5 09-01 Day 3: 5 05-14
36. Matt Arey Shelby, NC 15 20-13 65 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 07-08 Day 2: 5 07-11 Day 3: 5 05-10
37. Scott Martin Clewiston, FL 14 19-14 64 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 07-04 Day 2: 5 08-15 Day 3: 4 03-11
38. Robbie Latuso Gonzales, LA 11 19-13 63 $10,000.00
Day 1: 2 05-10 Day 2: 5 09-03 Day 3: 4 05-00
39. Matt Herren Ashville, AL 13 19-08 62 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 09-03 Day 2: 5 06-02 Day 3: 3 04-03
40. Brandon Card Salisbury, NC 10 19-06 61 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 07-11 Day 2: 5 11-11 Day 3: 0 00-00
41. Jake Whitaker Fairview, NC 12 19-02 60 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 07-09 Day 2: 5 07-12 Day 3: 2 03-13
42. Bill Lowen Brookville, IN 13 18-02 59 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 07-02 Day 2: 5 07-13 Day 3: 3 03-03
43. Paul Mueller Naugatuck, CT 12 18-01 58 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 04-02 Day 2: 5 10-11 Day 3: 2 03-04
44. Stetson Blaylock Benton, AR 11 17-10 57 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 10-03 Day 2: 4 04-07 Day 3: 2 03-00
45. Skylar Hamilton Dandridge, TN 12 17-10 56 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 10-00 Day 2: 5 05-08 Day 3: 2 02-02
46. Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, MO 11 17-06 55 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 08-12 Day 2: 5 07-12 Day 3: 1 00-14
47. Koby Kreiger Alva, FL 11 16-14 54 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 07-10 Day 2: 5 07-03 Day 3: 1 02-01
48. Destin DeMarion Grove City, PA 11 16-06 53 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 06-02 Day 2: 5 08-13 Day 3: 1 01-07
49. Drew Benton Blakely, GA 10 14-11 52 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 07-04 Day 2: 5 07-07 Day 3: 0 00-00


Christie Pushes Deep For Lead In Bassmaster Elite Series Event At Sabine River

With a two-day total of 28 pounds, 15 ounces, Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., is leading after Day 2 of the 2021 Dovetail Games Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River sponsored by Bassmaster Fishing 2022 – the official video game of B.A.S.S.
Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

April 9, 2021
ORANGE, Texas — Putting significant distance between himself and the rest of the 98-boat field, Jason Christie amassed a two-day total of 28 pounds, 15 ounces and took over the Day 2 lead of the 2021 Dovetail Games Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River sponsored by Bassmaster Fishing 2022 – the official video game of B.A.S.S.

Placing second on Thursday with 15-1, the pro from Park Hill, Okla., added 13-14 Friday.

Christie is running nearly two hours up the Sabine River to fish a small backwater area with abundant shallow cover and clear water. He caught fish flipping yesterday, but with more inflowing water, a 1/2-ounce chartreuse/white/blue Booyah Covert spinnerbait with tandem nickel and gold Colorado blades produced best Friday.

“The water was high and the current was ripping in there and I’m starting to think that the best thing to do is just cover water when it’s high,” Christie said. “Tomorrow, I might go up there and it might be low and the current’s slowed down and I can catch them flipping again. I’ll just have to see what happens when I get there.”

Christie had previously visited his general area when the Elites last visited the Sabine in 2018. Expanding his waters led him to greater opportunity.

“I just didn’t go far enough the last time we were here, and it seems like they’re tucked in there a little ways,” Christie said. “I had practiced up there and, honestly, I had written it off, but I got home and looked at Google Earth and there was one place I hadn’t been.

“The bites I had in other places had been one here, one there, so I needed a place like I found that had a lot of fish.”

Christie has the place to himself, but that’s largely because of the daunting run through a winding river peppered with sandbars, floating logs and other day-wreckers. He’s running up and back at a cautious 35 to 40 mph.

“I could run faster, but maybe that was a blessing, because as soon as you start thinking you can run up there, you hit something,” Christie said. “So, I’m just cruising.”

The other consideration is fuel consumption. Christie runs a 21-foot XPress aluminum boat, which is significantly lighter than similar-sized fiberglass boats. To further lighten his load and increase fuel economy, he removed about 150 pounds of tackle from his boat.

Nevertheless, with no fueling options upriver from the takeoff site, Christie had to account for the extra weight of a cameraperson and related gear.

“I ran it in practice and I ran it the first day of the tournament by myself and, both times, when I shut down in my place, I’d have 20.8 or 20.6 gallons left, which is almost half of what I can carry,” Christie said. “Today, when I shut down, I had 19.4, so I knew that I had to do some switching.

“I dropped two gallons per hour and cruised at 10 to 11 and it really helped. The best I can figure, I (returned with) 3/4 gallon left.”

Christie said his conservative approach was essential for making the Top 49 cut. On Saturday, he’ll still carefully monitor fuel flow on his Garmin unit, but he may fish longer.

“Tomorrow, I feel like to have a chance to win I’m going to have to push it a little bit,” he said. “But it’s very nerve-wracking as far as fuel and getting back.”

Day 1 leader Brock Mosley again made the long run to the Houston area, added 12-4 to his opening weight of 15-10 — the event’s largest bag — and tallied 27-14. Facing windier conditions today, Mosley was initially planning to remain in the Sabine, but he made a spontaneous call to replicate his first day’s game plan.

“I asked a lot of my buddies on tour what they would do; most of them said they would go in a heartbeat," Mosley said. “I made up my mind last night that I wasn’t going, but I was sitting there before takeoff and (fellow Elites) Drew Benton and Drew Cook were like, ‘Why aren’t you going?’

“I said, ‘I don’t think I can make it,’ and they said, ‘You know you already have enough to make the cut, you might as well try to win this thing and you’re not going to win it over here.’”

Returning to the same bayou on Houston’s east side, Mosley again targeted seawalls, docks and shoreline wood with a 1/2-ounce chartreuse/white Z-Man ChatterBait JackHammer with a white Yamamoto Zako trailer.

“I got over there, caught a couple of good ones really quick, left a little before 12 and got back a little after 2,” Mosley said. “I actually made it there quicker than I did yesterday, but I gave myself over three hours to get back. It only took me a little over two.”

Caleb Kuphall of Mukwonago, Wis., held steady in third place with 22-3. Adding 9-3 to the 13 pounds he weighed in on Day 1, Kuphall returned to the same area and fished a series of small channels off the main river.

“I spent most of my day in there and caught most of my keepers, but it’s getting hit hard and I may have to get something else going,” Kuphall said. “I caught my biggest fish in a different area with a similar scenario.”

Kuphall caught most of his fish on a homemade 3/8-ounce green pumpkin flipping jig with a craw chunk-style trailer. He caught his biggest fish on a spinnerbait.

Marc Frazier of Newnan, Ga., is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 6-6 largemouth that he caught on Day 1.

Seth Feider of New Market, Minn., leads the Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings with 340 points, followed by Patrick Walters of Summerville, S.C., with 331 and Christie with 303.

Bryan New of Belmont, N.C., leads the Rookie of the Year standings with 261 points.

Saturday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6:45 a.m. CT at the City of Orange Boat Ramp. The weigh-in will be held at the ramp at 3 p.m., with the Top 10 anglers advancing to Championship Sunday.

Live coverage of the event can be streamed on Bassmaster.com and the FOX Sports digital platforms. FS1 will also broadcast the action live with the leaders beginning at 7 a.m. CT.

2021 Dovetail Games Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River is sponsored by Bassmaster Fishing 2022 – the official video game of B.A.S.S. 4/8-4/11
Sabine River, Orange TX.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 2

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

1. Jason Christie Park Hill, OK 10 28-15 100
Day 1: 5 15-01 Day 2: 5 13-14
2. Brock Mosley Collinsville, MS 10 27-14 99
Day 1: 5 15-10 Day 2: 5 12-04
3. Caleb Kuphall Mukwonago, WI 10 22-03 98
Day 1: 5 13-00 Day 2: 5 09-03
4. Chris Johnston Otonabee Ontario CANADA 10 21-08 97
Day 1: 5 09-04 Day 2: 5 12-04
5. Lee Livesay Longview, TX 10 21-02 96
Day 1: 5 12-08 Day 2: 5 08-10
6. KJ Queen Catawba, NC 10 21-01 95 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 11-05 Day 2: 5 09-12
7. Seth Feider New Market, MN 10 20-10 94
Day 1: 5 09-13 Day 2: 5 10-13
8. John Cox Debary, FL 10 20-09 93
Day 1: 5 09-04 Day 2: 5 11-05
9. Matt Robertson Kuttawa, KY 10 19-11 92
Day 1: 5 10-11 Day 2: 5 09-00
10. Luke Palmer Coalgate, OK 10 19-08 91
Day 1: 5 09-01 Day 2: 5 10-07
11. Brandon Card Salisbury, NC 10 19-06 90
Day 1: 5 07-11 Day 2: 5 11-11
12. Caleb Sumrall New Iberia, LA 10 19-04 89
Day 1: 5 09-11 Day 2: 5 09-09
13. Brandon Cobb Greenwood, SC 10 18-12 88
Day 1: 5 11-14 Day 2: 5 06-14
14. Tyler Rivet Raceland, LA 10 18-07 87
Day 1: 5 10-09 Day 2: 5 07-14
15. Hank Cherry Jr Lincolnton, NC 10 18-04 86
Day 1: 5 10-09 Day 2: 5 07-11
16. Brett Preuett Monroe, LA 10 18-04 85
Day 1: 5 08-07 Day 2: 5 09-13
17. Kyle Welcher Opelika, AL 10 17-13 84
Day 1: 5 10-02 Day 2: 5 07-11
18. Ray Hanselman Jr Del Rio, TX 10 17-09 83
Day 1: 5 07-09 Day 2: 5 10-00
19. Taku Ito Chiba JAPAN 10 17-07 82
Day 1: 5 09-02 Day 2: 5 08-05
20. Drew Cook Cairo, GA 10 17-06 81
Day 1: 5 09-15 Day 2: 5 07-07
21. Bob Downey Hudson, WI 10 17-04 80
Day 1: 5 10-01 Day 2: 5 07-03
22. John Crews Jr Salem, VA 10 17-02 79
Day 1: 5 09-02 Day 2: 5 08-00
23. Yusuke Miyazaki Forney, TX 10 16-15 78
Day 1: 5 08-10 Day 2: 5 08-05
24. Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, MO 10 16-08 77
Day 1: 5 08-12 Day 2: 5 07-12
25. Scott Martin Clewiston, FL 10 16-03 76
Day 1: 5 07-04 Day 2: 5 08-15
26. Harvey Horne Bella Vista, AR 10 15-15 75
Day 1: 5 07-05 Day 2: 5 08-10
27. Randy Sullivan Breckenridge, TX 10 15-15 74
Day 1: 5 08-03 Day 2: 5 07-12
28. Justin Atkins Florence, AL 10 15-12 73
Day 1: 5 09-11 Day 2: 5 06-01
29. Skylar Hamilton Dandridge, TN 10 15-08 72
Day 1: 5 10-00 Day 2: 5 05-08
30. Pat Schlapper Eleva, WI 10 15-08 71
Day 1: 5 07-13 Day 2: 5 07-11
31. Matt Herren Ashville, AL 10 15-05 70
Day 1: 5 09-03 Day 2: 5 06-02
32. Jake Whitaker Fairview, NC 10 15-05 69
Day 1: 5 07-09 Day 2: 5 07-12
33. Matt Arey Shelby, NC 10 15-03 68
Day 1: 5 07-08 Day 2: 5 07-11
34. Patrick Walters Summerville, SC 10 15-02 67
Day 1: 5 08-09 Day 2: 5 06-09
35. Quentin Cappo Prairieville, LA 10 15-02 66
Day 1: 5 06-10 Day 2: 5 08-08
36. Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 10 15-02 65
Day 1: 5 06-13 Day 2: 5 08-05
37. Marc Frazier Newnan, GA 7 15-01 64 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 12-02 Day 2: 2 02-15
38. Mark Menendez Paducah, KY 10 15-00 63
Day 1: 5 05-12 Day 2: 5 09-04
39. Gerald Swindle Guntersville, AL 10 15-00 62
Day 1: 5 06-11 Day 2: 5 08-05
40. Brad Whatley Bivins, TX 10 14-15 61
Day 1: 5 05-14 Day 2: 5 09-01
41. Destin DeMarion Grove City, PA 10 14-15 60
Day 1: 5 06-02 Day 2: 5 08-13
42. Hunter Shryock Ooltewah, TN 10 14-15 59
Day 1: 5 06-13 Day 2: 5 08-02
43. Bill Lowen Brookville, IN 10 14-15 58
Day 1: 5 07-02 Day 2: 5 07-13
44. Paul Mueller Naugatuck, CT 10 14-13 57
Day 1: 5 04-02 Day 2: 5 10-11
45. Robbie Latuso Gonzales, LA 7 14-13 56
Day 1: 2 05-10 Day 2: 5 09-03
46. Koby Kreiger Alva, FL 10 14-13 55
Day 1: 5 07-10 Day 2: 5 07-03
47. Clark Wendlandt Leander, TX 10 14-12 54
Day 1: 5 07-14 Day 2: 5 06-14
48. Drew Benton Blakely, GA 10 14-11 53
Day 1: 5 07-04 Day 2: 5 07-07
49. Stetson Blaylock Benton, AR 9 14-10 52
Day 1: 5 10-03 Day 2: 4 04-07
50. Buddy Gross Chickamauga, GA 10 14-09 51 $5,000.00
Day 1: 5 09-02 Day 2: 5 05-07
51. Cliff Prince Palatka, FL 10 14-07 50 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 06-00 Day 2: 5 08-07
52. Greg Hackney Gonzales, LA 10 14-04 49 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 08-03 Day 2: 5 06-01
53. Jason Williamson Wagener, SC 10 14-03 48 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 08-09 Day 2: 5 05-10
54. Chris Groh Spring Grove, IL 9 14-01 47 $2,500.00
Day 1: 4 05-11 Day 2: 5 08-06
55. Carl Jocumsen Queensland AUSTRALIA 8 14-01 46 $2,500.00
Day 1: 3 06-04 Day 2: 5 07-13
56. Ed Loughran III Richmond, VA 10 14-00 45 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 05-00 Day 2: 5 09-00
57. Joshua Stracner Vandiver, AL 10 14-00 44 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 07-03 Day 2: 5 06-13
58. Justin Hamner Northport, AL 10 13-05 43 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 08-01 Day 2: 5 05-04
59. Darold Gleason Many, LA 9 13-03 42 $2,500.00
Day 1: 4 06-07 Day 2: 5 06-12
60. Kenta Kimura Osaka JAPAN 6 13-01 41 $2,500.00
Day 1: 1 01-00 Day 2: 5 12-01
61. Brandon Palaniuk Rathdrum, ID 9 13-00 40 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 07-07 Day 2: 4 05-09
62. Chris Zaldain Fort Worth, TX 9 12-12 39 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 06-04 Day 2: 4 06-08
63. Rick Morris Lake Gaston, VA 7 12-07 38 $2,500.00
Day 1: 3 05-04 Day 2: 4 07-03
64. Shane LeHew Catawba, NC 10 12-06 37 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 05-01 Day 2: 5 07-05
65. Wes Logan Springville, AL 10 12-03 36 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 07-12 Day 2: 5 04-07
66. Keith Combs Huntington, TX 8 12-03 35 $2,500.00
Day 1: 3 04-11 Day 2: 5 07-08
67. Bill Weidler Helena, AL 9 12-01 34 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 06-06 Day 2: 4 05-11
68. Randy Pierson Oakdale, CA 10 11-15 33 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 06-05 Day 2: 5 05-10
69. Brandon Lester Fayetteville, TN 10 11-13 32 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 06-08 Day 2: 5 05-05
70. Cory Johnston Cavan CANADA 8 11-04 31 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 07-15 Day 2: 3 03-05
71. Scott Canterbury Odenville, AL 7 11-03 30 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 08-10 Day 2: 2 02-09
72. Jeff Gustafson Keewatin Ontario CANADA 8 10-13 29 $2,500.00
Day 1: 3 04-10 Day 2: 5 06-03
73. Austin Felix Eden Prairie, MN 8 10-11 28 $2,500.00
Day 1: 4 04-05 Day 2: 4 06-06
74. Clifford Pirch Payson, AZ 6 10-10 27 $2,500.00
Day 1: 1 02-10 Day 2: 5 08-00
75. David Mullins Mt Carmel, TN 8 10-10 26 $2,500.00
Day 1: 3 03-09 Day 2: 5 07-01
76. Jay Yelas Lincoln City, OR 6 10-08 25
Day 1: 1 01-02 Day 2: 5 09-06
77. Gregory DiPalma Millville, NJ 8 09-15 24
Day 1: 5 06-14 Day 2: 3 03-01
78. Gary Clouse Winchester, TN 7 09-13 23
Day 1: 3 04-04 Day 2: 4 05-09
79. Bryan New Belmont, NC 8 09-10 22
Day 1: 4 04-10 Day 2: 4 05-00
80. Jamie Hartman Newport, NY 8 09-09 21
Day 1: 3 03-04 Day 2: 5 06-05
81. Derek Hudnall Denham Springs, LA 8 09-09 20
Day 1: 4 05-00 Day 2: 4 04-09
82. Mike Huff Corbin, KY 8 09-07 19
Day 1: 5 06-02 Day 2: 3 03-05
83. Clent Davis Montevallo, AL 10 09-06 18
Day 1: 5 05-06 Day 2: 5 04-00
84. Frank Talley Temple, TX 8 09-05 17
Day 1: 5 06-09 Day 2: 3 02-12
85. Micah Frazier Newnan, GA 8 08-15 16
Day 1: 3 03-00 Day 2: 5 05-15
86. Todd Auten Lake Wylie, SC 8 08-15 15
Day 1: 3 03-08 Day 2: 5 05-07
87. Rick Clunn Ava, MO 8 08-08 14
Day 1: 5 05-09 Day 2: 3 02-15
88. David Fritts Lexington, NC 8 08-05 13
Day 1: 3 03-03 Day 2: 5 05-02
89. Shane Lineberger Lincolnton, NC 8 08-02 12
Day 1: 5 04-10 Day 2: 3 03-08
90. Bryan Schmitt Deale, MD 6 07-06 11
Day 1: 1 01-02 Day 2: 5 06-04
91. Cody Hollen Beaverton, OR 5 07-05 10
Day 1: 1 01-05 Day 2: 4 06-00
92. Kyle Monti Okeechobee, FL 5 07-01 9
Day 1: 5 07-01 Day 2: 0 00-00
93. Garrett Paquette Canton, MI 5 06-03 8
Day 1: 2 02-07 Day 2: 3 03-12
94. Chad Morgenthaler Reeds Spring, MO 5 06-02 7
Day 1: 1 01-11 Day 2: 4 04-07
95. Chad Pipkens Dewitt, MI 5 05-13 6
Day 1: 1 01-01 Day 2: 4 04-12
96. Kelley Jaye Dadeville, AL 3 04-09 5
Day 1: 1 01-05 Day 2: 2 03-04
97. Rob Digh Denver, NC 2 02-15 4
Day 1: 2 02-15 Day 2: 0 00-00
98. Bernie Schultz Gainesville, FL 1 01-09 3
Day 1: 1 01-09 Day 2: 0 00-00


Michael Neal Grabs Early Lead Friday at General Tire Heavy Hitters

Dayton, Tennessee Pro Weighs 13 Bass Totaling 51 Pounds, 15 Ounces to Lead Qualifying Group A after Day 1, Group B to Compete Saturday

RALEIGH, N.C. (April 9, 2021) – The big bass were chewing on Jordan Lake, Friday. Pro Michael Neal of Dayton, Tennessee, caught 13 scorable bass weighing 51 pounds, 15 ounces to jump out to the early lead on day 1 for Qualifying Group A at the General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops . The six-day all-star tournament showcases 40 anglers that qualified from the 2020 season competing for more than $535,000, with a top prize of $100,000 going to the winner of the event, and Big Bass Bonuses during the competition with payouts of $25,000, $50,000 and $100,000 being awarded for the single biggest fish in the Qualifying, Knockout and Championship rounds.

Link to Photo of Qualifying Round Group A Leader Michael Neal
Link to Photo Gallery of Highlights from Day 1 on Lake Jordan

Neal will bring a 5-pound, 3-ounce, lead into Sunday’s second day of competition for Group A. In second place on the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard is pro Boyd Duckett of Guntersville, Alabama, who has 24 top-10 finishes and more than $1.8 million in career winnings, who caught 12 bass totaling 46-12. Fellow Guntersville, Alabama pro Chris Lane sits in third place, 6 pounds, 8 ounces back of Neal with 12 bass weighing 45-7.

The 20 anglers in Group A will now enjoy a day off Saturday, while the 20 anglers in Group B will begin their Day 1 Qualifying Round. Group A resumes competition on Sunday.

“Today was awesome – everything worked out just like I thought it would,” said the 29-year-old Neal, who has more than $1 million in career earnings. “Not catching a bass in the second period was disappointing, but at the same time I had some other ideas that I thought might work and it allowed me to get those our of the way.

“The fish are still much more prespawn than I thought that they would be,” Neal continued. “The water temperature is over 70 degrees, and I would have thought that the fish would be in the backs of the creeks and bays and pockets trying to spawn. But, when you look at them, they’re all real fat, healthy, big fish and about to bust. And they’re still on more of what I would call wintertime or early spring jerkbait-type looking banks, and I’m really not sure why they are still there.”

Neal said that every bass that he landed Thursday came on a Z-Man ChatterBait.

“I caught everything today, every single one of them, on a ½-ounce ChatterBait,” Neal said. “I threw it on 7-foot, 2-inch medium-heavy Denali Kovert rod with 20-pound Sunline Sniper line. These are big fish, and you don’t want to come out here with light line.

“Jordan is a great lake and I can’t wait to get back out here Sunday,” Neal went on to say. “It’s going to be another knockdown, drag-out fight all the way to the end. I’ve got a good pattern, and I really don’t think it’s going to go anywhere. I’m hoping that the wind will blow a little more like it did this afternoon – it really helped the bite.”

Second-place angler Boyd Duckett would almost assuredly have had the day one lead over Neal if he hadn’t lost some key fish.

“It was a very frustrating day for me. I lost a lot of big fish today – I think I lost around 23 pounds, visibly, and that hurts a lot,” Duckett said. “I had a good lead at one point, but that’s how it goes some days. The good news is that I had a great day and I’m right there at it in second place. It’s all going to come down to what happens on Sunday.”

Third-place pro Chris Lane said he had a very fun day on the water, despite having to fish much slower than usual.

“Anytime you’re in contention to win the round after the first day, that’s a good thing,” Lane said. “I think the biggest for me today was that I had to fish slow. And that’s very hard to do when you’re on the clock. I was casting a Bass Pro Shops soft plastic on a 7-foot, 3-inch medium-heavy Duckett rod and just having fun. We were able to catch a lot of really nice fish, and I think moving forward it will continue to be good.”

The standings for the 20 pros from Qualifying Group A after Day 1 on Jordan Lake are:
1st:          Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 13 bass, 51-15
2nd:         Boyd Duckett, Guntersville, Ala., 12 bass, 46-12
3rd:         Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala., 12 bass, 45-7
4th:         Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas., 12 bass, 41-15
5th:         Randall Tharp, Port Saint Joe, Fla., 12 bass, 38-13
6th:         Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 12 bass, 37-6
7th:         Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., 11 bass, 37-1
8th:         Mike McClelland, Blue Eye, Mo., 10 bass, 36-12
9th:         Ish Monroe, Oakdale, Calif., 10 bass, 34-8
10th:       Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan., nine bass, 30-13
11th:       Fletcher Shryock, Guntersville, Ala., nine bass, 28-5
12th:       Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., 10 bass, 27-15
13th:       Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., eight bass, 24-15
14th:       Mike Iaconelli, Runnemede, N.J., nine bass, 24-6
15th:       Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., five bass, 21-1
16th:       Fred Roumbanis, Russellville, Ark., five bass, 16-7
17th:       Britt Myers, Lake Wylie, S.C., four bass, 15-1
18th:       David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., five bass, 13-14
19th:       Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., three bass, 12-10
20th:       Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., two bass, 5-10

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

Overall, there were 173 bass weighing 591 pounds, 10 ounces caught by the 20 pros on Thursday, which included two 7-pounders, six 6-pounders and ten 5-pounders caught from Jordan Lake.

Gagliardi weighed in the biggest bass of the day Thursday, a 7-pound, 15-ounce largemouth that he caught flipping a creature bait during Period 2. If Gagliardi’s fish remains the largest bass weighed by Group A after the conclusion of the Qualifying Round on Sunday, he will take home a $25,000 Big Bass Bonus. Big Bass Bonuses are awarded throughout the competition, with payouts of $25,000, $50,000 and $100,000 being awarded for the single biggest fish in the Qualifying, Knockout and Championship rounds

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

The 20 Anglers in Group A compete in their two-day qualifying round on Jordan Lake on Friday and Sunday – the 20 anglers in Group B on Falls Lake on Saturday and Monday. After each two-day qualifying round is complete, the anglers that finish in 2nd through 10th place from both groups advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round on Shearon Harris, while the winner of each group advances directly to Wednesday’s Championship Round on Shearon Harris. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed and the remaining 18 anglers compete to finish in the top 8 to advance to the Championship Round. In the final day Championship Round, weights are zeroed and the highest one-day total wins.

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

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

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

For complete details and updated information on General Tire Heavy Hitters, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitter,  Instagram, and  YouTube.


Sumrall Feeling at Home on Sabine

Courtesy of Luke Stoner - Dynamic Sponsorships

Before Caleb Sumrall ever weighed a solid five fish limit on day one of the Dovetail Games Bassmaster Elite at the Sabine River, it was easy to see the Carhartt pro was feeling right at home. 

Sumrall likes the way this fishery sets up, but most importantly he has his family here in Orange, Texas this week. Having his wife Jacie, their daughter Clelie, and son Axel in town has provided a sense a peace far more critical than any particular fishing detail.

“My family is always my support crew when I’m at these tournaments, but it’s not too often I get to have them here,” Sumrall said with a smile. “Knowing I get to see their faces at weigh-in and can give them a hug at the end of the day makes all the difference in the world.” 

Sumrall lives just two short hours from this notorious river system and while he didn’t finish where he would have liked to on his first trip here in 2018, he left knowing he could improve on his result. 

“In 2018 I learned I can attack this place exactly like I fish at home on the Atchafalaya Basin,” Sumrall explained. “I’ll talk more specifically about how I’m catching my fish tomorrow, but it’s straight up shallow water power fishing. I haven’t even been putting my electronics on the front deck of my boat this week. I’m committed to skinny water and I love it!” 

Much like many of his fellow competitors, Sumrall is making a relatively long 45-mile run in his Yamaha powered Xpress Boat to his primary area each day and is fishing around several other anglers. The lighter aluminum boat coupled with his Yamaha Outboard’s performance in super shallow water is something Sumrall believes gives him an edge over his peers. 

Sumrall is able to access harder to reach places where some other anglers simply can’t get. When every single keeper bite is crucial like on the Sabine River, small subtleties and details are magnified. Sumrall is wisely leaning into the advantages his equipment provides for this tournament.  

Another important factor Sumrall has on his side this week is momentum. Sumrall is coming off back-to-back top 20 finishes on the Tennessee River and Pickwick Lake. He is fishing well and feeling extremely good mentally and physically; all important pieces of the puzzle that play into professional anglers’ performance on the water.  

The 2017 B.A.S.S. Nation Champion finished day one tied for 17th place and hopes to bring another solid five fish limit to the scales to give his family and support crew something to cheer about. But at the end of the day, he knows the people around his boat are far more important than the fish in his livewell. 


Mosley’s Long Run Earns Lead In Bassmaster Elite Series Event At Sabine River

With a first-day weight of 15 pounds, 10 ounces, Brock Mosley of Collinsville, Miss., is leading after Day 1 of the 2021 Dovetail Games Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River sponsored by Bassmaster Fishing 2022 – the official video game of B.A.S.S.
Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

April 8, 2021

ORANGE, Texas — A last-minute decision to run two hours to the Houston area rewarded Brock Mosley with a five-fish limit of 15 pounds, 10 ounces, which leads Day 1 of the 2021 Dovetail Games Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River sponsored by Bassmaster Fishing 2022 – the official video game of B.A.S.S.

Familiar with the potential of the tournament’s western boundary, Mosley, who hails from Collinsville, Miss., ran the Intracoastal Waterway, crossed Galveston Bay and settled into a narrow waterway on Houston’s east side. While he was pleased with his decision, he admitted he made the commitment shortly before takeoff.

“I was one of the last boats to check out (Boat 97), so I knew all the spots around Orange would be covered up,” Mosley said. “I spent three days of practice trying to talk myself out of making that run, but this morning, I decided to go.

“Also, I knew the wind wasn’t going to blow today, but it’s supposed to blow tomorrow and I know I can’t go back tomorrow. It’s going to be 20- to 30-mph winds and there’s no way.”

Refueling near his starting spot allowed Mosley to fish uninterrupted until making the 100-plus-mile ride back to weigh-in. Targeting a mix of docks, seawalls, cypress trees, shade and current breaks, Mosley said he saw evidence of recent spawning.

“I saw a lot of fry (recently hatched bass); I don’t know if those fish were guarding fry or what they were doing, but they were biting,” he said. “I don’t know if they even get fished very often.”

Mosley caught his fish on a 1/2-ounce chartreuse/white Z-Man ChatterBait JackHammer with a white Yamamoto Zako trailer.

“There are other ways to catch them, but that’s the way I like to catch them because I can fish so fast,” Mosley said. “I know guys like to slow down and flip, but in tough tournaments, I like to cover as much water as I can.”

Mosley said his day exceeded his expectations, both in terms of quality and quantity.

“I had no idea I was going to catch that kind of weight today,” he said. “I went over there hoping to catch 9 or 10 pounds and I got a 5 1/2-pound kicker. It took me 20 minutes to catch a limit when I got there.

“It’s a long ride and it’s hard on you; it’s a lot of wear and tear. It just paid off today.”

Fishing pressure in the Sabine River and its local tributaries was Mosley’s main motivator to even consider the Houston trip. Having competed in a previous Elite event on the Sabine in 2018, he recognized that he’d be facing a more limited scenario this year.

“After being here in ’18, there’s not as many places to get multiple bites,” he said. “Where there are, there’s a lot of boats. That was the key.

“I tried to catch all I could catch today, and then if I can catch 7 or 8 pounds tomorrow around Orange, I’ll still be in the game.”

Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., is in second place with 15-1. Focusing on a shallow backwater area, Christie said he fished a variety of shallow cover and used a wide selection of reaction and flipping baits.

Noting that he had a busy day with several keepers, Christie said he was pleasantly surprised with the caliber of fish he caught.

“I was fortunate enough the last day of practice to find two areas that had some fish in them,” Christie said. “I really didn’t think they were that big. What I thought were keepers turned into good ones.

“I had two areas; I used one of those today, went to another area, caught one and started heading back. It was really fast and furious.”

Caleb Kuphall of Mukwonago, Wis., is in third place with 13 pounds.

While he expected to be picking through high numbers of bass in hopes of finding a quality bite, Kuphall said he was thankful to find two “luck bites.”

“Out here, anything over 3 pounds, I’d consider it a luck bite,” Kuphall said. “My practice didn’t go that well; on my best day, I probably had 8 pounds. Today, I got lucky and caught two giants (approximately 4-2 and 3-11).”

Kuphall said he caught four of his keepers on an unspecified jigging presentation. He also caught one on a topwater bait.

“My two kickers were in two completely different areas,” Kuphall said. “Where I caught the first one, I had high hopes for that one. I culled out everything I caught early this morning in that area. I didn’t hit it too hard today, so I think there’s more there.”

Marc Frazier of Newnan, Ga., is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 6-6 largemouth.

Patrick Walters of Summerville, S.C., leads the Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings with 336 points, followed by Seth Feider of New Market, Minn., with 331 and Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., with 311.

Justin Hamner of Northport, Ala., leads the Rookie of the Year standings with 274 points.

Friday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6:45 a.m. CT at the City of Orange Boat Ramp. The weigh-in will be held at the ramp at 3 p.m., with the Top 49 anglers advancing to Saturday’s semifinal round.

Live coverage for the event can be streamed on Bassmaster.com and the FOX Sports digital platforms.


Douglas Lake May Be Heading To Opportune Scenario For Bassmaster Open

Tennessee's Douglas Lake will host the Basspro.com Bassmaster Southern Open April 15-17, 2021.

Photo by Gerald Crawford/B.A.S.S.

April 8, 2021

DANDRIDGE, Tenn. — Consistency will be critical at the Basspro.com Bassmaster Southern Open on Douglas Lake, but Tennessee pro John Garrett says Mother Nature has been stirring the pot.

Fluctuations have been significant, but the long view shows a potential scenario that could work out well for competitors.

Competition days will be April 15-17 with daily takeoffs from Dandridge Boat Ramp at 6:45 a.m. ET. Weigh-ins Days 1 and 2 will take place at the ramp at 2:45 p.m., with the final-day weigh-in moving to the Bass Pro Shops in Kodak, Tenn., at 3:45 p.m.

“I’ve been keeping up with the water level, and it’s insane how much Douglas is changing day by day right now,” Garrett said about a week before the tournament. “We had a lot of rain (two weeks prior to the event) and it was coming up a foot a day for five days.

“It reached 990 feet, which is full pool, it remained stable for about two days and it’s been falling back about a foot a day for the past four days. It is projected to fall a foot a day for (several more days).”

As Garrett explains, muddy water is the immediate concern, while falling water also reduces the amount of fishable shoreline habitat. In Douglas’ case, a lot of the rock and wood that will soon be drained was only temporarily in play during the high water, so that may not have a dramatic impact.

The real story here is bass fishing 101: Spawning fish do not like fluctuations. They want to know it is safe to commit to a shallow-water move and if there’s any hint of significant depth and/or clarity changes, bass hit the pause button.

“The water’s still muddy, so we’re currently looking at prespawn conditions because the water level hasn’t stabilized yet,” Garrett said. “Those fish aren’t going to go into full-blown spawn mode until that water level stabilizes for a couple of days.

“If it stabilizes (soon), we could be looking at possibly a spawning movement by the time we’re there. Even if it’s not an all-out spawn, we’ll have enough color in the water where everything is going to be shallow. I’m thinking it’s going to be a pretty good tournament.”

Douglas Dam impounds Eastern Tennessee’s French Broad River — about 32 miles upstream from where its confluence with the Holston River creates the storied Tennessee River. The 30,400-acre Douglas Reservoir extends 43 miles upriver through the Smoky Mountain foothills.

The entire lake could be in play, with accessibility possibly dwindling in the extreme upper reaches based on water level. While the Tennessee Valley Authority manages Douglas, Garrett notes that this lake doesn’t resemble the more notable TVA reservoirs downstream.

“Douglas acts like a mix between a TVA lake and a highland reservoir,” Garrett said. “It fluctuates 45 feet from winter to full pool and that has a lot to do with it.

“Also, the current on Douglas is very, very minimal, so a lot of times, these fish don’t set up on current-oriented places like they do on Chickamauga, Pickwick or Kentucky Lake.”

Garrett said there’s an outside chance that could factor into the equation. Specifically, if the region’s mostly warm weather continues, a seasonal acceleration might see a postspawn movement to offshore structure.

In the more likely shallow scenario, Garrett points to water clarity as the key. If the tournament finds Douglas with a favorable level of visibility, sight fishing could become one of the dominant patterns, if not the winning deal.

“Also, a lot of smallmouth bass could come into play if that water cleans up,” Garrett said. “On lakes that don’t fluctuate a lot, the smallmouth normally spawn a little before; but on Douglas they all tend to push up at one time — when the water level stabilizes.”

With smallmouth spawning deeper on bluff banks, rocky humps, etc., this is more of a drop shot, swimbait, Ned rig or cranking strategy. For largemouth, Texas-rigged worms, lizards and creature baits handle the sight-fishing opportunities, while buzzbaits, shallow crankbaits and bladed jigs will tempt staging prespawners.

With conditions generally moving in the right direction, Garrett said he’s expecting Douglas to make a good showing. He thinks it will take 13 to 14 pounds a day to reach the Top 10, with the winner averaging 15 to 16.

“You’ll have to get a couple of good (kicker) bites; I think you’ll have to run into a couple of 3 1/2- to 4 1/2-pound bites. Also, you’ll have to have enough water to rotate for at least two days.

“The only way I can see a particular spot winning this tournament is if we get a big spawning wave (before the event) and we get an offshore bite. It won’t be eight of the Top 10 doing that. It might be one or two schools of fish that move out and one person might key in on it.”

The full field will compete the first two days before the boater side is cut to the Top 10 anglers for Championship Saturday. The co-angler champion will be crowned after the Day 2 weigh-in.


B.A.S.S. Reschedules College Tournament Amid Flooding

Flooding at Smith Lake Park in Cullman, Ala., has prompted B.A.S.S. to move the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series at Lewis Smith Lake presented by Bass Pro Shops to May 14-15, 2021.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Heavy spring rains across central Alabama have caused water levels to soar, prompting B.A.S.S. and officials with local hosts at the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce to postpone the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series at Lewis Smith Lake presented by Bass Pro Shops until May 14-15, 2021.

“Safety is always our top priority for anglers, Bassmaster staff and local volunteers. It is disappointing any time you have to move a tournament, but it is especially important when college anglers are taking time away from their studies to compete that we respect that time,” said College Series Senior Manager Hank Weldon. “These waters should return to normal levels soon, and we're thankful to have found a date in May to ensure this event is rescheduled quickly.”

According to Alabama Power Company, Lewis Smith Lake is not expected to fall to summer pool until mid-April and the forecast is calling for additional rainfall. The ramp and surrounding areas where the tournament was to take place are currently flooded after lake levels reached over 521 feet last week. Smith Dam does not have spillway gates or floodgates but does have a natural spillway designed to allow the lake to overflow safely when it reaches an elevation of 522 feet.

All payments will be transferred to the new tournament date. Any teams who wish to cancel their tournament registration may email the B.A.S.S. tournament department at [email protected] for a refund.

Flooding in the area also prompted officials to postpone the Basspro.com Bassmaster Central Open at Lewis Smith Lake until Oct. 7-9, 2021.


John Cox & Brandon Lester Preview Sabine

Courtesy of Luke Stoner - Dynamic Sponsorships

Bassmaster Elite Series pros John Cox and Brandon Lester were in their boats putting the finishing touches on tackle as I checked in to the hotel here in Orange, Texas. Tomorrow morning marks the start of the Dovetail Games Bassmaster Elite at the Sabine River; a body of water often characterized by fickle fishing, long boat rides, and shallow water techniques. 

 

Both Lester and Cox are known for their shallow water prowess and you’d be hard pressed to find two more steady, even keeled anglers than this pair. Before I let them go eat dinner and celebrate Lester’s birthday, I asked them to preview all things Sabine River. 

 

This week is the first time John Cox has ever fished the Sabine, but his love of sneaking around shallow water hidey-holes in his aluminum Crestliner boat is well documented. Team Toyota’s Brandon Lester has fished two Elite Series derbies here and has cashed a check each time. If anyone can break down the intricate puzzle the Sabine River offers after a few short days of practice, it would be these two.

 

  1. The Sabine River is known for some strange and unique “bycatch” when the Elite Series comes to town. What species of fish, other than bass, have you caught this week? 

 

Lester: “I’ve caught a couple big redfish, catfish, gar, a bowfin, and some kind of weird bluegill lookin’ thing. Plenty of fish in this river system no doubt!”

 

Cox: “I actually can’t say I caught any trash fish during practice. I’ve seen quite a few redfish, some great big ones, and I tried to catch them but I couldn’t get them to eat.” 

 

  1. What percentage of the population of bass in this fishery do you think are spawning? 

 

Lester: “In my opinion I think most of these fish are done spawning, I’d say 15% at most are still spawning.” 

 

Cox: “I’ve been looking for spawners but I haven’t found much to talk about. Actually, that’s not true… I got stuck for four hours the other day trying to get into what looked like a sweet little spawning pond. Unfortunately I found out there was no water back there and I had to wait until the tide came in. Anyway, I’ll say 10% or less are still spawning.” 

 

  1. How much weight will an angler need to catch each day to make Championship Sunday? 

 

Lester: “If a guy can catch ten pounds per day, I think they’d find themselves fishing on Sunday.” 

 

Cox: “Shoot, if someone catches ten pounds per day they might win! The weights will be really tight, but I’d agree somewhere around the upper nines or ten pounds per day.” 

 

  1. What are two techniques you could see excelling this week on the Sabine River? 

 

Lester: “Flipping and pitching soft plastics always plays a role when we come to this place, I’d expect a lot of guys to be doing that and for my second I’d say a spinnerbait.” 

Cox: “As you can see by the amount of rods I have on my front deck, I’m definitely not dialed in to just two techniques… but I’d say flipping a soft plastic and a topwater frog.”