Nick LeBrun Wins Group B Qualifying Round at MLF Bass Pro Tour General Tire Stage Six

Louisiana pro catches two-day total of 95-3 to win Group B Qualifying Round, field of 20 set for Saturday’s Knockout Round

RICHMOND, Va. (June 28, 2024) – The James River continues to kick out impressive numbers of bass under the sweltering Virginia heat at the Major League Fishing (MLF) General Tire Stage Six Presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts . The James is proving to be a very healthy fishery through four days of competition, the latest example being the 43 bass loaded onto SCORETRACKER® by Nick LeBrun of Bossier City, Louisiana, to the tune of 95 pounds, 3 ounces to win Group B.

With a 20-8 lead over second place heading into Friday and a cushion of over 30 pounds over the elimination line, LeBrun was never in doubt of advancing to the Knockout Round and spent most of his time Friday looking for more water. Still, LeBrun added another 21-9 to secure a nearly 10-pound margin over second-place angler Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Alabama, who had a day’s best 44-7 on 18 bass.

There was plenty of shuffling in the standings below LeBrun, but only one new entrant into the Top 10 who wasn’t there to begin the day. Brent Ehrler of Redlands, California, jumped from 13th into the final spot, and Clanton, Alabama’s Dustin Connell fell from fourth to 11th.

As the winner of the 2022 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit stop on the James, LeBrun has the most recent pro-level success in the field, and he’s picking up right where he left off. His 73-10 on his first competition day would have been enough to advance to the Knockout Round, but he added some padding to his total and more information to his plan for the rest of the event.

“My game plan today was to catch a 5-pounder, but I never had that big bite,” LeBrun said. “I threw topwater most of the day to get a big one, but it never happened. However, I still caught some scorable bass and learned a little bit.”

LeBrun fished new water today but still monitored his best areas throughout the day. How many casts did he make in his primary areas?

“None,” LeBrun said. “I fished some good stuff but saved all of the main juice. I have two different areas, and one was getting a little pressure. The other one, I never saw a boat fishing it, and I ran past it a few times during the day. That was encouraging to see.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s Knockout Round, LeBrun is excited about the possibility of advancing to the Championship Round but is also tempering those expectations based on the tide schedule.

“I’m going to the spots that were good to me on the first day and hoping I can get on another flurry on the outgoing tide,” he said. “That may not happen until the second period, though, because the tide keeps shifting later and later every day. The tide is going to be different and also during much hotter weather. That’s my big ‘what if?’ that I’m thinking right now.”

Overall, LeBrun likes his chances and feels right at home on the James, given his success in the past two years.

“I fished carefree today, and I’m excited for tomorrow,” LeBrun said. “I’m glad I was in Group B this time so I can get back there tomorrow without an off day without having to think about it. I’m excited to see what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

As for what he thinks it will take to advance, LeBrun believes things are getting more challenging each day.

“It may take 40 or 45 pounds, somewhere in there, to advance,” he said. “There will be a lot of recreational traffic since it’s a weekend and the Chickahominy has been getting all the pressure. It might not even take that much to move on.”

On a day with very little movement on SCORETRACKER, California’s Ehrler was the only angler who vaulted into the Knockout Round that wasn’t inside the cut when the day began. That alone is a win for Ehrler.

“I feel good because, at this point in the event, I can’t fall any more places,” he said. “The last one to make it in your group, 20th place, is the worst I can do even if I don’t catch another bass.”

His hesitation about the Knockout Round bite stems from the tide, but he also predicts some fireworks at the end of the day.

“I don’t like the tide because we keep losing a little bit of the best bite every day,” Ehrler said. “We’ll catch a little bit of it tomorrow in the last 45 minutes, which should make things very interesting. I could see a guy 15 pounds out of the cut and way down the standings make a huge rally to make it. You have to be at the right place at the right time, and I don’t know where that will be, so I’ll be rotating spots a lot tomorrow.”

The top 10 pros from Group B that now advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round on James River are:

1st:         Nick LeBrun, Bossier City, La., 43 bass, 95-3
2nd:        Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., 35 bass, 85-6
3rd:         Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 40 bass, 84-7
4th:         Alton Jones Jr., Waco, Texas, 37 bass, 81-11
5th:         Jonathon VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich., 35 bass, 80-5
6th:         Spencer Shuffield, Hot Springs, Ark., 42 bass, 80-3
7th:         Terry Scroggins, San Mateo, Fla., 37 bass, 78-6
8th:         Greg Vinson, Wetumka, Ala., 34 bass, 75-5
9th:         Dylan Hays, Hot Springs, Ark., 28 bass, 73-4
10th:       Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 33 bass, 73-4

Eliminated from competition are:

11th:      Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala., 35 bass, 70-12
12th:      Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., 30 bass, 65-12
13th:      Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark., 29 bass, 60-12
14th:      Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 29 bass, 59-12
15th:      John Hunter, Shelbyville, Ky., 25 bass, 59-3
16th:      Marty Robinson, Lyman, S.C., 28 bass, 56-12
17th:      David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 28 bass, 54-12
18th:      Scott Suggs, Alexander, Ark., 24 bass, 52-0
19th:      Jacob Wall, New Hope, Ala., 24 bass, 50-1
20th:      Matthew Stefan, Junction City, Wis., 21 bass, 49-3
21st:      James Elam, Tulsa, Okla., 20 bass, 46-10
22nd:     John Murray, Spring City, Tenn., 21 bass, 46-10
23rd:     Jesse Wiggins, Addison, Ala., 19 bass, 46-9
24th:      Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark., 21 bass, 45-12
25th:      Randy Howell, Guntersville, Ala., 21 bass, 44-5
26th:      Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., 22 bass, 44-4
27th:      Boyd Duckett, Guntersville, Ala., 21 bass, 43-11
28th:      Jason Vance, Battle Ground, Ind., 19 bass, 42-6
29th:      Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala., 17 bass, 40-6
30th:      Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., 20 bass, 40-6
31st:      Martin Villa, Charlottesville, Va., 18 bass, 40-1
32nd:     Dave Lefebre, Erie, Penn., 16 bass, 38-14
33rd:      Gary Klein, Mingus, Texas, 15 bass, 38-8
34th:      Mark Daniels Jr., Tuskegee, Ala., 18 bass, 38-0
35th:      Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 20 bass, 36-9
36th:      Nick Hatfield, Greeneville, Tenn., 15 bass, 35-2
37th:      Fred Roumbanis, Russellville, Ark., 16 bass, 34-14
38th:      Bradley Roy, Lancaster, Ky., 15 bass, 34-3
39th:      Colby Schrumpf, Highland, Ill., 11 bass, 21-5

A complete list of results can be found at

Overall, there were 439 scorable bass weighing 953 pounds, 8 ounces, caught by 39 pros Friday, which included one 5-pounder, seven 4-pounders and 37 3-pounders.

Jacob Wheeler came into the event 14 points ahead of Alton Jones Jr. in the Fishing Clash Angler of the Year race. Both anglers have advanced to the Knockout Round, so the points difference when the anglers leave Virginia is still to be determined.

With just one event to go in the Bass Pro Tour season, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Behind Wheeler and Jones, Dustin Connell and Drew Gill both missed the Knockout Round, potentially turning the race into a nail-biting showdown between the top two anglers. The outcome of the next event will be crucial, making it a must-watch for fishing fans.

James Elam of Tulsa, Oklahoma, earned Friday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award with a 5-pound, 10-ounce largemouth bass that he caught on an unnamed worm during Period 3. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass each day, and a $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass of the tournament.

The six-day tournament, hosted by Richmond Region Tourism, showcases 78 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing for a purse of $659,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable Angler of the Year (AOY) points in hopes of qualifying for the General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and REDCREST 2025, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

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

Anglers will launch at 7:30 a.m. ET each day from Osborne Landing, located at 9530 Osborne Turnpike in Richmond. Due to long boat runs, tides and high temperatures, MLF has enacted the Trailering Policy for the entirety of the event, meaning pros can trailer their boats and drive them to any ramp on the fishery closer to where they plan to start fishing. Pros taking advantage of the trailering policy will leave Osborne Landing at 6:45 a.m. ET daily and will begin fishing at 8 a.m. ET (Lines In) with the full field.

Each day’s General Tire Takeout will be held at the landing, beginning at 4 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch and takeout events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLFNOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at

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

On Saturday and Sunday, June 29-30, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. MLF welcomes fans of all ages to visit Osborne Landing for the MLF Watch Party and Kids Fishing Derby. Fans can watch the pros live on the MLFNOW! big screen, enjoy free food, enter to win hourly giveaways and cheer on their favorite pros. The first 50 kids 14 and under will receive a free rod and reel from Pure Fishing each day. Additional fishing gear will be provided onsite for the fishing derby or kids can bring their own. The final 10 Championship Round Bass Pro Tour anglers will be on hand at the trophy celebration on Championship Sunday to meet and greet fans, sign autographs and take selfies.

The General Tire Stage Six at James River Presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts features the MLF catch, weigh, immediate-release format, in which anglers catch as much weight as they can each day, while also feeling the pressure and intensity of the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard. The tournament features anglers competing with a 1-pound, 8-ounce minimum weight requirement for a bass to be deemed scorable. The MLF Fisheries Management Division determines minimum weights for each body of water that the Bass Pro Tour visits, based on the productivity, bass population and anticipated average size of fish in each fishery.

The Bass Pro Tour features a field of 78 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2025 championship.

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

Television coverage of the General Tire Stage Six at James River Presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts Championship Round will air as a two-hour episode starting at 7 a.m. ET, on Saturday, Nov. 9 on Discovery. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on Discovery, with re-airings on Outdoor Channel.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Bass Pro Tour include: Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, BUBBA, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, Garmin, General Tire, Humminbird, Lowrance, Mercury, MillerTech, Minn Kota, Mossy Oak Fishing, NITRO, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Onyx, Plano, Power-Pole, PowerStop Brakes, Rapala, REDCON1, Star brite, Suzuki, Toyota, U.S. Air Force and WIX Filters.

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

About Major League Fishing
Major League Fishing (MLF) is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, producing more than 250 events annually at some of the most prestigious fisheries in the world, while broadcasting to America’s living rooms on CBS, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network and on demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, the MLF roster of bass anglers includes the world’s top pros and more than 30,000 competitors in all 50 states and 17 countries. Since its founding in 2011, MLF has advanced the sport of competitive fishing through its premier television broadcasts and livestreams and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bass through research, education, fisheries enhancement and fish care.