Spencer Shuffield Tops Group B at Favorite Fishing Stage Five on Cayuga Lake Presented by ATG by Wrangler

Hot Springs, Arkansas Pro Paces Group B Qualifying Round with Two-Day Total of 10 Bass Weighing 50-10, Field of 40 Set for Saturday’s Knockout Round

UNION SPRINGS, N.Y. (June 9, 2023) – Bass Pro Tour angler Spencer Shuffield of Hot Springs, Arkansas, caught 13 scorable bass Friday, with his best five weighing 24 pounds, 9 ounces to win the two-day Qualifying Group B round at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour Favorite Fishing Stage Five on Cayuga Lake Presented by ATG by Wrangler . Shuffield’s two-day total of 10 bass weighing 50 pounds, 10 ounces, earned him the victory by a 10-ounce margin and advances him, along with the remaining top 20 pros from Group B, into Saturday’s Knockout Round of competition.

Cayuga Lake, however, was the real star of the tournament on Friday as the fishery absolutely showed out with numerous limits of huge, healthy smallmouth and largemouth bass being caught. Of the 40 anglers that were competing Friday, 35 of them weighed in five-bass limits greater than 20 pounds – an astonishing figure that had MLFNOW! broadcaster J.T. Kenney calling Cayuga Lake the ‘Big Bass Factory of the North.”

Favorite Fishing pro Matt Becker of Ten Mile, Tennessee, caught a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 50 pounds even to end the round in second- place, and Heavy Hitters 2023 Champion Alton Jones Jr., of Waco, Texas, finished the round in third place with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 48-12. Day 1 leader Cody Meyer of Star, Idaho, finished the round in fourth place with a two-day total of 10 bass for 47-11. Rounding out the top five was General Tire pro Mark Rose of Wynne, Arkansas, who caught 26-2 on Friday to finish with a two-day total of 10 bass for 47-6 and advance in fifth place.

The remaining 40 anglers – the top 20 from each group – now advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round, where weights are zeroed, and the anglers compete to finish in the top 10 to advance to the Championship Round on Sunday. Weights will carry over from the Knockout Round into the Championship Round, which will feature the final 10 anglers competing for the heaviest two-day cumulative total and the top prize of $100,000.

“Today was a very productive day,” Shuffield said in his post-game interview. “I broke 50 pounds and that’s what I really wanted to do – break 50 with all smallmouth – and we did it. It was a great day, and I can’t wait to get back out here again tomorrow.”

Like the majority of the field, Shuffield sight-fished for smallmouth bass on Friday, and he caught his fish drop-shotting a Strike King Baby Z-Too.

“I’ve been throwing the chartreuse color called siren, but I honestly don’t think color even matters,” Shuffield said. “I threw it on an Ark Reinforcer 7-foot, 3-inch medium-light rod paired with 15-pound Yo-Zuri SuperBraid line and an 8-pound Yo-Zuri T7 Premium fluorocarbon leader. I just worked down the bank, finding big smallmouth on beds.”

After catching his limit, Shuffield was able to spend the rest of the afternoon scouting new areas and looking for smallmouth to target during the Knockout Round.

“I marked probably 8 or 9 more bass over 5 pounds, and one that was for sure over 6+,” Shuffield said. “And the 6-pounder is sneaky, so I feel really good about that one.

“The guy that wins this thing is going to be the guy that finds them again tomorrow in the Knockout Round,” Shuffield went on to say. “The key will be finding a stretch that a bunch of guys aren’t already fishing, and then find 4 to 7 good ones on it. If you can find the smallmouth, they’re absolutely ready and willing to bite. I’m looking forward to it.”

The top 20 pros from Group B that now advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round on Cayuga Lake are:

1st:        Spencer Shuffield, Hot Springs, Ark., 10 bass, 50-10
2nd:       Matt Becker, Ten Mile, Tenn., 10 bass, 50-0
3rd:       Alton Jones Jr., Waco, Texas, 10 bass, 48-12
4th:        Cody Meyer, Star, Idaho, 10 bass, 47-11
5th:        Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., 10 bass, 47-6
6th:        Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 10 bass, 47-3
7th:        Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., 10 bass, 47-0
8th:        Jonathon VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich., 10 bass, 46-6
9th:        David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 10 bass, 45-2
10th:     Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C., 10 bass, 44-12
11th:     Takahiro Omori, Tokyo, Japan, 10 bass, 44-9
12th:     Greg Vinson, Wetumpka, Ala., 10 bass, 44-3
13th:     Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., 10 bass, 44-3
14th:     Terry Scroggins, San Mateo, Fla., 10 bass, 44-1
15th:     Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 44-0
16th:     Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala., 10 bass, 43-6
17th:     Marty Robinson, Lyman, S.C., 10 bass, 43-1
18th:     Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, 10 bass, 42-12
19th:     Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 10 bass, 42-7
20th:     Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C., 10 bass, 42-6

Eliminated from competition are:

21st:      Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 42-2
22nd:    Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa., 10 bass, 41-10
23rd:     Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 41-3
24th:     Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 41-2
25th:     Boyd Duckett, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 40-12
26th:     Cliff Crochet, Pierre Part, La., 10 bass, 40-10
27th:     Fletcher Shryock, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 40-10
28th:     James Watson, Lampe, Mo., 10 bass, 40-9
29th:     Josh Butler, Hayden, Ala., 10 bass, 40-7
30th:     Britt Myers, Lake Wylie, S.C., five bass, 39-15
31st:      Mitch Crane, Columbus, Miss., eight bass, 39-8
32nd:    Randy Howell, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 39-8
33rd:     Randall Tharp, Port Saint Joe, Fla., 10 bass, 39-0
34th:     Ryan Salzman, Huntsville, Ala., 10 bass, 38-9
35th:     Kelly Jordon, Flint, Texas, 10 bass, 37-12
36th:     Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 10 bass, 37-11
37th:     David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn., 10 bass, 35-15
38th:     Timmy Horton, Muscle Shoals, Ala., 10 bass, 35-10
39th:     Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan., 10 bass, 33-2
40th:     Roy Hawk, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., eight bass, 30-15

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

Overall, there were 319 scorable bass weighing 1,251 pounds, 1 ounce caught by the 40 pros Friday, which included 55 5-pounders, four 6-pounders and two 7-pounders.

Friday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award was awarded to pro Takahiro Omori, who weighed in a 7-pound, 2-ounce smallmouth which bit his drop-shot rig in Period 2. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass each day, and a $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass of the tournament.

The six-day bass-fishing event showcases 80 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing for a purse of more than $805,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable Angler of the Year (AOY) points in hopes of qualifying for the General Tire Heavy Hitters All-Star event and REDCREST 2024, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

The 40 Anglers in Group A competed in their two-day qualifying round on Tuesday and Thursday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Wednesday and Friday. Now that each two-day qualifying round is complete, the top 20 anglers from each group advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed, and the remaining 40 anglers compete to finish in the top 10 to advance to the Championship Round. In Sunday’s final day Championship Round, weight carries over from the Knockout Round and the angler with the heaviest two-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.

Anglers will launch each day at 7:30 a.m. ET each day from Frontenac Park, located at 15 Creamery Road in Union Springs. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will be held at the park beginning at 4 p.m.Fans are welcome to attend all launch and takeout events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLFNOW! live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

As part of the event, on Saturday, June 10 and Sunday, June 11 the MLF Fan Experience will be taking place at Bass Pro Shops, located at 1579 Clark Street Road in Auburn, New York, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. MLF will welcome fans of all ages to celebrate fishing and the outdoors. Fans can hang out and watch the pros live on the MLFNOW! big screen during the MLF Watch Party. On Sunday at 5 p.m., the final 10 Championship Round Bass Pro Tour anglers will be on hand for the trophy celebration and to meet and greet fans, sign autographs, and take selfies.

The Favorite Fishing Stage Five at Cayuga Lake Presented by ATG by Wrangler features pros competing using the MLF catch, weigh, immediate-release format, with each angler’s five (5) heaviest bass per day tallied as their day’s weight. Anglers strive to catch their heaviest five fish each day, while also feeling the pressure and intensity of the live scoring SCORETRACKER® leaderboard. Minimum weights are determined individually for each competition waters that the Bass Pro Tour visits, based on the productivity, bass population and anticipated average size of fish in each fishery.

The 2023 MLF Bass Pro Tour features a field of 80 of the top professional anglers in the world competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, fishing for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and REDCREST 2024, the Bass Pro Tour championship, held March 13-17, 2024, on Lay Lake in Birmingham, Alabama.

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

Television coverage of the Favorite Fishing Stage Five at Cayuga Lake Presented by ATG by Wrangler will air as two, two-hour episodes starting at 7 a.m. ET, on Saturday, Oct. 21 and Saturday, Oct. 28 on the Discovery Channel. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morningon Discovery, with re-airings on the Outdoor Channel.

Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Bass Pro Tour include: 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, Ark Fishing, ATG + Wrangler, B&W Trailer Hitches, Bally Bet, Bass Cat Boats, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, Daiwa, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Ferguson, Fox Rent A Car, General Tire, Grundéns, Humminbird, Lowrance, Minn Kota, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Power-Pole, Rapala, Star tron, T-H Marine, TORO, Toyota, U.S. Air Force, Yellowstone Bourbon, Yo-Zuri and Zoom Baits.

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