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Major League Fishing News

Jordan Lee Wins 2020 General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops – Alabama Superstar Catches 2-Pounder in Final Minutes to Overtake Casey Ashley in Dramatic Finale, Earns Johnny Morris Award and Top Payout of $100,000

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (Nov. 16, 2020) – The 29-year-old Alabama superstar did it again. Major League Fishing (MLF) pro Jordan Lee of Cullman, Alabama, caught 37 bass totaling 69 pounds, 4 ounces, to narrowly edge out South Carolina’s Casey Ashley and win the 2020 General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and the top prize of $100,000.

It was a nail-biting finale that came down to the wire in the final day Championship Round that aired Saturday on Discovery. Lee caught his last fish – a 2-pound, 2-ounce largemouth – with just 14 minutes to spare in the final period, overtaking Ashley, who had put together a frantic 17 bass third-period rally to move to the top of the leaderboard. Lee’s last fish came on a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent The General worm.

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“Oh man, what a feeling,” said Lee, who was the 2020 Bass Pro Tour Angler of the Year, winner of the inaugural Heavy Hitters tournament in February, and now the 2020 General Tire World Champion. “Casey was just killing it right there at the end. It seemed like every time I caught one, he would catch two. It was gut-wrenching. I was listening to him bumping up the SCORETRACKER® and he just kept coming and I couldn’t do anything about it. I just had to keep my head down and focus on every single bite. That last fish turned out to be the difference maker. We fished all day long and I won by less than a pound. Unreal.”

Lee started out his day on Spider Lake targeting largemouth with a vibrating jig and a swimjig, before mixing in a frog and eventually the Berkley The General worm (black and black-and-blue) as the day progressed. He keyed on the shallow reeds and lily pads on the 1,392-acre lake.

“It was mostly a fun day of flipping and frogging, and that is what I love to do,” Lee said. “I mixed up a couple of different baits to start with, but the swim jig really got me started. It clued me in that the fish were around the reeds and the pads, and then I started catching some good ones.”

Lee led after Period 1 of competition and had a near 20-pound lead into Period 2 before his bite slowed in Period 3. Meanwhile, Ashley’s pattern caught fire. Ashley took the lead with 40 minutes remaining in the event, and the two anglers battled back and forth before Lee’s last-minute heroics clinched the victory.

“We were so close, I pretty much knew that whoever caught the last scorable bass was going to win,” said Lee. “As the clock ticked down, I kept expecting my boat official to tell me that Casey had caught one at the very end to take it, but luckily for me that didn’t happen.

“To win this event is just the best feeling in the world,” Lee went on to say. “MLF puts us out in the middle of nowhere – down dirt roads, places we’ve never fished before. I love that part of this game. It’s a level playing field, and to come away with a win against this bunch of guys – they’re the best in the world. This has been a special, special week. Nothing comes easy in this sport and I don’t take it for granted. I’ve had a great year. I’m fishing with confidence and I hope I can keep the good vibes going next season.”

The final six anglers at the 2020 General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops in Grand Rapids, Minnesota finished:

                1st:          Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala., 37 bass, 69-4
                2nd:         Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., 35 bass, 68-5
                3rd:         Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., 28 bass, 48-2
                4th:         Takahiro Omori of Tokyo, Japan, 29 bass, 46-10
                5th:         Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., 20 bass, 43-6
                6th:         Cody Meyer of Star, Idaho, 10 bass, 21-10

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

Meyer caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day – a 5-pound, 2-ounce largemouth at the end of Period One that came on an unnamed finesse worm.

Overall, there were 159 bass weighing 297 pounds, 5 ounces caught by the final six pros during the Championship Round of competition on Spider Lake.

The 2020 General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops was hosted by Visit Grand Rapids and premiered on the Discovery Channel as six, two-hour original episodes debuting on Oct. 10, 2020, and running through Nov. 14, 2020. The event, shot over six days in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, showcased 16 MLF pro anglers culminating the 2020 Cup season and competing for the top prize of $100,000.

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Major League Fishing News

Takahiro Omori Wins Day 3 Elimination Round at General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops

Japanese pro Catches Two-Day total of 98 Pounds, 7 Ounces to Win Elimination Round, Joins Montgomery, Lee and Ashley in Sudden Death Round

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (Oct. 26, 2020) – Pro Takahiro Omori of Tokyo, Japan, caught 55 largemouth totaling 84 pounds, 3 ounces, on Lake Pokegama to win the Elimination Round 1 at the General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Omori’s two-day cumulative total of 63 bass for 98-7 advanced the Japanese pro to the Sudden Death Round of competition in the six-day championship tournament, airing on Discovery, that showcases 16 of the best bass anglers from around the world competing for a top prize of $100,000.

Blacksburg, South Carolina’s Andy Montgomery was the first angler to advance into the Sudden Death Round after his victory in the day 1 Shotgun Round. He is now joined by Omori, along with pros Jordan Lee of Cullman, Alabama (57 bass, 96-3) and Casey Ashley of Donalds, South Carolina (51 bass, 88-13) as the four anglers advancing from Group 1. The Sudden Death Round episode is set to premiere in two weeks, Nov. 7.

“In the morning we had a lot of wind and rain, and it was cold. I really didn’t expect the fish to bite that good,” said Omori, who has career earnings of more than $2.7 million. “I went to my first spot and they started biting, right away. I caught something like 47 pounds in the first period – the most fish I’ve ever caught in a single period.

“After my first day, I was way down in the standings. But, after that first period, I realized I had a good chance to make it in to the top three,” Omori continued. “So, I stayed in that one general area – in the back end of a creek – for all three periods.”

Omori said that his key bait throughout the day was a  Z-Man Evergreen ChatterBait Jack Hammer, with a Z-Man RaZor ShadZ trailer (green-pumpkin), estimating that 90% of his fish came on that.

“The lake we were on today, Lake Pokegama, was amazing,” Omori said. “The lake and the conditions fit my fishing style really good, so I was really happy that they chose this lake.”

Looking ahead to the Sudden Death Round, Omori said that he will be ready to go, no matter what fishery tournament officials select as competition waters.

“I just focus on my fishing,” Omori said. “Usually, I’m a largemouth guy. I’m not saying that I hate smallmouth, but I definitely prefer to target largemouth. So, hopefully for the Sudden Death, we fish a lake with a bunch of largemouth. I’ll have both setups rigged up, and do whatever it takes.”

The four anglers advancing to the Sudden Death Round from (Group 1) are:

                1st:          Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C., 19 bass, 42-6 *Shotgun Round 1 Winner*
                2nd:         Takahiro Omori of Tokyo, Japan, 63 bass, 98-7 *Elimination Round Winner*
                3rd:          Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala., 57 bass, 96-3
                4th:          Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., 51 bass, 88-13

Eliminated from competition in the 2020 General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops were:

                5th:          Greg Vinson of Wetumpka, Ala., 42 bass, 83-3
                6th:          Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala., 27 bass, 65-15
                7th:          Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., 35 bass, 62-4
                8th:          Bobby Lane of Lakeland,  Fla., 22 bass, 39-2

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Complete results and photos from the day can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Martens caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day – a 4-pound, 7-ounce smallmouth that came offshore on a crankbait.

Overall, there were 221 bass weighing 368 pounds, 5 ounces caught by the seven pros on the day three Elimination Round of competition on Lake Pokegama.

The 2020 Major League Fishing General Tire World Championship in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, is hosted by Visit Grand Rapids.

In MLF General Tire World Championship competition, the full field of 16 pro anglers is split into two groups of eight – Group 1 and Group 2. Group 1 competed in a Shotgun Round on day one, Group 2 on day two, with the winners of each day advancing directly to the Sudden Death Round. The remaining seven anglers from each group carried their total weight on to the Elimination Round. The three anglers from each group’s Elimination Round with the highest cumulative two-day weight will advance to the Sudden Death Round – eight anglers total.

During the Sudden Death round, the eight anglers that advanced from the Shotgun and Elimination Rounds compete to become one of the first six to reach a qualifying weight – determined by MLF officials. The top six anglers then advance to the final Championship Round – where weights are zeroed and the highest total weight at the end of competition wins and will be declared World Champion.

Next week’s episode of the General Tire World Championship will feature Group 2 competing in their Elimination Round – Edwin Evers, Jared Lintner, Michael Neal, Jacob Powroznik, Mark Rose, Jeff Sprague and Jacob Wheeler – competing on Lake Wabana.

The General Tire World Championship, hosted by Visit Grand Rapids, will air on the Discovery Channel as six, two-hour original episodes each Saturday morning debuting on Oct. 10, 2020, and running through Nov. 14, airing from 7 to 9 a.m. EDT. The full television schedule can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com/tv-schedule.

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Major League Fishing News

Meyer Coasts to Victory after Shattering Records on Day 2 Shotgun Round at General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (Oct. 19, 2020) – Major League Fishing (MLF) pro Cody Meyer of Auburn, California, had a pretty special day on Lake Pokegama that premiered Saturday morning on Discovery. The California pro caught 68 largemouth bass weighing 123 pounds, 12 ounces to win Shotgun Round 2 of competition at the General Tire World Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Meyer now advances directly into the Sudden Death Round of competition in the six-day championship tournament that showcases 16 of the best bass anglers from around the world competing for a top prize of $100,000.

Meyer’s final tally of 68 bass weighing 123-12 smashed previous MLF Cup records – it was the most fish caught in a single day of competition, and also the largest single-day weight in MLF Cup history.

In the post-game press conference, Meyer said it was one of the most special days in his career.

“I really wasn’t expecting to have that kind of a day,” Meyer said. “It ended up being one of the best days that I have ever had in my career, and the most fun that I’ve had fishing in a long time. To come out on top, with the anglers that were in this group, is really special.  It was such an awesome day – all day long I felt like I could call my shot.”

Meyer found most of his success fishing main-lake docks with every fish he caught coming on a wacky-rigged Yamamoto Senko (green-pumpkin and purple). He fished it on a 7-foot, 4-inch Daiwa Tatula Elite rod paired with a Daiwa Exist reel, using 10-pound braided line with a 10-pound fluorocarbon leader.

“I really though someone was going to win the day by flipping, but the docks were so loaded with fish. Every single dock had 2, 3, 4, even five fish on them. I caught 68 fish, which was incredible. But, I also lost around a dozen. It was by far the most fish and the most weight I have every caught in any MLF event.

“The key that I figured out was the sand,” Meyer continued. “The docks had to be really shallow, with deep water nearby. The fish got shallower and shallower as the day progressed, and if the docks were on sand there was fish on every single one of them.”

With his win, Meyer now advances directly into the Sudden Death Round, a day that many anglers call the most stressful day of fishing they experience.

“I’m definitely confident on the fisheries up here in Minnesota, and I’m having a lot of fun,” Meyer said. “But now I need to get ready for Sudden Death, which is 100% the most stressful day that you can have in bass fishing. There is never any down time, and you have to catch them fast. I went through eight or nine bags of baits today, and I’m definitely going to need to find some more before we fish Sudden Death.”

The standings after Saturday’s airing of the Day Two Shotgun Round (Group 2) are:

                1st:          Cody Meyer of Auburn, Calif., 68 bass, 123-12
                2nd:         Jeff Sprague of Point, Texas, 67 bass, 105-4
                3rd:         Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., 47 bass, 94-13
                4th:         Mark Rose of Wynne, Ark., 52 bass, 84-0
                5th:         Jared Lintner of Arroyo Grande, Calif., 48 bass, 76-11
                6th:         Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., 45 bass, 72-14
                7th:         Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn., 42 bass, 70-4
                8th:         Michael Neal of Dayton, Tenn., 35 bass, 54-14

Complete results and photos from the day can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

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Lintner caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day – a 4-pound, 5-ounce largemouth that bit a jig on the docks.

Overall, there were 404 bass weighing 1,171 pounds, 8 ounces caught by the eight pros on day two of competition on Lake Pokegama.

The 2020 Major League Fishing General Tire World Championship in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, is hosted by Visit Grand Rapids.

In MLF General Tire World Championship competition, the full field of 16 pro anglers is split into two groups of eight – Group 1 and Group 2. Group 1 competed in a Shotgun Round on day one, Group 2 on day two, with the winners of each day advancing directly to the Sudden Death Round. Now, the remaining seven anglers from each group carry their total weight on to the Elimination Round. The three anglers from each group’s Elimination Round with the highest cumulative two-day weight will advance to the Sudden Death Round – eight anglers total.

During the Sudden Death round, the eight anglers that advanced from the Shotgun and Elimination Rounds compete to become one of the first six to reach a qualifying weight – determined by MLF officials. The top six anglers then advance to the final Championship Round – where weights are zeroed and the highest total weight at the end of competition wins and will be declared World Champion.

Next week’s episode of the General Tire World Championship will feature Group 1 competing in their Elimination Round  – Casey Ashley, Brent Ehrler, Bobby Lane, Jordan Lee, Aaron Martens, Takahiro Omori and Greg Vinson – competing on Lake Pokegama.

The General Tire World Championship, hosted by Visit Grand Rapids, will air on the Discovery Channel as six, two-hour original episodes each Saturday morning starting Oct. 10, 2020, and running through Nov. 14, airing from 7 to 9 a.m. EDT. The full television schedule can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com/tv-schedule.

About Major League Fishing
Founded in 2011, Major League Fishing (MLF) brings the high-intensity sport of competitive bass fishing into America’s living rooms on Outdoor Channel, Discovery, CBS, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network, Sportsman Channel, and on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). According to Nielsen ratings, Major League Fishing remains the number one series on Outdoor Channel for five years and MLF premiered as the number one outdoor show in their time slot on Discovery in 2019. 

In 2019 MLF acquired FLW, which expands their portfolio to include the world’s largest grassroots-fishing organization, including the strongest five-biggest-fish format professional bass fishing tour, the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, as well as the Toyota Series, Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine, Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI, and High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing.

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Montgomery Wins Day One Shotgun Round at General Tire World Championship on Discovery

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (Oct. 12, 2020) – Pro Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, South Carolina, caught 19 bass totaling 42 pounds, 6 ounces to win the opening Shotgun Round of competition at the General Tire World Championship in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. For the win, Montgomery now advances directly into the Sudden Death Round of competition in the six-day championship bass tournament that showcases 16 of the best bass anglers from around the world competing for a top prize of $100,000.

The opening day of competition on Discovery showcased the eight competing anglers in Group 1 fishing on Northern Minnesota’s Lake Wabana. Montgomery had a big third-period rally, catching 10 bass for 23-12 in the final period to surpass Greg Vinson and Jordan Lee and earn the win by a narrow 1-pound, 4-ounce margin.

“For once, on a tournament day, everything played out just like I hoped it would,” Montgomery said in his post-game press conference. “I wanted to put the heat on the docks early, before others got a chance to fish them. I was able to do that and caught all of the largemouth that I could. I also knew coming into this that I was going to have to catch smallmouth somehow. I went a little while before I caught one, but once I finally did my confidence went through the roof because I caught it shallow, and it was a pattern that I could run across the lake.

“I mainly threw a lot of moving baits,” Montgomery continued. “I thought I’d maybe catch them deep on a drop-shot rig, but the wind took that away. So, I bounced back and forth throughout the day – from the docks out to the underwater islands, then back to the docks, then back to the islands. Timing was extremely important, and it was really good for me today.”

Montgomery said that he caught his largemouth on the docks with a Strike King Tour Grade Skipping Jig with a matching Rage Bug trailer. When fishing for smallmouth on the offshore islands, he threw a small Strike King Thunder Cricket vibrating jig and an unnamed swimbait.

“The third period was very important, and I felt like I had a really good gameplan,” Montgomery said. “I had the smallmouth pattern established, but I also had some docks in my mind that I had watched another competitor fish, but I felt like I could still catch some fish off of them. So, I re-fished those and caught a few key fish and then when they were done I didn’t try to force it – I went back offshore to the smallmouth.”

Montgomery now becomes the first angler to advance directly into the Sudden Death Round, a feat that he is proud of, but according to him there is still a lot of work left to be done.

“There is just something about this World Championship… I’ve fished a lot of big tournaments before. FLW Cups, Classics, I’ve fished them all. But there is something about this event, I just want to win it so badly. That is the only reason I’m here,” Montgomery went on to say.

The standings after Saturday’s airing of the Day One Shotgun Round (Group 1) are:

                1st:          Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C., 19 bass, 42-6
                2nd:         Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala., 23 bass, 41-2
                3rd:         Greg Vinson of Wetumpka, Ala., 14 bass, 39-12
                4th:         Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala., 11 bass, 28-9
                5th:         Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., seven bass, 14-11
                6th:         Takahiro Omori of Tokyo, Japan, eight bass, 14-4
                7th:         Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., seven bass, 13-7
                8th:         Bobby Lane of Lakeland,  Fla., five bass, 10-1

Complete results and photos from the day can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Montgomery also caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day, a 4-pound, 2-ounce largemouth.

Overall, there were 94 bass weighing 204 pounds, 4 ounces caught by the eight pros on day one of competition on Wabana Lake.

The 2020 Major League Fishing General Tire World Championship in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, is hosted by Visit Grand Rapids.

In MLF General Tire World Championship competition, the full field of 16 pro anglers is split into two groups of eight – Group 1 and Group 2. Group 1 competes in a Shotgun Round on day one, Group 2 on day two, with the winners of each day advancing directly to the Sudden Death Round. The remaining seven anglers from each group carry their total weight on to the Elimination Round competition. The three anglers from each group with the highest cumulative two-day weight will advance to the Sudden Death Round – eight anglers total.

During the Sudden Death round, the eight anglers that advanced from the Shotgun and Elimination Rounds compete to become one of the first six to reach a qualifying weight – determined by MLF officials. The top six anglers then advance to the final Championship Round – where weights are zeroed and the highest total weight at the end of competition wins and will be declared World Champion.

Next week’s episode of the General Tire World Championship will feature Group 2 – Michael Neal, Edwin Evers, Jacob Wheeler, Mark Rose, Jeff Sprague, Jared Lintner, Cody Meyer and Jacob Powroznik – competing on Pokegama Lake.

The General Tire World Championship, hosted by Visit Grand Rapids, will air on the Discovery Channel as six, two-hour original episodes each Saturday morning starting Oct. 10, 2020, and running through Nov. 14, airing from 7 to 9 a.m. EDT. The full television schedule can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com/tv-schedule.

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Major League Fishing News

BREAKING NEWS – Major League Fishing and FLW Unify as One Brand

TULSA, Okla. (Sept. 29, 2020) – To further elevate the sport of tournament bass fishing and align multiple circuits as one company, Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today its unification with Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) as one brand, transitioning all FLW brand assets to MLF. 

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, Toyota Series, Phoenix Bass Fishing League, Abu Garcia College Fishing and High School Fishing will all carry the MLF logo and continue the five-biggest-fish format. A new website that builds on the existing sites, streamlines tournament entry, provides cutting-edge gear and tactics advice, and better highlights participating anglers is set to be unveiled in early 2021.

“Merging the FLW brand under the Major League Fishing umbrella is the next logical step in our company’s evolution, which now includes a broader reach than any of us thought possible in our formative years,” MLF BIG5 Executive Vice President and General Manager Kathy Fennel said. “The key to our success lies not in a name, but in our unwavering focus on providing the best possible tournaments for anglers, fans, hosts and sponsors – our family. Uniting with MLF under a single brand makes the whole greater than the sum of the pieces. The letters may be different, but the people and the values will remain the same.”

The FLW organization now known as “Major League Fishing BIG5” began life as Operation Bass. Founded on the shores of Kentucky Lake in 1979 by Mike Whitaker, a teacher and football coach turned electronics salesman, Operation Bass grew from humble beginnings to become the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization with five circuits and more than 300 events in 11 countries offering $21 million in awards.

Operation Bass was purchased by Minneapolis businessman Irwin L. Jacobs in 1996 and renamed FLW Outdoors in 2001 to honor Forrest L. Wood and the principles he embodied. While those principles still guide the company, FLW became Fishing League Worldwide in 2014 to set the stage for international growth, which now includes bass tournaments in Canada, China, Italy, Mexico, Namibia, Korea, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Zimbabwe.

Fishing League Worldwide was acquired by Major League Fishing in November 2019. The acquisition was the most significant brand merger in competitive bass fishing history, linking an innovative tour and original, award-winning programming featuring the top professional anglers in the world to the extensive grassroots organization that serves tens of thousands of competitive anglers from high school and college students to weekenders and tour pros.

“The unrivaled television audience paired with unmatched tournament activation, MLF Bass Fishing magazine, a combined social media following in excess of one million fans, the sport’s most comprehensive live on-the-water coverage, and two of the sport’s top websites united under a single brand was a natural progression as the two organizations combine,” said Don Rucks, MLF Executive Vice President and General Manager.

To delineate between the Major League Fishing format of catch-weigh-immediate release competition, the five-biggest-fish tournament circuits will operate as the Major League Fishing BIG5 and will capitalize on MLF’s incredible reach on Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, World Fishing Network, Discovery, CBS and MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).

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New logo art will be provided to business partners, sponsors and anglers. The company expects that the changeover to the new name, logo and website will be completed by Q1 of 2021.

About Major League Fishing
Founded in 2011, Major League Fishing (MLF) brings the high-intensity sport of competitive bass fishing into America’s living rooms on Outdoor Channel, Discovery, CBS, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network, Sportsman Channel, and on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). According to Nielsen ratings, Major League Fishing remains the number one series on Outdoor Channel for five years and MLF premiered as the number one outdoor show in their time slot on Discovery in 2019. 

In 2019 MLF acquired FLW, which expands their portfolio to include the world’s largest grassroots-fishing organization, including the strongest five-biggest-fish format professional bass fishing tour, the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, as well as the Toyota Series, Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine, Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI, and High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing.

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Major League Fishing News

Pace Passes Poche to Win Auto-Berth to Friday’s Championship:

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 13, 2020 (Sturgeon Bay, Wisc.) Major League Fishing (MLF) Pro Cliff Pace won Covercraft Stage Five presented by Abu Garcia Group B Qualifying Round to advance directly to the Championship, joining Group A winner Justin Lucas in one of ten spots. With half the field eliminated, 38 anglers begin Tuesday’s Knockout Round at zero weight to compete over the remaining eight spots in Wednesday’s Championship Round. The 2020 Bass Pro Tour Seasons Points Championship may come down to Tuesday’s Knockout Round with Jordan Lee, Jacob Wheeler, and Ott DeFoe all battling to advance. Competition resumes Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. CT on MLFNOW!
MLF Pro Stephen Browning caught the Berkley Big Bass of the Day and hung on to 20th place to advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round. Photo credit: Phoenix Moore/Major League Fishing
40-year-old Pace caught 107 pounds, nine ounces to climb from seventh place after Day One (Saturday) and win with a two-day total of 174 pounds on 58 bass. Pace advances directly into Wednesday’s Championship Round joining Justin Lucas who won Group A Qualifying Round on Sunday. The HIGH-SEAS Pro said it wasn’t easy this week and he’s grateful for a day off (Tuesday). 
 
“I’m one happy man!” said Pace shortly after MLF Official Mike David confirmed his victory on SCORETRACKER®. “I’m tickled to death to have won today because everything here is such a variable. You don’t know what Mother Nature is going to do and everything can fall out of place. A win today means that I don’t have to compete tomorrow and maybe capitalize on a great event in Wisconsin on Wednesday.” 
 
Pace caught nearly all 58 bass over two days with a wacky worm in clear water – both 20, 25-feet deep and shallow. His told fans that a consistent, long cast was a key to his victory. A Mississippi-resident, Pace won the final Stage of the 2019 Bass Pro Tour in Neenah, Wisconsin last July
 
Keith Poche started out slow with zero scorable catches in the first three hours of competition and ultimately ended the day with 53 pounds and a two-day total of 165 pounds, 11 ounces. Jordan Lee and Mike Iaconelli led the field at different points in the day before ultimately being out paced by Pace as well. 
 
Stephen Browning caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day weighing in at five pounds, one ounce. His two-day total of 82 pounds, 10 ounces was enough to maintain a 20th place finish and secure a spot in Tuesday’s Knockout Round. After finishing Day One in the top 20, Britt Myers and Adrian Avena fell below the Elimination Line in 21st and 26th places respectively making room for Matt Lee and Ish Monroe to advance. After only scoring 12 pounds, 13 ounces on Day One (Saturday), Jared Lintner made the biggest gain of the day by scoring an additional 119 pounds, five ounces to finish in sixth with a two-day total of 132 pounds, two ounces. 
 
The Top Ten of Qualifying Group B finished as follows:
 PlaceAnglerTwo-Day Total Two-Day TotalLargest Fish over Two-Day Round1Cliff Pace174-00584-142Keith Poche165-11624-033Jordan Lee155-04554-104Mike Iaconelli144-05494-085Bobby Lane132-09434-095Jared Lintner132-02444-047Cody Meyer122-11414-078Jason Christie116-01424-019Alton Jones112-05424-0310Bradley Roy109-06394-09 
 
20 anglers fell below the Elimination Line ending their respective 2020 Bass Pro Tour seasons, including Chris Lane, Zack Birge, and Brent Ehrler who had all won Qualifying Rounds in previous 2020 Bass Pro Tour stops. For complete results, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com, Bass Pro Tour, Results.
 
The competition continues Tuesday when the 38 qualifiers take to the water for the Covercraft Stage Five presented by Abu Garcia Knockout Round, including current Season Points contenders Jordan Lee (276), Jacob Wheeler (267), Ott DeFoe (264), and Jeff Sprague (249).  Each angler earns Points (80-1) awarded by finishing place (1-80) at each Stage of the Bass Pro Tour. The Pro with the most points at the end of the season earns the title of “Bass Pro Tour Points Champion.” With Fletcher Shryock and Michael Neal eliminated and the remaining four battling out for one of eight spots remaining in Wednesday’s Championship Round, Tuesday’s competition may be the most consequential of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour season.  
 
Pending no weather delays, the Knockout Round begins at Sawyer Park Boat Launch, Sturgeon Bay, Wisc., 6:15 a.m. CT when the field reports to pick-up their MLF Official and camera operators before trailering to the ramp of his choice. With lines in at 8:00 a.m. CT, the competition consists of three, 150-minute periods. 
 
 
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Major League Fishing Moves Stage Five from Lake Champlain

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 15, 2020 (Tulsa, Okla.) Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today that Bass Pro Tour Stage Five presented by Covercraft will not take place on Lake Champlain as previously announced. Earlier today Vermont Governor Phil Scott amended and reinstated Executive Order 01-20, which states that visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Due to previously scheduled events, MLF pros and League staff cannot accommodate that order and will move the July event. 
 

Subject to a successful connectivity survey to support SCORETRACKER® and MLFNOW!production, MLF will move final Stage of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. The dates remain the same, July 10-15, 2020. Exact fisheries will be shared with competitors as determined by the Tournament Director and MLF Production teams based on the pending site survey. 
 

“While we are disappointed that we cannot have the final Stage of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour on Lake Champlain as originally planned, we understand the situation and look forward to the opportunity to showcase Vermont in the future.” said Michael Mulone, Major League Fishing Sr. Director of Events. “We appreciate Destination Sturgeon Bay helping us pull together an outstanding event under an abbreviated timeline.”

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Major League Fishing News

Major League Fishing Returns June 7 to Kissimmee Chain: 2020 Bass Pro Tour Schedule Cut Short in Wake of COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 8, 2020 (Tulsa, Okla.) Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today the return of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour on June 7-12 with Heavy Hitters featuring a $745,000 purse and the full field of 80 Pros. The 2020 Tour will conclude July 10-15 on Lake Champlain after five Stages. For the safety of all involved, fan events and gatherings are cancelled for the remainder of the season. This revised schedule permits MLF to deliver an additional 100+ hours of live-action sports as well as meet television production deadlines to fulfill sponsorship agreements despite the unprecedented season. On March 23rd following three successful Stages, MLF paused the Bass Pro Tour in an abundance of caution due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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“After working with state, local, and Public Health officials, we feel we can return to the water for two final tournaments in 2020,” said Boyd Duckett, MLF Co-Founder and pro angler.  “Fishing is an inherently socially distant sport and while we will miss seeing our fans face-to-face, the Bass Pro Tour can deliver the drama of live-action sports to fans, while participating responsibly in a phased approach to help restart the economy.” 
 
Heavy Hitters presented by Venmo will take place on Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho) and the Kissimmee Chain two weeks later than originally planned, June 7-12. No longer a mid-season qualifier, the event will feature all 80 MLF Pros in a traditional six-day, Bass Pro Tour format while still featuring an untraditional $745,000 purse and full-field payout. Heavy Hitters will serve as Stage Four toward the season-long Bass Pro Tour Points Championship, awarded to the angler with the most points at the conclusion of the season. 
 
In addition to the traditional payout schedule based on finishing order, the biggest bass caught for each Group over the two-day Qualifying Rounds (June 7-10) will pay a $25,000 big bass bonus ($50,000 total). The Knockout Round on day five (June 11), will feature a $50,000 big bass bonus, while the Championship Round (June 12) will feature a $100,000 big bass bonus, on top of the Stage Title $100,000 prize. 
 
In response to the shortened season, MLF revised the payout schedule for Heavy Hitters presented by Venmo to include all 80 anglers: 1st $100,000; 2nd $40,000; 3rd $15,000; 4th $13,000; 5th $12,000; 6th $11,000; 7th $10,000; 8th $9,000; 9th $8,000; 10th$7,000; 11th – 20th $6,000; 21st – 40th $5,000; 41st – 80th $4,000. Each competitor is guaranteed a $4,000 check.
 
“As an angler-driven league, we worked with the Pros to identify a schedule that preserves as many opportunities as possible for our guys to compete and receive a paycheck during this unprecedented time,” said Jim Wilburn, MLF President and CEO.  “Our media-centric format and exceptional production team enables us to create significant exposure for our field with over 550 hours of original programming via livestream, Discovery Channel, CBS, CBS Sports, and Sportsman Channel.” 
 
As the economy begins to reopen in Florida, Experience Kissimmee looks forward to welcoming Major League Fishing to their community. 
 
“We are thrilled to welcome back Major League Fishing to Kissimmee for another successful event,” said Kissimmee Sports Executive Director John Poole. “While the destination is following the Florida governor’s plan to reopen in phases, we are grateful to have the opportunity to provide both live and recorded television content for viewers across the country to continue experiencing Kissimmee from home.”
 
The 2020 Bass Pro Tour will conclude with the Evinrude Stage Five presented by Covercraft July 10–15 on Lake Champlain hosted by Experience Vermont. The abbreviated five-stage Bass Pro Tour encompasses the race to qualify for the 2021 REDCREST Championship and win the overall 2020 points race. After the General Tire Stage Three presented by TrueTimber on Lake Fork, Ott DeFoe leads the field with 227 points, while reigning Champion Edwin Evers sits near the Elimination Line at 29thplace with 146 points. 
 
“I’m glad that we’re able to return to fishing at this point,” said DeFoe. “Five stages are better than three and the fisheries that we have ahead of us are outstanding fisheries that will make for great contests. Despite being only five stages, this is a very diverse schedule and we will take what we can get in what has turned into an unprecedented season.” 
 
“I’m excited to get back to fishing,” said Evers. “It’s in our blood and for me to have the National Anthem go off and get back in the boat and compete against the best guys in this race for a REDCREST qualifier will be fantastic. Over these last few weeks, this competition has been missing in my life!” 
 
With the remainder of the 2020 season cut short due to the worldwide pandemic, MLF continues to work with 2020 host Bass Pro Tour hosts – Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, the Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the City of Ogdensburg – for future events. As announced last month, Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees will serve as the competition waters for REDCREST 2021 hosted by Tulsa Sports Commission, February 23-27, 2021 with the inaugural REDCREST Outdoor Expo February 26-28, 2021.
 
 
About the Bass Pro Tour:
 
The Bass Pro Tour began in 2019 and features 80 of the best professional anglers in the world, including Kevin VanDam, Edwin Evers, Aaron Martens, Mike Iaconelli, Jordan Lee, and Skeet Reese. Each stage includes six days of competition using the Major League Fishing, catch-weigh-and-immediately-release format, where every bass over a variable minimum weight, which is two pounds on Lake Eufaula for Stage One, toward a cumulative weight total for the day.  Variable minimum weights are determined by fishery akin to a golf course handicap. The field of 80 anglers is divided into two groups (Group A and B) of 40 to compete in the Qualifying Round where a two-day cumulative weight total determines the winners. The winners of Groups A and B receive automatic berths to the Championship Round and the anglers finishing in places 2-19 (38 total) advance to the Knockout Round on day five. The top eight from the Knockout Round join the winners in Groups A and B (field of 10) to compete in the Championship Round and a shot at the $100,000 top prize and Stage Title.
 
Each of Eight Stages of the Bass Pro Tour have the following payout schedule: 1st $100,000; 2nd $42,000; 3rd $30,000; 4th$24,000; 5th $18,000; 6th $16,800; 7th $15,600; 8th $14,400; 9th $13,200; 10th $12,000; 11th – 40th $6,000; Big Bass Daily $1,000; Big Bass Overall $1,000.
 
In addition to the economic impact on a host community, Major League Fishing showcases the region through their award-winning, live and linear programming. Each Stage of the Bass Pro Tour is broadcast live on the Major League Fishing app, MyOutdoorTV (MOTV), and majorleaguefishing.com, totaling more than 325 hours of original programming. Fans can follow the fast-paced nature of the MLF format as it unfolds on the live leaderboard through “SCORETRACKER® updates.” Highlights from each Stage of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour will air on Discovery Network beginning in July 2020 and Sportsman Channel in early 2021. 
 
“MLF offers the strongest broadcast presence in the industry to fans and sponsors,” said Jim Wilburn, President and CEO of Major League Fishing. “And with these lakes planned for this coming Bass Pro Tour, we know 2020 will be our best year yet as we continue to capture a broad audience of both longtime fishing fans and those new to the sport, thanks to our fast-paced, fan-friendly format,” 

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Major League Fishing News

Major League Fishing Announces Tulsa To Host REDCREST in February 2021: REDCREST Kicks Off the 2021 Bass Pro Tour Schedule

April 14, 2020 (Tulsa, Okla.)  Major League Fishing (MLF) announced that Tulsa, Oklahoma and Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees will host REDCREST 2021, the Bass Pro Tour Championship on February 23 – 27, 2021. The field of the top 30 MLF Pros, based on points accumulated during the 2020 Bass Pro Tour season, will compete for the REDCREST title and top prize of $300,000. In addition to the five-day tournament streamed live, the event will feature a consumer Outdoor Sports show in the 350,000-square-foot River Spirit Expo at Tulsa’s Expo Square February 26-28, 2021.
 
“We’re thrilled to bring our premiere event and the top 80 Pro anglers in the world to our hometown, Tulsa,” said Jim Wilburn, President and CEO of Major League Fishing. “Northeastern Oklahoma offers exceptional bass fishing as well as a central location for our fans from across the country to gather and celebrate the best in competitive bass fishing. We look forward to showcasing Tulsa to the world in over 60 hours of live and linear broadcasts.”
 
Major League Fishing partnered with VisitTulsa and the Tulsa Sports Commission, divisions of Tulsa Regional Tourism, to host REDCREST 2021.
 
“We are excited to announce that Tulsa was selected as the host city for REDCREST, the MLF Bass Pro Tour Championship,” said Ray Hoyt, President, Tulsa Regional Tourism. “Hosting clearly has a huge economic impact for Tulsa. Luring in thousands of fishing fans from across the U.S., Tulsa will create a significant boost to our hotels, restaurants and shops, as well as taxes that will benefit Tulsans regionally. We’re honored to partner with the great team at Major League Fishing and look forward to showing attendees and viewers alike all that Tulsa has to offer.” 
 
MLF will stream REDCREST live over 50 hours on MLFNOW! and MyOutdoorTV. In addition, MLF produces 11 hours of original television programming to air on Discovery and CBS Network as well as over 100 hours of re-airs on Sportsman Channel and CBS Sports, which amounts to significant exposure to the host community.
 
REDCREST includes five days of competition using the Major League Fishing, catch-weigh-and-immediately-release format, where every bass over a variable minimum weight counts toward a cumulative weight total for the day. Variable minimum weights are determined by fishery, akin to a golf course handicap. The championship field of 30 anglers competes in the Qualifying Round (Feb. 23-24, 2021) where a two-day cumulative weight total determines the top 20 who will advance to the Knockout Rounds. In the Knockout Rounds (Feb. 25-26, 2021), the field is divided into two groups of 10 with each group fishing one day only.  The top five from each group in the Knockout Rounds compete in the Championship Round on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021 and a shot at the $300,000 top prize and title of “REDCREST Champion.” 
 
According to MLF rules, the REDCREST field of 30 is determined by points ranking at the end of the eight-Stage, 2020 Bass Pro Tour, which was originally scheduled February through July 2020. MLF paused the 2020 season earlier this year in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic by postponing events through April. MLF leadership is monitoring the national situation and will follow the advice of medical and Public Health officials to resume the 2020 Bass Pro Tour season as soon as safely possible. 
 
“As our nation shelters to protect our neighbors and our families from this unprecedented situation, we find comfort knowing that we have the 2021 REDCREST to look forward to,” said MLF Co-Founder Boyd Duckett.  “Fishing is inherently a socially distancing sport and with proper precautions can be at the forefront of our nation’s economic recovery.” 
 
“We are excited to welcome Major League Fishing to Tulsa,” commented Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum. “At a time when our tourism industry, and those around the world, are struggling, this news is a welcome reminder that our community will bounce back quickly as a visitor and event destination.” 
 
After the first three Stages of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour, the following 10 anglers lead the REDCREST 2021 points race: Ott DeFoe(227 points); Brent Chapman (209); Andy Montgomery (204); Fletcher Shryock (200); Michael Neal (198); Jacob Powroznik (198); Jacob Wheeler (196); Jeff Sprague (196); Jordan Lee (196); Alton Jones, Jr. (185). Kevin VanDam, the winningest angler in competitive bass fishing history, currently sits in 18th place with 166 points while reigning REDCREST Champion and Northeastern Oklahoma resident Edwin Evers sits at 29th place. With a $700,000 total purse on the line, MLF pros strive to earn an appearance in the Bass Pro Tour Championship.
 
“I’m really excited for our biggest event to be in Tulsa and on Grand Lake, where I personally have had a lot of success,” said VanDam. “And when it’s all said and done, one of us will walk away with a check for $300,000 and the prestige and notoriety that goes along with the title ‘REDCREST Champion’.” 
 
“REDCREST is our biggest event of the year and we all work hard all year long to put as many fish on the SCORETRACKER® as possible to make it to the Bass Pro Tour Championship,” said Evers. “Northeastern Oklahoma has a huge community of competitive bass fishing fans and I have no doubt they will all come out of the woodwork to support us!” 
 
REDCREST 2021 will launch from Wolf Creek Park and Boating Facility on Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma. 
 
“The City of Grove is very excited to be chosen as the launching site for a tournament as prestigious as the 2021 REDCREST Championship,” said Mayor Ed Trumbull. “We will be looking forward to having the best anglers in the world utilizing Wolf Creek Park and fishing on Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees.”
 
In addition to the competition, REDCREST 2021 will feature an outdoor sports consumer expo at Tulsa’s Expo Square February 26-28, 2021. The three-day, family-friendly celebration will feature meet-n-greets and seminars from MLF pros and other celebrity guests, entertainment, as well as the latest in outdoor gear with the top fishing, hunting, boating, and consumer brands showcasing new products and offers. 
 
“Expo Square is enthused to be selected as the host venue for Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour Championship, REDCREST in February 2021,” said Mark Andrus, Expo Square President and CEO. “We strive to provide excellent customer service, throughout our clean and family-friendly facilities. Our teams are ready to build a partnership with Major League Fishing and look forward to developing an impactful event to the sport.”
 
The full lineup of exhibitors and schedule of events will be announced later this year. Fans, sponsors, and exhibitors alike welcome the fact that Major League Fishing has built its competition format to enable 50+ pros to be on-site, meeting fans each day of the expo. The festivities will culminate into Sunday’s celebration – a first for competitive bass fishing – when the full field of 30 REDCREST competitors, including the newly crowned Champion, will be in attendance. All activities, including interaction with the MLF pros, are free and open to the public. 
 
REDCREST kicks off the Major League Fishing 2021 Bass Pro Tour schedule. As always, Bass Pro Tour events will be streamed live on MLFNOW! to fans around the world:

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  • 2021 REDCREST, February 23-28, 2021
  • 2021 Bass Pro Tour Stage One, March 19-24, 2021
  • 2021 Bass Pro Tour Stage Two, April 9-14, 2021
  • 2021 Bass Pro Tour Stage Three, April 23-28, 2021
  • 2021 Bass Pro Tour Stage Four, May 14-19, 2021
  • 2021 Bass Pro Tour Stage Five, June 25-30, 2021
  • 2021 Bass Pro Tour Stage Six, July 9-14, 2021
  • 2021 Bass Pro Tour Stage Seven, August 6-11, 2021
  • 2021 Bass Pro Tour Stage Eight, September 10-15, 2021

“Since announcing the Bass Pro Tour in 2018, our team has worked diligently to build the most robust schedule possible while giving our anglers holidays at home with their families as they desire,” said Don Rucks, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Major League Fishing.  “The 2021 tournament schedule demonstrates our commitment as a League to bringing the best in competitive bass fishing to our fans, sponsors, and host communities.” 

About Major League Fishing   
Founded in 2011, Major League Fishing (MLF) brings the high-intensity sport of competitive bass fishing into America’s living rooms on Outdoor Channel, Discovery, CBS, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network, Sportsman Channel, and on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). The Bass Pro Tour consists of eight events and a championship streamed live on www.MajorLeagueFishing.com and MOTV. 

In late 2019 MLF acquired FLW, which expands their portfolio to include the world’s largest grassroots fishing organization, including the strongest five-fish format professional bass fishing tour, the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, as well as the Toyota Series, Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine, and Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI, and High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing. 

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Major League Fishing News Uncategorized

MLF Postpones Stage Four of the Bass Pro Tour in an Abundance of Caution

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March 23, 2020 (Tulsa, Okla.) Major League Fishing (MLF) announced the league will postpone the next stop on the Bass Pro Tour originally scheduled for April 3-8, 2020 in Raleigh, North Carolina in an abundance of caution surrounding the novel coronavirus. The League will monitor the situation and follow the advice of medical and Public Health officials to reschedule as quickly as possible. 
 
“The safety and health of our anglers, volunteers, staff, and host community are our primary concern,” said Jim Wilburn, Major League Fishing President and CEO. “While our format inherently allows for social distancing and other recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control to minimize the spread of COVID-19, we feel it’s in the best interest of all involved to pause our 2020 season.” 
 
The Berkley Stage Four presented by Covercraft was originally scheduled to take place on Jordan Lake, Falls Lake, and Shearon Harris Reservoir hosted by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance.
 
“We understand the decision by MLF to postpone the event,” commented Tori Collins, Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance Director. “These proactive measures are tough decisions but in the best interest for all involved. The Greater Raleigh area looks forward to welcoming the MLF Pros and staff back to North Carolina and showcasing our region’s beautiful lakes in the future.”
 
Major League Fishing will continue to assess the impact of COVID-19 and take the advice and mandates set forth by local, state, and national medical and Public Health officials to address the potential impact on future events and potential dates for rescheduling Stage Four.  
MLF strongly encourages everyone to follow the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on everyday prevention of viral infection, which include: 

  • Clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid close contact with sick persons
  • Practice social distancing among your community
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
  • Consult a healthcare provider as needed
  • For more information about the novel coronavirus, visit cdc.gov.

MLF fans can tune into the Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel to see original airings of the MLF Cup events including the Premiere of the 2020 Patriot Cup on Saturday, April 4, 2020. MLF Cup events feature 30 Pros from the Bass Pro Tour filmed exclusively to premiere on Outdoor Channel. 2020 MLF Cup events were filmed in late 2019.  For a complete listing of the MLF television schedule, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com/tv-schedule.  

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