MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING NEWS

EHRLER SCORES KNOCKOUT ROUND WIN, LEADS FINAL 10 INTO CHAMPIONSHIP AT EVINRUDE STAGE EIGHT PRESENTED BY TRACKER OFF ROAD

NEENAH, Wis. (June 29, 2019) – As the competition switched to a new lake today for the Knockout Round of the Bass Pro Tour Evinrude Stage Eight Presented by Tracker Off Road, Brent Ehrler figured it out better than anyone and ran away with a convincing daily victory. 

Lake Butte des Morts proved to be a nice change of pace for the anglers after four days of fishing Lake Winnebago. This new, smaller lake produced good numbers of fish, several 3-plus-pound specimens, and all-day action on the Major League Fishing® (MLF) SCORETRACKER®.
Tomorrow, the field will again try their best to tackle another new body of water as the tournament concludes on nearby Green Lake for the Championship Round.


Ehrler Wins by 13 Pounds
In the final 15 minutes of the day, Ehrler landed his biggest bass of the day. It was a fitting end to the day. The 3-11 largemouth caught on a frog was the exclamation point on a stellar outing.
“Today was a blast! It was stressful, but still so much fun,” he said. 

The majority of Ehrler’s fish today fell for a frog, but he also landed several key fish on a Gary Yamamoto Senko. He spent much of his day in a backwater area that was full of grass, submerged trees, and hungry largemouth bass.
He grabbed the lead midday through the day and never let go. Ehrler ended the Knockout Round with 28 bass for 56 pounds, 7 ounces, outdistancing second-place finisher Bobby Lane by over 13 pounds. Lane finished with 42-10.


Klein Rallies
As Major League Fishing fans watched MLF NOW! today, there was no mention of Gary Klein until late in the final period as he was buried deep in the standings. But at the 1:10 mark in Period 3, Klein picked up momentum and found himself in 15th place. When it was all said and done, the Mercury pro found himself in 8th place with 18 bass for 30-5.


Wheeler Still Alive
For most of the day, it appeared that Jacob Wheeler would not be present on Championship Sunday to try for back-to-back wins. But, he found another gear late in the day and was able to sneak into the Top 10 and finish in 9th place.
His day totals were 17 bass for 28-3. With weights starting at zero tomorrow, Wheeler has a new life and must be considered one of the favorites to win. 

“Boom Boom” Falters Late
Fred Roumbanis started the day strong thanks to a solid smallmouth bite on a vibrating jig. His morning bite was excellent, but his afternoon stalled as he continued to slide down the standings.
In the end, he was the first angler out of the Top 10 but took it in stride despite missing the cut by just ten ounces.
“Boy, I let that one slip out of my fingers. It just wasn’t meant to be this week, but at least I qualified for the final Cup and REDCREST,” he said as time expired and he accepted his fate in Wisconsin.


The REDCREST Shuffle
After yesterday, our estimated calculations had 10 anglers vying for just four spots. Still, nothing is set in stone until the last fish is weighed tomorrow.
For now, it appears that Randall Tharp, Mark Daniels, Jr., Takahiro Omori, and Cody Meyer have done what they needed to do this week to make REDCREST. 

Final official results will be tabulated at the close of tomorrow’s competition. 

Daily Winners
Shotgun Round daily awards were:
* The Berkley Big Bass of the day was Mark Daniels, Jr.’s 4-0 largemouth.* Brent Ehrler won the Berkley Catch Count award with 28 bass on the day.* Ehrler also earned the Phoenix Boats Daily Leader award with 56-07.


Looking Ahead
The Elimination Round will be Green Lake, which is approximately 45-minutes outside of Neenah. The weather forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms, a high of 83-degrees and winds out of the south at 5 to 10 miles per hour.


How, When, Where to Watch
Competition continues on Sunday at 7 a.m. CT, with live, official scoring available via SCORETRACKER on MajorLeagueFishing.com and on the MLF app. The MLF NOW! live stream begins at 9:30 a.m. CT with Chad McKee, JT Kenney, Marty Stone, and Natalie Dillon.
The Postgame Show Presented by Berkley will begin at approximately 4:30 p.m CT. The public is invited to attend the activity at Shattuck Middle School in Neenah.

Shotgun Rounds’ Results

To see all results for today’s Knockout Round, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com and click “Results.”

MLF Records and Rallies on Lake Fork: Atkins Breaks Christie’s Record; Neal Rallies in the Third to Sneak into First Place

March 14, 2020 (Lake Fork, Texas) 40 Pro anglers (Group B) competed on Lake Fork in the Bass Pro Tour General Tire Stage Three presented by TrueTimber. Justin Atkins broke the record for the largest bass caught in Major League Fishing and Bass Pro Tour histories less than 24 hours after Jason Christie set it. Brandon Coulter led the field for much of the day only to slip into second place in the last seven minutes of the day. Michael Neal came from behind in Period Three with a 35-pound, 10-fish run to end the day in first place. Group A returns to the water Sunday for their second and final day of the Qualifying Round; the bottom 20 will be eliminated.  
Alabama-resident Justin Atkins gave himself a belated 30th-birthday present on Lake Fork today by catching the largest bass in the history of both MLF and the Bass Pro Tour. Weighing in at 10 pounds, eight ounces, a personal best for Atkins, this fish beat Christie’s catch by 4 ounces, less than 24 hours later. “Look at this guy,” exclaimed Atkins moments after he calmly set the hook in a fashion resembling the experience of a Pro twice his age. “It will not last a day or two,” said Christie, in an interview late Friday after catching the first record-breaker of this Stage. “I’m looking forward to getting back out there.” Atkins won the Berkley Big Bass of the Day for Saturday and receives $1,000.

Brandon Coulter took over the lead from Dave Lefebre early in Period Two thanks to a steady stream of significant catches, including his big bass of the day weighing in at nine pounds, five ounces with 45 minutes left in the second. 49-year-old Coulter looked like he would end the day in first place until fellow Tennessean Michael Neal rallied, rising into the Top Ten with a 10-fish, 35-pound-10-ounce run in Period Three. With seven minutes remaining on the day, Neal caught a three-pound-eight-ounce largemouth to take the lead by one pound.  “Sneaky Mikey,” commented Coulter as the clock wound down to lines-out for the day. “Congratulations Michael; I wanted to win that Round bad. We had a good day and I will be back out on Monday working to win and skip the Knockout Round.”

The competition continues Sunday when Group A returns to the water for their final day of the Qualifying Round. Mark Daniels, Jr. is currently in the lead with 84 pounds, 15 ounces. Texas Pro Jeff Sprague sits in second place 12 pounds behind Daniels. The angler with the highest two-day cumulative total wins and the bottom 20 anglers will be eliminated. The weather forecast suggests thunderstorms may hinder the competition midday. Bass Pro Tour Tournament Director Aaron Beshears will consider safety over competition every time. 
 
“We continuously monitor weather on the entire body of water to determine the safest situation for the anglers and MLF staff,” said Beshears.  
 
Pending no weather delays, the day begins with launch at Oak Ridge Marina, Quitman, Texas, 9:15 a.m. CT before lines-in at 10:00 a.m. Period 1 ends at 12:30 p.m. Period 2 spans 12:45 p.m. until 3:15 p.m. Period 3 begins at 3:30 p.m. and lasts until day’s end at 6:00 p.m. The General Tire Takeout show airs approximately 6:15–7:15 p.m. as anglers return to the ramp.
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Major League Fishing & College Fishing – Details for 2020 MLF College Faceoffs Presented by Wiley X

March 2, 2020 (Tulsa, Okla.) — Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today the schedule, host cities and details for the 2020 MLF College Faceoffs Presented by Wiley X. The four-tournament series, held in conjunction with MLF Bass Pro Tour events, will feature 20 college fishing teams competing in an MLF-style, catch-weigh-immediate release format at each event. Teams qualify to compete in the Faceoffs through their finish in select Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI tournaments.

Two teams from 10 unique schools will compete in the no entry-fee College Faceoff events for great prizes and swag from Major League Fishing and select sponsors. The total one-day combined weight of the two teams from each school will comprise the final standings.

“With all of the great enhancements being offered to MLF and FLW anglers this season, we are excited to add these great opportunities for our College Fishing competitors as well,” said Todd Walker, MLF Vice President of Operations. “We expect this year’s lineup of MLF College Faceoff tournaments to produce a series of exciting events that will allow student anglers to experience the challenge and excitement of competing in an MLF-style event.”

2020 MLF College Faceoffs Schedule

April 4: Raleigh, N.C.

  • Qualifying tournament: Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open at Kentucky Lake, March 17-18

April 25: Grove, Okla.

  • Qualifying tournament: Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at Fort Gibson Lake, March 27

June 6: Winnebago, Wis.

  • Qualifying tournament: Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at Table Rock Lake, March 6

June 27: Ogdensburg, N.Y.

  • Qualifying tournament: Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at Smith Mountain Lake, April 17

The top 10 schools from each of the select Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI events with the most combined Tackle Warehouse Team of the Year points from their two highest-finishing individual teams will qualify. Competition waters will be in proximity to the host cities, with exact fishery details revealed to tournament anglers before the start of each event.

Each tournament will receive coverage through the MLF and FLW website and social media outlets, including interviews and a trophy presentation for top finishers on Facebook and Instagram Live. Top individual teams will be recognized, but the school with the highest total combined weight from their two participating teams will be crowned MLF College Faceoff Champion.

Powroznik Makes a Period 3 Power Play to Win: Final Day of Favorite Fishing Stage Two presented by Bass Cat Brings the Action

February 26, 2020 (Okeechobee, Fla.) Jacob Powroznik rose to the top of the leaderboard by catching half his day’s fish in the final Period to win. The Virginia-native tallied 49 pounds, 11 ounces to beat his closest competitor by 11 pounds, six ounces and win $100,000. With sunny skies and a third day of warming air temperature, Lake Okeechobee emerged into an exciting, action-packed playing field for the final day of the Bass Pro Tour Favorite Fishing Stage Two presented by Bass Cat. Jacob Wheeler led for a time midday after catching 10 of his 12 fish before noon but fell short of back-to-back Bass Pro Tour Titles. The Bass Pro Tour continues March 13-18 on Lake Fork near Emory Texas.

Powroznik opened his day with a four-pound, one-ounce largemouth within the first forty minutes of competition. He continued a steady catch each period with enough weight to keep him in the hunt for the Title. Ultimately, he found late-day success catching 23 pounds, nine ounces in the final period of the day to win with 15 bass for 49 pounds, 11 ounces. 

“Words just can’t describe it,” said Powroznik moments after returning to shore. “You put yourself in a position and if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. For a period of 15 minutes in the third period I think I caught about 15 pounds and that’s momentum; momentum drives us and that’s what this sport’s all about.” 

Like Powroznik, Michael Neal found a productive area and worked it for all he could. SCORETRACKER® looked as if the two were playing “strike, counter-strike” all day long. The 29-year-old Tennessean recorded his first bass, weighing in at six pounds, one ounce, at the exact same time as Powroznik. Neal had a more productive first period than Powroznik but ultimately lost the lead with only three catches in the Period 3 for a total of 38 pounds, five ounces on the day. 

Midday it appeared that Jacob Wheeler might be on his way to back-to-back Bass Pro Tour Titles after catching nine of 12 fish for the day in the first period. With only one catch each in Periods 2 and 3 respectively, Wheeler fell to third place with 34 pounds, six ounces. 

“I gave it all that I had,” he said as time ran. “I was focusing on really shallow pockets where the fish were pulling up to spawn. The water had to be shallow enough that it wouldn’t even register a depth on my electronics, the shallower, the better.”

Jeff Sprague caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day at six pounds, 12 ounces. Jacob Powroznik had the most fish on SCORETRACKER® with 15, as well as earning the Phoenix First award with a total weight of 49-11. 

The Favorite Fishing Stage Two presented by Bass Cat Championship Round, hosted by Okeechobee County Tourism Development Board, finished as follows:

PlaceAnglerTotal WeightTotal BassLargest BassWinnings
1Jacob Powroznik 49-11155-05$100,000
2Michael Neal38-05146-01$42,000
3Jacob Wheeler34-06126-00$30,000
4Randall Tharp32-06113-15$24,000
5Jeff Sprague31-0686-12$18,000
6Fletcher Shryock31-00115-07$16,800
7Jordan Lee15-1536-00$15,600
8Takahiro Omori9-1243-00$14,400
9Zack Birge6-0623-04$13,200
10James Elam4-0622-05$12,000

For complete results from the entire week, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com, Bass Pro Tour, Results.

The Bass Pro Tour continues March 13-18, 2020, with General Tire Stage Three presented by TrueTimber on Lake Fork (Texas).  Each day begins with launch 7:15 a.m. local time before lines-in at 8:00 a.m. Period 1 ends at 10:30 a.m. Period 2 spans 10:45 a.m. until 1:15 p.m. Period 3 begins at 1:30 p.m. and lasts until day’s end at 4:00 p.m. The General Tire Takeout show airs approximately 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. as anglers return to the ramp and interact with fans.

Wheeler Wins the Knockout Round: Wednesday’s Championship Round Set

February 25, 2020 (Okeechobee, Fla.) Jacob Wheeler won the Knockout Round in the Bass Pro Tour Favorite Fishing Stage Two presented by Bass Cat. Zack Birge took second with only a two-pound-five-ounce deficit. SCORETRACKER® moved today on Lake Okeechobee with more than 190 bass caught as compared to 71-110 on the previous four days of competition. Five anglers tied for catching the most scorable bass at 10 caught each. Alton Jones landed the Berkley Big Bass of the Day with an eight-pound, three-ounce largemouth late in Period 3. The Championship Round begins tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. ET as 10 Pros compete for the $100,000 prize and Stage Two title. 

Academy Sports Pro Jacob Wheeler will enter his second Championship Round in as many Stages on the 2020 Bass Pro Tour. He steadily caught fish all day long but his burst of six fish in Period 2 ended with a four-pound, 13-ounce largemouth that placed him comfortably at the front of the pack. Wheeler then used Period 3 to look for additional areas rather than running up a larger lead. 

“It’s going to take a lot of weight to win tomorrow,” Wheeler predicted. “The big ones are starting to move up and it’s going to be fun. The ‘Big O’ saved the best for last.” 

At the end of the day, Wheeler scored 35 pounds, one ounce to win the Knockout Round only two pounds, five ounces ahead of Favorite Fishing Pro Zack Birge. After catching no fish on his first day of the Qualifying Round, Birge surged on Sunday to catch 27 pounds, three ounces to advance to today’s Knockout Round. Today he bettered himself with 32 pounds, 12 ounces and a second-place finish to advance to tomorrow’s Championship Round. 

“I had a good day,” Birge said, adding that his success helps ease the pain of coming up just short at Lake Eufaula where he missed the Knockout Round by one place. “I cleared my mind and went fishing with one rod on my deck all day long.” 

Birge, Wheeler, Jeff Sprague, Michael Neal, and Stephen Browning all caught 10 scorable bass today. All but Browning will advance to the Championship Round, whose last-minute catch of three pounds, two ounces still left him one pound, five ounces behind Fletcher Shyrock. 

The top eight of the Knockout Round, who will join Qualifying Round Group A winner Takahiro Omori and Qualifying Round Group B winner Jordan Lee in Wednesday’s Championship are as follows:

PlaceAnglerTotal WeightTotal BassLargest Bass
1Jacob Wheeler35-01105-15
2Zack Birge32-12105-10
3Jeff Sprague31-08105-04
4Randall Tharp30-0585-06
5Michael Neal29-11104-09
6Jacob Powroznik29-0595-12
7James Elam27-1497-05
8Fletcher Shyrock27-1176-05

For complete results, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com, Bass Pro Tour, Results.

The competition concludes Wednesday with the Championship Round where ten anglers compete for the Favorite Fishing Stage Two presented by Bass Cat Title. The weather forecast suggests thunderstorms may hinder the competition in the morning. Bass Pro Tour Tournament Director Aaron Beshears will consider safety over competition every time. 

“We continuously monitor weather on the entire body of water to determine the safest situation for the anglers and MLF staff,” said Beshears. “With a lake the size of Okeechobee, we will be especially cautious for all involved.” 

Pending no weather delays, the day begins with launch at C. Scott Driver Park, Okeechobee, Fla. 7:15 a.m. EST before lines-in at 8:00 a.m. Period 1 ends at 10:30 a.m. Period 2 spans 10:45 a.m. until 1:15 p.m. Period 3 begins at 1:30 p.m. and lasts until day’s end at 4:00 p.m. The General Tire Takeout show airs approximately 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. as anglers return to the ramp.

Jordan Lee Leaps from Last to First, Advances Directly to the Championship Round: 38-Angler Field Set for Tuesday’s Knockout Round

February 24, 2020 (Okeechobee, Fla.) Jordan Lee won the Group B Qualifying Round of the Favorite Fishing Stage Two presented by Bass Cat with a one-day total of 36 pounds, 10 ounces. The 29-year-old steadily climbed SCORETRACKER®, passing Dean Rojas, who began Monday with the lead after catching 20 pounds, five ounces on Saturday. Lee earns a day off on Tuesday to advance directly to the Championship Round. Two other anglers who began their second day at zero pounds – Stephen Browning and Jeff Sprague – will join Rojas and 35 others to determine the final eight who will compete against Lee and Takahiro Omori, the winner of Group A Qualifying Round on Sunday, on Wednesday for a chance to win $100,000.

Lee said that he began the day with nothing to lose. After a scoreless Saturday, Lee opened his day with three, four-plus-pound largemouth bass in the first Period for a total weight of 13 pounds, five ounces. Lee retained his lead through a scoreless third Period after a catching one weighing six pounds, seven ounces late in Period Two. 

“Today is a day for the history books; it was special,” said Lee as he returned to the ramp for the General Tire Takeout show on MLFNOW! “I went to a place I hadn’t fished since college; I had to work for them, but it was just the right move.”

When asked if his scoreless first day impacted his outlook going into today, Lee shared that he had hope starting today and decided to listen to his instincts, a strategy that also paid off for him in Eufaula at Stage One of the Bass Pro Tour earlier this month.

“Last night I was thinking about how I had gone with my gut already this season and it paid off big,” said Lee. “So, I went someplace today that I hadn’t been in a long time again and it worked. I could tell halfway through the day I had something special.” 

Dean Rojas made the most of difficult lake conditions on Saturday to begin today with a two-pound lead over Britt Myers. Despite best efforts, Rojas caught only three scoreable bass weighing in collectively at seven pounds even to finish second, just missing the automatic berth to the Championship.

“I tried my hardest; I just never had a big bite,” reflected Rojas. “I’m going to think about my game plan and will have to make an adjustment. I missed an opportunity to qualify for the Championship Round, but I plan to change areas for tomorrow and see what I can make happen.” 

Stephen Browning made a run in Period 3 catching six scoreable bass in only 38 minutes. These, plus the one he caught midway through today’s second Period, gave him a two-day total of 18 pounds, two ounces after catching no scoreable bass on Day one of the Qualifying Round. Enough to secure 12th place, Browning advances to the Knockout Round.

“The area I fished on Saturday suffered a major temperature change in only two feet of water,” said Browning. “Then late in the third Period, I hit a flurry – a fisherman’s dream.” 

Much of the day’s drama unfolded on the elimination line as anglers battled for their place in Tuesday’s Knockout Round. Chris Lane snuck into 17th place with two, two-pound bass within the last 30 minutes of the day. With only five minutes left in the day, Alton Jones caught a three-pound, two-ounce bass, which moved him to 18th place and knocked Boyd Duckett out of the Knockout Round into 21st place. 

The Top Ten of the Qualifying Round, Group B finished day two as follows:

SHOP – THE NATIONAL ANGLER

PlaceAnglerTotal 2-Day Weight Day Two Weight TotalBiggest Bass
1Jordan Lee32-1032-106-07
2Dean Rojas27-087-033-13
3Josh Bertrand25-0716-106-03
4Jacob Powroznik24-1113-063-11
5Scott Suggs22-1516-046-11
6Anthony Gagliardi20-047-126-09
7Jeff Sprague20-0320-033-07
8Andy Montgomery19-132-116-06
9Todd Faircloth19-0515-055-07
10Britt Myers18-040-005-12

For complete results, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com, Bass Pro Tour, Results.

Scott Suggs caught the Berkley Big Bass of the Day weighing in at six pounds, 11 ounces. Suggs finished 5th overall and will advance into the Knockout Round with a strong showing toward his Heavy Hitters qualifying weight. MLF Heavy Hitters presented by Venmo brings together the 30 anglers with the heaviest “virtual bags” after five Stages of the Bass Pro Tour. Anglers will compete for over $750,000 in prizes including a Berkley Big Bass payout ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 per day. Heavy Hitters takes place on the Kissimmee Chain (Fla.) May 16-20, 2020. 


Today’s event concluded the Qualifying Round of the Favorite Fishing Stage Two presented by Bass Cat. Two anglers advanced directly into the Championship Round on Wednesday: Takahiro Omori, winner of Group A and Jordan Lee, winner of Group B. The remaining eight spots in the Championship Round will be determined in Tuesday’s Knockout Round, in which the anglers who finished in places 2-20 on their respective days will compete in a field of 38 for the top eight spots. 

The 38 anglers competing in the Knockout Round include: Wesley Strader
Zack Birge
Ott DeFoe
Cody Meyer
Michael Neal 
Mike McClelland
Ish Monroe
Shaw Grigsby
Dustin Connell
Dave Lefebre
Jacob Wheeler
David Dudley
Randall Tharp
Jason Lambert
Adrian Avena
Fred Roumbanis
Kevin VanDam
Fletcher Shyrock
Gerald Spohrer
Dean Rojas
Josh Bertrand
Jacob Powroznik
Scott Suggs
Anthony Gagliardi
Jeff Sprague
Andy Montgomery
Todd Faircloth
Britt Myers
Greg Hackney
Stephen Browning
Mark Rose
Brent Chapman
Cliff Pace
Andy Morgan
Chris Lane
James Elam
Alton Jones
Mark Daniels Jr.

Tuesday’s Knockout Round begins on Lake Okeechobee (Eastern Standard Time) with launch 7-7:30 a.m. before lines-in at 8:00 a.m. Period 1 ends at 10:30 a.m. Period 2 spans 10:45 a.m. until 1:15 p.m. Period 3 begins at 1:30 p.m. and lasts until day’s end at 4:00 p.m. The General Tire Takeout show airs approximately 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. as anglers return to the ramp.

Takahiro Omori Climbs Leaderboard to Win and Advance to the Championship Round: Zack Birge Surges 31 Places after a Scoreless First Day

February 23, 2020 (Okeechobee, Fla.) The Bass Pro Tour continued on Lake Okeechobee Sunday for the third day of the Favorite Fishing Stage Two presented by Bass Cat. Anglers in Group A found some relief with less wind and warmer temperatures when compared to Friday’s start to the Qualifying Round. Takahiro Omori rose seven places to win the Qualifying Round for Group A securing an automatic berth in the Championship Round. Wesley Strader doubled his Friday catch to secure second place with a two-day total of 28 pounds even. Zach Birge rose 31 places after a scoreless first day by catching 27 pounds, three ounces today. Group B, currently led by Dean Rojas with 20 pounds, five ounces, will return to the water on Monday to determine the remaining 20 anglers to advance.

Ranger Boats Pro Omori opened his day with an eight-pound-four-ounce bass in the second half of the first period. He then sealed his first-place position throughout the day with a steady pace of two-pound catches. By winning “Group A” of the Qualifying Round with a two-day total of 33 pounds, nine ounces, Omori skips the Knockout Round and advances directly to Wednesday’s Championship Round. This guarantees him a minimum payout of $12,000.

Tennessee-resident Strader moved from 14th place on Friday to 2nd place today. He caught six of seven before noon and said he found a rhythm that didn’t necessarily align with his original plan. 

“Today was about having an open mind,” said Strader. “I had to go into today doing things that are not usual to Florida fishing but rather getting back to how I like to fish. I found an area that wasn’t exactly my original plan, but I stayed and figured a few more things out.” 

Zack Birge credits fellow MLF Pro Mike Iaconelli with inspiring him to go into today with a winning attitude despite a scoreless first day on Friday. Iaconelli ended his first day of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour without a catch and then surged forward in day two of the B&W Hitches Stage One presented by Power-Pole Qualifying Round with a one-day total of 23 pounds, three ounces to make the Knockout Round. 

“You’re never out of it in this game,” said Birge. “I thought about how Ike caught nothing on the first day in Eufaula and then came back with a ‘big bag’ on the second day. I got a little momentum this morning and then (Ike’s success) kept me motivated.” 

After finishing 78th out of 80 anglers in 2019 – the first season with the Bass Pro Tour, Mike McClelland continued his 2020 renaissance today by earning a second top-twenty finish. He caught 19 pounds, three ounces Sunday – the third highest weight of the day behind Strader and Omori. McClelland finished seventh overall with a two-day total of 25 pounds, two ounces. One of the first anglers to join MLF, McClelland expressed his enthusiasm for both the MLF format and the variable minimum weight rule change in 2020 as energizing to him as well as the sport of competitive bass fishing. 

“This is the most stressful, intense, and exciting format I’ve ever fished,” said McClelland. “When we started MLF where every fish counts and no limits, we raised the bar for competitive fishing and now with a two-pound minimum on Lake Okeechobee our fans get to see the best pros in the world compete at the highest level in the history of bass fishing.” 

Pennsylvania native Dave Lefebre landed today’s big bass weighing in at nine pounds. He ended the day in 11th place and will advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round. This catch will also improve his position to qualify for Heavy Hitters when added with the four-pound-nine-ounce bass from Stage One in Eufaula. MLF Heavy Hitters presented by Venmo brings together the 30 anglers with the heaviest “virtual bags” after five Stages of the Bass Pro Tour. Anglers will compete for over $750,000 in prizes including a Berkley Big Bass payout ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 per day. Heavy Hitters takes place on the Kissimmee Chain (Fla.) May 16-20, 2020.

The Top Ten of the Qualifying Round, Group A finished day two as follows:

SHOP – THE NATIONAL ANGLER

PlaceAnglerTotal 2-Day Weight Day Two Weight TotalLargest Fish over Qualifying Round
1Takahiro Omori33-0919-138-04
2Wesley Strader28-0018-113-09
3Zack Birge27-0327-035-13
4Ott DeFoe25-135-095-07
5Cody Meyer25-134-146-03
6Michael Neal25-090-004-09
7Mike McClelland25-0219-033-11
8Ish Monroe23-0218-153-01
9Shaw Grigsby23-0015-134-10
10Dustin Connell23-0010-113-03

For complete results, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com, Bass Pro Tour, Results.
    Group B will return to the water Monday morning for their second day of the Qualifying Round. Take-off begins at C. Scott Driver Park in Okeechobee, Fla. at 7-7:30 a.m. ET with lines-in at 8:00 a.m. ET. Forecasts indicate the weather will continue to improve after the group’s dismal first day on Saturday when high winds and rough conditions resulted in nine anglers ending Day One scoreless.

Tuesday’s Knockout Round begins with launch 7-7:30 a.m. before lines-in at 8:00 a.m. Period 1 ends at 10:30 a.m. Period 2 spans 10:45 a.m. until 1:15 p.m. Period 3 begins at 1:30 p.m. and lasts until day’s end at 4:00 p.m. The General Tire Takeout show airs approximately 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. as anglers return to the ramp. 

Wheeler Wins Big on Lake Eufaula: B&W Hitches Stage One presented by Power-Pole Champion Led the Field by 27 Pounds

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February 12, 2020 (Eufaula, Ala.) Team Toyota pro Jacob Wheeler won the Bass Pro Tour B&W Hitches Stage One presented by Power-Pole with 24 bass weighing in at 68 pounds, the highest one-day total for the week. MLF Rookie Bryan Thrift led the field handsomely early in Period 1 with five catches in the first 30 minutes of competition. Ott DeFoe landed scorable bass on a steady pace all day long, including holding the lead at the of Periods 1 and 2.  Ultimately Wheeler secured a solid lead with an 11-fish run as the clock wound down.
 
With cameras rolling on MLFNOW! at the end of Period 3, Jacob Wheeler paused to take in the reality that he had won. 
 
“Unbelievable,” he exclaimed. “To start off this 2020 Bass Pro Tour season with a win here on Lake Eufaula; it’s unbelievable. I owe it to everyone who supports me, especially my wife, Alicia.” 
 
Wheeler, winner of Qualifying Round Group B and Thrift, winner of Qualifying Round Group A, each earned a Championship Round berth skipping the Knockout Round on Tuesday. A new Bass Pro Tour rule for 2020, there was some uncertainty on how a day off would fair for the advanced anglers. Thrift and Wheeler coming in first and second on Championship Round suggests that a day off is nothing to worry about. 
 
“Second place feels like a win to me,” Thrift said. “My hat’s off to Jacob, and I have no complaints about my week. It’s a great feeling to finish well in my first Major League Fishing event.” 

SHOP – THE NATIONAL ANGLER

Ott DeFoe rode a strong morning bite to a commanding lead in the second period. He caught the Berkley Big Bass of the Day, weighing in at six pounds 15 ounces, within 90 minutes of Period 1.  As the sun passed overhead, Thrift assumed a seemingly comfortable lead before Wheeler took control for good with an impressive flurry of fish catches:11 in one hour, 24 for the day. 
 
“I caught two right away and then the first spot dried up,” DeFoe said. “They weren’t set up the same as they were yesterday, and I couldn’t get them fired up.” 
 
The Phoenix Boats Daily Leader award went to Jacob Wheeler with 68 pounds.
 
The B&W Hitches Stage One presented by Power-Pole Championship Round finished as follows:

PlaceAnglerTotal WeightTotal FishLargest FishWinnings
1Jacob Wheeler68-00244-10$100,000
2Bryan Thrift40-11135-11$42,000
3Ott DeFoe34-09106-15$30,000
4Alton Jones, Jr.26-1294-08$24,000
5Dustin Connell24-0065-11$18,000
6Brent Chapman20-1083-12$16,800
7Takahiro Omori16-0454-08$15,600
8Brett Hite9-1333-11$14,400
9Jordan Lee5-1023-08$13,200
10Adrian Avena4-0322-03$12,000

SHOP – THE NATIONAL ANGLER

CHRIS LANE LEAPS AHEAD IN MLF BASS PRO TOUR SEASON OPENER

February 7, 2020 (Tulsa, Okla.) Alabama resident Chris Lane finished day one of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour B&W Hitches Stage One presented by Power-Pole at the top of the SCORETRACKER® with 35-pounds, 12-ounces representing nine bass. Weather over recent days on Lake Eufuala played a factor in today’s competition as the excessive rain, wind, and lightning led to rising lake levels and muddy water conditions. Josh Bertrand finished in second with seven total bass weighing in at 26-pounds, six ounces. Brandon Coulter caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day, which weighed in at seven pounds, 14 ounces. 
 
Chris Lane took an early lead in Period 1 by catching the first bass of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour at 8:09 a.m. local time. The Power-Pole pro had eight fish for 33 pounds, nine ounces – a more than four-pound average – at the conclusion of that first period. Despite a drought in Period 2 and only one fish in Period 3, Lane held his lead throughout the day. Included in his total were fish that weighed five pounds, 11 ounces and five pounds, 7 ounces, respectively. 
 
“That was a great first period,” exclaimed Lane. “(In Period 3), I found an area late in the day with some clear water, and I made the mistake of not going there soon enough in the day. I look forward to getting back there (Sunday).” 
 
32-year-old Josh Bertrand of moved from fifth place to end the day at second despite a slower start in Period 1 than others. His largest bass of the day weighed in at six pounds, 10 ounces and landed two others over four pounds. The Berkley pro who lives in Arizona didn’t know what to expect today and indicated that he hopes better weather in coming days may help hasten the pace of the game. 
 
“We have some better weather coming so it might bust wide open,” said Bertrand, when asked about returning on Sunday to Lake Eufaula for his second Qualifying Day. 
 
The Top Ten of Day One, Qualifying Group A finished as follows:
 

PlaceAnglerTotal WeightTotal FishLargest Fish
1Chris Lane35-1295-11
2Josh Bertrand26-0676-10
3Todd Faircloth25-1365-08
4Bryan Thrift19-1173-13
5Greg Hackney19-0855-07
6Anthony Gagliardi19-0846-04
7Brent Ehrler17-1455-15
8Jeff Sprague17-0863-13
9Brandon Coulter16-0437-14
10Mark Rose14-0853-14

 
For complete results, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com, Bass Pro Tour, Results.
 
The Qualifying Round continues Saturday with Group B, which includes Edwin Evers, 2019 Points Champion and REDCREST presented by Venmo Champion, fishing greats Kevin VanDam and Mike Iaconelli, as well as 2019 Major League Fishing (MLF) World Champion Jacob Wheeler and MLF Rookie David Dudley. The weather forecast calls for a slightly warmer day calling for a high of 57-degrees-Farenheit and scattered showers midday. 
 
The day begins with launch 6-6:30 a.m. before lines-in at 7:00 a.m. Period 1 ends at 10:30 a.m. Period 2 spans 10:45 a.m. until 1:15 p.m. Period 3 begins at 1:30 p.m. and lasts until day’s end at 4:00 p.m. The General Tire Takeout show airs approximately 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. as anglers return to the ramp.
 
Fans can catch all the action every day of competition on MLFNOW! livestream on MajorLeagueFishing.com or download the MLF App for your Apple or GooglePlay device or on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).

MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING REVISES RULES FOR THE 2020 BASS PRO TOUR

January 21, 2020 (Tulsa, Okla.) Major League Fishing (MLF) recently announced notable rule changes for the Bass Pro Tour 2020 season including a variable weight minimum for each fishery and automatic championship berths for Qualifying Round winners. Under rules approved earlier this month by the Major League Fishing Angler Association (MLFAA) and drafted into the official rulebook, MLF will introduce a variable minimum weight system for the Bass Pro Tour competition waters in 2020. In addition, the winners of the Qualifying Round (formerly the Shotgun and Elimination Rounds) will automatically advance to the Championship Round, which guarantees them paycheck of $12,000 to $100,000.
 
Championship Berth
The six-day competition for the Bass Pro Tour begins with four days of Qualifying Rounds between two groups -A and B- of 40 anglers. Each group competes for two days (Group A on days one and three, Group B on days two and four) in a catch, weigh, and immediately release format in which every fish over that lake’s variable minimum weight counts toward each Round’s total. Under the 2020 rule changes, the winners of each group in the Qualifying Round automatically advance to the Championship Round (day six), while places 2 through 20 from each group (40 anglers total) advance to the Knockout Round on day five. The eight anglers with the highest weight totals from the Knockout Round join the winners of the Qualifying Round to compete in the Championship Round and the chance to win $100,000. 
 
Initial 2020 Angler Groups are based on the final standings from the 2019 season points. A random drawing placed MLF Rookies Bryan Thrift and David Dudley. The Bass Pro Tour opens February 7th on Lake Eufaula (Ala.) with the following groups:

Group AGroup B
Jeff Sprague (2nd)Edwin Evers (1st)
Brent Ehrler (3rd)Jacob Wheeler (4th)
Todd Faircloth (6th)Michael Neal (5th)       
Jordan Lee (7th)Dustin Connell (8th)
Mark Rose (10th)Bobby Lane (9th)         
Andy Morgan (11th)Mike Iaconelli (12th)
Aaron Martens (14th)Casey Ashley (13th)    
Andy Montgomery (15th)Ott DeFoe (16th)
Jared Lintner (18th)Wesley Strader (17th)
Greg Hackney (19th)Fred Roumbanis (20th)
Stephen Browning (22nd)Bradley Roy (21st)      
Jacob Powroznik (23rd)Zack Birge (24th)
Greg Vinson (26th)Takahiro Omori (25th)
Mark Daniels Jr. (28th)Cody Meyer (29th)      
Randy Howell (31st)Randall Tharp (30th)
Anthony Gagliardi (32nd)Jason Christie (33rd)
Alton Jones Jr. (35th)Fletcher Shryock (34th)
Gary Klein (36th)Adrian Avena (37th)
Alton Jones (39th)        Dave Lefebre (38th)
Cliff Pace (40th)Luke Clausen (41st)
Marty Robinson (44th)Gerald Spohrer (43rd)
Brent Chapman (45th)Justin Lucas (46th)
Josh Bertrand (48th)Mark Davis (47th)        
Terry Scroggins (49th)Kevin VanDam (50th)
Chris Lane (52nd)Jesse Wiggins (51st)
Matt Lee (53rd)            Jonathon VanDam (54th)
Scott Suggs (56th)Russ Lane (55th)          
Jeff Kriet (57th)Keith Poche (58th)
John Murray (60th)Justin Atkins (59th)
James Elam (61st)        Skeet Reese (62nd)
Shin Fukae (64th)James Watson (63rd)
Boyd Duckett (65th)Ish Monroe (66th)
Timmy Horton (68th)David Walker (67th)
Dean Rojas (69th)Brett Hite (70th)
Tommy Biffle (72nd)Cliff Crochet (71st)
Brandon Coulter (73rd)            Kelly Jordan (74th)
Roy Hawk (76th)Shaw Grigsby (75th)
Britt Myers (77th)        Mike McClelland (78th)
Paul Elias (80th)Jason Lambert (79th)
Bryan Thrift (N/A)David Dudley (N/A)

According to Major League Fishing rules, Group A becomes B and vice versa for Stage Two. New angler groups will be established after each two Stages based on the standings from the previous two Stages.

Variable Weight Minimums
The 2020 season will open on Lake Eufaula (Feb. 7-12) where a two-pound minimum will be in effect for scorable bass. Minimum weights are determined for each competition water based on the productivity, bass population, and anticipated average size of fish in each fishery. The 2-pound minimum for Eufaula significantly raises the average scoring requirement above the 12- to 15-inch minimums mandated by most state fisheries managers (and used for traditional tournament scoring). According to extensive nationwide research compiled by bass biologist Steven Bardin, an average 12-inch largemouth in good health weighs 0.9 pounds (14 ounces); an average 15-inch largemouth weighs 1 pound, 13 ounces. 

The Lake Eufaula 14-inch minimum mandated by Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries – the standard used by tournament organizations as the minimum size allowed in a tournament weigh-in on the Alabama/Georgia border lake – translates to a 1-pound, 8-ounce bass (25 percent smaller on average than the 2-pound Bass Pro Tour minimum).

“We’re going to show up at one of the best fisheries in the country at Eufaula and ask these guys to fish for a minimum weight standard that’s the highest in the history of our sport. We know they’re going to catch big ones,” said Marty Stone, MLFNOW! Analyst, “but raising the bar to a 2-pound minimum resets the playing field. I’ll be interested to see how that affects the game.”
The Major League Fishing will announce the weight minimum to the anglers 30 days in advance of each Stage of the Bass Pro Tour. The variable minimum weight will not be incorporated into MLF Cup competitions or the World Championship. 

The 2020 Bass Pro Tour
The Bass Pro Tour features 80 of the best professional anglers in the world competing head-to-head in a fast-paced, catch, weigh, and immediately release format. The previously announced 2020 schedule includes:

StageDateLakeCityCommunity Host
OneFeb. 7-12Lake EufaulaEufaula, Ala.Eufaula Barbour Chamber of Commerce
TwoFeb. 21-26Lake OkeechobeeOkeechobee, Fla.Okeechobee County Tourism Development Council
ThreeMar. 13-18Lake ForkEmory, TexasLake Fork Area Chamber of Commerce
FourApr. 3-8Jordan Lake, Falls Lake, and Shearon Harris ReservoirRaleigh, N.C.Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance
FiveApr. 24-29Grand Lake O’ The CherokeesGrove, Okla.City of Grove
Special EventMay 16-20Kissimmee ChainKissimmee, Fla.Experience Kissimmee
SixJun. 5-10Lake Winnebago, Lake Butte des Morts, and Green LakeNeenah, Wis.Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau
SevenJun. 26-Jul. 1St. Lawrence RiverOgdensburg, N.Y.St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and the City of Ogdensburg
EightJul. 21-26Lake ChamplainBurlington, Vt.Experience Vermont

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.

Major League Fishing showcases each fishery 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,” 

MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING RESPONDS TO 5 FISH FANS WITH “HEAVY HITTERS” OR DID THEY?

Major League Fishing announces an original tournament, “Heavy Hitters,” on the Kissimmee Chain Lakes in Kissimmee, Florida, May 16-20, 2020 featuring nearly three- quarters of a million dollars in event payouts. This special event, the first of its kind, extends the Bass Pro Tour to nine events. 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.

To qualify for Heavy Hitters, the weight of an angler’s single largest bass from each of the first five Stages of the Bass Pro Tour will be recorded. For example, if an angler’s heaviest fish in Stage One is 7 pounds; in Stage Two, 5 pounds; in Stage Three, 9 pounds; in Stage Four 8 pounds; and in Stage Five 6 pounds, that angler’s qualifying weight will be 35 pounds. The 30 anglers from the 80-angler field of the Bass Pro Tour with the highest cumulative weight across five stages earn a spot to compete in MLF’s Heavy Hitters.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to experiment with formats so we can discover new ways to present the sport of competitive bass fishing,” remarked Jim Wilburn, President and CEO of Major League Fishing. “As a young, angler-centric league, MLF strives to take notice of what’s happening in our industry and invent entertaining events that both teach trusted techniques from the best anglers in the world and invite new fans to the sport.” 

The five-day tournament format will parallel REDCREST, featuring a 30-angler Shotgun Round (day one) and a 30-angler Elimination Round (day two). The top 20 anglers at the end of the two-day total qualify into a Knockout Round (days three and four). The top five anglers from each of days three and four will qualify into the 10-angler Championship Round (day five). Scorable bass vary each round. Shotgun and Elimination Rounds will score 1 pound or higher. For the Knockout Round, Major League Fishing will test a 2-pound minimum for scorable bass. In the Championship Round, MLF will test a t3-pound minimum on scorable bass on the Kissimmee Chain Lakes. 

The full field of 30 anglers will receive a minimum payout of $6,000 and the tournament winner will earn $100,000.  In addition to the championship purse, anglers will have the opportunity to earn a daily bonus for their biggest bass of the day based on the following graduating scale: Day One $25,000; Day Two $25,000; Day Three $50,000; Day Four $50,000; Day Five (Championship Day) $100,000. The five-day payout totals $745,000 for MLF Heavy Hitters.

Major League Fishing will live stream Heavy Hitters from Kissimmee, Fla. and produce original programming for Discovery as a part of the Bass Pro Tour television lineup. 

Stage Five moves to Grand Lake
With the addition of MLF Heavy Hitters, Stage Five of the Bass Pro Tour will move to Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees, April 24-29, 2019, launching from the Wolf Creek Boat Ramp in Grove, Okla.  Each stage of the Bass Pro Tour includes six days of competition using the Major League Fishing, catch-weigh-and-immediately-release format, where every bass over 1 pound counts toward a cumulative weight total for the day. The field of 80 anglers is divided into two groups of 40 to compete on days one and two respectively for the Shotgun Round. On days three and four, the Elimination Round culls the field based on a combined two-day total weight from each angler’s Shotgun and Elimination Round. The top 20 anglers from each group in the Elimination Round (40 total) advance to the Knockout Round on day five, which determines who will compete on that final day, the Championship Round, for the Stage title and $100,000. 

major_league_fishing_legends

BASS FISHING LEGENDS FISH THE MLF FORMAT IN OUTDOOR CHANNEL SPECIAL PREMIER

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019 (Tulsa, Okla.) General Tire Major League Legends presented by Bass Pro Shops premieres on Outdoor Channel on Friday, November 15 at 7 p.m. ET.  This one-hour special pairs bass fishing legends Bill Dance, Jimmy Houston, Roland Martin, and Johnny Morris with Major League Fishing (MLF) Pros Edwin Evers, Ott DeFoe, Timmy Horton, and Kevin VanDam to test their skills using the MLF tournament format as seen on the Bass Pro Tour. 
 
The action unfolds through the MLF catch, weigh, release format in which every fish, weighing at least 16 ounces, counts and culminating in a two-period, one-day weight total. Using SCORETRACKER® fans and anglers alike keep track of the changing field as each fish shifts the leader board in real-time until the clock runs down at the end of Period 2.
 
Viewers get an inside look into the relationships that form over years on the bass fishing tournament trails as legends and pros share stories, as well as a little tournament trash talk, while they compete for bragging rights, a trophy, and a pair of Tracker Off-Road ATVs. 
 
Angler/Co-Angler pairings fell as follows: MLF Pro Kevin VanDam (25-time major winner) and Bass Pro Shops Founder Johnny Morris; MLF Pro Timmy Horton (six-time major winner) paired with Roland Martin, 19-time major winner; MLF Pro Ott DeFoe (seven-time major winner) and Jimmy Houston, Bass Fishing Hall of Famer; and MLF Pro Edwin Evers (13-time major winner) paired with Bill Dance, the first superstar of bass fishing.
 
General Tire Major League Legends presented by Bass Pro Shops will premiere on Outdoor Channel on Friday, Nov. 15, 7-8 p.m. ET with re-airs Saturday, Nov. 16, 4-5 p.m. ET and Sunday, Nov. 17, 7-8 a.m. ET.

MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING ANNOUNCES 2020 BASS PRO TOUR SCHEDULE

By Major League Fishing – October 31, 2019

Tulsa, Okla. – Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today the 2020 Bass Pro Tour schedule and locations. A collection of eight Stages, the Bass Pro Tour 2020 season will begin Feb. 7 on Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Ala. and conclude on Jul. 26 on Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vt.

“This schedule is stocked with great fisheries and destinations,” remarked Michael Mulone, Senior Director of Events of Major League Fishing. “Working with the MLF angler advisory board and these outstanding community hosts, we have built an exciting 2020 schedule that will most benefit our fans.”

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 1 pound counts toward a cumulative weight total for the day.

The field of 80 anglers is divided into two groups of 40 to compete on days one and two, respectively, for the Shotgun Round. On days three and four, the Elimination Round culls the field based on a combined two-day total weight from each angler’s Shotgun and Elimination Round. The top 20 anglers from each group in the Elimination Round (40 total) advance to the Knockout Round on day five, which determines the final 10 who will compete on that final day, the Championship Round, for the Stage title and $100,000.

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.”

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.

MLF recently announced an agreement to acquire Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), which expands their portfolio to include the largest grassroots fishing organization, including the strongest five-fish format professional bass fishing tour, the FLW Pro Circuit (formerly FLW Tour), as well as the FLW Series, FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL), and high school and college tournament circuits. For more information on the league and anglers, visit www.MajorLeagueFishing.com and follow MLF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

BREAKING NEWS – MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING TO ACQUIRE FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

October 10, 2019, 5:00 A.M. EST (Tulsa, Okla.) Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization. The Letter of Intent (LOI) sets in motion the most significant brand merger in competitive bass fishing history, linking a tour and original, award-winning programming featuring the top professional anglers in the world to an extensive grassroots organization that serves tens of thousands of competitive anglers from high school and college to weekenders and tour pros.

“We’re thrilled about welcoming FLW to the MLF team,” said Jim Wilburn, President and CEO of Major League Fishing. “FLW shares our commitment to creating tournaments and opportunities centered on the success of the angler. Through this acquisition, we are better positioned to support anglers and sponsors at all levels.”

“Our business plan always included reaching all levels of grassroots fishing,” said Boyd Duckett, MLF co-founder and President of the Professional Bass Tour Anglers’ Association (PBTAA). “FLW does it best with the Tour and grassroots tournaments; their reputation in competitive bass fishing is remarkable and their culture has always been pro-angler, which makes this the perfect opportunity for both organizations. We couldn’t be more excited about FLW: their team, anglers, and sponsors.”

“This announcement marks a thrilling new chapter in FLW’s history as we join Major League Fishing and begin a new era in the sport of competitive bass fishing,” said FLW President of Operations Kathy Fennel. “As part of the Major League Fishing team, we look forward to enhancing and expanding tournament offerings to our anglers and fans. Our teams have a very similar mission and vision – to support anglers at all levels, provide the industry with unmatched opportunities, and grow the sport. The complementary strengths of our organizations make this a win for the entire sport.”

Established in 2011, MLF began as a television product and has grown into a sports league with the launch of the Bass Pro Tour in January of 2019. MLF is a partnership between the PBTAA and Outdoor Sportsman Group (OSG), a division of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.

“As MLF continues to grow, we’re committed to find the right opportunities to extend the Outdoor Sportsman Group properties,” Outdoor Sportsman Group President and CEO, Jim Liberatore said. “Through this acquisition, MLF can leverage our extensive media reach and award-winning content production to promote competitive bass fishing at all levels.”

Each year FLW offers thousands of anglers of all skill levels across the globe the opportunity to compete for millions of dollars in prize money in five tournament circuits. Under the leadership of Irwin Jacobs, FLW expanded the top level of competition to include the industry’s first seven-figure purse.

“It has been our mission since my father, Irwin Jacobs, purchased FLW in 1996 to bring the highest quality of tournaments to anglers, sponsors and fans around the world,” said Trish Blake, FLW President of Marketing. “By joining forces with Major League Fishing, the sport of professional tournament fishing will be taken to new heights for anglers across the world at all levels.”

Major League Fishing and Fishing League Worldwide anticipate an acquisition close date of October 31, 2019.

For more information about this acquisition, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com/FLW.

About FLW
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete in more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments across five circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, FLW and their partners offer a High School Fishing and College Fishing Series, the Bass Fishing League (BFL) series for grassroots anglers, the Costa FLW Series for aspiring professionals and the FLW Tour, which showcases some of the top anglers in the world. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

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). New for 2019, the Bass Pro Tour consists of eight events and a championship streamed live on www.MajorLeagueFishing.com and MOTV. MLF uses the entertaining and conservation-friendly catch, weigh and immediate-release format where every scoreable bass counts and the winner is the angler with the highest cumulative weight.

For more information on the league and anglers, visit www.MajorLeagueFishing.com and follow MLF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

For more in-depth coverage, see Game & Fish magazine, the official publication of MLF.

CATCH ALL THE ACTION FROM THIS YEARS MLF INAUGURAL SEASON – FIND OUT HOW STARTING OCT 5TH

2019 has seen some exciting changes to the professional bass fishing world. Most notably it was the inaugural tour of the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour (BPT). If you missed any of the 8 stages from this year, you will now have a chance to watch them for free on the Discovery Channel. This is a great opportunity for those who missed or want to catch up. Show’s will cover highlights in 13, 2 hour-long formats from all the stages.

By Major League Fishing – September 27, 2019

TULSA, Okla. (Sept. 26, 2019) – Major League Fishing (MLF), the purest form of competitive bass fishing, announced today the premiere of the Bass Pro Tour on the Discovery Channel, debuting Saturday, October 5 (7 to 9 a.m. ET).

The MLF Bass Pro Tour on Discovery features 13 two-hour episodes, covering the final day of competition during each of the eight regular-season stages, plus all five days of the Tour championship, REDCREST Presented by Venmo.

This top-level circuit brings together 80 of the most decorated professional anglers in the world, including Kevin VanDam, Brandon Palaniuk, Edwin Evers, Jacob Wheeler, Jordan Lee, Ott DeFoe and Aaron Martens, to name a few. The field of 80 competes over six days, culminating in a final Championship Round field of 10 anglers.

The Bass Pro Tour on Discovery focuses on the athletes and stories on that final day. The action unfolds through the catch, weigh, immediate-release format, in which every fish weighing at least 16 ounces counts, and culminates in a three-period, one-day weight total.

Using SCORETRACKER®, fans and anglers alike keep track of the changing field as each fish changes the standings in real time until time runs out at the end of Period 3.

Viewers can follow the inaugural Bass Pro Tour season every Saturday morning from 7-9 a.m. ET through December 28, 2019, when the REDCREST Champion takes the Tour title.

EDWIN EVERS RUNS AWAY WITH FIRST EVER REDCREST CHAMPIONSHIP AT UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER

LA CROSSE, Wis. (Aug. 25, 2019) – Before the start of the REDCREST Presented by Venmo, there may have been a debate about who is currently the most feared angler on tour. But now there’s no doubt.
It’s been a good year for Edwin Evers: Stage Two Champion, Bass Pro Tour Points Champion, and now REDCREST Champion. He took home $300,000 for his win today and can add that to the $193,600 he won during the season; no matter how you look at it, it’s been an excellent year.
Today, it was Evers, and then everybody else. His weight total of 85-06 was 15-pounds more than the combined totals of the second and third place anglers.
Edwin Evers was the big story today, and rightfully so.

Evers Dominates
Evers started the Championship Round with a bang and was out in front for nearly every minute today. Greg Hackney made a push towards him during Period 2, but Evers was just getting started and turned it into a runaway victory.
His Period 3 flurry of 28 fish in 45 minutes sealed the deal with an exclamation point. In the third period alone, Evers caught 34 bass for a total of 48-08. That alone would have been enough to claim the win today.

Evers put on a bass-catching clinic in the championship round today, keeping his official and cameraman busy,for the top score to claim the REDCREST championship. (Photo by Garrick Dixon)

He was catching them so fast that his MLF official had a growing backlog of SCORETRACKER® entries. Once all of the anglers were notified of his nearly 40-pound jump when the system caught up, it came down to a battle for second, third and fourth places.

Evers did his damage in a backwater area with current flowing and bass feeding on shad. He had fished this area in previous tour-level events but was never able to secure a victory.

“What an amazing day. I was so excited to catch them where I caught them,” he said. “I’m so thankful I did it now because it was such a bigger stage.” Evers believes that if he had won previously, it would have exposed the area to more fishing pressure, and today’s win might not have happened.

“The main deal was that backwater being loaded with fish,” he said. He pitched a Berkley Pit Boss to shallow laydowns and a vibrating jig with a Berkley Powerbait The Deal as a trailer to current relating bass.

Hackney a Distant Second
Greg Hackney had a solid day of fishing with 22 bass for 40-07 and was the only angler to seriously challenge Evers today as he got within five pounds during Period 2.

“I caught some fish today but never found a group of them; they were all single fish. I knew the guy who wins would be the one who finds a school of them,” said Hackney.

Like the rest of the field, Hackney was impressed with what Evers was able to accomplish this year.

“He’s in the zone, and he’s made all the right decisions this year. All great fisherman get on a roll where it seems like the fish are looking for them and they can’t do anything wrong,” he added.

Vinson Caps Off a Solid Week
Greg Vinson was fourth after the Elimination Round and then led his group’s Knockout Round. Today, he ended up third during the Championship Round on Pool 7. All in all, it was a great week, and he was near the top of the standings all week long.

This fact isn’t lost on Vinson who was satisfied with his finish. “I’m pleased with how the week went. I have some good tournament history here, but I feel I made the right decision to fish the Black River to catch enough to make it to today,” he said.

He had limited experience on Pool 7 before today. “I’m proud that I put enough together to finish 3rd against this group of guys,” said Vinson.

His daily total was 20 bass for 29-06.

Daily Winners
Championship Round daily awards were:
* The Berkley Big Bass of the day was Greg Hackney’s 3-08 largemouth.
* Edwin Evers won the Berkley Catch Count award with 63 bass on the day.
* Evers’ 85-06 earned him the Phoenix Boats Daily Leader award.

VINSON, POWROZNIK, NEAL, IACONELLI, EVERS ADVANCE TO CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND OF REDCREST PRESENTED BY VENMO

LA CROSSE, Wis. (Aug. 23, 2019) – Round 1 of the Knockout Round at REDCREST Presented by Venmo did not disappoint. After yesterday’s Elimination Round featured little to no drama near the Elimination Line, we had plenty of it today.
The 10 anglers battling to survive made it exciting down to the last second, and it truly came down to the wire. Edwin Evers was the last man in thanks to a Period 3 rally that bumped Stephen Browning to the wrong side of the Top 5.
Here’s what we know: Stephen Browning, Mark Daniels, Jr., Jeff Sprague, Andy Morgan, and Jacob Wheeler were eliminated, but each of them had their chances and they made valiant attempts to survive.
Greg Vinson, Michael Neal, Jacob Powroznik, Mike Iaconelli, and Edwin Evers have advanced. These five will be joined by five anglers from tomorrow’s Knockout Round – Round 2 and will compete for the REDCREST title at Sunday’s Championship Round on Pool 7.

Vinson Cruises
During the Shotgun and Elimination Rounds, Vinson was the most consistent angler in the field, weighing 48-7 and 50-4, respectively. He continued his solid tournament with 40 bass for 63-10 today, with the bulk of his weight coming on a jerkbait and topwater walking bait.
He took over the lead from Powroznik late in the day and then continued to catch fish until “lines out”.
Vinson credits the management of his locations for his success.
“I had a really good first day of practice there and saw other anglers fishing in the same area, but they were not keying on the same things,” he said. “I had to be careful not to be seen fishing the way I was the first two days.”
Pool 7 – site of the Championship Round – features a slightly different layout, and it is unclear if Vinson can run the same pattern, but he’s happy to have a chance.
“I’ll keep an open mind during my ride around and see what catches my eye,” he said. “It’s awesome to have a shot against nine other guys for the title of the first REDCREST champion,” he said.

Neal Stays Steady
Over the first two rounds, Neal was a solid performer with 82-7 during the first two days to land in 10th place. Today, he weighed over 60 pounds doing the same thing, mostly in the same location.
“I started there every day, and it is one of those ‘magical spots’ that seems to always have fish there,” said Neal. “It is what got me through each round.”
When he left his primary area and then returned, the bass were biting.
“I came back to it and caught nine fish in the afternoon with four on consecutive casts,” Neal added.

Powroznik Rides Massive Morning
Early on, Powroznik could do no wrong. He had an area stacked with fish and went to work with a wacky-rig to build his lead. The majority of his 53-13 came in Period 1, and it was enough for him to advance.

Iaconelli Survives
Iaconelli had plenty of peaks and valleys as he occupied every place from 10th to 4th at some point today. He made a switch to a small buzzbait in the final 30 minutes, and it was the difference-maker as he landed key bass that cemented his spot in the Championship Round.

Edwin Squeaks In
Evers, the 2019 Points Champion, shook off a slow morning and stayed focused all day, even with a tense close to Period 3.
“This format is so intense and exciting knowing exactly where you stand,” he said.
His final 3 minutes consisted of two fish catches and one two-minute fish landing violation. It was a crazy finish, but it worked out just fine for Evers.

Browning Falls Late
Stephen Browning had the unfortunate distinction of being the first man out. He had stayed in the top five the entire day, until when it mattered most. In the final 30 minutes, he was bumped by Evers. Browning caught a solid keeper in the final moments, but it was not enough as Evers also placed a bass on the scale in the last minute.
Browning was speechless as he was informed that he was eliminated by less than 2 pounds. Instead of addressing the MLF NOW! cameras, he strapped down his rods and prepared to leave.

MDJ’s Rally Comes Up Short
Late in Period 3, Mark Daniels Jr. had a shot and was within striking distance of the fifth position, but couldn’t get over the hump and finished just over 3 pounds out of the final spot. He remained unflappable even after hooking his official, having to remove the hook and then losing another bass in the final moments.

Daily Winners
Shotgun Round daily awards were:
* The Berkley Big Bass of the day was Stephen Browning’s 3-15 largemouth.
* Michael Neal won the Berkley Catch Count award with 42 bass on the day.
* Greg Vinson’s 63-10 earned him the Phoenix Boats Daily Leader award.

Looking Ahead
Knockout Round 2 commences tomorrow with the remaining 10 anglers vying for five spots to advance. They will be joined by today’s top finishers for the Championship Round on Pool 7 this Sunday.

How, When, Where to Watch
Competition continues on Friday at 7 a.m. CDT, with live, official scoring available via SCORETRACKER® on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MLF app.
MLF NOW! Live Stream Schedule (Times CDT)
  • Saturday, Aug. 24: 6:55 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Postgame Show at approximately 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 25: 6:55 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Postgame Show at approximately 4 p.m.
How to Attend
Fans are invited to the Onalaska Omni Center for the MLF Midway and Postgame Show Presented by Berkley
  • REDCREST Midway: Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 23-25; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Postgame Show Presented by Berkley: Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 24-25; approximately 4 p.m.

BIRGE CONTINUES ONSAUGHT, ROSE ROLLS AT REDCRESRT ON UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER ELIMINATION ROUND

LA CROSSE, Wis. (Aug. 22, 2019) – Another day on the Upper Mississippi River is in the books at the 2019 REDCREST Presented by Venmo, the Major League Fishing® (MLF) Bass Pro Tour championship. The fish continued to bite, and the field is set for the two Knockout Rounds to be held Friday and Saturday.

This week is a case of anglers either catching them or not, with nothing in between: The gap between 20th and 21st place was over 11 pounds. There were few changes in the standings as 19 of the Top 20 from yesterday’s Shotgun Round have advanced.

Only one angler was able to make a move up, and the bottom 10 anglers could not do enough to keep pace. Mark Rose is in, and Wesley Strader is out. Those are the only two changes from the day.

Rose was the star of the day as he moved up 18 places, and Birge continued to roll as he and several other top anglers cruised through the day. In total, the field caught over 943 pounds of bass, which was down from yesterday with some of the field in practice mode for the Knockout Rounds.

Birge Reaches 117 pounds
With a massive lead going into today, Birge had a stress-free day until getting his boat stuck late in the day.

“Today was pretty good until I got stuck,” Birge said. “I went to one of the places I got bit yesterday and in practice, caught six in a row and left. I just bounced around the rest of the day. I caught plenty in the morning, but they weren’t biting real good this afternoon.”

He caught 19 fish for 35-2 and pushed his weight total well past the 100-pound mark. No other angler was able to reach triple digits, but several came close.

During Period 3, Birge got stuck in shallow water and was not able to free it before time expired. He will occur a 15-minute penalty that starts as “Lines In” is called during tomorrow’s Knockout Round.

Rose’s Birthday Present to Himself
Today is Mark Rose’s birthday, and he celebrated all day. Rose started the day at a furious pace and continued to catch bass throughout the day. When it was all said and done, he had found 44 bass for 67-8. His great day pushed him from 22nd to 4th place.

“I had some ground to make up and went to the same place as yesterday and fished the same way,” Rose said. “There were more baitfish in there, and the bass were much more active. To be honest, I think the Good Lord blessed me on my birthday.”

Based on the seeding for the Knockout Rounds, Rose will have tomorrow off and will have to wait to see if his fish are still there on Saturday.

“It was a special day today, and if they turn on Saturday like they did today, I will have a chance. If not, I do have some backup areas, but will be scratching and clawing to survive,” said Rose.

Strader Falls Out
The lone angler to fall out of the Top 20 was Wesley Strader. He started the day in 20th and remained at or near 21st for the entire day. He tallied 16 bass for 26-5, a respectable total for the day, but was the victim of Rose’s meteoric rise today.

Elimination Line Watch
Casey Ashley finished the day in 20th and was an astonishing 11-11 above 21st place Wesley Strader.

Aside from Strader, the following anglers were eliminated from contention: Dustin Connell, Andy Montgomery, Cody Meyer, Ott DeFoe, Jordan Lee, Bradley Roy, Aaron Martens, Jared Lintner, and Bobby Lane.
Daily Winners
Shotgun Round daily awards
  • The Berkley Big Bass of the day was Jacob Wheeler’s 4-0 smallmouth.
  • Mark Rose won the Berkley Catch Count award with 44 bass on the day.
  • Rose’s 67-8 earned him the Phoenix Boats Daily Leader award.
Looking Ahead
The Top 20 anglers have advanced to the Knockout Rounds. Weights will be zeroed and the field split, with 10 MLF pros competing on Friday, Aug. 23, and 10 more on Saturday, Aug. 24. The Top 5 from each of these round will advance to Sunday’s Championship Round, where weights will again start over, and the playing field switched to Pool 7.

How, When, Where to Watch
Competition continues on Friday at 7 a.m. CDT, with live, official scoring available via SCORETRACKER® on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MLF app.

MLF NOW! Live Stream Schedule (Times CDT)
  • Friday, Aug. 23: 6:55 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 24: 6:55 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Postgame Show at approximately 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 25: 6:55 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Postgame Show at approximately 4 p.m.
How to Attend
Fans are invited to the Onalaska Omni Center for the MLF Midway and Postgame Show Presented by Berkley
  • REDCREST Midway: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 23-25; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Postgame Show Presented by Berkley: Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 24-25; approximately 4 p.m.

TOP 30 PRO ANGLERS COMPETE IN LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN, AUGUST 21-25 FOR TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP

LA CROSSE, WIS. (Aug. 20, 2019) – REDCREST presented by Venmo, the Major League Fishing® (MLF) Bass Pro Tour championship, launches Wednesday, Aug. 21 in La Crosse featuring a field of the top 30 professional anglers based on points earned across the league’s eight-event Bass Pro Tour.

Major League Fishing features a fast-paced competition format in which all fish over 1 pound count and day-end weight totals whittle the field over four days until the final 10 compete for a total purse exceeding $700,000 in cash, as well as the final trophy of the year. As with each stage of the Bass Pro Tour, fans can catch live, continuous action online at majorleaguefishing.com or on the MLF app.

REDCREST takes place in Pools 7 and 8 of the Upper Mississippi River over the five-day event. All 30 anglers compete on days one and two, with the top 20 based on their two-day cumulative weight total advancing to the Knockout Rounds on Friday (day three) and Saturday (day four), in which 10 anglers compete each day. The top five from each group of the Knockout Rounds advance to the Championship Round on Sunday, Aug. 25.

The 30 REDCREST competitors, in order of points earned on the Bass Pro Tour, include: 2019 Points Champion Edwin Evers (510 points), Jeff Sprague (500), Brent Ehrler (491), Jacob Wheeler (488), Michael Neal (470), Todd Faircloth (468), Jordan Lee (460), Dustin Connell (445), Bobby Lane (437), Mark Rose (431), Andy Morgan (428), Mike Iaconelli (417), Casey Ashley (414), Aaron Martens (413), Andy Montgomery (413), Ott DeFoe (406), Wesley Strader (406), Jared Lintner (406), Greg Hackney (406), Fred Roumbanis (405), Bradley Roy (402), Stephen Browning (399), Jacob Powroznik (390), Zack Birge (385), Takahiro Omori (376), Greg Vinson (374), Brandon Palaniuk (371), Mark Daniels, Jr. (369), Cody Meyer (365) and Randall Tharp (361).

Jeff Sprague easily qualified for REDCREST after finishing second in the Race for the Points Championship behind Edwin Evers. The battle for the top spot came down to the final Stage of the season before Evers went home with the crown. After taking a couple of days to shake off the second-place finish, Sprague set his sights on going after a REDCREST title.

“I’m ready to get back in the saddle,” Sprague said. “I had a mediocre event in Stage Eight. It wasn’t a bad event, but it just so happened it was the event I really needed to do well at, but it didn’t work out. I’m ready to get back in the boat and to get the juices going again. After Stage Eight, I came straight home to Texas and took my son fishing and remembered that fishing is fun. I want to go out there and have some fun.”

Jordan Lee rode his Stage One championship all the way to the seventh-place spot in the points standings. While Lee spent his regular season trying to capture another Stage championship, he always had the thought of what the postseason could bring in the back of his mind.

“Throughout the year it’s always on your mind that you want to make it to the championship,” Lee described. “You don’t want to be sitting at home when the big one is around. I’m excited to get there because La Crosse is a great venue and I’m looking forward to having a chance to be the first winner of the REDCREST.”

MLF Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Rucks provided the origin of the REDCREST name, explaining that the prominent red MLF logo itself is a symbolic crest meant to represent the League’s family atmosphere among the anglers, sponsors, fans and host communities.

“A crest is also the highest point of a mountain, therefore REDCREST is our pinnacle of achievement – the peak of proficiency,” relayed Rucks. “Every MLF angler wants to be the best of the best, and all want the right to prove it by first earning an entry into REDCREST, and then winning the event.”

About the MLF Midway
Along with the competition days, REDCREST will include the MLF Midway, a free expo featuring the MLF NOW! live stage, autograph sessions with Major League Fishing pro anglers, and the chance to win prizes and test gear from the Bass Pro Tour sponsors, Friday to Sunday, Aug. 23-25. All activities, including interaction with the pros, are free and open to the public.

The MLF Midway is located at the Onalaska Omni Center (255 Riders Club Road, Onalaska, Wisconsin) and open Friday, Aug. 23 through Sunday, Aug. 25, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST. Sponsors present include: Venmo, Bass Pro Shops, Pure Fishing, General Tire, White River Marine Group, and Pure Fishing, to name a few, featuring over $25,000 in prizes and giveaways throughout the weekend. Fans can test ride boats and motors driven by MLF pros from Mercury Marine, Evinrude, Phoenix, and Bass Cat. Families can also learn about the importance of protecting fisheries through interactive exhibits from the Major League Fishing Conservation Team.

In addition to the anglers competing in REDCREST, fans can meet Major League Fishing pro anglers: Kevin VanDam, Skeet Reese, Josh Bertrand, Brent Chapman, Jason Christie, Cliff Crochet, Boyd Duckett, James Elam, Paul Elias, Shaw Grigsby, Roy Hawk, Randy Howell, Alton Jones, Alton Jones Jr., Kelly Jordon, Gary Klein, Jason Lambert, Chris Lane, Justin Lucas, Mike McClelland, John Murray, Britt Myers, Keith Poche, Marty Robinson, Dean Rojas, Terry Scroggins, Gerald Spohrer, Jonathon VanDam, James Watson and Russ Lane.

About the Postgame Show
Fans can also catch the Berkley Postgame Show live from the MLF NOW! stage at the MLF Midway on Thursday, Aug. 22, Saturday, Aug. 24, and Sunday, Aug. 25 beginning at approximately 4 p.m. CST. Postgame shows are free and open to the public, featuring competitors from that round, as well as prizes and giveaways from MLF.

About the Location
Major League Fishing chose La Crosse, Wisconsin, as the site of its inaugural REDCREST for the bass-rich waters of the Upper Mississippi, as well as the outdoor-centric lifestyle among its residents. “The entire La Crosse region overflows with fans who love the outdoors,” remarked Michael Mulone, Senior Director, Events for Major League Fishing. “It’s only fitting that the (Bass Pro Tour) championship happens where fishing is woven into the fabric of the community. Explore La Crosse and Onalaska Parks have done an exceptional job of welcoming our anglers, sponsors, and fans to their beautiful region.”

For more information on REDCREST and all MLF news, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

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). New for 2019, the Bass Pro Tour consists of eight events and a championship streamed live on www.MajorLeagueFishing.com and MOTV. MLF uses the entertaining and conservation-friendly catch, weigh and immediate-release format where every scorable bass counts and the winner is the angler with the highest cumulative weight.

For more information on the league and anglers, visit www.majorleaguefishing.com and follow MLF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

For more in-depth coverage, see Game & Fish magazine, the official publication of MLF.

MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING STAGE 1-8 RECAP

STAGE 1 – JORDAN LEE

After finding an area of clean water on the north end of Lake Garcia, Lee put together a flurry of 2- and 3-pounders in the third period by winding a vibrating jig through the grass, adding over 32 pounds to SCORETRACKER in the period to distance himself from Edwin Evers and Jared Lintner.  Lee finished the day with 55-1 on 26 to Evers’ 44-3 and Lintner’s 33-9 to win B & W Trailer Hitches Stage One presented By Power-Pole. “(The third period) was an unbelievable period,” Lee said. “I fished my way into that last area and got bite after bite after bite – and caught good ones, too – and just found myself in a spot with clear water and a lot of fish. Fish were moving in to spawn, so there were bigger fish in there. Edwin was coming on strong right there at the end, it feels pretty darn good.”

Jordan Lee now a 43-pound piece of hardware that nobody else will ever be able to claim: the inaugural MLF Bass Pro Tour championship trophy.

STAGE 2 – EDWIN EVERS

In the immediate aftermath of the first Major League Fishing® (MLF) Bass Pro Tour event in Kissimmee, Florida two weeks ago, Edwin Evers’ dissatisfaction with finishing second was palpable. Ever the professional, Evers complimented his fellow competitors and smiled for photos at the Berkley Postgame Show, but no talk of Cup points could bring the Oklahoma pro comfort.
Sunday afternoon on Lake Conroe, Evers made sure that the only postgame talk would be of how he earned his first-ever MLF Bass Pro Tour trophy.
Evers racked up 51 pounds, 12 ounces

Evers’ pattern was to flip his way down the bank with a Black Blue Berkley Havoc Pit Boss, 
picking out small indentations and grassy, undercut banks and flipping his bait as close to the bank as he could. He also caught some fish on a vibrating jig.
The area that Evers fished – a canal that he found during the Elimination Round – was shallow at the entrance, but fell off into slightly deeper water the further back he went.
“I feel like I know this lake as well as any lake I fish, but I’d never been in that canal before,” Evers admitted. “It looked right when I looked at it on the map, and I had it all to myself – I assume because it was probably pretty muddy in practice. The water was just a little warmer and a little bit cleaner on a couple of those key stretches.”

STAGE 3 – JACOB POWROZNIK

When it all comes down to it, the Major League Fishing® (MLF) format has always been about identifying fishing conditions on the fly, and making the right adjustments as those conditions change.
MLF pro Jacob Powroznik learned enough from the first fish he saw on Championship Sunday to tell him all he needed to know. That fish, which rolled on a floating worm in the first pocket that the Virginia pro fished on Shearon Harris Reservoir, clued Powroznik in that the lake’s largemouth were in extremely shallow water and spawning.
Powroznik didn’t catch that fish, but it caused him to pick up a wacky-rigged 5-inch V&M Chopstick and start fishing for spawners. It was the right decision: Powroznik connected with 20 fish for 63 pounds, 4 ounces to earn a shiny new red-and-silver trophy and the $100,000 first-place check at the Bass Pro Tour Favorite Fishing Stage Three Raleigh presented by Evinrude.
“I saw that fish swim over on that floating worm, and I knew right then fish were spawning,” Powroznik said. “They were really shallow, and I picked that wacky-worm up right then and didn’t take it out of my hand the rest of the day.” 

Powroznik, one of the most skilled sight-fishermen in the field, dedicated some time early in the day to bedding fish, but then pulled off the beds and started casting to shallow water when mid-day clouds spoiled the visibility. That, too, proved to be a key decision.
“I love sight fishing, but the farther you stay off of them, the better,” Powroznik confirmed. “Those fish were in a foot of water, so they wanted something really subtle. It’s probably a good thing that it got cloudy and I couldn’t see those fish anymore, or I might’ve spent the day trying to get fish to bite sight-fishing to them. It turned out that it was better to cast to points that were a little further out toward the mouths of those pockets instead.”

STAGE 4 – ANDY MORGAN

From the moment he announced his intention to compete on the Major League Fishing® (MLF) Bass Pro Tour, Tennessee pro Andy Morgan was tabbed by his fellow competitors as an angler to watch. Based on both his exceptional 23-year career and his catch-every-fish-that-swims fishing style, Morgan came into the season as a near-universal pick by his contemporaries to take home one of the eight regular-season Bass Pro Tour trophies.  It turns out that Morgan’s first Bass Pro Tour trophy didn’t have far to travel: 7.1 miles from Lake Chickamauga to the trophy room in his home in Dayton.   Fishing a lake that he grew up on – and finishing the day in a pocket that he and his dad have won “a number of April tournaments in over the years” – Morgan weighed in 34 Lake Chickamauga largemouth for 80-0 pounds to run away with the Championship Round of the Econo Lodge Stage Four presented by Winn Grips.  “I wanted to win one more tournament on Chickamauga,” Morgan admitted. “I can’t explain how hard it is to win an event at this level, and I can’t explain just how bad I wanted to win right here in front of my family and friends – I wanted it bad. It means the world to me to be able to come out here on this lake where I won my first tournament when I was 15, fish against this bunch of guys, and get that trophy. I’m awful proud of it.”  Jared Lintner finished second with 60-7, Todd Faircloth was third with 59-5, Jacob Powroznik was fourth with 54-4 and Mike Iaconelli completed the Top 5 with 54-2.   

Morgan fished Championship Sunday as one would expect a seasoned veteran to work his home fishery, committing his entire championship round to a long backwater north of Dayton that locals refer to as “The Branch”. Morgan woke up on Championship Sunday, looked at the weather forecast calling for heavy morning rain and afternoon winds, and knew immediately that he had an outstanding chance for a big day in two sloughs inside “The Branch”.   “As soon as I saw the weather, I knew that I wasn’t going to leave that area all day,” Morgan confirmed. “I was going to fish it all day long and figure it out, because I thought it had the best population of fish to work on. I knew it could all go down right in those two sloughs, and that I needed to just stay put and be patient.”  Morgan’s patience paid off. The Favorite Fishing pro worked his way around two areas he refers to as “Back Slough” and “Bus Slough” with a jig and Zoom Super Salt Plus Z Craw, a lipless crankbait and a vibrating jig, picking up 11 fish apiece in the first and second periods to claim and hold a 7-1 lead heading into the final period.    Jared Lintner, who spent a good part of his day sight fishing, had crept to within 2 pounds of Morgan midway through Period 2 and had located one spawner that he identified as “a double-digit fish.” But while Lintner added 11 fish to his SCORETRACKER™ total through the final 2 ½ hours of competition, eight of those were under 2 pounds; Morgan, meanwhile, connected with his two biggest fish of the day – a 5-7 and a 6-9 – and a 4-4 to gradually open up his lead.  “I had no other competitors in my area and the weather kept the local traffic out, so I had the whole place to myself,” Morgan said. “I’ve had some pretty special days on Chickamauga – I won my first Angler of the Year title on this lake – but today was the one day in my whole career where the deck was stacked for me to win.”  

STAGE 5 – DEAN ROJAS

It’s an age-old question in competitive bass fishing: pattern or location? If you ask MLF pro Dean Rojas this week, he’ll come down firmly on the side of “location”.

Fishing an area on the upper end of Smith Lake that he had found during practice for the Bass Pro Tour Phoenix Boats Stage Five Presented by Mercury, the Arizona pro went to work on the Sunday-morning shad spawn with a mix of baits (primarily a crankbait, swim jig, frog and swimbait). By the end of the first period, Rojas had put 23 fish on SCORETRACKER® for 36 pounds, 5 ounces – enough spotted and largemouth bass that Rojas could’ve put his rods down for most of the rest of the day and still won.

“It’s not too often that you get into a Championship Round where the fish are biting like that and you can use multiple baits to rack up a big lead,” Rojas said. “The conditions were right: we had overcast skies, a breeze, warm temperatures, and the fish were just feeding in the area I was in. It was just about capitalizing on this format. I knew I had to catch as many fish as I could early to put some distance between me and the field.”

Rojas added an additional 9-1 in the second and third periods for good measure, finishing with 47-0 and a 6-plus-pound win over Brent Chapman (40-14), Michael Neal (34-15), Jason Christie (32-6) and Todd Faircloth (32-2). Mark Rose (29-14), Brent Ehrler (26-0), Dustin Connell (24-14), Mike Iaconelli (17-14) and Fred Roumbanis (10-1) rounded out the Top 10.

“At the end of the first period, that was the end of (the bite),” Rojas admitted. “It was a big deal that I caught as many fish as I could to build a big lead. Period 2 and Period 3 were a matter of catching a few here and there, but I was struggling because they just wouldn’t bite.”

Rojas was one of a handful of anglers in the 80-man field who identified his primary area, a stretch of bushes in the Ryan Creek Arm. Rojas hit the area throughout the week of competition, sharing it periodically with Boyd Duckett, etc., but had the whole stretch to himself on Championship morning.

“I had to mix it up to catch all those fish, but there was bait all over that area, so I had a feeling the fish should be there this morning,” Rojas said. “I went to that spot every morning in the ride-around to see if they were still spawning, because that’s what they were doing in practice. I didn’t go to it until the Elimination Round because my other stuff wasn’t working, and then didn’t fish it in Knockout because Boyd was fishing there. I went there this morning and they were busting, so I sat down on it and fished it out.”

STAGE 6 – AARON MARTENS

If you ask Major League Fishing® (MLF) pro Aaron Martens what his least-favorite technique is, he’ll giggle and tell you “Drop-shotting, bro.” It’s a running joke that the West Coast native has maintained for several years, claiming that he’d much rather be flipping a creature bait swimming jig, all the while racking up win after win using a technique he helped pioneer.
Martens can now add 100,000 more reasons to love the drop-shot.
Methodically plinking his way around a series of offshore brushpiles and flooded cedar trees in the main stem White River on Table Rock Lake, Martens connected with 50 fish for 86 pounds, 4 ounces, running away with the Championship Round of the Bass Pro Tour Berkley Stage Six Presented by TrueTimber and claiming a $100,000 paycheck (plus his first MLF championship trophy).
And he did it in true “A-Mart” fashion. While first-period leader Andy Montgomery watched his shad-spawn bite flame out in the second period, Martens kept a steady fish-catching pace from lines in to lines out, starting the morning connecting with multiple fish on a spinnerbait and swimbait between Moonshine Beach and Indian Point before picking up the drop-shot rod in the second period. 

Martens stayed in the same area throughout the rest of the day, battling the wind and current while repeatedly dropping a Roboworm to fish he was seeing on his electronics and putting 34-14 on SCORETERACKER® in Period 1, adding 33-12 in Period 2 and holding on to the lead through the final period with 14 fish for 14-7.
“I spent my whole practice graphing,” Martens admitted. “I figured if I could find more waypoints and schools, that’s how I should spend my time. I knew every day the fish were going to change, but I had my graphs pretty dialed in where I can see fish in the trees, and see if they’re a bass, a white bass or shad. I know the bluff walls were a big deal, but I just felt better about what I had deeper.” 

STAGE 7 – JACOB WHEELER

One week after the Major League Fishing® (MLF) Bass Pro Tour field rewrote the league’s record books with an astounding display of fish-catching efficiency on Table Rock Lake, Jacob Wheeler was at it again.

Fishing the first tour-level afternoon/evening competition day in recent years – a noon-to-8 p.m. game day – Wheeler wrote his name in the MLF record books twice: Once for most weight caught in a single day of competition, and one for most scorable bass landed in a day.

By the time lines came out for Friday’s Shotgun Round at the Bad Boy Mowers Stage Seven Presented by Covercraft, Wheeler had racked up 88 fish for 129 pounds, 14 ounces, a 17-pound cushion over Shin Fukae in second place (112-4) and the most productive day in the league’s young history.“Unbelievable,” Wheeler said simply as he strapped his rods down after the day. “Just unbelievable.”

“I grew up fishing weeknight tournaments: I fished a Tuesday-nighter, a Wednesday-nighter, a Thursday-nighter, and sometimes a Friday-nighter, every week. That’s where I started. Some of my favorite memories are those evening tournaments. The fish bit pretty well for me today, and I enjoyed that noon-to-8 schedule.”

STAGE 8 – CLIFF PACE

Pace grabbed the lead in the second period and never looked back. The windy and cloudy conditions played a significant role in his victory, and how he was able to catch 47 bass for 81-9. 

The majority of Pace’s fish fell for a Jackall Rerange Jerkbait, but he started the day plucking them off with a Jackall Crosstail Shad fished on a drop-shot rig.

“After the delay, the wind was still blowing, and when we went back out, I caught one on the jerkbait on the first cast,” Pace said. “I never put it down after that. It was all about the conditions. I was looking for areas with rock since there was so much sand everywhere. The main thing on natural lakes is to find where there is a mix of rock and sand.”
For his win, he takes home $100,000 and the title of Stage Eight Champion.

The 2019 Inagural Season will finish up at the REDCREST CHAMPIONSHIP August 21st in La Crosse, Wisconsin

CLIFF PACE RACES TO BASS PRO TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP AT EVINRUDE STAGE EIGHT PRESENTED BY TRACKER OFF ROAD

NEENAH, Wis. (June 30, 2019) – Out of all of the well-known bass factories that the Bass  Pro Tour visited this year, who would have guessed that Green Lake, Wisconsin, would be one of the top producers? It proved to be an excellent venue for the 2019 regular-season finale and Championship Round of the Evinrude Stage Eight Presented by Tracker Off Road.

Sunday’s championship battle required a hefty total to win (more than 81 pounds) and easily outdistanced the winning weight for Lakes Toho, Conroe, Smith, and Chickamauga. 

MLF pro Cliff Pace caught 47 bass for 81-9 in today’s Championship Round to claim the trophy at the Bass Pro Tour Evinrude Stage Eight Presented by Tracker Off Road at Neenah, Wis.

Major League Fishing

That’s because the day was defined mostly by non-stop action on SCORETRACKER®, except for the midday weather delay due to a strong band of rain, thunder, and lightning that covered the entirety of the nearly 8,000-acre lake.

Once fishing resumed, Cliff Pace took over and ran away with the title. Bobby Lane made a late charge, but in the end, Pace was the pace-setter, winning by over 12 pounds.

Pace Races Away With It

Pace grabbed the lead in the second period and never looked back. The windy and cloudy conditions played a significant role in his victory, and how he was able to catch 47 bass for 81-9. 

Pace keyed on a mix of rock and sand, with most of his fishing coming on a Jackall Rerange Jerkbait, but he also caught some on a Jackall Crosstail Shad fished on a drop-shot rig.

The majority of Pace’s fish fell for a Jackall Rerange Jerkbait, but he started the day plucking them off with a Jackall Crosstail Shad fished on a drop-shot rig.

“After the delay, the wind was still blowing, and when we went back out, I caught one on the jerkbait on the first cast,” Pace said. “I never put it down after that. It was all about the conditions. I was looking for areas with rock since there was so much sand everywhere. The main thing on natural lakes is to find where there is a mix of rock and sand.”
For his win, he takes home $100,000 and the title of Stage Eight Champion.

Lane’s Rally Falls Short

Once Pace got on a roll, he proved to be too far out of reach for Lane and the rest of the field.

“I just couldn’t keep pace with Cliff Pace today,” Lane admitted. “Every time I would get on a little roll, he would start catching them again. He was just too far ahead.”

Lane mixed in a jerkbait and drop-shot to finish a distant second. His key drop-shot baits were a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent 4-inch The General in black and green pumpkin.

Ehrler Finishes Third

Brent Ehrler started slow, but he rose toward the top of standings midday. Part of his ascension was thanks to quality smallmouths over 3 pounds at the start of Period 3.

“I got on one little deal with a jerkbait, topwater, Neko rig, drop-shot, and a spybait – it was all typical smallmouth stuff, I just didn’t have enough areas to do it,” said the California pro, who finished the Championship Round with 29 bass for 56-8. His catch included a smallmouth weighing 4-2.

Ashley Rallies Late for Fourth Place

With so many willing smallmouth biting, Ashley spent most of the day chasing brown bass before heading to the bank late in the day. He put on a largemouth clinic for those watching the MLF NOW! live stream. 

Smallmouth have a reputation for vanishing in moments, and Ashley admitted that they’re not his favorite target species. But going into the day, he thought he needed them to have a chance.

“After the storms moved through there were hardly any boats on the lake and the rest of our guys were out chasing smallmouth,” said Ashley, who ended the day with 26 fish for 55-12. “I wish I would have gone for largemouth sooner because they were not as pressured.” 

The Wheels Fell Off for Wheeler

Out of the 10 anglers fishing today, only Wheeler took the time for the four-hour ride around on Green Lake during the off day earlier this week. 

Early on, it appeared that his homework was going to pay off as he came out of the gates swinging. After the first period, he had 11 bass for 27-14 including several nice smallmouth. At this point, he held a commanding seven-pound lead over Bobby Lane.

From there, the conditions changed, and he only mustered four bass the rest of the day. He continued to fall down the standings and finished up in sixth place with 15 bass for 35-14.

Daily Winners

Shotgun Round daily awards were:
* The Berkley Big Bass of the day was Andy Morgan’s 4-14 largemouth.* Cliff Pace won the Berkley Catch Count award with 47 bass on the day.* Pace also earned the Phoenix Boats Daily Leader award with 81-09.

Looking Ahead

For the 30 anglers who qualified for the REDCREST, they are rewarded with a return trip to Wisconsin in August. The event will be held on the Mississippi River out of La Crosse on August 21-25. 

Final Results

To see all results for today’s Championship Round, as well as all results for each competition day, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com and click “Results.”

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