MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING NEWS

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

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.”

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.”

WHEELER CONTINUES TO DOMINATE, LEADS SHOTGUN ROUND 2 AT BASS PRO TOUR EVINRUDE STAGE EIGHT PRESENTED BY TRACKER OFF ROAD

NEENAH, Wis. Photo courtesy of MLF (June 26, 2019) – Jacob Wheeler has picked up right where he left off after winning Stage Seven on Table Rock Lake. Even though the competition has moved more than 700 miles north, he still finds himself in familiar territory after the second Shotgun Round of the Evinrude Stage Eight Presented by Tracker Off Road on Lake Winnebago: on top of SCORETRACKER®.

The Tennessee pro caught 33 fish for 51 pounds, 4 ounces, finishing the second day of competition on top of Group B. Leading Bass Pro Tour rounds has become a theme for Wheeler this year. In fact, he’s been in first place after four of his last five competition days, and is proving that the Major League Fishing® (MLF) format is tailor-made for his fishing style. 

Wheeler has a chance to become the Bass Pro Tour’s first two-time champion and first back-to-back winner if he can continue his hot streak.

The fishing on Winnebago proved to be more difficult on Wednesday’s anglers as only four anglers topped 40 pounds as opposed to eight yesterday. The first Elimination Round on Thursday will show if it was just the conditions or if the fishing is getting tougher.

Even with the lower weights, 664 bass weighing 1,046 pounds were brought in today. The fish are still biting here in Wisconsin.

Wheeler Rolls Through Shotgun Round 2

Wheeler did most of his damage midmorning during Period 2, and once he took over the lead, he never looked back. 

“I started in the morning with a pattern that I thought would be good and caught a few, but it didn’t work out as planned,” Wheeler said. “Midmorning is when I started to make the transition and started to figure things out. It was a good mixture of shallow and deep and both largemouth and smallmouth. I feel like if I can catch another 10 pounds or so during the Elimination Round that I should be able to make it to the Knockout Round.”

He will carry a 3-pound lead over second place and a 26-pound lead over the 20th place spot heading into the Elimination Round. 

Tak Stands in Second

Takahiro Omori had an excellent day and held the lead or top two spots for most of the day with 31 bass for 47-14. His catch count was buoyed by a strong morning. 

After Period 1, Omori was in the lead by over 5 pounds over Bobby Lane. He stayed near the top the entire day and is in an excellent position to qualify for the REDCREST. He came to Winnebago in 29th and helped his cause tremendously today.

Points Watch

After Group A’s Shotgun Round, Edwin Evers found himself in 26th place. After the Shotgun Rounds, Jeff Sprague sits in 25th. These two continue to match each other blow for blow, and Evers’ slim lead is now down to two points over Sprague in the race for the title of Bass Pro Tour Points Champion. Each fish is always crucial in this format, but it will be magnified the rest of the week.

Looking Ahead

Group A will return to Lake Winnebago tomorrow as the weather prediction calls for partial clouds in the morning with scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon.

Daily Winners

Shotgun Round 2 daily awards were:
*    The Berkley Big Bass of the day was Jeff Sprague’s 5-0 largemouth.
*    Jacob Wheeler won the Berkley Catch Count award with 33 bass on the day.
*    Wheeler also earned the Phoenix Boats Daily Leader award with 51-04.

Looking Ahead

Thursday starts the Elimination Round for Group A, and Group B will compete in this round on Friday. From there, the Top 20 from each group will move on to Saturday’s Knockout Round on Lake Butte des Morts – weights will be zeroed, making the Knockout a one-day scramble on a new fishery. 

The Top 10 anglers in the Knockout Round will advance to the Championship Round on Sunday, June 30.

How, When, Where to Watch

Competition continues Thursday 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 welcome to attend the activity at Shattuck Middle School in Neenah.

Shotgun Rounds’ Results

To see all results for Shotgun Rounds 1 (Group A) and 2 (Group B), visit MajorLeagueFishing.com and click “Results.”

DEFOE, VANDAM LEAD FINAL 10 INTO STQGE SEVEN CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND

BRANSON, Mo. (June 4, 2019) – Watching the weights on SCORETRACKER® during the Knockout Round for the Major League Fishing® (MLF) Bass Pro Tour Bad Boy Mowers Stage Seven Presented by Covercraft – and trying to predict who would be in the Top 10 when time ran out – was like the local meteorologist trying to predict the next storm around Table Rock Lake.

It was nearly impossible.

Once again, there was a lightning-related weather delay, but it was short-lived, and the anglers only lost a few minutes of fishing time. The scheduled Knockout Round hours were noon – 8 p.m. CT, as they have been throughout each of the first five days of competition this week.

DeFoe On Top

It has become pretty common to see Ott DeFoe leading after a round, and he did so with a catch of 83 pounds, 8 ounces on 51 fish today. He did much of his damage with a crankbait and caught several quality fish, including a 3-13.

Tomorrow’s starting time has been adjusted to a 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. schedule to avoid another delay, and things could change in terms of how the anglers catch their fish.

“I was able to hold off Kevin (VanDam) there at the end and have some good momentum going into tomorrow,” DeFoe said. “I need to hurry and get back to bed since we’re starting in the morning.”

Defoe finished Stage Six in 8th place, and it seems like he has Table Rock dialed in this time of year as only he and Jacob Wheeler are repeat Championship Round qualifiers.

VanDam Starts and Finishes Strong

Kevin VanDam had a solid morning bite going and quickly took the lead before falling back a few spots. He stayed in the Top 10 all day and resumed his place near the top in Period 3 as he tallied a total of 81-14 on 46 fish today.

Wiggins and Meyer Rally

Jesse Wiggins was in 37th place as Period 1 came to a close, but the Alabama pro executed such a strong turnaround that he briefly held the lead at one point in Period 3. His miraculous jump included catching several quality fish in a row with around one hour to go.

Cody Meyer made a similar move. With an hour to go, Meyer was not even in the Top 20. With 30 minutes left, he was in 11th, and he finished the day in 4th with 49 bass for 78 pounds, 7 ounces. In total, he caught 26 bass in the final hour.

“This all happened on one point with a Strike King Sexy Dawg topwater,” Meyer said. “Times like this remind me why I do this for a living, it was so much fun.”

Avena Squeaks In

At 7:52 p.m. Adrian Avena was in 11th place but a 1-15 and then a 1-10 at 7:56 p.m. allowed him to sneak inside the cut.

“I flirted with the cutline all day, but the good thing is once you make it in, anything can happen since the weights zero. It doesn’t matter if you are 1st or 10th today as long as you get in,” said Avena.

Shin Falls Short

The last-minute catch by Avena pushed Shin Fukae into 11th, but he took the news in stride.
“The ‘Jersey Boy’ got me, but I enjoyed fishing today. It was exciting,” he said on MLF NOW!

Daily Winners

Knockout Round daily awards were:
* The Berkley Big Bass of the day was Russ Lane’s 5-4 largemouth
* Dustin Connell won the day’s Berkley Catch Count award with 58 bass
* DeFoe’s 83-08 earned him the Phoenix Boats Daily Leader award

10 In Championship Round Back to Morning Start

The 10 anglers advancing to the Championship Round are DeFoe, VanDam, Wiggins, Meyer, Connell, Scott Suggs, Fred Roumbanis, Wheeler, Brandon Palaniuk and Avena. It begins at 7 a.m. CT and ends at 3 p.m. Live, official scoring is available from lines in to lines out via SCORETRACKER on MajorLeagueFishing.com and on the MLF app.

Where, How & When to Watch

The MLF NOW! live stream begins with the First Cast show at 6:55 a.m. CT, featuring coverage of Period 1, with Steven “Lurch” Scott and Rob Newell calling the live action. Full coverage continues at 9:30 a.m., when Chad McKee, JT Kenney, Marty Stone, and Natalie Dillon pick up the commentary and analysis until lines out at 3 p.m. The Berkley Postgame show begins at 4:30 p.m.

Knockout Round Final Standings

To see where all 40 anglers finished in the Knockout Round, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com and click “Results,” and then select “Knockout Round.”

KNOCKOUT ROUND SHAPING UP TO BE A SLUGFEST AT BASS PRO TOUR BAD BOY MOWERS STAGE SEVEN PRESENTED BY COVERCRAFT

BRANSON, Mo. (June 4, 2019) – After four days of competition on Table Rock Lake in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains, the Major League Fishing® (MLF) Bass Pro Tour Bad Boy Mowers Stage Seven Presented by Covercraft has reached the make-or-break point for 40 of the anglers in the 80-man field.

Tuesday’s Knockout Round – which will take place from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. CT on Table Rock Lake – includes the Top 20 finishers from two competition groups, many of whom have taken turns breaking records the past two weeks on this impoundment of the White River.

Knockout Weights Back To Zero

The 40 anglers fishing in today’s Knockout Round will start from zero. That means that the astounding two-day weights compiled by anglers like Jacob Wheeler (160 pounds, 1 ounce) and Shin Fukae (143-1) in the Knockout and Elimination rounds are moot: the semi-final day of competition is now an 8-hour scramble for the 10 spots in the Championship Round.

“All any of us can do is go out there and fish our game,” said Wheeler, who set Bass Pro Tour records for both weight and most fish caught in two rounds (108). “I don’t know how many people in the other group have been fishing my best stuff this week, so I don’t know how small it’s going to fish. This is a giant lake with a ton of fish, but your key areas are still important. I think it’s going to take between 55 and 75 pounds to make the 10 cut.”

Elimination Round 2: the return of KVD

Monday’s second Elimination Round saw a familiar face at the top of the 40-man Group B standings: Kevin VanDam. The Table Rock veteran scaled 69-14 to go with the 54-0 he caught in the Shotgun Round for a two-day total of 123-14. Scott Suggs was right on VanDam’s heels with 122-6, followed by Brandon Palaniuk (117-13) and Todd Faircloth (115-9).

This is VanDam’s second Knockout Round of the season.

“I see these threads on social media asking ‘What’s wrong with KVD, what’s wrong with KVD?’ I can tell you right now, everybody is fixing to see what’s right with KVD,” said MLF NOW! live stream analyst JT Kenney. “Kevin knows this lake about as well as anybody alive, and it’s setting up really well for him.”

Elimination Round 1: Wheeler dominated
One look at the results of the first Elimination Round of the event (held Sunday, June 2) will tell you all you need to know about how prolific Table Rock’s bass fishery is: Not only did Wheeler and Fukae combine for nearly 200 fish and over 300 pounds of spotted and largemouth bass, but 12 of the anglers who advanced to the semi-final cleared the 100-pound mark.

Wheeler was untouchable, though. The Tennessee pro took the lead from Fukae in the third period of their Shotgun Round, and then proceeded to surpass the previous two-day weight record by more than 25 pounds (Cliff Pace’s 134-13 in Stage Six). Wheeler is on track to also beat the event total-weight record set by Aaron Martens in his victory in that same event (Martens scaled 283-4).

Looking ahead to final two days

Weights will be zeroed for the 40-angler Knockout Round, making the Knockout a one-day scramble. The Top 10 anglers in the Knockout Round will advance to the Championship Round on Wednesday, June 5.

How, When and Where to Watch Today

Competition begins at 12 p.m. CT, with live, official scoring available via SCORETRACKER® on MajorLeagueFishing.com and on the MLF app. The
MLF NOW! live stream begins at 11:55 a.m. CT with coverage of Period 1, with Steven “Lurch” Scott and Rob Newell calling the live action. Full coverage continues at 2:30 p.m., when Chad McKee, JT Kenney, Marty Stone, and Natalie Dillon pick up the commentary and analysis until lines out at 8 p.m.
There will be no Berkley Postgame Show until Wednesday’s Championship Round.

Knockout’s 40 Anglers

To see the list of all 40 anglers fishing in the Knockout Round and to follow their standings throughout the day, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com and click “SCORETRACKER.” All results throughout the week can also be found on the website by clicking “Results.”

WHEELER, FUKAE BREAK 100-POUND MARK IN SHOTGUN ROUND OF BASS PRO TOUR AT TABLE ROCK – Bad Boy Mowers Stage Seven Presented by Covercraft

BRANSON, Mo. (May 31, 2019) – 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.”

Wheeler Never Slowed Down

For the better part of the day, Fukae appeared to have the round under control, grabbing the lead early in the second period and becoming the first angler to break the 100-pound mark early in the third period. But Wheeler stayed within range of Fukae, and eventually overtook Fukae in the final hour.

While Fukae slowed noticeably – he weighed only three fish in the final 90 minutes of competition – Wheeler put 20 fish on SCORETRACKER® in the same twilight-hours time frame, almost all of them on a swimbait.

“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.”

Wheeler’s first-place finish in the Group A Shotgun Round is the fourth time in the 2019 season that he’s finished atop a Bass Pro Tour round.

Fukae Flip-Flops

If you needed proof about how differently a lake can perform for an individual angler from one week to the next, look no farther than Fukae. The Mercury pro not only hammered Table Rock for over 112 pounds, he completely flip-flopped his results from a week ago in the Stage Six event on Table Rock.

Fukae weighed in just 28-5 in his Stage Six Shotgun Round and weighed in 51-9 for the entire event, finishing 75th in the 80-man field. In Friday’s return to Table Rock, though, Fukae beat that weight in one period. After a productive first period in which he weighed in 27-9, Fukae stacked 51-10 on SCORETRACKER in Period 2 on Friday, connecting with 29 largemouth and one spotted bass (all on a drop-shot).

Second Shotgun Round Ahead

A new group of 40 anglers, Group B, roll out onto Table Rock Saturday at 12 p.m. CT for Shotgun Round 2, under very similar conditions as their Group A counterparts. Table Rock is still slightly rising but stabilizing – it’s risen just under a foot in three days – and has gained one degree of water temperature, up to 76 degrees.

Looking Ahead

The field will carry their Shotgun Round weights into Elimination Rounds on Sunday and Monday. The Top 20 anglers from each of those Elimination groups will advance to a 40-angler Knockout Round on Monday, June 3 – weights will be zeroed, making the Knockout a one-day scramble. The Top 10 anglers in the Knockout Round will advance to the Championship Round on Wednesday, June 5.

How, When, Where to Watch

The Group B competition begins Saturday at 12 p.m. CT, with live, official scoring available via SCORETRACKER on MajorLeagueFishing.com and on the MLF app. The MLF NOW! live stream begins at 11:55 a.m. CT for coverage of Period 1, with Steven “Lurch” Scott and Rob Newell calling the live action. Full coverage continues at 2:30 when Chad McKee, JT Kenney, Marty Stone and Natalie Dillon pick up the commentary and analysis until lines out at 8 p.m. There will be no Berkley Postgame Show until the Championship Round.

Today’s Results

For Group A results in Shotgun Round 1, and to follow cumulative results throughout the competition days, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com and click “results.”

BREAKING NEWS – YOU CAN NOW WATCH STAGE SEVEN IN THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING – MOVED FROM GRAND LAKE TO TABLE ROCK DUE TO FLOODING

TULSA, Okla. (May 23, 2019) – Major League Fishing (MLF) officials announced today that the Bass Pro Tour Stage Seven originally scheduled for Oklahoma’s Grand Lake is being relocated to Table Rock Lake in Missouri, due to flood conditions impacting northeast Oklahoma. 

The Bad Boy Mowers Stage Seven Presented by Covercraft will take place on the same dates originally intended – May 31 to June 5 – but there will be some changes to the competition format when the 80-angler Bass Pro Tour field returns to Table Rock.

“Of the options we had for guaranteeing the required connectivity for our format and live streaming, convenience to our anglers and entertaining fishing, Table Rock was our perfect solution for the time frame,” said Don Rucks, MLF executive vice president and general manager. “Table Rock is in great shape and, as we saw in Stage Six, it’s fishing exceptionally well right now. But we’re going to change things up somewhat for the return to make it a different challenge for the anglers and equally exciting as the previous Bass Pro Tour event was for our fans.”

Most significant is the change to the fishing times. For the five days encompassing the usual Shotgun, Elimination and Knockout Rounds, competition will be from noon to 8 p.m. CDT. On day six, the Championship Round, competition will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT. And the MLF NOW! live streaming will cover all three fishing periods throughout each of the six competition days, providing 7 1/2 hours of live coverage daily, the most ever in the history of competitive bass fishing, and extending into prime time. 

For all days, MLF’s standard catch, weigh and immediate-release format will apply. 

“The later competition times will give our MLF NOW! live stream audience a different look at Table Rock,” Rucks said. “It’ll also provide anglers in the region who fish in the evening a chance to learn even more about how to be successful on their home water this time of year.” 

The MLF Postgame Show Presented by Berkley will follow the conclusion of the Championship Round on June 5; there will be no Postgame Show following the first five days of competition because of 8 p.m. end of competition.

For more information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

AARON MARTENS RIDES DEEP DROP-SHOT TO WIN AT TABLE ROCK

MLF pro Aaron Martens connected with 50 fish for 86 pounds, 4 ounces today, claiming the Championship trophy at the Bass Pro Tour Stage Six on Missouri’s Table Rock Lake

BRANSON, Mo. (May 22, 2019) – 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.” 

Montgomery Bet on Shad Spawn
Montgomery came out of the gate like he would run away with the trophy, thanks to the same morning shad spawn he had exploited all week long. Montgomery piled up 49-13 in the first period to open up a 15-pound lead on Martens and the rest of the field. But Period 2 proved to be the difference-maker of the day: Montgomery put only 8-11 on SCORETRACKER in 2 ½ hours, and could only keep working his docks as Martens overtook him with 30 minutes left in the period.


MLF pro Andy Montgomery finished second in the Bass Pro Tour Championship Round, also catching 50 scoreable bass. His weight totaled 77-14. 

The South Carolina pro finally gave up on his dock pattern as the third period started, picking up a flipping stick and locating better-quality fish: five of his 10 fish in the final 2 ½ hours were 2 pounds or more, allowing Montgomery to stay within distant striking distance of Martens.
“There were a lot of signs that told me (I should’ve changed), but I just couldn’t quite pull the trigger soon enough,” Montgomery admitted. “I caught them so good (in the Knockout Round), but most of that was largemouth. Today, it was all spotted bass on those docks. I didn’t think that those largemouth could’ve moved out that fast, but I guess they did. I had a good third period flipping, but I wish I’d done it in the second period.”


Table Rock Showed Out
Although Table Rock is one of the most well-known tournament venues in the country, the six days of Bass Pro Tour competition showed this impoundment of the White River in a whole different – record breaking – light. Some of the most notable numbers from the week:
*    6,078 fish were put on SCORETRACKER
*    Total weight on SCORETRACKER for the field for the event was 9,815-2
*    Martens’ total weight for four rounds was a record 283-4
*    Cliff Pace weighed in a record 179 fish


Championship Notes
Martens’ victory is his 11th tour-level win. It’s also Martens’ first win in the MLF catch/weigh/immediate-release format.
Jeff Sprague took over the Points Championship lead with another strong event: Sprague has 417 points, followed by Edwin Evers with 414. 

Stage Six Results

To see final results for Stage Six, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com and click “results.” 

BOBBY LANE LEADS TOPS 10 INTO CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND AT MLF BASS PRO TOUR BERKLEY STAGE SIX PRESENTED BY TRUE TIMBER

BRANSON, Mo. May 21, 2019) – The only things that could shut down the Table Rock Lake bite for Major League Fishing® (MLF) pro Bobby Lane were Mother Nature and sundown. The Florida pro would probably still be catching Ozark Mountains bass at a record pace if impending darkness didn’t finally end competition at the Bass Pro Tour Berkley Stage Six Presented by TrueTimber.
Despite nearly five hours of delays in competition due to heavy wind, rain and lightning, Lane finished the Knockout Round with 95 pounds, 4 ounces, obliterating the existing Knockout Round weight record of 67-14 and breaking the single-day weight record of 89-5 set by Josh Bertrand just three days ago. Lane also established a new record for scoreable bass for the day with 60.
“It’s almost ridiculous to think that I caught 60 fish for over 95 pounds,” Lane joked as he started his tackle prep for Wednesday’s Championship Round. “I caught ’em and caught ’em and caught ’em like there was no end. I’m not sure it’s quite sunk in yet, but what a cool record to break.”
Lane’s performance secured him a spot in his first 10-angler Championship Round of the 2019 season.
Working Through the Weather
The morning looked like it would belong to Andy Montgomery. Taking advantage of the shad spawn and a fierce spotted bass bite brought on by the approaching storm front, Montgomery connected with 31 fish in Period 1 for 47-5. That was part of a period in which 480 fish hit SCORETRACKER® for 782-5 (both Bass Pro Tour records).
By the time the first weather delay shut down competition after the second period, Montgomery had piled 50 fish on SCORETRACKER for 78 pounds, 2 ounces, a 10-plus-pound cushion over Lane in second place (67-11). But while Montgomery fell off his morning pace once lines went back in for the third period, Lane continued to add to his total, catching 18 fish for 27-9 in the third period fishing bluff walls for spawning spotted bass.
“I couldn’t go to a straight bluff wall, I had to find bluffs with little dips where fish could get up around the edges and corners,” Lane said. “I needed the bait to sink about 5 feet, so I needed a bluff with some kind of lip or shelf. All I had to do was get the bait on that shelf and they’d kill it.”
Day Makers and Heartbreakers
Although Jordan Lee’s presence in a Championship Round is nothing new – Lee has advanced out of the Knockout Round three times in six events – the way he did it on Table Rock is notable. The Stage One Kissimmee winner ended Period 1 in 36th place out of 40, with only five fish and 7-9 to show for it (just under 19 pounds out of the Top 10). Lee put together a third-period flurry of 20 fish, including seven in the final hour for 11-15.
That propelled him past Jacob Powroznik, Jonathon VanDam, Michael Neal and Gerald Swindle for his first Championship Round since Stage Two Conroe.
Championship Round Welcomes First-Timers
Lane isn’t the only angler in the Championship 10 who will be fishing his first final round. He’ll be joined by Championship Round first-timers Zack Birge (second with 86-0), Andy Montgomery (third with 83-4), Cliff Pace (fifth with 79-5), Greg Vinson (sixth with 76-9) and Aaron Martens (seventh with 75-1). Jacob Wheeler, Mark Rose, Ott DeFoe and Lee round out the final 10.
Daily Winners
Knockout Round daily awards were:
* The Berkley Big Bass of the day was a 5-13 largemouth caught by Andy Morgan
* Lane was the Berkley Catch Count winner with his record 60 fish
* Lane also earned the Phoenix Boats Daily Leader award with his 95-4
When, Where & How to Watch Wednesday
Competition begins on Wednesday’s Championship Round at 6:30 a.m. CT, with live, official scoring available via SCORETRACKER on MajorLeagueFishing.com and on the MLF app. The MLF NOW! live stream starts at 9 a.m. CT, with live, on-the-water coverage and analysis provided by Chad McKee, JT Kenney, Marty Stone and Natalie Dillon until lines out at 2:30 p.m. The Berkley Postgame Show – hosted by Steven “Lurch” Scott – will start at 4 p.m.
Knockout Round Results
To see Knockout Round results for all anglers, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com and click “results.”

DEFOE IS LATEST RECORD BREAKER AS HE DOMINATES ELIMINATION ROUND ON TABLE ROCK

(Left to right) MLF pros Alton Jones Jr. (fifth place), Josh Bertrand (second), Ott DeFoe (first), and Cody Meyer (third) wrapped up their Elimination Round in style and will be heading to Tuesday’s Knockout Round. 

BRANSON, Mo., (May 20, 2019) – Another day, another record at the Major League Fishing® (MLF) Bass Pro Tour Berkley Stage Six Presented by TrueTimber on Table Rock Lake.

Ott DeFoe pushed his two-day weight total to 133 pounds thanks to 54-14 in today’s Group B Elimination Round, and while that fell just short of Cliff Pace’s record of 134-11 from the day before, DeFoe was still able to mint a new record with 91 bass caught during his Shotgun and Elimination rounds.

MLF NOW! live stream analyst Marty Stone summed up the week perfectly in the waning moments of the broadcast: “It wouldn’t be a day at Table Rock if we didn’t break a record.”
It has become the story during the Shotgun and Elimination Rounds, and both the Knockout and Championship Round records are likely to fall in the next two days if the weather cooperates.

The fishing today slowed down for many in the field, but it was still excellent. It seems Table Rock Lake has set the bar high and even 951 scoreable bass seems like a downturn, which sounds absurd.

It was the first day that the field brought in less than 1,000 bass. That’s how good Table Rock has been this week.

Jones Jr. and Browning Make Moves

Overall, the Top 20 remained largely the same from the start of the day to when competition wrapped up this afternoon. Dustin Connell and Chris Lane were the only two anglers to fall out of the Top 20 (19th to 27th, and 20th to 31st respectively), with Alton Jones Jr. and Stephen Browning replacing them. 

Both Jones and Browning had stellar days, Browning boating a day’s-best 37 bass and Jones racking up the most weight on SCORETRACKER® today. His 67-5 ounces catapulted him up 20 spots as he rose from 26th to fifth place in Group B.


MLF pro Alton Jones Jr. started his day with this 3 pounder, plus had five more bass over 3 pounds in his
Elimination 2 total catch of 31 scoreable fish. 

One of the keys to Jones’ success was the quality of fish he caught. While he still counted 31 scoreable bass, his weight total was helped by six bass over three pounds, including a 5-2 bass that earned him the Berkley Big Bass of the Day award.

“I’m on an early bite, and most of my weight has been coming before 10 a.m.,” Jones said. “The sun also helped, so I don’t know the changing weather for tomorrow is going to affect me.”

Browning’s stout day boosted him from 23rd to 14th and advanced him to Tuesday’s Knockout Round.

“I started the day strong and was able to ride the momentum throughout the day,” Browning recounted. “I was fishing the same areas as I did in the Shotgun Round, but I made two bait changes, and it worked. We’ll see what the weather does tomorrow. It could take 30, 40, 50, or 70-pounds to make the Top 10; you never know with the way this place is fishing.”

Evers Falls Short, Clausen Holds On

The ever-dangerous Edwin Evers slowly crept up the leaderboard from starting the day in 25th. He threatened for the final advancing spot and briefly held 20th place with one hour to go. In the end, he finished just short and is the first angler on the outside looking in, at 21st.

Clausen started the day in 16th and briefly fell below the cutline before rallying up a few spots. Catches in the final moments by Jordan Lee and Greg Hackney lowered his placement to 20th, but he was able to hang on.

Weather Changes Loom

The Branson area has been very welcoming to the Bass Pro Tour, but the weather has been in a state of constant change this week. The evening is under a flash flood warning and Tuesday calls for a 100-percent chance of precipitation with possible lightning to go with a predicted 20 mph wind in the afternoon.

Group Comparison

Group A had an eye-popping 15 anglers yesterday with over 100-pounds, and Group B posted slightly less today with 11 hitting the century mark. The 20th place was considerably different between the groups. In Group A, Randall Tharp’s 94-12 total put him in the final qualifying spot while Luke Clausen wrapped up 20th with 83-06 in Group B.

Looking Ahead

The Top 20 anglers from each of the Elimination Rounds advanced to the 40-angler Knockout Round to be held Tuesday – weights will be zeroed, making the Knockout a one-day scramble. 

The Top 10 anglers in the Knockout Round will advance to the Championship Round on Wednesday, May 22.

Daily Winners

Elimination Round 2 daily awards were:
*    The Berkley Big Bass of the Day was a 5-2 largemouth caught by Alton Jones Jr.
*    Jones also earned the Phoenix Boats Daily Leader award with 67-0
*    Browning was the Berkley Catch Count winner with 37 bass

How, When, Where to Watch

Knockout Round competition begins Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30 a.m. CT with live, official scoring available at “lines in” via SCORETRACKER on MajorLeagueFishing.com and on the MLF app. 

The MLF NOW! live stream starts at 9 a.m. CT, with live, on-the-water coverage and analysis provided by Chad McKee, JT Kenney, Marty Stone and Natalie Dillon until lines out at 2:30 p.m. The Berkley Postgame Show – hosted by Steven “Lurch” Scott – will start at 4 p.m. 

Elimination Round 2 Results

To see Elimination Round 2 final results for all Group B anglers, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com and click ” results.” 

15 ANGLERS WITH 100+ POUNDS – WHILE RECORDS CONTINUE TO FALL DURING ELIMINATION ROUND AT BASS PRO TOUR BERKLEY STAGE SIX PRESENTED BY TRUE TIMBER

BRANSON, Mo., (May 19, 2019) – Three days into competition at the Major League Fishing® (MLF) Bass Pro Tour Berkley Stage Six presented by TrueTimber, we’re starting to run out of superlatives to describe the bite at Table Rock Lake. Choose your favorite – “stellar” and “outstanding” fit – but “record-breaking” is still the most accurate.
Cliff Pace became the most recent record breaker, putting 38 fish on SCORETRACKER® for 60 pounds, 1 ounce on the day, giving the Mississippi pro a two-day total of 134-13 and obliterating the existing Elimination Round record of 105-6 held by Zack Birge. Pace’s two-day fish total of 89 is another record. The field combined to catch 407 fish in the first period and weighed 684-9 (both records).
And while all of the above numbers are impressive, the fact that 15 of the 20 anglers advancing out of the round surpassed the 100-pound mark tells the story of just how prolific this impoundment of the White River has been.

“Of all the years I’ve been around fishing, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything like this as far as sheer volume of fish,” said MLF NOW! analyst Marty Stone. “I knew when we came here that this lake was in good shape, but I’ve never seen a like that’s so good from one end to the next. We’re looking at where guys are catching fish, and we’re seeing anglers who are literally 50 miles apart catching them. It’s harder right now to find a place where there’s not a fish than a place there is.”

Pace was followed by Gary Klein (130-2), Birge (129-11), Greg Vinson (125-12), Aaron Martens (121-15) and Jacob Powroznik (116-15). Jesse Wiggins, Michael Neal, Mark Rose, Fletcher Shryock, Russ Lane, Jeff Sprague, Anthony Gagliardi, Casey Ashley, Dave Lefebre, Andy Montgomery, Fred Roumbanis, Brent Chapman, Randy Howell and Randall Tharp qualified for Tuesday’s Knockout Round.

Tharp Escapes Elimination
As has become the daily storyline during Elimination Round competition, the race around the Elimination Line came down to a difference of a single fish. Trailing Jason Christie by 7 ounces entering the final 10 minutes of official competition time, Randall Tharp caught two fish for 2-13 in the final seven minutes, finishing with 94-12 and moving past Jason Christie into 20th. 

“It was extremely intense,” Tharp admitted. “I struggled at times in the second period – dropped all the way to 25th or 26th – so to get on something that late and catch one with 5 to go to get to 20th, and then hook one with 15 seconds left … it was a stressful afternoon for me. I’m glad it worked out the way it did.”

“It’s crazy that you can catch 92 pounds and not make it,” said Christie, who finished with 92-6 on 48 fish. 

Elimination Round 2 Set for Monday
The Bass Pro Tour will see its first Monday action of the season when Group B returns to Table Rock tomorrow for the second Elimination Round of the event. Viewers tuning in on the MLF NOW! live stream will likely see 5 ½ hours of fish catches: 16 Group B anglers put 50-plus pounds on SCORETRACKER in their Shotgun Round on Saturday, led by Josh Bertrand’s 89-5. The biggest X-factor, though, is the water level, which sits at 917.54 as of this writing (just over 1 foot lower than when practice began on May 16). 

“This lake was way up when we got here, but water has been dropping: instead of there being a fish on every bush, there’s a fish on every 10th bush,” Stone said. “These anglers are having to cover more water to get the number of bites they need. As the week goes on, the 45-degree banks will become more relevant, and the guys fishing offshore will become more relevant. But the challenge for these Group B guys on Monday is that whatever they found in the first day of practice is five days old now – they might as well just go ahead and start practicing again. Group B has a big challenge in front of them.”

Today’s Round By The Numbers
The 40 pros caught 1,023 fish in Elimination Round 1, the third day in a row with over 1,000 fish making it into SCORETRACKER.

Daily Winners
Elimination Round 1 daily awards were:
*    The Berkley Big Bass of the day was a 5-9 largemouth caught by Mark Rose
*    Andy Montgomery was the Berkley Catch Count winner with 42 fish
*    Birge earned the Phoenix Boats Daily Leader award with 69-14            

When, Where & How to Watch
Elimination Round 2 competition begins at 6:30 a.m. CT, with live, official scoring available from “lines in” via SCORETRACKER on MajorLeagueFishing.com and on the MLF app. The MLF NOW! live stream starts at 9 a.m. CT, with live, on-the-water coverage and analysis provided by Chad McKee, JT Kenney, Marty Stone and Natalie Dillon until lines out at 2:30 p.m. The Berkley Postgame Show – hosted by Steven “Lurch” Scott – will start at 4 p.m. daily.


Elimination Round 1 Final Results

https://majorleaguefishing.com/event/bass-pro-tour-stage-six-table-rock-lake-branson-mo/results/

JOSH BERTRAND BEATDOWN: ARIZONA PRO REWRITES RECORDS DURING SHOTGUN ROUND 3 ON TABLE ROCK

BRANSON, Mo. (May 18, 2019) – Well, that didn’t last long. Greg Vinson’s record-setting performance on Table Rock Lake in Friday’s Shotgun Round was short-lived and then one-upped by Josh Bertrand. 

The Arizona pro claimed the record for the total number of fish caught, and the single-day total weight for the Major League Fishing® (MLF) Bass Pro Tour just 24 hours after Vinson laid claim to both. When all was said and done, Bertrand had racked up 59 bass and 89 pounds, 5 ounces on SCORETRACKER® in today’s Shotgun Round 2 at the Berkley Stage Six Presented by TrueTimber. 

Bertrand will enter the Elimination Round with an 11-pound, 3-ounce lead over second-place angler Ott DeFoe.

Period 3 Was Key for Bertrand

The top of the leaderboard was in flux throughout the day. After Period 1, Jacob Wheeler held the lead. At the close of Period 2, Ott DeFoe was leading before Andy Morgan briefly overtook him. All of those anglers had banner days, but nobody could catch Bertrand.

The final period was Bertrand’s to own, and he went on a tear. Midway through the period, he landed 10 bass in fifteen minutes and continued catching them until time expired. 

His Period 3 numbers were impressive: He caught 31 bass for 47-6. To put that into perspective, his Period 3 weight would have been enough for 18th place on the day. 

“Periods 1 and 2 were good, but not great. I think they just started to bite late in the day and I have to give credit to the weather,” Bertrand said. “We had a big storm coming, and those pre-frontal conditions helped to get them active.”

With a considerable lead, Bertrand may not need to catch a bass in the Elimination Round to move on, but he plans to expand on what he learned. 

“I expect it to be different when I get back there because of the weather and water levels,” he said. “The fish want to move towards their summer pattern, and I am going to try to figure out what their next move is.”

DeFoe Stands in Second

To catch 55 bass for 78-2 and finish the day in second place is a testament to how well Table Rock is fishing right now. DeFoe’s 55 scoreable bass is the second most bass caught in the young history of the Bass Pro Tour, but he’s still over 11 pounds behind Bertrand.

His total weight was great despite going over an hour without catching a scoreable bass. 

“I had a really good start and slow start to Period 2. It picked up from there and was fairly consistent the rest of the day,” said DeFoe. “The good news is I have a good gap over 20th place and am not in a position where I have to catch one every 20-minutes to keep pace.”

Group Comparison

During Friday’s Shotgun Round 1, four anglers topped the 70-pound mark. Today, six anglers crossed that threshold. The 50-fish target was hit by four anglers today as compared to just two yesterday.

Each day’s numbers were fairly similar overall. Group A scored 1,894 pounds of bass on 1,173 fish whereas Group B had 1,800 pounds with 1,132 fish. Casey Ashley holds down 20th with 47 pounds, 1 ounce for Group A, while Gerald Spohrer has 41 pounds, 11 ounces for 20th in Group B.

Weather Holds, but Forces Cancellations

An approaching storm was part of the story today and likely helped the fishing for some anglers, but it did affect plans at the event. While anglers were able to complete the entire day without any weather delays, it did force the cancellation of fan events at the MLF Midway as well as the Postgame Show Presented by Berkley.

How this will affect the rest of the week is still to be determined, but post-frontal conditions tomorrow could make for more challenging fishing for Group A anglers during the Elimination Round.

Looking Ahead

The field will carry their Shotgun Round weights into Elimination Rounds on Sunday and Monday. The Top 20 anglers from each of those Elimination groups will advance to a 40-angler Knockout Round on Tuesday – weights will be zeroed, making the Knockout a one-day scramble. The Top 10 anglers in the Knockout Round will advance to the Championship Round on Wednesday, May 22.

Daily Winners

Shotgun Round 2 daily awards were:
*    The Berkley Big Bass of the day was a 4 -06 bass caught by Matt Lee
*    Bertrand was the Berkley Catch Count winner with a new record 59 fish
*    Bertrand also won the Phoenix Boats Daily Leader award with record-breaking 89-5

How, When and Where to Watch

Elimination Round 1 (Group A) competition begins Sunday at 6:30 a.m. CT with live, official scoring available at “lines in” via SCORETRACKER on MajorLeagueFishing.com and on the MLF app. The MLF NOW! live stream starts at 9 a.m. CT, with live, on-the-water coverage and analysis provided by Chad McKee, JT Kenney, Marty Stone and Natalie Dillon until lines out at 2:30 p.m. The Berkley Postgame Show – hosted by Steven “Lurch” Scott – will start at 4 p.m. 

Group B Standings Shotgun Round 2

PlaceAnglerTotal WeightTotal # FishLargest Fish
1stJosh Bertrand89 – 05592 – 08
2ndOtt DeFoe78 – 02552 – 09
3rdAndy Morgan78 – 01503 – 01
4thBobby Lane73 – 07512 – 02
5thCody Meyer70 – 09393 – 13
6thJacob Wheeler70 – 07463 – 12
7thJustin Atkins57 – 12332 – 15
8thGreg Hackney56 – 12323 – 12
9thScott Suggs56 – 07373 – 07
10thGerald Swindle54 – 06362 – 04
11thCliff Crochet54 – 01344 – 02
12thMark Davis53 – 14323 – 05
13thBrent Ehrler53 – 08322 – 14
14thMarty Robinson51 – 10343 – 03
15thWesley Strader51 – 00362 – 02
16thLuke Clausen50 – 06342 – 08
17thJonathon VanDam48 – 04262 – 13
18thJordan Lee43 – 01253 – 06
19thDustin Connell42 – 13243 – 02
20thChris Lane42 – 00233 – 01
21stGerald Spohrer41 – 11252 – 15
22ndTerry Scroggins39 – 04223 – 05
23rdStephen Browning38 – 08262 – 02
24thMatt Lee38 – 07264 – 06
25thEdwin Evers38 – 06242 – 04
26thAlton Jones Jr.38 – 05252 – 12
27thBrandon Coulter38 – 02262 – 02
28thKevin VanDam37 – 10214 – 01
29thKeith Poche36 – 10272 – 03
30thBrandon Palaniuk33 – 11183 – 15
31stKelly Jordon32 – 10212 – 07
32ndTommy Biffle32 – 08203 – 08
33rdAlton Jones32 – 02222 – 08
34thMike McClelland31 – 05192 – 11
35thTakahiro Omori28 – 04202 – 06
36thJames Elam25 – 15162 – 07
37thShaw Grigsby23 – 10132 – 04
38thJason Lambert18 – 05122 – 02
39thDavid Walker14 – 0183 – 10
40thBoyd Duckett7 – 1452 – 07

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