Tennessee Pro Boats 14 Bass totaling 56 pounds, 7 ounces to comfortably lead day one of Group A – Group B will compete on Sunday
Link to the best video moments from the Group A qualifying round, day 1
QUITMAN, Texas (February 19, 2022) –Sports + Outdoors Academy pro Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn., cruised a 7-pound, 3-ounce kicker just four minutes into the competition on Saturday and never looked back. Wheeler caught 14 scoring bass totaling 56 pounds, 7 ounces to take the lead in Group A on day one of the second Toro Stage on Lake Fork presented by Grundéns in Quitman, Texas.
The six-day event, hosted by the Lake Fork Area Chamber of Commerce, Wood County EDC, Sabine River Authority and Rains County Tourism Board, features 80 of the world’s top professional bass anglers competing for a purse of $805,000, including a grand prize of $100,000 to the winner. The tournament is streamed live daily on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MOTV app, and also filmed for broadcast later this fall on the Discovery Channel.
Wheeler will provide a comfortable lead on Monday’s second day of competition for Group A, with an 8-pound, 2-ounce pad over second-placed pro angler Ish Monroe of Oakdale, Calif., who caught 13 bass for a total from 48-5. In third place on the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard is Bass Pro Shops angler Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Michigan, who caught 13 bass for a total of 44-14. B&W Trailer Hitches pro Mark Davis of Mount Ida, Arkansas, ranks fourth with 13 basses weighing 33-14. Rounding out the top five is pro Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, South Carolina, who weighed in with eight bass totaling 32-3.
Fresh off his win two weeks ago at Stage 1 in Louisiana, Covercraft pro Bradley Roy of Lancaster, Ky., boarded the biggest bass of his career on Saturday — and the second-biggest bass ever weighed in the history of the Bass Pro Tour – an 11-pound, 11-ounce Giant that won Roy the top Berkley Big Bass prize of $1,000. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass each day and a bonus of $3,000 to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass in the tournament.
The 40 anglers in Group A will now have a rest day, while the 40 anglers in Group B will start their first day of competition on Sunday. Group A will resume competition on Monday.
“Today was a lot of fun,” Wheeler said in his post-game interview. “They’re not easy to catch, but when you find them, it’s great fun. This event will end up being a matter of decision making.
Wheeler spent the day throwing several different jerkbaits around the isolated wood.
“Jerkbait was the name of the game for me today,” Wheeler continued. “I would cast them on a medium heavy 6ft 10in action rod, using 12-14lb line depending on the cover I was fishing. I threw a varying amount of jerkbaits, but my biggest bass this morning came on a deep (Rapala) Shadow Rap. It was the first thing – my third casting of the day.
Saturday marks the seventh time Wheeler has “won” on the first day of his qualifying round. The next closest anglers to that mark are Zack Birge and Michael Neal, who have each won three times. If Wheeler can hang on and win his qualifying round on Monday, it will be the sixth time Wheeler has won his two-day qualifying round.
“We’ll see how it all ends. Today was good, but the rest of the week is a bit different,” Wheeler said. “I’m going to take my day off tomorrow and regroup to come up with a game plan on how we can win the round. The most important thing this week will be to make adjustments, and I’m going to have to make some adjustments for Monday if I want to pull it off.
Unlike Wheeler, who did his damage today on a jerkbait, California pro Ish Monroe caught his killer 13 bass on a lipless crankset.
“Congrats to Jacob on a great day, but I’m right behind him – eight pounds on this lake is nothing,” Monroe said. “I fished hard today casting a River2Sea Ruckus lipless (crankbait).
“Bradley (Roy) got an 11-pounder, which is awesome. Zack Birge got a 10, and that’s awesome. But I’m also planning to make it up to double digits, so get ready.
The top 20 Group A pros after Day 1 at Lake Fork are:
1st: Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tennessee, 14 bass, 56-7
2n/a: Ish Monroe, Oakdale, Calif., 13 bass, 48-5
3rd: Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 13 bass, 44-14
4and: Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark., 13 bass, 33-14
5and: Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, SC, low eight, 32-3
6and: Jeff Sprague, Wills Point, Texas, eight bass, 32-2
7and: Bradley Roy, Lancaster, Ky., five bass, 28-14
8and: Fletcher Shryock, Guntersville, Ala., eight bass, 28-6
9and: Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., five bass, 28-3
tenand: Marty Robinson, Lyman, SC, eight bass, 27-11
11and: Takahiro Omori, Tokyo, Japan, six basses, 26-14
12and: Jonathon VanDam, Kalamazoo, Michigan, five bass, 26-1
13and: Cliff Hook, Pierre Part, La., eight bass, 25-10
14and: Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., seven bass, 23-12
15and: Matt Lee, Cullman, Ala., six bass, 23-10
16and: Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan., six bass, 23-7
17and: Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, low six, 22-10
18and: James Elam, Tulsa, Okla., six bass, 22-1
19and: Keith Poche, Pike Road, Ala., five bass, 21-7
20and: Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala., seven bass, 20-12
A full list of results is available at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Overall, there were 218 scoring bass weighing 810 pounds, 3 ounces caught by 39 pros on Saturday.
The 40 anglers in Group A will take part in their two-day qualifying round on Saturday and Monday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Sunday and Tuesday. At the end of each two-day qualifying round, anglers who finish 2nd through 20th in both groups qualify for Wednesday’s knockout round, while the winner of each group advances directly to the championship round. of Thursday. In the Knockout Round, the weights go to zero and the remaining 38 anglers compete to finish in the top 8 and qualify for the Championship Round. On the final day of the championship, the weights go to zero and the highest total in one day wins the top prize of $100,000.
Anglers will launch daily at 7:30 a.m. from Oak Ridge Marina, located at 2949 TX-154 in Quitman, TX. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will take place at the Marina, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Fans are invited to attend all launch and takeout events and are also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage on MajorLeagueFishing.com.
The second Toro leg on Lake Fork presented by Grundéns will feature anglers competing with a minimum weight requirement of 2 pounds for a bass to be considered scoring. Minimum weights are determined individually for each competition water visited by the Bass Pro Tour, based on productivity, bass population and expected average fish size in each fishery.
The Bass Pro Tour features a group of 80 of the world’s best professional anglers who compete in seven regular season tournaments across the country, competing for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General All-Star event. Tire Heavy Hitters and the 2023 REDCREST Championship.
the MLF NOW!® The broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and JT Kenney will break down the extended action over the six days of competition from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT. MLF NOW!® will be broadcast live on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.
Television coverage of Toro Stage Two on Lake Fork presented by Grundéns will premiere at 7 a.m. ET, September 17 on the Discovery Channel. New MLF episodes air every Saturday morning on the Discovery Channel, with additional reruns on the Outdoor Channel. Each two-hour reality-based episode goes in-depth to break down each day of competition.
Proud Sponsors of the 2022 MLF Bass Pro Tour include: 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, ARE Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, BallyBet, Bass Cat, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Covercraft, Favorite Fishing, Garmin, General Tire, Googan Baits, Grundéns , Guaranteed Rate, Humminbird, Lowrance, Luminox, Mercury, Minn Kota, Mossy Oak, Nitro Performance Boats, Onyx, Plano, Power-Pole, Power Stop, Rapala, Starbrite, Toro, Toyota, Wrangler, Yellowstone Bourbon and Zoom.
For more details and up-to-date information on Major League Fishing and the Bass Pro Tour, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.