Bass Pro Tour PowerStop Brakes Stage Three Presented by Mercury set for Dale Hollow Lake - Major League Fishing

Bass Pro Tour PowerStop Brakes Stage Three Presented by Mercury set for Dale Hollow Lake

Image for Bass Pro Tour PowerStop Brakes Stage Three Presented by Mercury set for Dale Hollow Lake
April 3, 2024 • MLF • Bass Pro Tour

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – The Bass Pro Tour is set to visit Dale Hollow Lake in Byrdstown, Tennessee, next week, April 9-14, for the third event of the 2024 season – the PowerStop Brakes Stage Three at Dale Hollow Lake Presented by Mercury.

The six-day tournament, hosted by the Byrdstown-Pickett County Chamber of Commerce & Bill Dance Signature Lakes, will feature a field of 79 professional anglers, including two-time REDCREST Champion Dustin Connell of Clanton, Alabama (2021 and 2024) and Tennessee superstars like Ott DeFoe of Blaine, TennesseeJacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tennessee, and reigning Angler of the Year (AOY) Matt Becker of Ten Mile, Tennessee. They’ll be competing for a purse of $659,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable Angler of the Year (AOY) points in hopes of qualifying for the General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and REDCREST 2025, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

“On behalf of the Byrdstown-Pickett County Chamber of Commerce, Pickett County Government and the Town of Byrdstown, we are very proud and excited to host the upcoming MLF Bass Pro Tour tournament April 9-14,” said Billy K. Robbins, Executive Director of Byrdstown-Pickett County Chamber of Commerce. “We hope it will be a very successful event for the anglers and a great introduction for all the people visiting to be able to experience our community first-hand.”

The tournament will feature the MLF catch, weigh, immediate-release format, in which anglers catch as much weight as they can each day, while also feeling the pressure and intensity of the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard. The tournament is being filmed for broadcast later this year on Discovery. 

“We’re excited to welcome Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour to legendary Dale Hollow Lake, Tennessee,” said Dennis Tumlin, Chief Customer Officer at Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “The timing for this event is perfect to showcase what an amazing fishery we have, and we believe it will show why Dale Hollow was recently named one of Tennessee’s 14 Bill Dance Signature Lakes. If you’re looking for a legendary fishing trip, endorsed by Mr. Bill Dance himself, we hope that you too will make time to come experience Tennessee’s Dale Hollow Lake for yourself.”

Spring City, Tennessee pro Wesley Strader said he’s fished Dale Hollow Lake his entire life, and it’s one of the “hidden gems” in the state of Tennessee. 

“Dale Hollow is noted for its world-class smallmouth fishing,” Strader said. “But about 15 years ago some really good largemouth started setting in as well, so we can expect to see a lot of mixed bags of smallmouth and largemouth in this event.

“It’s been one of the best lakes in Tennessee for the past several years, as far as catching a lot of bass, and heavyweights,” Strader said. “The largemouth are what has impressed me the last few years. Guys have been catching over 20-pound-bags of largemouth in the spring and in the fall.”

Strader said he expects to see some bass trying to come up to spawn during the event, but figures there will be a lot still waiting and in transition.

“It’s kind of a question as to how this thing is going to be won,” Strader said. “I’m not sure if ‘Scoping will come into play or not, but it should be a really good tournament. 

“I expect to see a lot of topwater baits, swimbaits, trick worms, drop-shot rigs, and typical smallmouth baits, as well as shaky heads and jigs to target largemouth – just your typical springtime players.”

Strader said he feels the event can be won anywhere on the fishery. 

“Some sections may turn on more quickly than others, but it can definitely be won anywhere on the lake,” Strader said. “I’ve never fished all you can catch there, so it’s hard to say how many fish can actually be brought in per day. 

“I know Becker won a BFL tournament there with over 22 pounds, and 50th place was 17 pounds in a five-bass-limit event, so the weights should be pretty heavy. I’m going to guess it will take a solid 50 pounds to make it through to the next round.”

Although the fishery has hosted numerous MLF bass tournaments over the years, this event will mark the first time that the MLF top circuit – the Bass Pro Tour – has visited Dale Hollow Lake.

“I’m really excited to see this format go to a lake like this,” Strader said. “With the slot limit for smallmouth, this is a unique event. Typically, smallmouth would be out of play due to the slot limit, but with this format, and the 2-pound minimum for scoreable bass, the smallmouth will definitely be in play.”

Anglers will launch at 7:30 a.m. CT each day from Sunset Marina and Resort, located at 2040 Sunset Dock Road in Monroe. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will be held at the park, beginning at 4 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch and takeout events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLFNOW! live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

On Saturday and Sunday, April 13-14, from 1-6 p.m. MLF welcomes fans of all ages to visit Sunset Marina and Resort for the MLF Watch Party. Fans can watch the pros live on the MLFNOW! big screen, enjoy free food, enter to win hourly giveaways and cheer on their favorite pros. The first 50 kids 14 and under will receive a free rod and reel from Pure Fishing each day. The final 10 Championship Round Bass Pro Tour anglers will be on hand at the trophy celebration on Championship Sunday to meet and greet fans, sign autographs and take selfies.

PowerStop Brakes Stage Three at Dale Hollow Lake Presented by Mercury will feature anglers competing with a 2-pound minimum weight requirement for a bass to be deemed scorable. The MLF Fisheries Management Division determines minimum weights for each body of water that the Bass Pro Tour visits, based on the productivity, bass population and anticipated average size of fish in each fishery.

The Bass Pro Tour features a field of 79 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2025 championship.

The 40 Anglers in Group A compete in their two-day Qualifying Round on Tuesday and Thursday – the 39 anglers in Group B on Wednesday and Friday. After each two-day Qualifying Round is complete, the anglers that finish first through 10th from both groups advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed, and the remaining 20 anglers compete to finish in the Top 10 to advance to Sunday’s Championship Round. In the final-day Championship Round, weights are zeroed, and the highest one-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.

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

Television coverage of PowerStop Brakes Stage Three at Dale Hollow Lake Presented by Mercury Knockout Round will air as a two-hour episode starting at 7 a.m. ET, on Saturday, Oct. 5 on Discovery, with the Championship Round premiering on Oct. 6. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on Discovery, with re-airings on Outdoor Channel.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Bass Pro Tour include: Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, BUBBA, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, Garmin, General Tire, Humminbird, Lowrance, Mercury, MillerTech, Minn Kota, Mossy Oak Fishing, NITRO, Onyx, Plano, Power-Pole, Rapala, StarBrite, Suzuki, Toyota and U.S. Air Force.

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