Chapman Wins Group A; Burghoff Bounces Back to Make Knockout Round - Major League Fishing
Chapman Wins Group A; Burghoff Bounces Back to Make Knockout Round
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Chapman Wins Group A; Burghoff Bounces Back to Make Knockout Round

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Brent Chapman is advancing straight to the Championship Round after winning Group A. Photo by Phoenix Moore
May 2, 2021 • Mason Prince • Bass Pro Tour

AUSTIN, Texas – There wasn’t much movement near the top of SCORETRACKER® during Group A’s final Qualifying Day on Lake Travis, but there was plenty of action near the Toro Cut Line. Brent Chapman secured his spot in the Berkley Stage Two Presented by Mercury Championship Round by winning Group, A while three anglers were able to make up for subpar rounds on Friday and move into the top 20 to advance to the Knockout Round.

Chapman Stays Solid on Travis

Chapman added nine bass for 20 pounds, 8 ounces to his total weight, bringing him to 67 pounds over his two Qualifying Days. Chapman finished ahead of second-place Mark Rose by more than 11 pounds to secure his spot in the Championship Round. The key for Chapman on his first day was fishing around an invasive grass species near a marina. But with plenty of boat traffic and his fellow competitors heading in that area as well, Chapman decided to make a move away from the grass.

“In Period 2, I just told myself it was time to go fishing and find something new for if I made the Championship Round,” Chapman recalled. “I fished the wind and covered water and definitely found some new spots to fish while also eliminating a bunch of unproductive water.”

Chapman will be fishing in his first Championship Round of the 2021 season as he looks for the first MLF win of his career. The Kansas pro will have two days off before he returns to Lake Travis to battle the nine other anglers who crack the Top 10. While a win would be the ultimate goal, Chapman feels confident in his performance thus far and is more than happy with collecting points.

“I would love to have the opportunity to win this tournament, but I’m super happy to just have guaranteed points by advancing straight to the Championship Round,” Chapman said. “I have enough points to qualify for the first MLF Cup, solid points for REDCREST and AOY. I really can’t complain, now it’s time to try to go win.”

Burghoff Bounces Back After Tough Start

Miles Burghoff made up for a slow start on Friday by making the cut on Sunday. Photo by Garrick Dixon

It’s been a tough season so far for Miles Burghoff on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit following back-to-back missed cuts in his last two events. It also seemed as though he was going to have a tough time in a new format after catching only three bass for 5-11 during his first day on Lake Travis.

However, the Tennessee pro was able to catch nine bass for 18-10 on Sunday to bring his total weight to 24-5, good enough for a 17th-place finish and a berth into the Knockout Round.

“It feels great to move on but it feels even better because I dug myself out of a hole,” Burghoff said. “It feels awesome to come back and make a cut after two really bad tournaments in a row on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit. It feels like I’ve had nothing but bad days lately, but today was a really good day.”

Burghoff was extremely frustrated with his performance on Friday and the amount of fish he lost when zebra mussels cut his line. That’s when he decided to make an adjustment in line, location and bait that proved to be the deciding factor for him on Sunday.

“I decided I wanted to go way up the Colorado River today and fish some muddied water in an arm I found in practice,” Burghoff said. “I knew the rain from last night would muddy up some of that water. I spooled up 20-pound Seaguar AbrazX braid with a white Z-Man Snakehead swim jig and a pearl GOAT trailer as well as a Z-Man JackHammer ChatterBait with a DieZel MinnowZ trailer. That change in line helped save me from zebra mussels and that got me some momentum going early in the day.”

Top Marks and Notes in Group A

  • Brent Chapman caught the most scorable bass (30) and had the highest weight total (67-0).
  • Boyd Duckett had the Berkley Big Bass of the Day with a 5-14 largemouth.
  • Russ Lane was the last man in the top 20, edging out Brandon Coulter and Todd Faircloth by only 6 ounces.
  • Stephen Browning, Miles Burghoff and Cody Meyer were the only three anglers to start the day below the Toro Cut Line and move into the top 20 at days end.

What’s Next

On Sunday, Group B returns to Lake Travis for their final Qualifying Day. Weights from Saturday’s first Qualifying Day will carry over and the 20 anglers with the most weight on SCORETRACKER® after three periods will be moving on in Stage Two competition. It should be a hot one in Hill Country, as temperatures are expected to climb above 90 degrees in the Lake Travis area on Monday.