INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Shotgun Round 1 Produced Some Eye-Popping Big-Fish Results - Major League Fishing

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Shotgun Round 1 Produced Some Eye-Popping Big-Fish Results

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Brent Ehrler with one of the dozens of big fish caught during Shotgun Round action on Jordan Lake.
March 27, 2019 • Joel Shangle • Bass Pro Tour

RALEIGH, N.C. – Almost 24 hours after lines out for the first Shotgun Round of the Favorite Fishing Raleigh Stage Three presented by Evinrude, the significance of the day that 40 MLF Bass Pro Tour pros experienced on Jordan Lake north of Raleigh is still sinking in.

On a day when MLF veteran Kelly Jordon set a new standard for what defines a great day of fishing on the MLF Bass Pro Tour – Jordon weighed 26 fish for 82 pounds, 4 ounces – he and the rest of the field of 40 cultivated some numbers that should astound even the most jaded tournament bass angler.

Group A Excellence

Jordan Lake, a reservoir in the Cape Fear River drainage created in the 1940s for flood-control purposes, produced 11 northern-strain largemouth that weighed 7 pounds or more.

  • That parade of 7-pounders started just four minutes into the morning, when Jason Christie landed a 7-12, and didn’t end until Wesley Strader put a 7-2 on SCORETRACKER in the last 30 minutes of the day.
  • Just shy of 50 fish 5 pounds or more (48 to be exact) made it onto SCORETRACKER.
  • Six anglers in the field of 40 rang up 25 or more pounds with their five heaviest fish of the day: Jordon, Todd Faircloth, Mark Daniels, Jr., Greg Vinson, Justin Atkins and Wesley Strader.
  • Twelve of the 40-man field’s five heaviest fish broke the 20-pound mark.

“Those numbers are just so impressive, for all of the guys who fish their local tournaments where you’re looking to catch the five best fish,” Jordon said. “For this group of guys to show up and catch that many big fish in a public lake that most of them hadn’t even seen before their one full day of practice tells a pretty compelling story about just how good this group is.”

Some Astounding Individual Numbers

A look deeper into the individual numbers of a handful of anglers tells an even more interesting story:

  • Jordon’s record-breaking day included seven fish that weighed 5 pounds or better: 6-2, 5-12, 5-11, 5-7, 5-6, 5-4 and 5-2. The Texas pro’s five biggest fish weighed 28-6.
  • Second-place finisher Faircloth landed the biggest fish of the round, a 9-4. The Strike King pro went on a run late in Period 2 and at the start of Period 3 where he caught five fish that weighed 27-9, an average of 5-8. The weight of Faircloth’s five biggest fish was 30-5.
  • Greg Vinson caught three fish in a 28-minute period that went 4-10, 4-4 and 6-15 (an average of 5-4).
  • Daniels finished fourth in the round with 52-1 on 12 fish. His average weight on the day was 4-5. Daniels went on a particularly impressive run in the afternoon where he caught four fish for 23-9; those four fish averaged 5-14. Daniels’ five heaviest fish weighed 30-2.

“One of the last fish I caught – I think it was a 4-pounder – I remember setting the hook and just laughing at how good it was,” Daniels admitted. “Everytime I set the hook, it was a good fish. I’ve had some big days in my career and I’ve won (events), but in terms of size and quality of fish, that was the best day I’ve ever had. That lake has some studs, man and let’s be real and understand one thing: if there are big fish in a lake, we’re going to catch them. We experienced that yesterday.”