Klein Carries Lead Out of Shotgun Round 1 on Lake Winnebago - Major League Fishing

Klein Carries Lead Out of Shotgun Round 1 on Lake Winnebago

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MLF veteran Gary Klein led the pack out of Shotgun Round 1 with 60 pounds, 1 ounce. Photo by Joe Branch
June 25, 2019 • Tyler Brinks • Bass Pro Tour

NEENAH, Wis. – Going into the Evinrude Stage Eight Presented by Tracker Off Road in Neenah, Wisconsin, Lake Winnebago was mostly a mystery to the field. There has never been a major tour-level event here, and there are countless other bodies of water in the region that get much more attention.

It also doesn’t help that Winnebago is not a smallmouth mecca like Sturgeon Bay, or a frog-fishing paradise like the Mississippi River out of La Crosse. It was neither, but it was still pretty dang good.

After practice, many anglers in the field said they were having trouble cracking the code, but today’s results painted a better picture of the largest lake entirely in the state of Wisconsin. Winnebago is not as bad as the field would have led you to believe in their post-practice social media.

Eight anglers cracked 40 pounds for the day, and one angler eclipsed the 60-pound mark as plenty of both largemouth and smallmouth were registered on SCORETRACKER® today.

Leading the way after Group A’s Shotgun Round is a familiar face for Major League Fishing: Gary Klein, one of the league’s co-founders.

Klein Out in Front

Klein had the top spot, and he stayed there most of the day. He also remained in the same area of the lake, milking the same 200-yard stretch in shallow water.

“I started on the rocks in the morning and then as the sun got higher, I moved closer to the bank around the shade,” he said as MLF NOW! live stream was wrapping up.

In total, he landed 38 scoreable on the day for a 60 pounds, 1 ounce total and leads second-place Greg Vinson by over eight pounds.

Vinson Put it Together

Like most in the field, Vinson had never seen Winnebago before this week. He was satisfied to have figured something out and in second place.

“I had never been here, then I had a tough practice, but I found something to build on for the rest of the week,” he shared.

He was fishing in the same general area as Gary Klein and ended up with 32 bass for 51 pounds, 11 ounces.

Coulter Surprised

Brandon Coulter said he had a rough practice but figured it out as he connected with 33 bass for 48-4.

“I just fished what looked good and went with it. Today went way better than I thought it would,” Coulter said. “The weights were way better than I thought they would be. I think it will still take 60 to 65 pounds to make the Elimination Round so I’ll need to catch quite a few more. Nobody is safe here.”

Brandon Coulter had a strong Shotgun Round on Lake Winnebago. Photo by Phoenix Moore

Daily Winners

Shotgun Round daily awards were:
• The Berkley Big Bass of the day was Roy Hawk’s 3-11 largemouth.
• Gary Klein won the Berkley Catch Count award with 38 bass on the day.
• Klein’s 60-01 earned him the Phoenix Boats Daily Leader award.

Looking Ahead

Group B’s 40-angler Shotgun Round begins on Wednesday, June 26. The Top 20 anglers from each group will advance to the Elimination Round. From there, the Top 20 will move on to Saturday’s Knockout Round – 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 Sunday, June 30.

How, When, Where to Watch

Competition continues Wednesday 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. If you’re in the area, come see us at Shattuck Middle School in Neenah.