HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The Championship Round is set after a windy day on Lake St. Clair for the Knockout Round of General Tire Stage Six at Lake St. Clair Presented by John Deere Utility Vehicles. The Top 10 anglers fought their way through smokey conditions to earn their shot at $100,000.
Jordan Lee will head into the final day on St. Clair with 24 pounds, 9 ounces and a 1-7 lead over second-place Alton Jones Jr. as he tries to win his third Bass Pro Tour event in his career and the first since the 2020 season. He’ll have to hold off Jones, who finished second on Lake St. Clair in 2021 and will be looking to avoid another runner-up finish.
There was also a three-way tie for ninth place at 21-4, with Terry Scroggins and John Hunter advancing to the Championship Round over 11th-place Justin Lucas as they both had a bigger bass than Lucas’ 4-6 big fish. It was the closest Knockout Round finish in the history of the Bass Pro Tour.
Here’s how the Top 10 will look heading into Thursday’s Championship Round:
1. Jordan Lee – 24-9 (5)
2. Alton Jones Jr. – 23-2 (5)
3. Mark Rose – 22-14 (5)
4. Gary Klein – 22-11 (5)
5. Jacob Wheeler – 22-2 (5)
6. Mark Daniels Jr. – 21-14 (5)
7. Josh Bertrand – 21-10 (5)
8. Jesse Wiggins – 21-8 (5)
9. Terry Scroggins – 21-4 (5)
10. John Hunter – 21-4 (5)
Lee has been on St. Clair this week, but he’s spent his entire time on the Canadian side of the 275,000-acre lake. The Alabama pro spent his morning on Wednesday drop-shotting a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Flatnose Jerk Shad with a 1/2-ounce weight on an area the size of a football field. He was able to round up 22 pounds in the first hour, which gave him the confidence he needed to keep his Canadian strategy on track.
“The spot I fished today has no real contour change,” Lee said. “It’s a needle-in-a-haystack deal really. There’s nothing on the bottom, maybe just sand but no grass. For some reason, that’s where they want to be. Every one of those fish was spitting up big perch.”
Those fish are belching up perch, and Lee is doing as good of a job as anyone in the field in finding the big smallmouth over 5 pounds that can separate him from the rest of the pack. Lee is the first angler in Bass Pro Tour history to catch the Berkley Big Bass of the day in both of his Qualifying Rounds and in the Knockout Round. His 6-7 to end the day was not only the biggest bass of the Knockout Round, but the biggest of the event.
Lee doesn’t feel as though he’s doing anything special, however. He believes that his bigger fish findings are the result of the gamble he took to fish Canadian waters.
“I don’t know how many guys are fishing Canadian waters, but I feel like my chances to catch a big one are better out here,” Lee said. “I’m catching a ton of 2- and 3-pounders, so I’m having to weed through a lot of fish. But all three of my big fish have all come from different spots on the Canadian side. It’s really just about running into one, and I have a better chance of doing that here.”
The Berkley pro now has one more day to hold onto his lead to notch his first Bass Pro Tour win since 2020. He’s been in this position before on St. Clair, and he feels he’s due for his redemption.
“I feel like this lake owes me one,” Lee said. “I was leading here in 2017 heading into the final day and finished in fourth. I’ve been wanting a win really bad and that’s why I went over to Canada during practice and didn’t fish. I thought there would be a ton of winning places over there and it looks like there is.”
Stage Six wraps up on Thursday with the Championship Round on Lake St. Clair. The 10 anglers will carry over their weight from the Knockout Round. The angler with the highest two-day total will win Stage Six and take home a $100,000 check. Coverage begins at 7:45 a.m. ET on MLFNOW! at MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MLF app.