ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. – The MLF Bass Pro Tour is set to wrap up the 2021 season in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, next week, Sept. 10-15, with the seventh and final regular-season tournament of the season – the CarParts.com Stage Seven at Lake St. Clair Presented by Covercraft.
The six-day event, hosted by Macomb County, St. Clair Shores and the Detroit Sports Commission, will feature 80 of the best professional anglers in the world, including bass-fishing superstars like Kalamazoo’s Kevin VanDam, Ott DeFoe, Jacob Wheeler, and local qualifier Scott Dobson of Clarkston, fishing for a purse of more than $805,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable points in hopes of qualifying for REDCREST 2022, the Bass Pro Tour championship.
The tournament will be fished using MLF’s catch, weigh, immediate-release format, in which the anglers try to 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 the Discovery Channel.
Lake St. Clair has played host to numerous MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit (formerly FLW Tour), MLF Toyota Series, and MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League events over the years, but this event will mark the first time that MLF’s top-level, the Bass Pro Tour has visited Lake St. Clair.
“I’ve been looking forward to this one. It’s going to be fast-paced, big weights and a lot of really big fish being caught,” said Favorite Fishing pro Jonathon VanDam of Kalamazoo, Michigan, nephew of Kevin and an accomplished angler in his own right with two career wins and more than $650,000 in career earnings. “Lake St. Clair has been fishing really well. The fish should be starting to transition into their Fall feeding patterns and I expect that we are going to have a really good week.”
VanDam said that he thinks that anglers that do well in this event will dial in on the massive schools of smallmouth that the fishery is famous for, using typical smallmouth tactics.
“The biggest key will be trying to find the quantity and figuring out where those bigger schools of fish are living,” VanDam said. “It can be tough because there is a lot of water to cover out there, and there is fish on most of it.
“I expect we’ll see a lot of typical drop-shot-type stuff,” VanDam continued. “I’ll have the Googan Baits Drag N Drop tied on and I think that bait will definitely be a player, as well as the standard tube and even a crankbait could really produce for some guys in this one.”
VanDam went on to predict that an angler will need to average 20 to 25 fish a day to be in very good shape, and that the Qualifying Round winners would likely weigh right around 140 pounds of bass over the first two days of competition.
Anglers will take off from the 9-Mile Ramp, located in St. Clair Shores, at 8 a.m. ET each day of competition. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will also be held at the Launch Ramp, beginning at 5 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all takeoff and takeout ceremonies and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
As part of the event, fans will also be treated to the Bass, Brews & BBQ Festival at Blossom Heath Park in St. Clair Shores, Sept. 9-12. The festival is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite Bass Pro Tour anglers, enjoy food and beverages from local food trucks and St. Clair Shores Micro Breweries, watch the on-the-water action at the MLF watch party, shop at numerous MLF sponsor and local vendor booths, and enjoy live concerts from local musicians each day. For more information on the Bass, Brews & BBQ Festival hosted by Macomb County, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.
The CarParts.com Stage Seven at Lake St. Clair Presented by Covercraft will feature anglers competing with a 2-pound minimum weight requirement for a bass to be deemed scorable. Minimum weights are determined individually for each competition waters 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 76 of the top professional anglers in the world – joined at each event by 4 pros that qualify from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit – competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, competing for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2022 championship.
The four pros from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit that will join the Bass Pro Tour to compete at the CarParts.com Stage Seven at Lake St. Clair Presented by Covercraft are Cody Pike, Matthew Stefan, Joey Cifuentes and Scott Dobson. Those anglers qualified via their finishes in the sixth Pro Circuit event of the year – the Savage Arms Stop 6 at the St. Lawrence River Presented by Abu Garcia in Massena, New York.
The 40 Anglers in Group A compete in their two-day qualifying round on Lake St. Clair on Friday and Sunday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Saturday and Monday. After each two-day qualifying round is complete, the anglers that finish in 2nd through 20th place from both groups advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round, while the winner of each group advances directly to Wednesday’s Championship Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed and the remaining 38 anglers compete to finish in the top 8 to advance to the 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 MLF NOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action on all six days of competition from 8:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET. MLF NOW!® will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.
Television coverage of the CarParts.com Stage Seven at Lake St. Clair Presented by Covercraft will premiere at 7 a.m. ET, Nov. 13 on the Discovery Channel. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on the Discovery Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel. Each two-hour-long reality-based episode goes in-depth to break down each day of competition.
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 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.