The “heavy hitters” of the first two Bass Pro Tour events have put some impressive numbers on SCORETRACKER.
By Joel Shangle - March 13, 2019
At the end of the day – as is the case with every professional sport – the game is all about the numbers. Success is judged by the points on the scoreboard.
In the case of the MLF Bass Pro Tour, it’s weight on SCORETRACKER™. And through the first two Stages of the 2019 season (Florida’s Kissimmee Chain and Texas’ Lake Conroe), some impressive numbers have emerged from the Top 10 anglers:
- The Top 10 finishers at the Bass Pro Tour’s inaugural event on the Kissimmee Chain and Lake Garcia racked up 1,075.94 pounds of scorable largemouth, an average of 107 pounds apiece.
- Lake Conroe’s Top 10 put 919.28 pounds of largemouth onto SCORETRACKER, an average of over 90 pounds per angler.
- The two “heaviest hitters” of the young season – Anthony Gagliardi and Edwin Evers – put their officials’ scales to the test on both the Kissimmee Chain and Conroe: Gagliardi landed 127.86 pounds of scorable largemouth in four days of competition during Stage One in Florida, while Evers piled up 120.81 pounds in winning Stage Two on Conroe.
- Evers has been “Mr. Consistency” in his ability to manage heavy weights: his total of 232.25 over two events is the heaviest cumulative weight of the 80-angler field, followed by Jordan Lee with 222.82.
Those are the kinds of numbers that even the anglers who recorded them are learning to wrap their minds around.
“Man, (127 pounds) is just a different animal, that’s a big number,” Gagliardi admitted. “If you look back at a ‘traditional’ five-fish-limit tournament, you’d never catch that kind of fish in a four-day event. That puts some pressure on you to get as many bites as you can, and with those kinds of numbers, you better get some good ones, too. There’s no approaching these events thinking ‘Just gotta get five bites’ anymore, that’s not going to cut it.”
Establishing a New Benchmark
Heading into the inaugural Bass Pro Tour event in Florida, Randy Howell was enthusiastic about being drawn for Group A competition. Not only was the 26-year veteran excited about the opportunity to compete in the first-ever day of Bass Pro Tour competition, but he was also anxious to try to establish the benchmark for excellence in in the Bass Pro Tour’s “every scrorable fish” format.
Howell did just that, putting just shy of 50 pounds on SCORETRACKER in the Shotgun Round and accumulating 117.63 pounds in four days in Florida en route to a sixth-place finish.
“I was glad to be able to get out to a great start, but I was also pretty nervous on that first day that a bunch of other guys would be able to catch a lot of weight, too,” Howell admitted. “I was so focused on catching another fish, then another fish, then another fish, and never really relaxed. You can’t afford to! I found out later that Anthony Gagliardi was fishing the same schools, so I think I could’ve broken 200 pounds if we had been in a format where we kept all the weight over four days.”
Evers’ Power Surge: Bigger by the Day
Two events into the season, consistent improvement over the course of a six-day competition window has proven to be the biggest difference-maker. A handful of anglers have put up impressive single-day totals, but either backed off their areas or had sub-par days in other rounds.
And that’s why Evers’ performance is so impressive.
The Oklahoma pro actually started the season with his lowest weight of the year – 11-0 pounds in his Group B Shotgun Round at Kissimmee – and then hit a new gear thereafter, recording weights of 24-11, 31-9 and 44-3 the next three rounds to finish that event in second place; Evers followed the same graduating-weight pattern in Conroe, weighing in 11-3 his first day, and then increasing his totals to 28-12, 29-2 and a whopping 51-12 in the Championship Round.
“Edwin is really, really good at fishing on the fly, finding a pattern and understanding what he’s seeing,” said Boyd Duckett, who finished third behind Evers at Conroe. “Our format makes you have to evolve during an event, to dial in the pattern within the pattern, and to get the most out of your areas. I think that’s why Edwin’s numbers have gone up (in both events). The longer you leave Edwin on the water, the more fish he’s going to find.”
NOTES: Dustin Connell had the heavy-hitter window of the year during the Knockout Round on Lake Toho: the Favorite Fishing pro racked up 36-5 of largemouth in a 32-minute window, including a 9-4 to finish the day.