SANDUSKY, Ohio – Major League Fishing (MLF) pro Josh Bertrand of Sun Tan Valley, Arizona, brought five bass to the scale Tuesday weighing 22 pounds, 6 ounces, to jump out to the early lead after day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio. Bertrand will now bring an 8-ounce advantage into day two of the four-day Super Tournament that features 187 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals from FLW and MLF angling for a piece of $1.3 million, including the first-place prize of up to $160,000.
The main decision facing tournament competitors Tuesday was where they wanted to fish. With Lake Erie, the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair all in play for anglers, the field was spread out, with an estimated 30 to 40 boats making the long 80-mile run from Sandusky to Lake St. Clair. Tournament leader Bertrand was not among those that made the trip – he stuck to Lake Erie and had to grind out his day on the water.
“It was pretty risky both ways you went,” said the 31-year-old Bertrand, who has career earnings of more than $710,000 “It was risky to make the long run and try to fish for numbers, and it turned out to also be risky fishing close. I was around a lot of guys that did not catch a limit today, and it was very difficult to catch five fish.”
Bertrand said that he spent his day cycling through about 15 different spots, and that he managed seven keeper bites.
“It was not an easy day of fishing, but it worked out perfectly,” Bertrand said. “Things just clicked for me. I’m not really doing anything different – just drop-shotting a Berkley (PowerBait Maxscent) Flat Worm, like everyone else. It was just one of those days that you’re really thankful for, because it all worked out.
“I don’t feel great about any of the days moving forward, because I have no idea how they’re going to go,” Bertrand went on to say. “They could all go really well like today. But it’s always tough fishing in waves. You have to do everything a bit slower and really take your time. Fighting a fish, driving your boat, pulling up to a new area – you can’t get in a rush. Slow and steady will win the race when we’re fishing the rough water.”
The top 10 pros after day one on Lake Erie are:
1st: Josh Bertrand of San Tan Valley, Ariz., five bass, 22-6
2nd: Boyd Duckett of Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 21-14
3rd: Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 21-7
4th: Jeremy Lawyer of Sarcoxie, Mo., five bass, 20-14
4th: Joseph Webster of Winfield, Ala., five bass, 20-14
6th: Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn., five bass, 20-6
7th: Gerald Spohrer of Gonzales, La., five bass, 20-0
8th: Tommy Dickerson of Orange, Texas, five bass, 19-13
9th: Kelly Jordon of Flint, Texas, five bass, 19-10
10th: Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas, five bass, 19-1
For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.
Dustin Connell of Clanton, Alabama, won Tuesday’s $500 Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division with a 5-pound, 14-ounce smallmouth bass.
Overall there were 767 bass weighing 2,132 pounds, 10 ounces caught by 180 pros Tuesday. The catch included 122 five-bass limits.
The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Erie is hosted by the City of Sandusky and the Lake Erie Shores & Islands Welcome Center. The total purse for the event is more than $1.3 million, including a top prize of up to $160,000.
In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament competition, the full field of 187 pro anglers compete in the two-day opening round on Tuesday and Wednesday. The top 50 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Thursday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition on Championship Friday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.
FLW anglers are vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the Tackle Warehouse FLW TITLE presented by Toyota, the Pro Circuit championship. The 2020 Tackle Warehouse FLW TITLE presented by Toyota will be held on Lake Michigan in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, Aug. 24-29.
MLF pros competing in the Pro Circuit Super Tournaments will fish for prize money only. No points will be awarded toward any championship or title to MLF competitors. Only the original Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit anglers will compete for the AOY title throughout the remainder of the season. AOY points in the final events will be awarded based on Pro Circuit anglers finishing order. The top-finishing FLW pro will receive “first-place points” regardless of where he finishes in the overall standings, and so on.
Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. EDT each day from the Shelby St. Public Boat Launch, located at 101 Shelby St., in Sandusky. The weigh-in each day will be held at the Paper District Marina, located at 611 W. Shoreline Drive, and will begin at 3 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday and at 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.
Attendance is limited to competing anglers and essential staff only. Fans are encouraged to forgo the daily takeoffs and weigh-ins and follow the event online through the expanded four-day “FLW Live” on-the-water broadcasts and weigh-in coverage at FLWFishing.com.
Television coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Erie will premiere at 7 p.m. EDT, Sept. 25 on the Outdoor Channel. Running now through Dec. 27, FLW will air 312 hours of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit action on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel. Each two-hour long episode goes in-depth to break down the final rounds of each regular-season competition. Episodes premiere in Friday night primetime slots on the Outdoor Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel.
The popular FLW Live on-the-water broadcast will air on all four days of competition, featuring live action from the boats of the tournament’s top pros each day. Host Travis Moran is joined by Toyota Series pro Todd Hollowell and MLF’s Marty Stone to break down the extended action each day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. On-the-water broadcasts will be live streamed on FLWFishing.com.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, FLW and its partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe.
FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show while Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. Acquired by Major League Fishing in late 2019, FLW is expanding its programming in 2020 to the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel as well as on-demand at MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).
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