EUFAULA, Okla. – Pro Blake Hall of Rogersville, Alabama, brought a five-bass limit to the stage weighing 22 pounds, 2 ounces, Friday to take the lead after Day 1 of the Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Epic Baits Stop 3 at Lake Eufaula Presented by B&W Trailer Hitches. Hall will bring an 8-ounce lead into Day 2 of the competition, Saturday. Hollister, Missouri’s Cody Spetz caught five bass weighing 21-10 to end the day in second place, while Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Michigan, rounds out the top three with five bass weighing 20-4.
The three-day tournament, hosted by the Eufaula Area Chamber of Commerce, features a roster of 150 anglers competing for a top prize of up to $115,000 and an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2024. The full field of 150 anglers will conclude the two-day opening round on Saturday, with only the Top 50 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight advancing to Championship Sunday.
Link to Photo of Stop 3 at Lake Eufaula Day 1 Leader Blake Hall
Link to Photo Gallery of Stop 3 at Lake Eufaula Day 1 Afternoon Highlights
Link to Video of Fish-Catch Highlights of Stop 3 at Lake Eufaula Day 1
Hall started his morning with a 7-pound, 2-ounce, kicker bass and then ground out his limit on a trio of baits to put together his 22-pound, 2-ounce limit.
“I thought I could catch 15 to 18 pounds today if everything went good, but then I caught that big one on my 10th cast, and that obviously helped a lot,” Hall said. “I had caught some fish in my areas during practice – a couple of 3- and 3½-pounders – but I really didn’t know what I had. Of the five that I weighed in, they came off of four different spots.
“It’s little stretches – little rocky points,” Hall said. “Everything was on rock. And they were shallow – four of them came in less than 2 feet, and one was about 5 feet (deep).”
“I’ve still got a few other areas that I never went to – I’m not sure if they’re getting fished or not,” Hall said. “Ron (Nelson) was on one place I wanted to fish; but other than that, I got to fish pretty much what I wanted to, today.
“I’ve never been here before, so I really don’t know what to expect for tomorrow. I could have 8 pounds, or I could have 18. I’m just looking forward to getting back out there.”
The Top 20 pros after Day 1 on Lake Eufaula are:
1st: Blake Hall, Rogersville, Ala., five bass, 22-2
2nd: Cody Spetz, Hollister, Mo., five bass, 21-10
3rd: Ron Nelson, Berrien Springs, Mich., five bass, 20-4
4th: Drew Gill, Mount Carmel, Ill., five bass, 19-12
5th: Michael Harlin, Sunrise Beach, Mo., five bass, 19-7
6th: Blake Felix, Warsaw, Mo., five bass, 19-5
7th: Brock Reinkemeyer, Warsaw, Mo., five bass, 19-3
8th: Jeff Reynolds, Calera, Okla., five bass, 19-1
9th: Braxton Setzer, Wetumpka, Ala., five bass, 18-14
10th: Cody Pike, Powhatan, Va., five bass, 18-13
11th: Joe Grafeman, Camdenton, Mo., five bass, 18-11
11th: John-Dalton Miller, Albertville, Ala., five bass, 18-7
11th: Terry Bolton, Benton, Ky., five bass, 18-5
14th: John Voyles, Petersburg, Ind., five bass, 18-4
15th: Connor Cunningham, Springfield, Mo., five bass, 18-3
16th: Danny Shanz, Summerton, S.C., five bass, 18-3
17th: Grae Buck, Green Lane, Pa., five bass, 17-11
18th: Scotty Villines, Ponca, Ark., five bass, 17-7
19th: Kyle Palmer, Winchester, Tenn., five bass, 17-2
20th: Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., five bass, 17-0
Complete results for the entire field can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Pro Andrew Nordbye of Guntersville, Alabama, earned Friday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass award with a bass that weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces.
Overall, there were 651 bass weighing 1,821 pounds, 11 ounces caught by 145 pros Friday. The catch included 102 five-bass limits.
In Tackle Warehouse Invitationals competition, the full field of 150 anglers compete in the two-day opening round on Friday and Saturday in a traditional five-fish, weigh-in format. Only the Top 50 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight will advance to the final round on Championship Sunday, where they will compete for the grand prize of up to $115,000, including the lucrative $35,000 Phoenix MLF Bonus for qualified anglers. The winner of the MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Epic Baits Stop 3 at Lake Eufaula Presented by B&W Trailer Hitches will be determined by the heaviest three-day cumulative weight and will receive an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2024.
Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. CT, Friday through Sunday, from the Peter’s Point South Point Dock Boat Ramp, located on Dabbs Road in Eufaula. Weigh-ins will also be held at the boat ramp daily beginning at 3 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend the event or follow the live on-the-water action all three days of competition online on MLFNOW! beginning at 7:30 a.m. CT at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
The MLFNOW! broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action on all three days of competition from 7:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET. MLFNOW! will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.
The Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Epic Baits Stop 3 at Lake Eufaula Presented by B&W Trailer Hitches will feature a two-hour action-packed television broadcast that will premiere on the CBS Sports Network on Saturday, Oct. 14.
Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitationals include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Fox Rent a Car, General Tire, Grundéns, Lew’s, Lowrance, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix Boats, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Wiley X and YETI.
For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Tackle Warehouse Invitationals on the MLF5 social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.