GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – While Lake Guntersville continues to show out for anglers across the board, pro Spencer Shuffield of Hot Springs, Arkansas, finished yet another stellar day, bringing a limit weighing 19 pounds, 6 ounces to the stage Saturday to lead the final 10 anglers and advance to the final day of competition at the B&W Trailer Hitches Stop 4 on Lake Guntersville Presented by A.R.E. in Guntersville, Alabama. Shuffield’s three-day total of 63 pounds, 7 ounces, was a mere 12 ounces over rookie Nick Hatfield of Greeneville, Tennessee, who brought a limit weighing 21-15 to the scales for a three-day total of 62 pounds, 11 ounces, good for second place.
Pro Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Oregon, moved from second place to third, with a limit weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounce, for a three-day total of 61-9, while the reigning Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Angler of the Year (AOY) Michael Neal of Dayton, Tennessee, finished the day in fourth place, with a limit weighing 19-9, giving him a three-day total of 61-2. REDCREST 2022 Champion “Big Fish” Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Florida, brought a five-bass limit to the stage – the biggest bag of the day, 22 pounds, 9 ounces – for a three-day total of 59-13 to round out the top five.
After starting the day in 32nd place, pro Brandon Mosley of Choctaw, Oklahoma, made the biggest move of the day, bringing a limit weighing 20 pounds, 4 ounces to the scale for a three-day total of 54-7 to slide into the 10th and final spot in Sunday’s Championship Round.
The final 10 anglers are now set, and competition will resume tomorrow on Championship Sunday, where weights are zeroed, and the angler that catches the heaviest five-fish weight will earn the top prize of up to $135,000.
“I caught a limit pretty quick today, then idled around and ended up finding some good stuff later in the day,” Shuffield said. “I had 18 pounds or so and made a cast on a new school I found and caught a 4½-pounder to cull out a 3½-pound spotted bass, so it worked out pretty good.
“The spot where I’ve been catching my big fish all week, I thought I could win off of that spot, but after today I no longer think you can win there. As a matter of fact, I don’t even know if I’m going to try to fish it tomorrow,” Shuffield said. “The second school I found during practice had the same potential as that main spot, I just haven’t had a chance to fish it because there have been two or three other guys on it all the time.”
Shuffield said fish out on the ledges just don’t seem to want to bite when there are multiple guys fishing them, and that rings especially true for the bigger bass.
“Today, I was able to pull up on that second spot and there was no one on it,” Shuffield said. “The fish were set up just right and biting nearly every cast I threw at them, and there were even bigger ones following the ones I had hooked up all the way to the boat.”
Shuffield has caught all his fish this week on the Duel Hardcore Bullet Crank 7+, and said his last good fish today was caught on a Duel Hardcore Bullet Crank 5+, a new bait that will premiere at ICAST later this year.
“The cool thing about that crankbait is that you typically have to have current on those ledges to make the fish bite it, but the way I’m fishing it is forcing them to bite,” Shuffield said. “I feel like as long as they are bunched up together, current or no current, I can still get them to bite, just because of the way I’m presenting it. It’s completely a reaction deal, they have no choice but to snap at it, and they’ve been eating it really well.
“I’d be netting a 4-pounder on that second spot today and there would be six or seven 5-plus-pounders right there with her,” Shuffield said. “I’ve left a lot of big ones out there this week, so I’m really looking forward to getting back out there and leaning into them tomorrow.”
The Top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition Sunday on Lake Guntersville are:
Anglers finishing 11th through 50th are:
For a full list of results visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Overall, there were 236 bass weighing 739 pounds, 11 ounces caught by 49 pros Saturday. The catch included 43 five-bass limits.
The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Fuel Me B&W Trailer Hitches Stop 4 at Lake Guntersville Presented by A.R.E. is hosted by Marshall County Tourism and Sports and features a total purse of more than $850,000.
In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit competition, the full field of 156 anglers competed in the two-day opening round on Thursday and Friday. The Top 50 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight advanced to Saturday. Now, only the Top 10 pros, based on cumulative weight from the first three days, will continue competition on Championship Sunday, where weights will be zeroed and anglers will compete in a one-day shootout for the grand prize of up to $135,000, including the lucrative $35,000 Phoenix MLF Bonus for qualified anglers.
Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2022 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE Presented by Mercury, the Pro Circuit Championship, where they will compete for up to $235,000. The 2022 TITLE will be on the St. Lawrence River in Massena, New York, on Aug. 16-21, and is hosted by the Town of Massena.
The final 10 anglers will launch at 6:30 a.m. CT Sunday from the Lake Guntersville State Park, located at 1155 Lodge Drive, in Guntersville. Sunday’s Championship weigh-in will also be held at the park at 2:30 p.m. Fans are encouraged to attend the event or follow the live on-the-water action on MLF NOW! beginning at 7 a.m. CT at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Abu Garcia will be giving away a FREE rod and reel combo on Sunday, May 15, from 12:30-2:30 p.m. to the first 100 high school anglers to check in at the MLF booth and fans can also meet PAW Patrol’s Marshall and Skye prior to the weigh-in from 1-2:30 p.m. on Sunday.
The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit B&W Trailer Hitches Stop 4 at Lake Guntersville Presented by A.R.E. will feature live on-the-water coverage and a two-hour action-packed television show that will premiere in July on the CBS Sports Network.
Proud sponsors of the 2022 MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Fuel Me include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, A.R.E. Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Fuel Me, Gary Yamamoto Baits, General Tire, Lew’s, Lowrance, Lucas Oil, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, 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 Pro Circuit on the MLF5 social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.