MARBURY, Md. – Pro Blake Hall of Rogersville, Alabama, crossed the weigh-in stage Saturday with a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 15 ounces to take the early lead after Day 1 of the Tackle Warehouse Invitationals T-H Marine Stop 5 at the Potomac River.
Hall will bring a slim 6-ounce lead into Day 2 of competition over Trenton, Michigan’s Troy Stokes, who weighed in a limit totaling 19-9 to land in second. Local favorite Martin Villa of Charlottesville, Virginia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 18-15 to end the day in third.
Competition resumes Sunday morning, when the full field of 150 anglers will conclude the two-day opening round. Only the Top 50 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight will advance to the third and final day of competition on Monday. The three-day tournament, hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners, features a roster of 150 pro anglers competing for a top prize of up to $115,000 and an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2024.
Link to Photo of Stop 5 at the Potomac River Day 1 Leader Blake Hall
Link to Photo Gallery of Stop 5 at the Potomac River Day 1 Afternoon Highlights
Link to Video of Fish-Catch Highlights of Stop 5 at the Potomac River Day 1
“It looks good on paper, but it was pretty tough out there,” Hall said. “At 11 o’clock I only had four bass for probably seven (pounds). But I made a pretty good run to a new area and then I caught three big ones in probably 45 minutes.
“I culled one more time right before I came in,” Hall said. “I only had one bite on that stretch in practice, though, so hopefully there is some more still around.”
Hall said that he solely fished grass all day, mixing it up between a ChatterBait, a swimjig and Texas-rigged worms.
“I’m definitely around some fish,” Hall said. “I’m paying attention to the tide, but I don’t think it’s been critical to my success or anything like that. I’m just trying to get in some good areas where there are some fish and the just grinding it out and fishing through the tide.”
Hall credited his good start to his clean fishing and decision making.
“I never lost one, today,” the Alabama pro said. “Everything that bit, I got it in the boat.”
The Top 20 pros after Day 1 of the T-H Marine Stop 5 at the Potomac River are:
1st: Blake Hall, Rogersville, Ala., five bass, 19-15
2nd: Troy Stokes, Trenton, Mich., five bass, 19-9
3rd: Martin Villa, Charlottesville, Va., five bass, 18-15
4th: Drew Gill, Mount Carmel, Ill., five bass, 17-4
5th: Tommy Dickerson, Orange, Texas, five bass, 17-0
5th: Robert Nakatomi, Sacramento, Calif., five bass, 17-0
5th: Nick Hatfield, Greeneville, Tenn., five bass, 17-0
8th: Cody Meyer, Star, Idaho, five bass, 16-14
8th: Kyle Hall, Granbury, Texas, five bass, 16-14
10th: Jim Moynagh, Shakopee, Minn., five bass, 16-10
10th: Ryan Armstrong, Robinson, Ill., five bass, 16-10
10th: Austin Culbertson, Moberly, Mo., five bass, 16-10
13th: Jack Daniel Williams, Kingsport, Tenn., five bass, 16-8
14th: Sean Anderson, Leesville, S.C., five bass, 16-6
15th: Travis Harriman, Huntsville, Ark., five bass, 16-2
16th: Pete Ponds, Madison, Miss., five bass, 16-1
16th: Spike Stoker, Cisco, Texas, five bass, 16-1
18th: Kyle Weisenburger, Columbus Grove, Ohio, five bass, 16-0
19th: Cody Spetz, Hollister, Mo., five bass, 15-14
20th: Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., five bass, 15-11
20th: Matthew Stefan, Junction City, Wis., five bass, 15-11
Complete results for the entire field can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Hall earned the $1,000 Berkley Big Bass award Saturday after weighing in a largemouth that went 5 pounds, 9 ounces.
Overall, there were 731 bass weighing 1,943 pounds, 7 ounces caught by the 150 pros Saturday. The catch included 141 five-bass limits.
In Tackle Warehouse Invitationals competition, the full field of 150 anglers compete in the two-day opening round on Thursday and Friday 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 Saturday, 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 Tackle Warehouse Invitationals T-H Marine Stop 5 at the Potomac River will be determined by the heaviest three-day cumulative weight and will receive an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2024.
Anglers will launch each day at 6:30 a.m. ET from Smallwood State Park, located at 2750 Sweden Point Road in Marbury, Maryland. Weigh-ins will also be held at the boat ramp daily beginning at 2:30 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 a.m. CT at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
The Tackle Warehouse Invitationals T-H Marine Stop 5 at the Potomac River will feature live on-the-water coverage and a two-hour action-packed television show that will premiere on CBS Sports Network on Saturday, Oct. 28.
Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitationals include: 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, Mystik Lubricants, 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.