AUSTIN, Texas – Toro pro Brent Chapman of Lake Quivira, Kansas – who led Group A after the first day of competition – held his lead throughout the entire day Sunday, catching nine bass totaling 20 pounds, 8 ounces to win the two-day Qualifying Group A round at the MLF Bass Pro Tour Berkley Stage Two at Lake Travis Presented by Mercury event in Austin, Texas. Chapman’s two-day total of 30 bass weighing 67 pounds even earned him the win by an 11-pound, 3-ounce margin and now advances him directly into the Championship Round of competition, set for Friday. The six-day tournament, hosted by the Austin Sports Commission, is being live-streamed online and filmed for television broadcast on the Discovery Channel and the Outdoor Channel later this year.
General Tire pro Mark Rose of Wynne, Arkansas, caught a two-day total of 23 bass weighing 55-13 to remain in second place. Favorite Fishing pro Mark Daniels Jr. of Tuskegee, Alabama, boated a two-day total of 22 bass weighing 40-1 to end the round in third place. After starting the day in 13th place, Polaris pro David Dudley of Lynchburg, Virginia, had the most weight on the day Sunday, weighing 11 bass totaling 23-15 to vault into fourth place with a two-day total of 19 bass for 39-10. Rounding out the top five is South Carolina pro Casey Ashley, who caught a two-day total of 20 bass weighing 38-10.
The top 20 anglers from Group A will now enjoy an off day, while the 40 anglers in Qualifying Group B will complete their two-day Qualifying Round of competition on Monday. The Knockout Round, featuring 38 anglers competing to finish in the top eight, will take place on Tuesday. Wednesday’s Championship Round will feature Chapman, Monday’s Group B winner, and the top eight anglers from the Knockout Round competing in a final-day shootout for the top prize of $100,000.
“I came into this tournament not really knowing what to expect. I thought I might have a good finish, but little did I know that I’d be leading after the first two days,” Chapman said. “That just shows you that when you stick to your strengths and fish what you’re confident in, it can pay off.”
Chapman pretty much threw the bass fishing rule book out the window and has went against the grain over the first two days of the event. Despite Lake Travis being a crystal-clear, desert-type impoundment, Chapman has gone to the lower end of the lake with a vibrating jig and had massive success.
“I’d like to think what I’m doing is a little bit off the wall down here in this clearer water, so hopefully it’s something on Championship day that I can have to myself and go out there and win this deal,” Chapman said.
Chapman said that all of his fish Sunday came on an unnamed ½-ounce and 3/8- ounce bladed jig. He threw the bladed jigs on a 7-foot, 6-inch KastKing Speed Demon Pro rod with a KastKing Bassinator Elite reel with an 8:1 gear ratio. For the ½-ounce bladed jig he used 20-pound Gamma fluorocarbon line, and for the 3/8-ounce bladed jig he used the same line but in 16-pound test.
“I typically throw a bladed jig on a 7-foot, 3-inch KastKing bladed jig rod, but this Speed Demon pro is a 7-foot, 6-inch swimbait rod with basically the same tip, but 3 inches longer. I’m making these really long casts in the clear water, so the longer rod helps. Plus, I’m able to hold my rod really high when I have to get up there really shallow.
“I couldn’t be more excited to win the round,” Chapman went on to say. “I’ve just fished what I’m confident in and so far, it’s paid off. I’m really looking forward to competing in the Championship Round.”
The top 20 pros from Qualifying Group A that now advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round on Lake Travis are:
1st: Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan., 30 bass, 67-0
2nd: Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., 23 bass, 55-13
3rd: Mark Daniels Jr., Tuskegee, Ala., 22 bass, 40-1
4th: David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 19 bass, 39-10
5th: Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C., 20 bass, 38-10
6th: Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala., 18 bass, 36-6
7th: Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 19 bass, 35-8
8th: Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., 18 bass, 33-12
9th: John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 16 bass, 33-0
10th: Alton Jones Jr., Waco, Texas, 12 bass, 32-10
11th: Takahiro Omori, Tokyo, Japan, 14 bass, 32-1
12th: Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., 14 bass, 31-6
13th: Keith Poche, Pike Road, Ala., 18 bass, 30-14
14th: James Watson, Lampe, Mo., 13 bass, 28-10
15th: Cody Meyer, Star, Idaho, 12 bass, 28-7
16th: Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., 11 bass, 28-0
17th: Miles Burghoff, Soddy-Daisy, Tenn., 12 bass, 24-5
18th: Tommy Biffle, Wagoner, Okla., eight bass, 24-2
19th: Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark., 11 bass, 23-10
20th: Russ Lane, Prattville, Ala., 10 bass, 23-7
A complete list of results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Overall, there were 219 bass weighing 470 pounds, 9 ounces caught by 39 pros on Sunday.
Pro Boyd Duckett of Guntersville, Alabama, won Sunday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award, weighing in a 5-pound, 14-ounce largemouth on a drop-shot rig during Period 1. Berkley will award $1,000 to the angler that weighs the biggest bass each day, and a $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the largest bass of the tournament.
The MLF Bass Pro Tour Berkley Stage Two at Lake Travis Presented by Mercury is hosted by the Austin Sports Commission.
The 40 Anglers in Group A competed in their two-day qualifying round on Friday and Sunday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Saturday and Monday. After each two-day qualifying round is complete, the anglers that finish in 2nd through 20th place from both groups advance to Tuesday’s Knockout Round, while the the winner of each group advances directly to Wednesday’s Championship Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed and the remaining 38 anglers compete to finish in the top 8 to advance to the Championship Round. In the final day Championship Round, weights are zeroed and the highest one-day total wins. Full breakdown of the format can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. CT each day of competition from Mansfield Dam Park, located at 4370 Mansfield Dam Park Road in Austin. The General Tire Takeout will also be held at the park daily beginning at 3:15 p.m.
The Bass Pro Tour features a field of 76 of the top professional anglers in the world – joined at each event by 4 pros that qualify from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit – competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, competing for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2022 championship.
The MLF NOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action on all six days of competition from 7 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. CT. MLF NOW!® will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.
Television coverage of the Bass Pro Tour Berkley Stage Two at Lake Travis Presented by Mercury will be showcased across two two-hour episodes, premiering at 7 a.m. ET, Sept. 11 on the Discovery Channel. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on the Discovery Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel. Each two-hour long reality-based episode goes in-depth to break down each day of competition.
For complete details and updated information on the Bass Pro Tour, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.