MASSENA, N.Y. – Pro Joey “Cowboy” Cifuentes of Clinton, Arkansas, took over the lead on Day Two of the MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers, Savage Arms Stop 6 Presented by Abu Garcia at the St. Lawrence River Friday, bringing a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 18 pounds, 14 ounces. Cifuentes’ two-day total of 10 bass weighing 43 pounds, 3 ounces gives him a slim 2-ounce advantage heading into Day 3 of the four-day competition featuring bass fishing professionals from around the world, competing for up to $135,000.
Reigning 2020 Angler of the Year Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Michigan moved from 3rd place into 2nd with a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 10 ounces on Friday, while Kurt Mitchell of Milford, Delaware brought a 20-pound, 9-ounce bag to the scale, moving him from 25th place into 7th. Jon Canada of Helena, Alabama, made the biggest leap toward the top of the leaderboard, weighing a limit of 21-15 to catapult him from 62nd place into the top 10 on Day 2 of competition.
Anglers battled strong, cold-front winds and a significant chop throughout the entire second day of competition. Add finicky smallmouth to that and it makes for a difficult day out on the water.
“Today was tough with the wind and the fish were not biting very well,” said Cifuentes. “The wind was so bad and blowing against the current that it was almost impossible to let your bait move naturally with the current. In spite of the challenging conditions, I’m on top of the leaderboard and am fishing on Day 3, so, I’m pumped.”
Cifuentes said he got off to a strong start fishing deep humps in the Clayton area, landing a solid pair of 4-pounders to bring him to around 17 pounds early on in Day 2. From there, he bounced around trying different things and was able to cull up a few ounces at a time.
“I’m kind of zoned in on the deep deal during this event,” said Cifuentes. “I just don’t really know if my area is going to replenish. So, I’m going to start there [on Day 3], but I will definitely need to expand from there. My gut is telling me I’m going to have to find some new stuff tomorrow.”
With plenty of areas and patterns that he picked up in practice, Cifuentes said he isn’t too worried, but the potential of his main area is certainly on his mind – the trick is to see if it will hold.
“I’m excited going into Day 3 because I think I can stop on some other places I found in practice and catch fish,” continued Cifuentes. “I really think I can catch a solid bag tomorrow doing a number of things, but I just don’t know for sure.
“It’s smallmouth, so I may only catch 12 pounds. Meanwhile, I know with my main area, I have the potential to catch another big bag. I just plan to follow my gut and see what happens.”
The top 20 pros after Day 2 on the St. Lawrence River are:
1st: Joey Cifuentes of Clinton, Ark., 10 bass, 43-3
2nd: Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Mich., 10 bass, 43-1
3rd: Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., 10 bass, 42-7
4th: Matthew Stefan of Junction City, Wis., 10 bass, 41-9
5th: Cody Pike of Powhatan, Va., 10 bass, 41-9
6th: Miles Howe of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., 10 bass, 39-15
7th: Kurt Mitchell of Milford, Del., 10 bass, 39-4
8th: Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 38-12
9th: Erik Luzak of Fenelon Falls, Ontario, Canada, 10 bass, 37-11
10th: Jon Canada of Helena, Ala., 10 bass, 37-11
11th: Justin Cooper of Zwolle, La., 10 bass, 37-11
12th: Jason Lambert of Michie, Tenn., 10 bass, 37-4
13th: Aaron Britt of Yuba City, Calif., 10 bass, 37-2
14th: Michael Neal of Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 36-11
15th” John Cox of DeBary, Fla., eight bass, 36-4
16th: Evan Barnes of Hot Springs, Ark., 10 bass, 36-3
17th: Randy Ramsey of Burlington, Mich., 10 bass, 36-2
18th: Dakota Ebare of Brookeland, Texas, 10 bass, 35-14
19th: Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., 10 bass, 35-12
20th: Zack Birge of Blanchard, Okla., 10 bass, 35-12
For a full list of results visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Dakota Ebare of Brookeland, Texas, won the day’s $500 Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division after bringing a bass weighing 6 pounds, 4 ounces to the scale.
Overall, there were 656 bass weighing 1,988 pounds, 4 ounces caught by 143 pros Friday. The catch included 113 five-bass limits.
The MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers, Savage Arms Stop 6 Presented by Abu Garcia at the St. Lawrence River is hosted by the Town of Massena.
In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit competition, the full field of anglers competed in the two-day opening round on Thursday and Friday. The top 50 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight now advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros will continue competition on Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.
Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE presented by Mercury, the Pro Circuit Championship, where they will compete for up to $235,000. The 2021 TITLE will be on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin on Aug. 17-22, and is hosted by Explore La Crosse.
Anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. ET Saturday and Sunday from the Massena Intake Boat Launch located at 1415 State Highway 131 in Massena. Weigh-ins will also be held at the boat launch daily at 3 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend the event or follow the action online through the MLF NOW! live stream and coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
The MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers, Savage Arms Stop 6 Presented by Abu Garcia at the St. Lawrence River will feature live on-the-water coverage and a two-hour action-packed television show that will premiere on the Outdoor Channel on Sunday, Sept. 1 from 7 to 9 a.m. ET and re-air on the Sportsman Channel this fall. Weigh-ins will be streamed daily, and fans can catch live on-the-water action all day Saturday and Sunday, July 31 – Aug. 1 on MLF NOW! beginning at 7 a.m. ET at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the MLF BIG5’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.