APPLING, Ga. – Pro Dakota Ebare of Brookeland, Texas, caught a five-bass limit Wednesday weighing 18 pounds, 6 ounces, to extend his lead by a just a couple of ounces after Day 2 of the Tackle Warehouse Invitational Toyota Stop 2 at Clarks Hill Lake Presented by Lowrance. Ebare’s two-day total of 10 bass weighing 42 pounds, 3 ounces, will give him a 5-pound, 5-ounce lead over Hot Springs, Arkansas’ Spencer Shuffield, who has weighed in 10 bass totaling 36-14.
The three-day tournament, hosted by the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Thomson-McDuffie County Convention & Visitors Bureau, featured a roster of 150 anglers competing for a top prize of up to $115,000 and an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2024. The field is now trimmed to 50, and the winner will be determined tomorrow by heaviest three-day cumulative weight.
“Today started off really slow and it didn’t seem like there was much activity happening at all, out deep or on the bank,” Ebare said. “I started offshore like I did the first day, and it just wasn’t happening. I decided that if I was going to be grinding for bites, I was going to grind where I could get a kicker largemouth. But then that didn’t work, either.
“I shifted back to the mid-depth range as the afternoon progressed, and then I caught the big one. After that it really picked up.”
Ebare targeted brush piles and caught the biggest bass of the tournament – an 8-pound, 2-ounce stud – with a shaky-head rig. After that, he said the lake turned on and he caught another 20 fish throughout the afternoon.
“I’m pretty much catching fish on three different baits, but the key bait that I caught my bigger fish on yesterday did not work out today,” Ebare said.
Despite a 5-pound cushion, Ebare said that he was not at all comfortable and that he still feels like he needs to have a good day tomorrow in order to see the deal.
“I’m not letting up at all. I have to catch as much as I can and give it everything that I’ve got, tomorrow, because those guys behind me can catch them. Any one of them are capable of catching a big bag and catching me, so I’m not comfortable at all. I’m going to fish hard and do my best to finish this thing out.”
The Top 50 pros advancing to the final day of competition on Clarks Hill Lake are:
Complete results for the entire field can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Ebare won Wednesday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass award with his kicker largemouth that weighed 8 pounds, 2 ounces.
Overall, there were 743 bass weighing 1,845 pounds, 9 ounces caught by 149 pros Wednesday. The catch included 147 five-bass limits.
In Tackle Warehouse Invitational competition, the full field of 150 anglers competed in the two-day opening round on Tuesday and Wednesday. Only the top 50 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight now advance to the final round on Championship Thursday, 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 Invitational Toyota Stop 2 at Clarks Hill Lake Presented by Lowrance will be determined by the heaviest three-day cumulative weight and will receive an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2024.
The final 50 anglers will take off at 7 a.m. ET Thursday, from Wildwood Park, located at 6212 Holloway Road in Appling. The final weigh-in and trophy presentation will also be held at the park 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. ET 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 Invitational Stop 2 at Clarks Hill Lake will also feature a two-hour television broadcast that will premiere on CBS Sports Network on Saturday, Oct. 7.
Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitationals include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, 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.