By Major League Fishing - July 9, 2020
July 9, 2020 (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.) The Bass Pro Tour Covercraft Stage Five Presented by Abu Garcia hosted by Destination Sturgeon Bay will stream live on MLF NOW! July 10-15, 2020, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT daily. The 80 best professional anglers in the world will compete for the Stage title, as well as the season Points Champion. Stage Five will also determine who qualifies for the 2021 REDCREST and Heavy Hitters events. Twenty-nine-year-old Jordan Lee leads the race for Points Champion with Fletcher Shryock, Jacob Wheeler and Ott DeFoe rounding out the top four.
Major League Fishing (MLF) returned to competition in June following a mid-season pause to minimize the spread of the coronavirus. An inherently socially distant sport, MLF’s catch-weigh-immediately release format eliminates the need for a weigh-in/central gathering in competition. The league also implemented guidelines to protect and respect competitors, essential staff, and the host community including social distancing, face coverings, and the cancelation of fan events. For Sturgeon Bay, the league has also implemented its trailering policy, usually reserved for instances of weather, to decentralize anglers as they launch and return their boats from the competition field.
MLF worked with Destination Sturgeon Bay to host this final Stage after travel restrictions in Vermont forced a change from the previously announced location.
“We are beyond excited to welcome Major League Fishing to Sturgeon Bay, Door County for their final tournament of the season,” said Pam Seiler, Destination Sturgeon Bay Executive Director. “Being able to jump in to assist with the last-minute location change, we know that anglers and fans alike will love what Sturgeon Bay, Door County has to offer. We’re looking forward to seeing the pros catch record-setting bass as many anglers return for a second visit to our area and appreciate the opportunity to host as we know that this tournament will be of great economic value to our local businesses and community.”
Covercraft Stage Five Presented by Abu Garcia will determine the 2020 Bass Pro Tour Points Champion. Berkley pro Jordan Lee leads the field with 276 points. Fletcher Shryock sits in second place with 269 points and Jacob Wheeler is close behind at 267 points. Points are awarded at each Stage of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour by place through the field of 80 (80 points for finishing first, 79 points for second place, and so on). To view the complete standings, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com/standing.
Veteran angler Kevin VanDam enters Stage Five in 15th place and recently told reporters of the importance of this week’s event.
“This really is the most important event of our season,” said VanDam, a four-time Bassmaster Classic winner. “Stage Five determines our season Points Champion, REDCREST qualifiers, and now the 2021 Heavy Hitters qualifiers. A lot is on the line this week for each pro. It’s going to be a great event to watch!”
The top 40 anglers in season-long points qualify for REDCREST, the Bass Pro Tour Championship, scheduled for February 21-29, 2020 on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, hosted by Tulsa Regional Tourism. Mike McClelland (41st), Fred “Boom Boom” Roumbanis (42nd), and Lake Erie’s Dave Lefebre (43rd) sit within striking distance of James Elam (38th), Justin Atkins (39th), and James “Worldwide” Watson (40th). Aaron Martens currently sits in 46th place despite missing Stage Four while undergoing treatment for brain cancer. Only 92 days after undergoing life-saving brain surgery, Martens returns to fish this, the final stage. Before his diagnosis, Martens finished in the Top 20 at Stages One and Three earlier this year. For the complete standings, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com/standing.
MLF recently announced that Toyota Heavy Hitters Presented by Venmo will return in 2021. To qualify, each pro’s largest catch of each Stage of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour (five Stages) is tallied. The 40 anglers with the heaviest “bag” qualify for the 2021 special event, featuring over $750,000 in payouts. The payout schedule includes big-fish bonuses per round, which can make one fish worth $100,000. Jordan Lee, winner of the inaugural Heavy Hitters event on the Kissimmee Chain June 7-12, leads the field with 30 pounds, four ounces on four bass. Andy Morgan (26-14), Takahiro Omori (26-12), and Michael Neal (26-9) sit nearby in second through fourth place.
Covercraft Stage Five Presented by Abu Garcia hosted by Destination Sturgeon Bay will air on Discovery Channel as two, two-hour original episodes September 26 and October 3, 2020. For additional details, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com/tv-schedule.
About Major League Fishing
Founded in 2011, Major League Fishing (MLF) brings the high-intensity sport of competitive bass fishing into America’s living rooms on Outdoor Channel, Discovery, CBS, CBS Sports Network, World Fishing Network, Sportsman Channel, and on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). The Bass Pro Tour consists of eight events and a championship streamed live on www.MajorLeagueFishing.com and MOTV.
In late 2019, MLF acquired FLW which expands their portfolio to include the world’s largest grassroots fishing organization, including the strongest five-fish format professional bass fishing tour, the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, as well as the Toyota Series, Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine, and Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI, and High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing. For more information on the league and anglers, visit www.MajorLeagueFishing.com and follow MLF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.