Fletcher Shryock leads after Day 1 of B&W Trailer Hitches Stage One on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Presented by Grundéns - Major League Fishing
Fletcher Shryock leads after Day 1 of B&W Trailer Hitches Stage One on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Presented by Grundéns
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Fletcher Shryock leads after Day 1 of B&W Trailer Hitches Stage One on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Presented by Grundéns

Image for Fletcher Shryock leads after Day 1 of B&W Trailer Hitches Stage One on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Presented by Grundéns
February 13, 2023 • MLF • Press Releases

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Favorite Fishing pro Fletcher Shryock’s five largest bass Monday weighed 23 pounds, 6 ounces and earned him the early lead after Day 1 for Group A of the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour B&W Trailer Hitches Stage One on the Kissimmee Chain Presented by Grundéns. Right behind Shryock in second place is Jeff Sprague of Wills Point, Texas, who weighed in five scorable largemouth totaling 20-4.

Link to Hi-Res Photo of Qualifying Group A Leader Fletcher Shryock
Link to HD Video – Fish-Catch Highlights of Group A Qualifying Round Day 1 on the Kissimmee Chain 
Link to Photo Gallery of Group A’s Day 1 Qualifying Round Afternoon Highlights

The six-day event, hosted by the Kissimmee Sports Commission, showcases 80 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing for a purse of more than $805,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable Angler of the Year (AOY) points in hopes of qualifying for the General Tire Heavy Hitters All-Star event and REDCREST, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

Weights remain fairly tight in the remainder of the top five. Pro Jeremy Lawyer of Sarcoxie, Missouri, ended the day in third place with five bass totaling 19-9, while Osaka, Japan’s Shinichi Fukae, who led the tournament for a good majority of the day, ended the day in fourth with five bass worth 18-15. General Tire pro Mark Rose of Wynne, Arkansas, rounds out the top five with five bass weighing 18-7.

The 40 anglers in Group A will now have an off day from competition on Tuesday, while the 40 anglers competing in Group B will begin their first day of competition. Group A will resume competition on Wednesday.

Shryock said he felt like he had a solid plan after his practice rounds, but as the wind picked up and rolled through the Kissimmee Chain on Monday, it had all but ruined his strategy.

“It started off this morning just not good,” Shryock said in his post-game interview. “I had to make adjustments today to be able to catch what I caught. The second and the third periods were really where I made my move.”

A midday flurry netted Shryock four of his best five bass. That pushed him right behind Fukae for first place. Then, the final 6-13 to end his day secured him the top spot. While he remains guarded about exactly how and where he’s catching his fish, he did give a little insight.

“I was being me and doing what I always do — flipping grass,” Shryock said simply. “I alternated between two baits. One is a Florida staple and the other is something I’m working on coming out with for Yamamoto. I’m keeping those baits quiet for now because I want to make sure that I don’t give too much away.”

Day 1 of the 2023 season is also the first day of the new five-fish format of the Bass Pro Tour. It took some time to get used to for the anglers on the water today, but all-in-all some positive reviews.

“I love the five-fish format paired with the live-scoring of SCORETRACKER®,” Shryock said. “Knowing that I only have to catch five fish and I know just how big those five have to be to keep pace is a great feeling and something I’ve never had before.”

Fukae echoed Shryock’s sentiments.

“It’s kind of weird compared to the last four years, but I like it,” Fukae said. “I think I’m more comfortable fishing five fish and I think that showed today.”

The Top 20 pros in Group A after Day 1 on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes are:

  • 1st: Fletcher Shryock, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 23-6
  • 2nd: Jeff Sprague, Wills Point, Texas, five bass, 20-4
  • 3rd: Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., five bass, 19-9
  • 4th: Shinichi Fukae, Osaka, Japan, five bass, 18-15
  • 5th: Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., five bass, 18-7
  • 6th: Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., five bass, 17-10
  • 7th: Jesse Wiggins, Addison, Ala., five bass, 17-4
  • 8th: Gerald Spohrer, Gonzales, La., five bass, 16-11
  • 9th: John Hunter, Shelbyville, Ky., five bass, 16-11
  • 10th: Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala., five bass, 15-8
  • 11th: Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., five bass, 15-1
  • 12th: Gary Klein, Mingus, Texas, five bass, 14-9
  • 13th: Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., five bass, 14-8
  • 14th: Ryan Salzman, Huntsville, Ala., five bass, 14-3
  • 15th: Todd Faircloth, Jasper, Texas, five bass, 13-4
  • 16th: Mitch Crane, Columbus, Miss., five bass, 13-2
  • 17th: Alton Jones, Sr., Lorena, Texas, five bass, 13-1
  • 18th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., five bass, 12-4
  • 19th: Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., five bass, 12-1
  • 20th: David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va, five bass, 11-14

A complete list of results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Fukae caught the biggest fish of the day in Period 1, a nice 8-pound, 11-ounce largemouth bass that bit his lipless crankbait to earn the first $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award of the event. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass each day, and another $1,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass of the tournament.

The 40 Anglers in Group A compete in their two-day qualifying round on Monday and Wednesday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Tuesday and Thursday. After each two-day qualifying round is complete, the top 20 anglers from each group advance to Friday’s Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed, and the remaining 40 anglers compete to finish in the top 10 to advance to the Championship Round. In the final day Championship Round, weight carries over from the Knockout Round and the angler with the heaviest two-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.

Anglers will launch each day at 7:30 a.m. ET from Big Toho Marina, located at 69 Lakeview Drive in Kissimmee. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will be held at the Marina, beginning at 4 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch and takeout events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

On Championship Saturday, Feb. 18, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. MLF will welcome fans of all ages to come in to celebrate the top 10 and crown the Stage 1 Champion at the Trophy Presentation. The final 10 Championship Round Bass Pro Tour anglers will be on hand at the trophy celebration to meet and greet fans, sign autographs, and take selfies.

The B&W Trailer Hitches Stage One at the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Presented by Grundéns features anglers competing with a 1-pound, 4-ounce minimum weight requirement for a bass to be deemed scorable. Minimum weights are determined individually for each competition waters that the Bass Pro Tour visits, based on the productivity, bass population and anticipated average size of fish in each fishery.

The 2023 MLF Bass Pro Tour features a field of 80 of the top professional anglers in the world competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, fishing for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and REDCREST 2024, the Bass Pro Tour championship, held March 13-17, 2024, on a fishery to be announced.  

The MLFNOW! broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action live on all six days of competition from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET. MLFNOW!  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Television coverage of the B&W Trailer Hitches Stage One at the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Presented by Grundéns will air as two, two-hour episodes starting at 7 a.m. ET, on Saturday, July 15 on the Discovery Channel. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on the Discovery Channel, with re-airings on the Outdoor Channel.

Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Bass Pro Tour include: 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, Ark Fishing, ATG + Wrangler, B&W Trailer Hitches, Bally Bet, Bass Cat Boats, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, Daiwa, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Ferguson, Fox Rent A Car, General Tire, Grundéns, Humminbird, Lowrance, Minn Kota, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Power-Pole, Rapala, Star tron, T-H Marine, TORO, Toyota, U.S. Air Force, Yellowstone Bourbon, Yo-Zuri and Zoom Baits.

For complete details and updated information on Major League Fishing and the Bass Pro Tour, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.