Georgia's Joshua Weaver wins Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Power-Pole Stop 1 on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Phoenix Boats - Major League Fishing
Georgia’s Joshua Weaver wins Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Power-Pole Stop 1 on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Phoenix Boats
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Georgia’s Joshua Weaver wins Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Power-Pole Stop 1 on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Phoenix Boats

Macon, Georgia, pro grabs first major win of his career, takes home top prize of $115,000
Image for Georgia’s Joshua Weaver wins Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Power-Pole Stop 1 on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Phoenix Boats
February 10, 2023 • MLF • Press Releases

CLEWISTON, Fla.– Warm Florida sunshine and a slight breeze greeted the crowd as Favorite Fishing pro Joshua Weaver of Macon, Georgia, brought a five-bass-limit to the scale on Championship Friday weighing 26 pounds, 4 ounces to win the Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Power-Pole Stop 1 at Lake Okeechobee Presented by Phoenix Boats. Weaver’s three-day total of 72-9 earned him his first major career win by a whopping 8-pound, 13-ounce margin over second-place pro Colby Schrumpf of Highland, Illinois, and the top prize of $115,000, including the lucrative $35,000 Phoenix MLF Bonus. Weaver will now also receive an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2024.

Link to Photo of Power-Pole Stop 1 Winner Joshua Weaver
Link to Photo Gallery of Championship Day Weigh-In
Link to Video of Championship Day Weigh-In from Power-Pole Stop 1 at Lake Okeechobee
Link to Video of Fish Catch Highlights from Championship Day of Power-Pole Stop 1 at Lake Okeechobee

The 2023 season marks Weaver’s seventh year on tour with MLF. The six-time championship qualifier said he had a dream years ago that he would get his first major win on Lake Okeechobee – a dream that finally became reality at the first 2023 Tackle Warehouse Invitationals tournament.

After ending Day 1 in 61st place with only 14 pounds, 12 ounces, Weaver weighed in the largest limit of the event on Day 2 – five bass totaling 31-9 – to catapult into second place. The Georgia pro brought another solid limit of 26-4 to the scales on Friday to seal the deal and take home the championship hardware.

“This tournament has been the kind of event you dream about having,” Weaver said. “The first day I lost quite a few fish and was pretty bummed, but backing it up with over 30 pounds yesterday and another 26-pound bag today is just incredible – Okeechobee has been unbelievable to me this week.”

Championship Friday started off with a bang, with Weaver catching more than 20 pounds within the first hour. But several hard-charging pros stayed in contention throughout the day, making it impossible for him to let off the gas.

“I knew I needed at least 24 pounds to have a shot at winning, and I got pretty close to it this morning,” Weaver said. “But with Michael Neal right behind me, I knew I was nowhere near safe. I sweated it out all day, and never really thought I had it in the bag, until I got back here to the weigh-in and people began congratulating me. 

“I kept with a similar game plan today, starting in the same area as the two days prior,” Weaver said. “I got in there early this morning and things kicked off quick. 

“I ran to my second spot mid-morning, where I’d caught a big bag on Day 2, but only caught 2-pounders. I pivoted back to my starting spot and caught a 3½- and a 5-pounder, so I decided to just stay in there all day and slowly culled up.”

Weaver said he credits his win to the heavy 7’6” Favorite Fishing Hex Casting Rod and reel he was throwing all week.

“I spent most of the week winding a Z-Man ChatterBait with a Googan Baits Happy Trailer and a swim jig around anything that I thought might have a female bass on a bed,” Weaver said. “This lake is really something special to me because it fits how I like to fish – I’m a shallow water grass fisherman. The last two times I’ve been here haven’t been so great, so I’m excited that we’ve righted those wrongs this week. 

“It definitely hasn’t hit me yet,” Weaver said. “You wait so long for a day like today, then when it happens, you’re just in a daze. I’ve wanted this for so long. This is the reason why we do what we do. For it to finally happen after seven seasons – finishing in second place multiple times and a ton of Top 10s – to finally get it done is a relief and I’m already looking forward to the next tournament.”

The Top 20 pros at the Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Power-Pole Stop 1 at Lake Okeechobee finished:

1st:            Joshua Weaver, Macon, Ga., 15 bass, 72-9, $115,000
2nd:          Colby Schrumpf, Highland, Ill., 15 bass, 63-12, $50,000
3rd:           Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., 15 bass, 63-1, $20,000
4th:           Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 61-13, $18,000
5th:           Jacopo Gallelli, Florence, Italy, 14 bass, 61-13, $17,000
6th:           Jonathan Dietz, Corry, Pa., 15 bass, 58-2, $16,000
7th:           Kyle Weisenburger, Columbus Grove, Ohio, 15 bass, 57-2, $15,000 
8th:           Michael Harlin, Sunrise Beach, Mo., 15 bass, 56-14, $14,000
9th:           Paul Elias, Laurel, Miss., 15 bass, 56-8, $13,000
10th:         Spike Stoker, Cisco, Texas, 15 bass, 55-14, $12,000
11th:         David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn., 15 bass, 55-8, $10,000
12th:         Jason Vance, Battle Ground, Ind., 15 bass, 55-6, $10,000
13th:         Troy Stokes, Trenton, Mich., 15 bass, 55-3, $10,000
14th:         Marshall Robinson, Landrum, S.C., 15 bass, 54-14, $10,000
15th:         Ron Nelson, Berrien Springs, Mich., 15 bass, 54-7, $10,000
16th:         Marty Robinson, Landrum, S.C., 15 bass, 54-6, $10,000
17th:         Brian Latimer, Belton, S.C., 15 bass, 53-11, $10,000
18th:         Matthew Stefan, Junction City, Wis., 15 bass, 51-15, $10,000
19th:         Jacob Wheeler, Birchwood, Tenn., 15 bass, 51-9, $10,000
20th:         Tai Au, Glendale, Ariz., 15 bass, 51-2, $10,000

Complete results for the entire field can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Overall, there were 238 bass weighing 714 pounds, 13 ounces caught by 50 pros Friday. The catch included 47 five-bass limits.

The three-day tournament, hosted by the Hendry County Tourism Development Council, 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 Bass Pro Tour championship – for the chance to win up to $300,000.

In Tackle Warehouse Invitationals competition, the full field of 150 anglers competed in the two-day opening round on Wednesday and Thursday in a traditional five-fish, weigh-in format. Only the Top 50 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight advanced to the final round on Championship Friday, where they competed for the grand prize of up to $115,000, including the lucrative $35,000 Phoenix MLF Bonus for qualified anglers. The winner of the Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Power-Pole Stop 1 at Lake Okeechobee Presented by Phoenix Boats was determined by the heaviest three-day cumulative weight and will receive an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2024.

The season-long Invitationals Bally Bet Angler of the Year (AOY) will also earn a berth into REDCREST and the top eight anglers in the season-long Invitationals AOY point standings will qualify for the 2024 Bass Pro Tour. With his victory Friday, Weaver currently sits in first place with 200 points.

The Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Power-Pole Stop 1 at Lake Okeechobee Presented by Phoenix Boats two-hour action-packed television show will premiere on CBS Sports Network on Saturday, Sept. 30.

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.