GROVE, Okla. – Berkley pro Jordan Lee of Cullman, Alabama, caught 11 scorable bass weighing 33 pounds, 2 ounces to win Knockout Round 2 of REDCREST 2022 presented by Costa, the Bass Pro Tour championship, on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees.
Joining Lee in Sunday’s Championship Round of competition in the top five are pros Michael Neal of Dayton, Tennessee, Dustin Connell of Clanton, Alabama, Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Florida, and Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tennessee. The five-day event, hosted by Tulsa Regional Tourism, features anglers competing for a total purse of $730,000, including a top cash prize of $300,000 to the winner.
“I’m feeling really good about the day and was super happy to have a good morning bite,” Lee said. “I was able to catch them in the same places as the other day, doing the same thing.”
Lee has been catching fish with various jerkbaits while watching his forward-facing sonar but did find a shallower bite late in the day.
“I used five or six different jerkbaits and my Lowrance ActiveTarget was key,” he said. “I don’t have unlimited spots, but everywhere I thought I could catch them today, I did. I eased up shallow later in the day and caught some on a jig and that was more fun than anything, but I don’t think I’ll be able to catch enough doing that to win.”
Tennessee pro Michael Neal ended the day with 12 for 31-9 but likely could have caught much more. After feeling that he had caught enough to safely advance, he left his main area and searched for more water.
“I laid off those fish about 30 minutes into the second period,” Neal said. “The winning fish are there and the only questions are if they will stay and if they cooperate tomorrow. I’ll be around the fish to win; I just don’t know what I’ll have to catch since I don’t know if everyone else let off their fish.”
Reigning REDCREST Champion Dustin Connell was the third angler with over 30 pounds on the day, with 10 for 31-5. He did it in the way he loves to fish, with a jerkbait and Lowrance ActiveTarget.
“It was a good day, and I caught them my favorite way,” Connell said. “I got a little pattern going but feel like I’m going to have to run new water if I have a chance to win. I have some places, but I don’t think it’s enough to beat these guys with what I have now.”
Connell is going all-in on the jerkbait tomorrow.
“I may crank a little in the morning, but I’ll have four jerkbait rods on the deck for the rest of the day,” he said.
The top five pros from Knockout Round 2 that made the cut and will advance to Championship Sunday on Grand Lake are:
The five pros eliminated from competition Saturday are:
Full results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
At REDCREST 2022, the full field of anglers competed in the two-day Qualifying Round on Day 1 (Wednesday) and Day 2 (Thursday) of the event. The field was cut to just the Top 20 based on two-day total cumulative weight. The remaining 20 anglers were split into two groups for the Knockout Round – 10 competed in Knockout Round 1 on Day 3 (Friday) and 10 competed in Knockout Round 2 on Day 4 (Saturday). The top five anglers from each group based on total single-day weight now advance to the Championship Sunday, where weights are zeroed and the angler that catches the highest total weight Sunday will be crowned the REDCREST 2022 champion and earn the top prize of $300,000.
Wheeler weighed a 5-pound, 11-ounce bass in Period 3 to earn Saturday’s Berkley Big Bass Award and earn the $1,000 prize. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler that weighs the biggest bass each day, and a $1,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the largest bass of the tournament.
The General Tire Take Off Ceremony will take place Sunday at 6:45 a.m. at the Wolf Creek Park and Boating Facility, located at 963 N. 16th St. in Grove, Oklahoma. The final 10 anglers will depart at 7:30 a.m. from the park and return after competition ends at 4 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW! live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
REDCREST 2022 Presented by Costa at Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees features anglers competing with a 2-pound 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 2021 Bass Pro Tour featured a field of 80 of the top professional anglers in the world competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country. The Top 41 anglers in the Angler of the Year (AOY) standings after the seven events qualified to compete in REDCREST 2022 Presented by Costa.
The MLF NOW! broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action on all five days of competition from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MLF NOW! will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.
Television coverage of REDCREST 2022 Presented by Costa will be showcased across two two-hour episodes, premiering at 7 a.m. ET, July 2 and July 9 on the Discovery Channel. A one-hour special episode of REDCREST 2022 Presented by Costa will premiere at 2 p.m. ET, Sunday, July 17 on CBS. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on the Discovery Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel. Each two-hour long reality-based episode goes in-depth to break down each day of competition.
Proud sponsors of the MLF Bass Pro Tour include: 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, A.R.E. Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, Bally Bet, Bass Cat, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Covercraft, Favorite Fishing, Garmin, General Tire, Googan Baits, Grundéns, Guaranteed Rate, Humminbird, Lowrance, Luminox, Mercury, Minn Kota, Mossy Oak, Nitro Performance Boats, Onyx, Plano, Power-Pole, Power Stop, Rapala, Starbrite, Toro, Toyota, Wrangler, Yellowstone Bourbon and Zoom.
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 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.