Local pro Marshall Hughes catches 38-7 to seize the lead at Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Stop 1 Presented by Power-Pole MOVE at Sam Rayburn Reservoir - Major League Fishing
Local pro Marshall Hughes catches 38-7 to seize the lead at Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Stop 1 Presented by Power-Pole MOVE at Sam Rayburn Reservoir
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Local pro Marshall Hughes catches 38-7 to seize the lead at Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Stop 1 Presented by Power-Pole MOVE at Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Hemphill, Texas, rookie catches fourth-largest limit on Sam Rayburn in MLF history to bring 6-pound, 11-ounce lead into final day of competition
Image for Local pro Marshall Hughes catches 38-7 to seize the lead at Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Stop 1 Presented by Power-Pole MOVE at Sam Rayburn Reservoir
February 10, 2024 • MLF • Press Releases

BROOKELAND, Texas – Day 2 of the Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Stop 1 Presented by Power-Pole MOVE on Sam Rayburn Reservoir was an absolute fireworks show. New York pro Alec Morrison and Tennessee’s Cole Breeden both caught 11-pounders, and nine pros topped 20 pounds. Headlining it all, local rookie Marshall Hughes of Hemphill, Texas, blitzed 38 pounds, 7 ounces to tally up 50-14 and rocket into the lead. Of course, Hughes had an 11-pounder as well (the third of the day) and staked himself a little more than a 6-pound cushion after only scratching up 12-7 on Day 1.

Hughes has a sterling record on Sam Rayburn and should certainly be riding high, but he’s not safe yet. Behind him are some of the best in the game with forward-facing sonar. Hughes might have the edge on local knowledge, but Day 3 of the event could be a shootout for the ages.

The three-day tournament, hosted by the Jasper County Development District, featured a roster of 150 anglers competing for a top prize of up to $115,000 and an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2025. The field is now trimmed to 30, and the winner will be determined tomorrow by heaviest three-day cumulative weight.

Link to Photo of Day 2 Leader Marshall Hughes
Link to Photo Gallery of Day 2 Afternoon Highlights
Link to Video of Fish-Catch Highlights of Day 2 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Midway through the day, it looked like one of the storylines would be a lack of big bags. Usually, by noon of any Rayburn event, somebody has cracked a bag in the upper 20s or 30s, and they might be headed back to the dock to wait for the scales to open. Then, things started clicking for Hughes.

“I had like 14 pounds at like 11 or something; I was kind of down in the dumps with 14 pounds that late in the day,” Hughes said. “I started running around, running some new stuff. I was trying what I did yesterday, and it wasn’t working. I ran up to a hard spot, a shallower hard spot, and got bit and caught one — it was a 5-pounder, my small one.”

That was the only clue he needed. 

“So, I started running that stuff, and I pulled up on one, and they had just moved up and started feeding,” he said. “It was just balls to the walls. I’ve never seen what I saw today, ever.”

Fishing in 12 to 15 feet with a Bill Lewis Scope-Stik and a 5/8-ounce Buckeye Mop Jig with a Yamamoto Flappin’ Hog, Hughes watched most of the fish bite on forward-facing sonar.

“I rolled in, and they were there feeding,” he said. “It wasn’t like they were schooled up together. It was one there, one here. The ones that were higher up came on the jerkbait. The water is dingy right now; it’s hard for them to see it.”

Fishing 60 or 70 tournaments a year, Hughes is a full-time fisherman who hasn’t gone national – yet. Now, he’s looking to start his rookie year with a win. All he needs to do is have another good day on a lake he calls home.

“This afternoon, I just went out and started plucking around,” he said. “I love to catch ‘em on a ‘trap’ — I feel like that’s my forte — but they ain’t eatin’ a ‘trap’ now, so they’re putting me elsewhere. I need to just go fishing like I did today.”

The top 30 pros advancing to the final day of competition on Sam Rayburn Reservoir are:

1st:        Marshall Hughes, Hemphill, Texas, 10 bass, 50-14
2nd:       Alec Morrison, Peru, N.Y., 10 bass, 44-3
3rd:       Jake Lawrence, Buchanan, Tenn., 10 bass, 43-9
4th:        Cal Lane, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 43-9
5th:        Drew Gill, Mount Carmel, Ill., 10 bass, 43-3
6th:        Keith Poche, Cecil, Ala., 10 bass, 41-14
7th:        Brody Campbell, Oxford, Ohio, 10 bass, 41-5
8th:        Nick Hatfield, Greeneville, Tenn., 10 bass, 41-1
9th:        Brock Reinkemeyer, Warsaw, Mo., 10 bass, 38-8
10th:     Nick LeBrun, Bossier City, La., 10 bass, 38-6
11th:     Dillon Harrell, New Caney, Texas, 10 bass, 38-6
12th:     Matt Becker, Ten Mile, Tenn., 10 bass, 37-11
13th:     Jaden Parrish, Liberty, Texas, 10 bass, 37-3
14th:     Cole Breeden, Lebanon, Tenn., 10 bass, 36-12
15th:     Britt Myers, Jr., Lake Wylie, S.C., 10 bass, 36-4
16th:     Lane Olson, Forest Grove, Ore., 10 bass, 35-12
17th:     Dakota Ebare, Brookeland, Texas, 10 bass, 35-8
18th:     Clayton Batts, Butler, Ga., 10 bass, 35-5
19th:     Andrew Nordbye, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 35-1
20th:     Kelly Jordon, Flint, Texas, 10 bass, 34-8
21st:      Ramie Colson, Jr., Cadiz, Ky., 10 bass, 34-2
22nd:    Jordan Wiggins, Cullman, Ala., 10 bass, 34-1
23rd:     Michael Harlin, Sunrise Beach, Mo., 10 bass, 33-15
24th:     Mitchell Robinson, Landrum, S.C., 10 bass, 33-11
25th:     Ty Faber, Pagosa Springs, Colo., 10 bass, 33-10
26th:     Jacob Walker, Springville, Ala., 10 bass, 33-7
27th:     Terry Fisher, Decatur, Ala., 10 bass, 32-13
28th:     Kyle Hall, Granbury, Texas, 10 bass, 32-8
29th:     Mark Condron, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 10 bass, 32-6
30th:     Rick Harris, Kingsland, Texas, 10 bass, 31-10

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

Pro Cole Breeden of Lebanon, Tennessee, earned the $1,000 Berkley Big Bass award Saturday with a largemouth bass that weighed in at 11 pounds, 12 ounces.

Overall, there were 693 bass weighing 1,914 pounds, 7 ounces caught by 146 pros Saturday. The catch included 131 five-bass limits. 

Historically speaking, it’s basically impossible to know if this weigh-in featured a record-breaking number of 11-pounders. It likely didn’t overall, but based on our records, it’s the first time in the long history of MLF competition on Sam Rayburn that multiple fish over 11 pounds have hit the scales in the same day, much less three of them. Similarly, Hughes’ bag is a record for the Invitationals circuit and the fourth-biggest ever on Sam Rayburn in MLF competition. It doesn’t quite crack the Top 10 heaviest limits of all-time, though – 10th in that case belongs to Terry Bolton with 38-15 that he caught in 2008 on Falcon Lake. Breeden’s 11-12 Berkley Big Bass tied for the third-biggest ever weighed during MLF competition on Rayburn.

In Tackle Warehouse Invitationals competition, the full field of 150 anglers competed in the two-day opening round on Friday and Saturday in a five-fish, weigh-in format. Only the top 30 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight now advance to the final round on Championship Sunday, where they will compete for the grand prize of up to $115,000. The winner of Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Stop 1 Presented by Power-Pole MOVE at Sam Rayburn Reservoir will be determined by the heaviest three-day cumulative weight and will receive an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2025 on Lake Guntersville in Huntsville, Alabama.

The final 30 anglers will launch at 7 a.m. CT each day from the Umphrey Family Pavilion, located at 5438 Sam Rayburn Parkway in Brookeland. Sunday’s championship weigh-in will also be held at the pavilion and will begin at 3 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch and weigh-in events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLFNOW! live stream and coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The MLFNOW! broadcast team of Chad McKee and Rob Newell will break down the extended action live each day of competition from 7:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. CT. MLFNOW! will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Television coverage of the MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Stop 1 Presented by Power-Pole at Sam Rayburn Reservoir will air as a two-hour episode, premiering at 9 a.m. ET, on Saturday, Oct. 5 on CBS Sports Network.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitationals include: 7Brew, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, BUBBA, E3, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, General Tire, Lew’s, Mercury, Mossy Oak Fishing, Onyx, Phoenix Boats, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Suzuki, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota and YETI.

For complete details and updated information on Major League Fishing and the Tackle Warehouse Invitationals, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Tackle Warehouse Invitational updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the MLF5 social media outlets at FacebookInstagram and YouTube.