By Major League Fishing - July 14, 2020
July 14, 2020 (Sturgeon Bay, Wisc.) – Thirty-eight pros battled on the Wisconsin waters of Lake Michigan for the final eight spots in Wednesday’s Covercraft Stage Five Presented by Abu Garcia Championship.
Mark Daniels Jr. won the Knockout Round with 103 pounds. Mike Iaconelli landed a 2-pound, 2-ounce smallmouth in the final seconds to push Ott DeFoe out of the Championship by 1 ounce. Thirty pros fell below the Elimination Line, including Jacob Wheeler, which guarantees the 2020 Bass Pro Tour Season Points Title to 29-year-old Jordan Lee who finished third to advance.
The tournament hosted by Destination Sturgeon Bay continues Wednesday when the top ten compete for the $100,000 Stage Title.
Daniels Jr. joined seven other MLF pros this week by scoring 100+ pounds in a single day and won the Knockout Round and advance to the Wednesday’s Championship Round. A California-native and Alabama-resident Daniels Jr. found the fish early and never let up with his go-to baits – Z-Man Finesse TRD in green pumpkin and green pumpkin goby or Z-Man Finesse WormZ – to secure 103-5 on 32 smallmouth bass.
“I laid off a little at the end, but it was a pretty stellar day,” Daniels said. “My goal was to make it to the Championship Round, and it happened. I got an invite to the big dance; I just hope the smallmouth decide to show up tomorrow.”
Jordan Lee secured the 2020 Bass Pro Tour Season Points Title with his advancement to the Championship Round as his final contender, Jacob Wheeler, fell below the Elimination Line today. The pro with the most points at the end of the 2020 season earns the title of “Bass Pro Tour Points Champion.” Each angler earns Points (80-1) awarded by finishing place (1-80) at each Stage of the Bass Pro Tour. Coming into Wisconsin, Fletcher Shryock, Jacob Wheeler, Ott DeFoe, and Michael Neal rounded out the top five behind Lee. With Wheeler’s elimination today, Lee has mathematically won and will receive the trophy tomorrow during the post-game festivities at Sawyer Park, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.
“It feels unbelievable to be able to win it against these guys,” Lee said. “To win the points (championship) is a dream come true. Add in that I got to catch 94 pounds of smallmouth today; it was an incredible moment.”
Lee caught 94 pounds exactly on 34 fish to end in third place and advance to tomorrow’s Stage Five Championship Round. With the Points Champion Title locked in, Lee doesn’t plan to let-up on the competition tomorrow in the Championship Round.
“I’m looking forward to getting back out there and to have a chance to win tomorrow,” Lee said.
Despite losing 50 minutes of competition to a weather delay, the field of 38 caught 1,751 pounds, 4 ounces of scorable (2-pound minimum weight) bass, making today the heaviest day of Stage Five.
The fast-paced action of the MLF format on the waters bordering Door County, Wisconsin made for an exciting end to today’s contest as the field shifted over the Elimination Line until the last seconds when Ott DeFoe and Bobby Lane were knocked out. Daiwa pro Ish Monroe landed a 2-pound, 13-ounce smallmouth with one minute in regulation to leap into sixth place. As the clock ran down, Iaconelli (“IKE”) pulled a 2-pound, 2-ounce bass over the hull with seconds remaining to knock out DeFoe by one ounce. The 49-year-old pro known for his energy on the water celebrated with a backspin after learning finished eighth.
Jacob Wheeler caught the Berkley Big Bass of the day weighing in 5 pounds, 3 ounces earning him $1,000.
The Top 8 finished the Knockout Round as follows:
|Place||Angler||Two-Day Total||Two-Day Total||Largest Fish over Two-Day Round|
|1||Mark Daniels Jr.||103-05||32||4-08|
For complete results, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com, Bass Pro Tour, Results.
The competition continues Wednesday with the Covercraft Stage Five presented by Abu Garcia Championship Round. Today’s qualifiers join Justin Lucas and Cliff Pace, who won their respective Qualifying Rounds to earn an auto-berth into the Championship. The field of 10 begin with zero weight and the angler with the most scorable bass wins $100,000 and Stage Title.
Pending no weather delays, the day begins at Sawyer Park Boat Launch, Sturgeon Bay, Wisc., 6:15 a.m. CT when the field reports to pick-up their MLF Officials and camera operators before trailering to the ramp of their choice. With lines in at 8:00 a.m. CT, the competition consists of three, 150-minute periods.
After lines-out (4 – 5 p.m. CT), fans can tune-in hear from MLF’s Steven Scott at the General Tire Takeout for in-depth interviews and the trophy presentations to Jordan Lee – 2020 Bass Pro Tour Points Champion – and the winner of Covercraft Stage Five Presented by Abu Garcia
About the Bass Pro Tour
The Bass Pro Tour began in 2019 and features 80 of the best professional anglers in the world, including Kevin VanDam, Edwin Evers, Aaron Martens, Mike Iaconelli, Jordan Lee, and Skeet Reese. Each stage includes six days of competition using the Major League Fishing, catch-weigh-and-immediately-release format, where every bass over a variable minimum weight, which is two pounds on Lake Fork for Stage Three, toward a cumulative weight total for the day. Variable minimum weights are determined by fishery, akin to a golf course handicap. The field of 80 anglers is divided into two groups of 40 (Groups A and B) to compete on days one through four for the Qualifying Round. The winners of each Group earn an automatic berth the Championship Round. The anglers finishing in places 2-20 from each group in the Qualifying Round (40 total) advance to the Knockout Round on day five (Tuesday), which determines who will compete on that final day, the Championship Round (Wednesday), for the Stage title and $100,000.
Each Stage of the Bass Pro Tour has the following payout schedule: 1st $100,000; 2nd $42,000; 3rd $30,000; 4th $24,000; 5th $18,000; 6th $16,800; 7th $15,600; 8th $14,400; 9th $13,200; 10th $12,000; 11th – 40th $6,000; Big Bass Daily $1,000; Big Bass Overall $1,000.
In addition to the economic impact for the host community, Destination Sturgeon Bay / Door County, Major League Fishing showcases the region through their award-winning, live and linear programming. Each Stage of the Bass Pro Tour is broadcast live on the Major League Fishing app, MyOutdoorTV (MOTV), and majorleaguefishing.com, totaling more than 325 hours of original programming. Fans can follow the fast-paced nature of the MLF format as it unfolds on the live leaderboard through “SCORETRACKER® updates.”
Highlights from each Stage of the 2020 Bass Pro Tour air on Discovery Network beginning in July 2020 and Sportsman Channel in early 2021. Covercraft Stage Five presented by Abu Garcia will premiere as two, two-hour episodes on Discovery Channel October 3 and 4, 7 – 9 a.m. ET/PT.
“MLF offers the strongest broadcast presence in the industry to fans and sponsors,” said Jim Wilburn, President and CEO of Major League Fishing. “And with these lakes planned for this coming Bass Pro Tour, we know 2020 will be our best year yet as we continue to capture a broad audience of both longtime fishing fans and those new to the sport, thanks to our fast-paced, fan-friendly format,”
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.