March 17, 2020 (Lake Fork, Texas) — Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour on Lake Fork, Texas brought sports excitement to fans around the world as 38 pro anglers fought for eight spots in Wednesday’s Championship Round.

South Carolina-resident Andy Montgomery emerged victorious in today’s Knockout Round with a one-day total of 45 pounds, 9 ounces. Alton Jones, Jr. held the lead for much of the third period ultimately finishing in second place. MLF rookie Bryan Thrift secured a spot in his second out of three Championship Round after catching the Berkley Big Bass of the day late in the third period.

Wednesday’s Championship Round on Lake Athens features the Top 8 anglers from today’s Knockout Round and the winners of the Qualifying Round, Mark Daniels, Jr. and Brandon Coulter in a battle for most weight the $100,000 top prize. Coverage begins at 9:45 a.m. central time on MLF NOW!

Andy Montgomery steadily caught scorable bass all day long ended up with both the most fish caught and the most weight to win the round. The Clemson grad caught four in the first period including his largest, a 6-pound-7-ounce largemouth as the clock wound down to the first break. While his six-fish run in the second period kept Montgomery at the top of the SCORETRACKER®, it was the fish weighing 5 pounds, 14 ounces to start the third period that pushed him into the lead over Alton Jones, Jr.

“I won … I won!” exclaimed Montgomery as the MLF official called lines out to end the day. “I didn’t win any more money, but I wanted to win, and I won. I get to fish Lake Athens tomorrow so we’re going to Athens!”

Waco-resident Alton Jones Jr., who led for a good portion of the late second and third period, finished 3 pounds even behind the leader with 42 pounds, 9 ounces. Jones caught his largest fish of the day, weighing 5 pounds, 8 ounces, on his first cast at 10:02 a.m. Two more 5-pounders in the second period and six scorable bass in the third period secured his position in the Championship Round. The youngest angler on the Bass Pro Tour (age 27), Jones credits his pre-event routine and use of technology for preparing him for the tough competition.

“The biggest thing that I do to prepare is to study maps on my Garmin,” said Jones. “I really put in the hours to find the details of the lake. The other thing I use a lot, especially for a shallow lake like Fork is Google Earth; you can really see things in the satellite photos that you might not otherwise notice.”

New to the Bass Pro Tour in 2020, Byran Thrift hurdled himself into the Top 8 with 30 minutes left in the day by catching a 9-pound-8-ounce largemouth. While Thrift’s nine other fish of the day kept him in the hunt, it was the Berkley Big Bass of the Day that secured him fifth place and a chance to compete on Lake Athens tomorrow for $100,000. The 40-year-old Damiki pro won the FLW Cup in 2019 and has earned over $3 million in earnings making it no wonder he’s a contender on the Bass Pro Tour.

The Top 8 of the Knockout Round, who will join Group A Qualifying Round winner Mark Daniels Jr. and Group B Qualifying Round winner Brandon Coulter, include:

Place Angler Knockout Round Total Weight Knockout Round Total Bass Knockout Round Largest Bass
1 Andy Montgomery 45-09 13 6-07
2 Alton Jones, Jr. 42-09 11 5-08
3 Keith Poche 42-01 13 4-14
4 Justin Atkins 41-11 11 8-06
5 Bryan Thrift 38-06 10 9-08
6 Brent Chapman 37-06 11 7-04
7 Jeff Sprague 35-11 10 4-12
8 Ott DeFoe 34-05 10 5-01

For complete results, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com, Bass Pro Tour, Results.

The competition concludes Wednesday with the Championship Round where 10 anglers compete for the General Tire Stage Three presented by TrueTimber title and $100,000 top prize on Lake Athens.

Pending no weather delays, the day begins with launch at Lake Athens Marina, Athens, Texas at 9:30 a.m. CST before lines-in at 10:00 a.m. Period 1 ends at 12:30 p.m. Period 2 spans 12:45 until 3:15 p.m. Period 3 begins at 3:30 p.m. and lasts until day’s end at 6:00 p.m. The General Tire Takeout, including the trophy presentation, airs approximately 6:15-7:15 p.m. as anglers return to the ramp and talk through their strategies and equipment from the day.

Fans can catch all the action every day of competition on MLF NOW! lives tream on MajorLeagueFishing.com or download the MLF App for your Apple or GooglePlay device or on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).

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 Eufaula for Stage One, 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 (Group A and B) of 40 to compete in the Qualifying Round where a two-day cumulative weight total determines the winners. The winners of Groups A and B receive automatic berths to the Championship Round and the anglers finishing in places 2-19 (38 total) advance to the Knockout Round on day five. The top eight from the Knockout Round join the winners in Groups A and B (field of 10) to compete in the Championship Round and a shot at the $100,000 top prize and Stage Title.

Each of Eight Stages of the Bass Pro Tour have 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 on a host community, 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 will air on Discovery Network beginning in July 2020 and Sportsman Channel in early 2021.

“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.